Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kid Konnection: Holiday Picture Books

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you some adorable holiday-themed picture books.

Summary: I am a mix of two traditions.
From Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama.
How lucky am I?

Holiday time at Sadie's house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa's arrival.

Selina Alko's joyous celebration of blended families will make the perfect holiday gift for the many Americans who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah. -- Knopf

DADDY CHRISTMAS & HANUKKAH MAMA by Selina Alko is a fun book that teaches children about both Hanukkah and Christmas traditions.What makes it even more special is that is shows how families who celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas can manage to incorporate and merge traditions from both holidays!

Sadie is a "mix of two traditions." Her daddy celebrates Christmas while her mom celebrates Hanukkah. Rather than feeling that she doesn't fully fit in with either religion, Sadie is truly lucky that she gets twice the celebration this time of year. Her family seems to do many of the traditional celebrations from each holiday... but with a twist. For example, they leave latkes for Santa, hang candy canes on a menorah, and share religious stories about each holiday with various extended family members.

The message in this story is a fairly unique one for a children's book, and it's actually based on the author's own family. They make a conscious effort each holiday season to incorporate traditions from both families. I think it's a great idea! Another really special thing about this picture book are the pictures themselves. They are extremely colorful and whimsical and the perfect complement to this story.

Overall, I thought DADDY CHRISTMAS & HANUKKAH MAMA was a very cute book with a very important message.

Summary: Three grizzled cowboys—Dwight, Darryl, and Dub—are stuck out on the range at Christmastime, roping steers and wrestling longhorns. Reminiscing about their childhood Christmases, they try to make the cowboy camp feel festive—and it's no surprise that a cactus decorated with tin cans, and cows dressed as reindeer, don't fill them with holiday cheer! But a surprise is in store for the Circle D dudes when Santa pays a visit to the cowboy campfire!

Illustrated by award-winning artist John Manders, this deluxe hardcover gives consumers what they expect from Golden Books: a high-quality book at a great value, ready for gift-giving. -- Golden Books

This is going to sound awful, but I wasn't that excited to read COWBOY CHRISTMAS by Rob Sanders and illustrated by John Manders. In hindsight, I'm not sure what I was thinking because I ended up loving this delightful picture book. The story is funny with a big surprise ending and the illustrations are fantastic. It just might be one of funnest Christmas books that I've seen this year!

In COWBOY CHRISTMAS, three cowboys are feeling a little down because they will be out on the range for Christmas rather than back home with their families. Each one has fond memories of Christmas including the tree, cookies, and more; so they try to make their cowboy camp more festive by decorating a tree (which ends up being a cactus), making cookies (which end up tasting and looking horrible), and welcoming Santa's reindeer (which are dressed up cows!) On Christmas Day, the tend to their regular cowboy chores only to return to their camp and think it's just another ordinary day. However, they soon discover that something has occurred at the camp while they were gone -- Santa has managed to find them!

COWBOY CHRISTMAS was wonderful. Both the story and the illustrations were laugh-out-loud funny and I loved how these cowboys managed to make the best of their non-traditional Christmas!

Very cute and perfect for preschool and elementary age children!

Summary: What did Santa leave for Baby?
Let's go in and see . . .

This sweet rhyming story from 1959, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin, shows the presents that Santa brought for Baby's first Christmas--". . . a rocking horse, a bouncy swing, a shovel and a pail, a rubber duck, a little boat for Baby dear to sail. . ."

Babies will love to watch this adorable baby playing with his toys and enjoying his first Christmas! And parents will love the sturdy pages and padded cover of the Golden Baby board books. -- Golden Books

BABY'S CHRISTMAS by Esther Wilkin and illustrated by Eloise Wilkin is a classic Golden Book and it brought back many memories for me. I'm pretty sure that I had a copy of this book when I was young (not the original of course because I'm not that old!), and it definitely seemed familiar as I read it. BABY'S CHRISTMAS takes little ones through all of the wonderful gifts that Baby received for Christmas.

This sweet little board book is perfect for little ones because it's sturdy. The inside pages are made of board, but the outside cover is padded - -kind of the best of both worlds for parents and kids. I think little ones will also love the rhyming text and the pictures of the baby, while parents will appreciate the story and the gorgeous illustrations.

Definitely recommended for little ones this holiday season. Parents and grandparents (and even great-grandparents) might find that this book evokes some happy childhood memories!

Thanks to the publisher for providing review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

These look very nice, but since we both feature Christmas books today it's too bad we didn't serendipitously pick the same one! :--)

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama looks wonderful! I bet there are a lot of kids who could benefit from that book!

Amy said...

aw these look really cute!