The Trees of the Dancing Goats

Author and illustrator Patricia Polacco had a wonderfully interesting childhood, which makes for delightful pictures books (read more here) - and her holiday books are no exception. In The Trees of the Dancing Goats, Polacco describes one Hanukkah she celebrated with her mother, brother and grandparents in snowy Michigan.  She tells about her family's traditions... Continue Reading →

Little House Christmas

Generally, I am not a fan of repackaging beloved stories for marketing purposes, but I make an exception for the Little House story books.  (See my review of other Little House story books here.) For the holidays, HarperCollins Publishers pulled out all the Christmas's Laura Ingalls Wilder described in some of her Little House on... Continue Reading →

The Light at Tern Rock

Ronnie and his aunt are anticipating a delightful Christmas, celebrating with friends at the school Christmas program and enjoying their holiday traditions. But first, they've agreed to spell the keeper of the lighthouse at Tern Rock for two weeks so he can visit his niece and her family. He promised to be back on December... Continue Reading →

The Fourth Wise Man

Most know the Biblical Christmas story about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men (unnumbered in the Bible, but traditionally three) who traveled from the East. Many years ago, Henry Van Dyke created a story about a fourth wise man, who had planned to travel to visit the newborn King of the Jews. ... Continue Reading →

The Family Under the Bridge

Old Armand is perfectly content with his life as a hobo, living under one of Paris' bridges. He worked odd jobs, or begged, to keep himself warm and fed - and he had no responsibilities, especially children. Children mean homes, responsibility and work. Armand does not like children. Then cold day in December, he found... Continue Reading →

The Real Santa Claus

Whether or not you celebrate Santa in your house, once your children are old enough to wonder, they will probably have questions about him. My children asked plenty. "Was he a real person? How did he get to be Santa Claus? Why does everyone talk about him?" If you're not sure of the answers, The... Continue Reading →

How Santa Got His Job

Perhaps you, and the children in your life, are wondering exactly how Santa got his job. Apparently Stephen Krensky wondered too, and so he wrote about Santa's job history in How Santa Got His Job. This creative picture book is fun to read aloud, and may illicit some giggles from your crowd, depending upon how... Continue Reading →

A Long Way from Chicago

My youngest picked up the audio version of A Long Way from Chicago and wanted to listen to it in the van.  I had never heard of it before, never read anything by Richard Peck before, and I wasn't sure how appropriate it was for a seven-year-old. But I thought we would give it a... Continue Reading →


Before Fancy Nancy, girls fell in love with Madeline.  Girls still love Madeline - and for good reason. Ludwig Bemelmans created Madeline after he moved to the United States and became a US citizen.  Bemelmans wrote and illustrated several Madeline books, most of which take place in Paris, France. Children love the lilting rhyme of... Continue Reading →

The Usborne Advent Nativity Book

When my kids were tiny, we would make a paper ring chain to count down the days until Christmas.  When they got too old for that, I looked for Advent calendars to help us count down the days until Christmas.  But they were either too pricey, too flimsy, or had things my kids could fight... Continue Reading →

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