A big thanks goes out to Zonderkidz who always provides the best in children’s books. Here are three books perfect for all ages that are must reads for Christmas. I loved these books. All three are Highly Recommended reads!
My Christmas Stocking by Crystal Bowman. What happens on Christmas Eve while children sleep? “Their stockings are filled up with candy and toys, and happy surprises for good girls and boys.” A kindhearted man hid a gift in a stocking, long ago. He did it to “remind everyone of the Gift that God sent.” Christmas stockings help us remember God’s love.
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Crystal Bowman is a best selling author of more than 60 books for kids as well as 3 books for women. She also writes magazine articles and lyrics for children’s piano music. She wrote her first poem when she was in the 4th grade. Her teacher told her she would be a poet someday. Her first book of poetry, Cracks in The Sidewalk, was published in 1993. It has been republished several times and is still in print. She also speaks at schools, churches, and writers’ conferences. For more information on Crystal, you can visit her website at http://www.crystalbowman.com.
My Christmas Stocking is perfect for even the very youngest of children. A sturdy board book, it combines bright illustrations with simple rhymes to tell the story of tradition of the Christmas Stocking. The underlying message is God’s perfect gift of love — his Son, Jesus Christ.
Goodnight, Manger by Laura Sassi. Goodnight, Manger, written by Laura Sassi and illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Jane Chapman, tells the story of Mary and Joseph as they try to lull Jesus to sleep in the noisy stable after his birth. It’s bedtime for Baby Jesus, but who knew a manger could be so loud? Mama, Papa, and all of the animals try to lull the baby to sleep, but between itchy hay, angels’ joyful hosanas, and three kings bearing noisy gifts, it’s just too loud. Until Mama finds a way for everyone to work together to shepherd Baby into peaceful dreams under the twinkling stars. With sweet, rhyming text in the style of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, Goodnight, Manger offers a unique twist on the classic manger tale, deftly weaving together the comforting and familiar routines of bedtime with the special magic and wonder of the manger story.
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Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in prose and rhyme. Her poems, stories, articles and crafts have appeared in numerous family publications including Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Spider, Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. and FamilyFun. She is the author of two picture books, Goodnight, Manger (Zonderkidz 2015) and Goodnight, Ark (Zonderkidz, 2014). She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie.
All may be calm and bright in the traditional Christmas hymn, but in Laura Sassi’s Goodnight, Manger, a stable can be a very noisy place, especially for a newborn baby! The colorful and whimsical illustrations and the short rhymes create a raucous bedtime for baby Jesus. This book is a delight! And perfect for introducing the story of Christ’s birth.
The Legend of The Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall. The Legend of the Christmas Cookie tells the story of a young boy named Jack who learns from his generous mother the story behind the Christmas cookie. The family who began the tradition of baking the special cookies gave them to the needy and shared the story of the very first Christmas. This sweet holiday book offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves and encourages them to share the true tale of Jesus’ birth. A delicious recipe is included on the jacket flap so readers can make their own Christmas sugar cookies.
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Dandi Daley Mackall won her first writing contest as a 10-year-old tomboy. Her 50 words on “Why I Want to Be Batboy for the Kansas City A’s” won first place, but the team wouldn’t let a girl be batboy. It was her first taste of rejection.
Since then, Dandi Daley Mackall has become an award-winning author of over 400 books for children of all ages, with sales of 4 million copies in 22 countries. THE SILENCE OF MURDER is the winner of the Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery 2012. Recent picture books with Sleeping Bear Press include Legend of Ohio, Rudy Rides the Rails: A Depression Era Story (Notable Book 2008 – Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People National Council of Social Studies & Children’s Book Council; winner of the Angel Award, 2008; Winner of the “Award of Excellence” from Chicago Book Show 2007) and 2008 release, A Girl Named Dan (her own “batboy” story, and a lesson on Title IX), 2 Mom’s Choice Awards & Amelia Bloom Award. Eva Underground, Harcourt young adult novel, nominated ALA Best Book 2007, starred Kirkus review, awarded a Top Teen Read by New York Public Library, finalist for Ohioana Award, was based on the author’s experiences behind the Iron Curtain. Love Rules was awarded Romantic Times’ Top Pick. Middle-grade fiction, Larger-than-Life Lara, Dutton/Penguin, which teaches how to write, while tackling the problem of bullying, is on the KY Bluegrass Award List 2007-8; William Allan White Award list, 2008-9; KS and KY Children’s Choice lists. Her Winnie the Horse Gentler series has sold over half a million books and Starlight Animal Rescue is a Gold Medallion finalist. Dandi received the 2009 Helen Keating Ott Award for distinguished contribution toward promoting high moral and ethical values in children and young adult literature. She also received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2008 from the University of Missouri. Dandi is a national speaker, keynoting at conferences and Young Author events, and has made dozens of appearances on TV, including ABC, NBC, and CBS. Visit Dandi at http://www.dandibooks.com.
Richly detailed illustrations add to the beautiful story in The Legend of The Christmas Cookie. With a dash of history and a big dollop of the story of Christmas, this book teaches the beauty of sharing, especially out of want. Also included are a couple of Christmas cookie recipes for your family to continue the tradition of sharing Christ’s love.
(Thanks to Zonderkidz for review copies of these books. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)