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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Christmas

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan Berenstain

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  Back of Book:

 The Berenstain Bears and The Joy of Giving Brother and Sister Bear can’t wait for Christmas and all the presents they’ll open. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.

My Review:

I have always loved the Berenstain Bears stories. They are filled with morals and values that all children should learn. I think that the Joy of Giving is one of their best Christmas stories.  The story follows Brother and Sister Bear as they learn about the true meaning of Christmas. I loved that at the end of the story, Brother and Sister give to those who need it the most.  As always, the illustrations are engaging and sweet. The Berenstain Bears are a timeless tradition to share with the entire family.

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages

 

Christmas, Uncategorized

The Polar Bear Who Saved Christmas By Fiona Boon

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Back of Book:
When Pip the polar bear is woken up in the middle of winter by a strange jingling sound, he sets off into the snow to find out what it is. When Pip finds Santa s grotto, he learns that the sleigh is one reindeer short and Christmas will be canceled unless they can replace her! Find out what happens in this charming and delightful story about a shy, little polar bear, who overcomes fear, helps others, and saves Christmas!
My Review
I love reading Christmas books that involve animals. They make stories more fun and Interactive. The Polar Bear who saved Christmas is a fun story about Pip a polar bear who takes Dancers place in Santa’s sleigh. Pip says yes, and because of his bravery he is able to save Christmas. The story is written in a fun rhyming pattern, that readers will enjoy. The illustrations are whimsical and beautiful. Readers will enjoy reading about Pip flying with Santa and the reindeer. This is a perfect read aloud for the classroom.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas

My Little Christmas Story By Christina Goodings

 

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Back of Book:
Simple and sincere, this retelling of the Christmas story is perfect for children under five, introducing them to a classic story and its message of love. Bright illustrations help the tale along, telling little children about all the events of the nativity: the angels’ visits to Mary and Joseph, the journey to Bethlehem, the shepherds and the angels, the wise men’s travels and encounter with Herod, and Mary and Joseph’s care for the baby that would grow up to show the world God’s love.
My Review:
This is a perfect story to share with a Preschool or Kindergarten audience. It very sweetly tells the story of the birth of Christ. It begins with the angel telling Mary that she will be carrying Jesus, and ends with Joseph and Mary leaving for Egypt. The text is well written and easy for readers and listeners to follow along with. Children will love the beautiful and soft illustrations. I am looking forward to sharing this story with my preschoolers this year.
Ages 3 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas

Listen to the Silent Night Dandi Daley Mackall

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Back of Book:
It was not such a silent night when Baby Jesus was born. From the baa, baa, baa of sheep to the flut-flut-flutter of angel wings, it was actually quite noisy! Here, from CBA bestseller Dandi Daley Mackall, is the story of the first Christmas, using the sounds of that miraculous night to really bring the story to life. With rich, gorgeous paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher, this reverent retelling of the nativity is sure to become an essential part of every Christmas collection.

My Review:

I love when I find a truly stunning Christmas book to share with my class. Listen to the Silent Night is one of those stories. The rhyming text of this book flows in a natural and beautiful way. Each page shares a different sound that was heard the night Jesus was born. This is a perfect book to use to introduce onomatopoeia in text. The paintings in this book are nothing short of breathtaking. Each detail shows readers a different part of the birth of Christ. This is a perfect book for bedtime or Christmas morning. I highly recommend this book!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

When Christmas Feels Like Home by Gretchen Griffith

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After moving from a small village in Mexico to a town in the United States, Eduardo is sure it will never feel quite like home. The other children don’t speak his language and they do not play fútbol. His family promises him that he will feel right at home by the time Christmas comes along, when “your words float like clouds from your mouth” and “trees will ride on cars.” With whimsical imagery and a sprinkling of Spanish vocabulary, Gretchen Griffith takes readers on a multicultural journey with Eduardo who discovers the United States is not so different from Latin America and home is wherever the family is.

My Review:
This is a different type of Christmas story. The beginning of the story starts in September and ends in Christmas. Eduardo doesn’t want to move away from his hometown in Mexico. He misses playing futbol (soccer) with his friends. Everything in America seems difficult and strange. As the book progresses Eduardo realizes that he loves many things about America. Still, it won’t feel like home until he can set up his families nativity. I love that this book is honest and real. Most children do not feel comfortable when they first come to the United States. I loved that Eduardo takes his experiences day by day. The text in this story encourages readers to consider how people from other countries may view Christmas away from home. The illustrations are warm and draw readers into Eduardo’s emotions. This is a perfect story to read around the holidays.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Christmas, Uncategorized

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

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Back of Book:
Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. With style and warmth, debut author Patricia Toht and Jarvis, the author-illustrator of Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth, evoke all the rituals of decorating the tree — digging out boxes jam-packed with ornaments and tree trimmings, stringing tinsel, and, at long last, turning on those twinkling lights.
My Review:
One of my families Christmas traditions is getting a live Christmas tree. It is one of my fondest childhood memories. The beauty of decorating a tree is exciting and this book is beautifully written to describe the experience. The text in this book is written with detailed description and rhyming patterns. My favorite part of this story is when it talks about all the different Christmas ornaments there are to choose from. The text is charming and pulls readers into the fun and excitement of the Christmas season. The illustrations are truly remarkable. I love the fun additions to each page like the kitty in the Christmas tree. This book is a perfect addition to any holiday reading list. I am looking forward to sharing it with my student this Christmas season.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Christmas

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear

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Back of Book:
Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don’t believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.
My Review:
The closer it gets to Christmas the easier it is to believe in magic. This story follows a young boy, and his quest to find a wishing tree. While searching, Charles comes across many animals in the woods. Each animal is preparing for the long winter ahead. The deeper Charles goes, the more he realizes that the real magic may not be in the forest, but in the animals themselves. The ending of this book makes readers pause and hold their breath. This is the type of story that should be enjoyed with family. The illustrations are a winter dream. This is an outstanding story.

Ages 5 and up

32 Pages

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