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Monday, November 20, 2017

Merry Monday: Sweet Holiday Picture Books

Disclosure: I was sent these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week? The holiday season is upon us. Today I am going to share with you five holiday picture books. These books have stories that are sweet. I am referring to them as holiday books because of one of them is a Hanukkah book. It combines the parents' cultures--Jewish and Indian. Talk about a multicultural mix It is Queen of Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg and illustrated by Anjan Sakar. 


In this book the older brother is the narrator. His little sister and her need to climb on everything annoys him. He also knows having Indian treats made by his mother and grandmother for Hanukkah is a bit unusual compared to his friends at Hebrew School, but his mother is Indian and his father is Jewish so they merge the two cultures. To calm his sister he begins to sing a Hanukkah song he learned in Hebrew School with new words to match their family customs: "I had a little dosa; I made it out of dal...." By the end of the book his sister's climbing and his song save the day. 

I love how the book makes the mix of cultures fun and a bit normal. In today's society many families are a combination of cultures and mix celebrations up to match. I also love how the lesson is about learning how annoyances can turn into good things. It is really a sweet book. The suggested ages are 4 to 7.



Our next book is not your typical holiday book. In fact I didn't realize it was a holiday book until the very end. The book is Leo's Gift by Susan Blackaby and Joellyn Cicciarelli and illustrated by Carrie Schuler. Leo liked to listen to his sister's piano lessons. His sister, Meredith, needed to practice to be ready for the recital in the first week of December, but she did not like practicing. One day he asked Meredith to show him how to play. She explained a bit and helped him play a scale and chord. They quickly discovered Leo had a talent for the piano. Leo began playing during Meredith's practices. When school started Meredith began staying after for sports practice. Leo had to sit and wait for her. He wandered into the music room and talked to the music teacher. The music teacher talks about how everyone has a special gift. Meredith's is playing basketball. Over time Leo realized his is music.

This book is about finding one's own talents and confidence. It is about growing up and also sharing one's talents. The book is a beautiful story and so well done. It also has its own webpage so you can learn more about the book, Leo and the authors! The message is there about sharing your gifts with others. It leaves you feeling good! It is recommended for ages 6 to 12. 



Our next book is about the magic of Christmas with a bird's eye view. It is Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares. Red and Lulu made their nest in a beautiful evergreen. They love their tree. It protects them from the hot sun and cold winds. The people come once a year to hang lights and sing O Christmas Tree. They are very happy in their tree, but one day while Red is out getting food, the tree is taken away with Lulu in it. The two are separated. How will they find each other again?

The illustrations in this book are beautiful!! The story reminds us how it is important to be with loved ones for the holiday. It is such a sweet story and has some Christmas miracles in it. I really love this one. It is recommended for ages 3 to 7.



In our next book, The Christmas Fairy by Anne Booth and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw, young fairy, Clara, dreams of being a Christmas fairy on the Christmas tree. There is one problem. Clara cannot sit still enough or quiet enough to be a Christmas fairy on a tree. She tries her best, but she cannot stop who she is--a giggly, wriggly chatterbox who loves making people smile. She gets her chance to shine in the Christmas Show and discovers there are more than one type of Christmas fairy.

This is another book that tells kids they each are special in their own way and can shine with their own talents and gifts. It is such a sweet story and goes perfectly with the first book, The Fairiest Fairy. This book is sure to get anyone in the festive mood. This book is recommended for ages 3 to 7.


Our final book for today's Merry Monday post is A Christmas for Bear by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Bear is having a Christmas party for his friend Mouse. Bear is prepared with all sorts of treats. As soon as Mouse arrives Mouse wants to look for his gift. Bear keeps telling him about the treats--the cookies, tea and especially the pickles from France which he read is essential for a Christmas party. Every time Bear's back is turned Mouse goes rummaging for his gift. You will never guess where his gift is. This book is such a sweet tale of friendship and holiday fun. 

Bear worked so hard to prepare for his first party and Mouse is so excited for the party that the two are a bit anxious. It is such a fun tale about two unlikely friends. It will warm anyone's heart this Christmas! It is suggested for ages 5 to 9. 

I hope you enjoyed this Merry Monday and will check out our other Merry Monday reviews.