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: Snow Globe Wishes

Snow Globe Wishes by Erin Dealey
Snow Globe Wishes
by Erin Dealey (Author)Claire Shorrock (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


When the biggest snowstorm of the year hits, one little girl is glad that there is no electricity, because it means that everyone will slow down and enjoy the snow. Her family eats dinner by candlelight, and snuggles together in front of the fire. They make a blanket fort, and sleep all together in one big mattress. The little girl makes a wish on a snowglobe, wishing for peace on earth. In the morning, all their neighbors come out to play in the snow and they join hands around a Christmas tree.

The focus in this book is about all kinds of people coming together in peace to enjoy the simple pleasures of life like playing in the snow. The mother and father in the story are a bi-racial couple. Their neighbors are all ages from babies to grandparents, and from many different races and cultural backgrounds. Even the cat and dog get along together and promote peace! Continue reading

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

Non-Fiction Review: Christmas Paper Crafting

Christmas Papercrafting by Thaneeya McArdle
Christmas Papercrafting: Holiday Cards, Gift Tags, and More!
by Thaneeya McArdle

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This crafting book contains templates and cut-outs for gift tags, postcards, holiday greeting cards, decorative envelopes, bookmarks, small posters to frame, and scrapbook paper. The illustrations come in many different styles and colors, all with festive patterns, snowmen, gingerbread houses, Christmas bells, Santas, reindeer, mittens, and Christmas trees. There are even a few postcards you can color!

I love the colorful illustrations and styles. Each page is so bright and merry! The paper is thick and heavy, making it perfect for mailing the post cards or using as background for a photo book. Each page is double-sided, so for some things you would have to choose which side you wanted to use. The pages also have perforated lines that make it easy to tear out and use! 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