Christmas

If You Ever Want to Bring a Pirate to Meet Santa, Don’t! (Magnolia Says DON’T!) By Elise Parsley

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Back of Book:
If your dad says you’re going to meet a bearded guy with a red suit and a bag full of treasures…he is not talking about meeting a pirate! But Magnolia has already invited the misbehaving swashbuckler to jump in line to meet Santa. So what if pirates are on the Naughty List? She’ll just teach this one to change his scurvy ways–no plundering or sword-fighting or plank-walking allowed! Plus, Santa is happy to hear everyone’s wish list. Right?
I received a copy of this book from author Elise Parsley in exchange for an honest review.
I was so excited to see that Elise wrote a Christmas addition to her very fun DONT series. The ever-entertaining Magnolia is back to share her experience of meeting Santa with a pirate in tow. As usual, what Magnolia means for good, turns into a complicated and entertaining escapade. Magnolia tries her best to teach the naughty pirate manners and the harder she tries the more problems occur! Readers will laugh out loud with the different things that Magnolia and the pirate get involved in. Adults reading this will be able to relate to the challenge of waiting in line and attempting to get children to smile for a photo with Santa. The illustrations are the familiar whimsical images that are apart of Magnolias story. This is a fantastically fun read aloud and perfect for the Christmas season.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Biography, Christmas, History

The Queen and the First Christmas Tree: Queen Charlotte’s Gift to England by Nancy Churnin

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Back of Book:
Queen Charlotte brought her family’s festive holiday yule bough from Germany to England. While planning a Christmas Day party in 1800 at Windsor Castle for over 100 children, she realized a single bough isn’t enough. So she brought in the whole tree instead, making it the first known Christmas Tree in England. This story tells a little-known fact about a favorite holiday tradition.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Nancy Churmin in exchange for an honest review.
Nancy has a true talent for writing nonfiction stories that bring history to life. This story shares with readers how Queen Charlotte created the beautiful tradition that we now have. The story follows Charlotte as a young girl in Germany to a grown Queen in England. Nancy highlighted the queen’s compassion and kindness throughout the story. I also loved that Nancy shared with readers that the queen didn’t like fancy balls, and often smudged her dresses. It allowed Queen Charlotte to become a real person in readers eyes and not simply a historical figure. The watercolor illustrations tie in the time period with the story beautifully! The back of the book has a two-page biography that shares more about Queen Charlotte. Nancy and Luisa have weaved together a beautiful story about one of the worlds most recognized Christmas traditions.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Click Here to visit Luisa’s Website

Christmas

Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins By Sue Fliess

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Back of Book:
It’s Christmas Eve morning, and Santa Claus is still in bed! He’s feeling stuffy and sneezy and slow as a yeti. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Not this year! Because Mrs. Claus is ready to take the reins in Santa’s place. With a plan in mind, Mrs. Claus assembles the crew, maps out the route, and preps the sleigh. Then, with a snap of the reins, she shoots off into the night. Delivering gifts all over the world without Santa’s magic won’t be easy, but Mrs. Claus proves she has some holiday sparkle of her own
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Sue Fliess in exchange for an honest review. I love finding stories about Mrs. Claus taking over for Santa on Christmas Eve. I think it is a fun twist for children to consider what would happen if Santa couldn’t make it to Christmas Eve. This story has a fun rhyming scheme and a laugh out loud storyline. Mrs. Claus saves the day in her own unique and entertaining way. It makes a perfect read-aloud for the classroom, or at home. The illustrations are full of color and life. My students loved hearing this read aloud and want me to read it often. A fantastic picture book for the Christmas season.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas

I Got the Christmas Spirit By Connie Schofield-Morrison

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Back of Book:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a mother and daughter are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The little girl hears sleigh bells ringing and carolers singing. She smells chestnuts roasting–CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!–and sees the flashing lights of the department store windows–BLING! BLING! BLING! She spreads the spirit of giving wherever she goes. And when she reaches Santa, she tells him her Christmas wish–for peace and love everywhere, all the days of the year.
My Review:
I received a copy a copy of this story from author Connie Schofield-Morrison in exchange for an honest review. I love that this picture book brings out the beauty of the Holiday season to life. One of my favorite aspects of this book is that is written in a first-person narrative. The young girl shares her love of holidays with the readers. Each page has a different description of the sights and sounds of the holidays. I also love the joy that the girl spreads to everyone around her. The illustrations in this book are nothing short of gorgeous! Each detail jumps off the page and draws you in. I cannot wait to share this with my class during Christmas.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas

Cookiesaurus Christmas By Amy Fellner Dominy

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Back of Book:
Cookiesaurus Rex may not be your usual holiday treat, but he has plenty of Christmas spirit. He would like nothing more than to make it onto Santa’s cookie plate. After all, the Big Guy should have only the best cookie to take back to the North Pole. But Mr. Spatula chooses Star, then Bell, and finally Gingerbread Boy. . . . WAIT ONE STINKIN,’ STOMPIN’ MINUTE! Looks like Cookiesaurus Rex is going to have to take matters into his own tiny arms. Will his Christmas dreams come true, or will his holiday dreams be crumbled?
My Review:
I was sent a copy of this book from author Amy Fellner Dominy in exchange for an honest review. My students absolutely loved the first Cookiesaurus Rex story. They begged me to read it over and over again. When I saw that Amy had created a Christmas version, I knew I wanted to add it to my Christmas list. I am happy to say that this is a perfect sequel to the Cookiesaurus Rex book. In this story Cookiesaurus wants to be picked as a cookie that goes on Santa’s plate. What follows is fun dialogue between Cookiesaurus and the cookie maker. Readers will laugh out loud with all the fun and creative antics. The illustrations are filmier and fun. I can’t wait to share it my class.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Christmas

Dino-Christmas (Dino-Holidays) By Lisa Wheeler

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Back of Book: Have yourself a merry Dino-Christmas! Dinos big and small deck the halls and enjoy snowball fights, hot cocoa, a parade, and more. Share in the dinosaurs’ delight as they eagerly await the arrival of everyone’s favorite . . . Santa Claws!
My Review:
I was so excited to read this story on Net Gallery. Thank you Lisa for making sure that I received a copy. I was so excited to see that Lisa Wheeler was creating a Christmas version of her much loved Dino series. Since I live in Southern California, my students do not get to see or participate in a lot snow related activity. I loved that this book shows the dinosaurs ice skating, sledding, and having snow ball fights. I love the sense of community and excitement that the dinosaurs have around Christmas. The rhyming verse keep readers enjoying every fun aspect of the book. The illustrations are the filmier and fun images that we know and love. Each picture has fun details and makes for a fantastic read aloud. A great addition to any Christmas list.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas

There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve By Pamela Munoz Ryan

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There was no snow on Christmas Eve. Instead, a desert zephyr blew And palm fronds sang a rustling tune To welcome the awaited birth. There was no snow, no fireplace, no need for woolen caps and gloves on that very first Christmas. Instead there was a humble stable, and weary travelers with light robes and sandals on a desert night. This luminous picture book manages to take the familiar story of the Nativity and make it fresh and immediate, reminding young children of the miracle of Christmas and the true nature of the spirit of the season, no matter what the weather.
My Review:
This is a touching story about the night that Christ was born. The book tells the tale of Christ’s birth in a touching and beautiful way. The text is written in a poetic way. Figurative Language is used in a stunning way. The book focuses on the desert landscape where Jesus was born. The illustrations are soft and warm. Readers can almost feel what it was like to be there during that night. This is one of my favorite books to read on Christmas Eve.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas

The Nutcracker By The New York City Ballet

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Back of Book:
The New York City Ballet presents a classic ballet tale for a modern ballet lover with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a holiday favorite.

The New York City Ballet is known for showcasing classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish and modern sensibility. For the first time, this beloved holiday story is told based on George Balanchine’s quintessential production. The storyline of this gorgeous picture book mimics the choreography of the famous ballet and the illustrations are inspired by the backdrops and scenery from the actual production.

The New York City Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker is considered to be “the” leading production in the world. A holiday tradition for many families, now readers who can’t travel to New York will be able to experience this colorful celebratory story. A must-have for every aspiring ballerina’s library and a holiday tradition for every family’s bookshelf.
My Review:
One of the things on my bucket list last Christmas was to go and see The Nutcracker Ballet. It was a breathtaking performance and something I truly enjoyed! This version of The Nutcracker is a lovely telling of the stunning ballet. Readers will love following Marie and her nutcracker that comes to life. The story stays true to the original ballet and is beautifully written. The illustrations are beautiful creations that show readers the wonder of the ballet. The back of the book has Nutcracker fun facts. This is not a story that keeps the attention of young readers. My preschoolers had a tough time following it. However, it is a beautiful story for upper grades.
Ages 7 and up
40 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

The First Christmas Night by Keith Christopher

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Back of Book:
Here is a beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus on that joyous night in Bethlehem so long ago. The poem begins with the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem through Christ’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the visit by the Wise Men.
My Review:
This is among my favorite stories to read during the Christmas season. It is written in the same poem as Twas the Night Before Christmas. This book tells the story of Christs birth in a simple yet incredibly poetic way. The illustrations are among the finest that are around. They are truly stunning and bring each small detail to life. The back of the story has the scriptures in the bible that tell the story of Jesus. I was very excited to see this book in the Scholastic catelogs last Christmas.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin

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Back of Book:

Spend the holidays with your favorite blue cat! In this rockin’ spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.

My Review:

Pete the cat should be an essential part of every elementary teachers library.  There is just something fun and magical about every story that Eric Litwin writes. I had a student who bought me my first Pete the Cat story. Since then I have found and purchased the entire series. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas is a read aloud for the Christmas season. The story follows Pete as he agrees to deliver all the presents on Christmas Eve. Santa is sick so he calls the grooviest cat around to fill in for him. The rhyming text is easy to follow along with. James Dean brings Pete to life in a truly unique way. My students ask every day if we can read this book They sit and listen to every word. I highly recommend this Christmas story.

Ages 4 and up

40 Pages

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