Children’s Book Gift Guide

Snow Globe Wishes: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1534110313/

‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0988451212/

Santa and the Goodnight Train: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1328618404/

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Picture Book Review: Santa and the Goodnight Train

Santa and the Goodnight Train by June Sobel
Santa and the Goodnight Train
by June Sobel , Laura Huliska-Beith 

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

The children are climbing aboard the GoodNight Train on their way to find Santa on Christmas Eve! The engine runs on cookies and makes a jingle jingle sound as it chugs along. The conductor makes sure everyone has their ticket, their PJs, and a snug blanket. The train whooshes past gingerbread houses, candy canes, squirrels celebrating Christmas with acorn gifts, and finally finds Santa counting sheep as the reindeer take a nap. “Wake up! Wake up!… Next stop: North Pole!”

The story is told is delightful rhyme. I really liked the writing, and the poetry has good rhymes and a lovely rhythm in the meter. It’s very easy to read out loud, and flows off the tongue smoothly. There are also places where onomatopoeia is used to mimic the train whistles, “Whoooo! Whoooo!” Those things would be fun to read aloud with a child! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: ‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem

'Twas an Evening in Bethlehem by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem
by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt (Author)Sierra Klein  (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

The child of an innkeeper in Bethlehem shows Mary and Joseph to the stable, bringing them some blankets and cleaning out the animals’ trough to be used as the manger for the baby. In the middle of the night, the child hears a baby crying and sneaks out to the stable to visit the Christ-child. Angels are singing in the heavens, a bright star shines over the stable, and local shepherds come to worship. The child is proud to be a part of the miracle of Jesus’ birth, and keeps the King close in their heart.

This book was so sweet and lovely that it actually made me cry while I was reading it! So adorable, it really touched my heart. Despite the simplicity of the story, it has deep spiritual undertones that are sure to speak to the reader in a profound way. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Do You See What I See…

Do You See What I See... by Sandi Gore Evans
Do You See What I See…
by  Sandi Gore EvansAmanda Evans

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

A little rabbit named Bun-Bun can’t sleep. She looks up to see a bright star moving through the sky and decides to follow it. She is joined by Happy the red bird, Baa-Baa the lamb, and a snowman with heart buttons. Together they follow the star through the forest and valleys until they arrive at a stable, where they worship the newborn King of Kings. But as they move into the stable, the snowman begins to melt in the warmer air! Can Bun-Bun save her snowman friend before he’s completely gone? Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Dasher

Dasher by Matt Tavares
Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever
by Matt Tavares 

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Dasher and her reindeer family are prisoners at a traveling circus, and they tell stories about the cool snow and clear stars of the North Pole. Dasher daringly escapes and searches for the North Pole, using the North Star as her guide. She meets a man dressed in red, struggling to deliver toys to children with only one horse to pull his sleigh. Dasher agrees to help him deliver the toys, and wishes that her family could enjoy the beauty and freedom of the North Pole.

I loved this book! The story is sweet and touching, and the illustrations are beautiful!
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Activity Book Review: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Candlewick Entertainment
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Christmas Activity Book
by Candlewick Entertainment

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This sticker activity book features Christmas crafts, sticker pages, cookie recipes, games, and activities for children.
There are charts for counting down the days to Christmas and even a weather chart to keep track of the weather each day. Some of the crafts include masks, bird feeders, table setting cards, snowflake paper chains, and a Christmas wreath.
The games include a Christmas treasure hunt for indoors; exploring for leaves, pine cones, and bird feathers in the outdoors; as well as on-paper activities like a word search or puzzle.

My favorite part of this book are the coloring stickers that are left blank so you can color them in yourself before using them on the sticker activities. There is even a page that prompts you to write your own holiday song!

These look like such fun activities to do with children at Christmas time!
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Picture Book Review: Santa’s Secret

Santa's Secret by Denise Brennan-Nelson
Santa’s Secret
by Denise Brennan-Nelson,  Deborah Melmon (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

One little girl is on a mission to discover who Santa really is. Is it the Santa in the mall, the Santa from the Christmas Parade, or the Santa with a bell and a donation bucket? Or could it be a bearded old man in a coffee shop? With notebook and pencil, she asks penetrating questions as she sleuths around to find the answers. Can she crack the case and discover the REAL Santa?

The illustrations are colorful and festive, with a charming pencil style. The background of each page has interesting details that add to the story. For instance, the Santa in the mall has “Peppermint Beard Oil” stashed behind his Santa chair, along with a book about “How to be a Good Listener” and a toy catalog. So cute! Those details really make this story special. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play

Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play by Candlewick Press
Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play
by Candlewick Press

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Peppa and her school class are planning their Christmas play. Peppa wants to be a Christmas fairy in the play, and she invites Santa to attend at the school along with all the parents. But Santa is very busy. The schoolmates see him at malls, grocery stores, garden centers, and even at the tree shop. Peppa is sure he will be able to come to their school play, but Madame Gazelle, their teacher, warns Peppa that Santa might not come. The show must go on, even if Santa doesn’t make an appearance.

This adorable picture book has a simple storyline perfect for little children. The writing is easy to read and excellent for beginning readers.

The first part of the story describes what each of the schoolmates will be for the school play, and all the animals prepare their costumes as snowflakes, reindeer, elves, a Christmas tree, and a Christmas star. Suzy Sheep wants to be a Christmas nurse, so she can doctor anyone who is sick at the play! It’s so cute! Continue reading

Book Review: The First Christmas Sweater

The First Christmas Sweater by Ryan Tubridy
The First Christmas Sweater (and the Sheep Who Changed Everything)
by Ryan Tubridy

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

The rumor around the sheep farm is that Santa is looking for a special sheep to provide the wool to make the first Christmas sweater. Hillary is a rainbow-colored sheep who loves to make lists, and especially loves Christmas, but will her strangely-colored wool eliminate her from being able to donate her wool to Santa?

Each of the sheep in this Irish sheep farm have their own personalities and quirks. Hillary has many friends, but one of the sheep, Brian, is just annoying with his dumb jokes and “ewe” puns. Hillary spends her time daydreaming about Christmas, but Brian keeps interrupting her with boring small talk. Hillary would rather gossip with her bird friend, Didya, who is always asking “Didya know this? Didya know that?” and telling her all the news.

I loved all the sheep characters! They are so funny and cute. I could really imagine all their Irish accents. The plot is entertaining, and the writing is playful. There are many sheep puns, and several pages full of sheep jokes at the end of the book. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Little Robin’s Christmas

Little Robin's Christmas by Jan Fearnley
Little Robin’s Christmas
by Jan Fearnley

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Little Robin has seven beautiful vests to keep him warm in the winter, but he gives them away to animals who are freezing in the snow, until on Christmas Eve he only has one vest left. He meets a lonely mouse who is shivering in the cold, and gives away his last vest. Now Little Robin will be frozen, unless a certain jolly fellow in a red coat can find this generous bird and give him the most precious Christmas gift of all.

Little Robin is such a sweet and generous little guy! He meets a lot of different animals struggling to stay warm in the snow and ice of the winter, and thoughtfully offers them a knitted vest to keep them warm and cozy. Continue reading