Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOKS: A Christmas for Bear/Red & Lulu/Elf in the House


ABOUT THE BOOK

Bear's minimalist holiday celebration has an eager Mouse feeling a bit anxious in this humorous and heartwarming story about the unlikely, lovable pair.

One frosty night, Bear hears a tap, tap, tapping on his front door. "Merry Christmas!" cries Mouse. Mouse is there for a Christmas party, and Bear has never had one before, but he's certain that pickles (preferably from France) must be an essential component, along with the reading of a long and difficult poem. The problem is, whenever Bear comes back from the kitchen with more treats, Mouse has vanished -- only to be found, small and gray and guilty-eyed, scurrying under the bed or rifling through the closet. Will there be even a tiny present involved? "Hogwash!" scolds Bear. Get ready for holiday anticipation and the best kind of surprises as the curmudgeonly Bear and a hopeful Mouse return in a warm, funny tale full of holiday cheer and true friendship.


REVIEW

Bear is his usually grumpy self as he and Mouse get ready to celebrate the Christmas season. But things take a sad turn as Mouse looks for a present and doesn't find one. Once again, Becker has told a story that children will be able to relate to as Mouse gets sadder and sadder when he can't find a present. But even grumpy Bear can offer a surprise which most children will eagerly predict.  Once again, Becker takes readers into a rather unusual friendship and leaves with a smile on their face.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Separation and miles cannot keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in an ode to serendipity and belief that is destined to be a new Christmas classic.
 
Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each another again. Luckily, it's just the season for miracles. . . . From Matt Tavares comes a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.


REVIEW

Gorgeous illustrations and a unique perspective combine in this new book by Matt Tavares to create a book that I will read for many Christmases to come.  Red and Lulu are cardinals that live in a beautiful evergreen tree in the front yard of a friendly family.  Each year they enjoy listening to carolers sing about their tree.  But when Red returns from hunting for food to see his tree being hauled away and Lulu with it, he's desperate to see where it goes.  His best efforts, however, aren't enough to allow him to keep up with the truck and the tree.  He keeps hunting for Lulu and his tree throughout the city with no luck.  Just as he's ready to give up, he hears a sound that he recognizes.  When he follows the sound, he discovers just what miracles Christmas can bring.  Not only is this a sweet story of love and Christmas, but a tender story of miracles and overcoming the odds.  But my favorite part is the absolutely amazing illustrations that shine with light and joy which beautifully compliments the softly falling snow.  This book is a Christmas classic in the making.


ABOUT THE BOOK

The anticipatory excitement of Christmas Eve builds in a festive way in this follow-up to the much-loved Ghost in the House.
 
Jingle-jingle!
There's a girl in the house on this snowy Christmas Eve.
Creeping down, step by step, here she comes.
But what's going on?
Santa's snacks are gone,
And the only thing that's left is . . . CRUMBS!
Follow a child on a most magical night as she looks for the source of the sound that woke her up. In a lively, cumulative story full of page-turn reveals, all is not what it seems. While the little girl searches the house, she encounters some unexpected new friends. But the biggest surprise is sure to come last!


REVIEW

This simple story about a young girl discovering visitors in her house on Christmas Eve makes for a cute, cumulative story that builds until the final surprise (which isn't too surprising, but will undoubtedly make preschoolers squeal with joy). When the girl discovers the cookies left for Santa have been eaten, she follows the crumbs to see where and to whom they lead.  Each segment of the story leads to a page turn of a surprise which allows the story to build to its climax.  It would also be fun to stop along the way and see if young listeners can guess who or what will appear next.  A cute story time or lap read that will have young listeners eagerly awaiting the turn of the page.

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