Curiously, the posting of my holiday books arrives on Thanksgiving and I have to pause to wish everyone a very happy day and to add one great book to celebrate the occasion, Linda Ashman’s Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure (Sterling, ages 3-7). The author and illustrator Kim Smith update the 19th century song with rhythms, rhymes that show four diverse families facing present-day issues and modes of travel en route to a joyful holiday celebration.
Okay…back to holidays to come….
Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho, Doreen Cronin (Atheneum, ages 3-6) Duck has scaled a telephone pole, zip-lined to the farmhouse roof and is stuck in the chimney – “Ho! Ho! Uh-oh.” The same refrain accompanies other animals getting stuck. Thank goodness for Santa’s magic.
Jingle Bells, James Lord Piepont (Candlewick, all ages) Niroot Puttapipat’s delicate intricate cut paper illustrations and costuming accent the mid-19th century snowy setting of the familiar holiday song. delicate intricate cut paper illustrations and costuming accent the mid-19th century snowy setting of the familiar holiday song.
Miracle on 133rd Street, Sonia Manzano (Atheneum, ages 4-7) Jose’s mami is homesick for Puerto Rico and everyone else in the apartment building seems to lack holiday spirit. Soon fragrance of a holiday meal wraps “itself around all of them like a scarf” and everyone celebrates joyfully together.
Oskar and the Eight Blessings, Richard and Tanya Simon (Roaring Brook, ages 7-10) After the Nazis’ Night of Broken Glass, Oskar’s parents put him on a ship to America with only a picture of an aunt he doesn’t know and a reminder that “even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings.” Oskar arrives in New York on the seventh day of Hanukkah and the brief text and Mark Siegel’s powerful illustrations serve as witness for the many blessings he finds.