More great books for gift-giving
Today's titles appeal to readers of all ages
Remember to include a book or two as a gift to the special child in your life, such as those reviewed below. For additional suggestions, visit this column's companion website: greatestbooksforkids.com.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey" by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, Candlewick, 36 pages
Read aloud: age 5 and older
Read yourself: age 8 and older
The children in the village called him "Mr. Gloomy," but his name was really Jonathan Toomey. The fact was, Mr. Toomey was a miserable man who kept to himself. He had come to live in the village after his wife and baby had died. A magnificent woodcarver by talent and trade, it was the only good thing people could say about the man anymore.
Newcomers to town themselves, the widow McDowel and her son Thomas came to Mr. Toomey's door one snowy day in early December. The widow asked Mr. Toomey if he would carve a new creche for her for Christmas. Theirs had been lost during their move, and it was terribly important for them to have the creche by Christmas.
Mr. Toomey took the job but with no guarantee about when it would be complete. It would be done when it was done, and he was not a man who believed in miracles. But of all the miracles of that Christmas season, none was so grand for Jonathan Toomey as the happy hours he passed carving those figures with Thomas by his side.
A beautifully written and illustrated story that will touch the hearts of readers everywhere, this Christmas tale will be treasured for many years to come.
Library: Sutter County Library, 750 Forbes Ave., Yuba City
Library Director: James Ochsner
Children's Librarian: Chalese Valdez
Choices this week: "Kiss Kiss" by Margaret Wild; "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein; "Guardians of Ga'Houle" by Kathryn Lasky
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
"Where's Ellie? A Hide-and-Seek Book" written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Robin Corey Books, 2012, 18 pages, $6.99 board book
Read aloud: birth — age 2
Read yourself: age 6 — 7
Little readers will love searching for Ellie the elephant in this fun book. Featuring familiar objects and new ones as well, children will enjoy looking for Ellie on every double-page spread until at last this adorable elephant is found.
"The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Emma Thompson, illustrated by Eleanor Taylor, Frederick Warne, 2012, 64 pages, $20.00 hardcover
Read aloud: age 4 — 6
Read yourself: age 7 — 8
This year marks the 110th anniversary of one of the most loved characters in children's literature — Peter Rabbit. Inspired by and based on the original tales by Beatrix Potter, author Emma Thompson has crafted, as the title implies, a further adventure for Peter Rabbit, which involves the McGregors' picnic basket, an unforeseen trip to Scotland, meeting a distant relative and much, much more.
Wonderfully written and magically illustrated, this terrific book also comes with an audio CD of the text read by the author. Perfect in every way, "The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit" guarantees that children will request reading this gem time and time again.
"A Boy and a Bear in a Boat" written and illustrated by Dave Shelton, David Fickling Books, 2012, 294 pages, $16.99 hardcover
Read aloud: age 7 — 8 and older
Read yourself: age 8 — 10
A boy requests passage across the sea to the other side from a bear who captains his trusty rowboat, Harriet. As they set off, the boy asks the bear how long it will take. "A little while," the bear replies.
But as the days and nights go by and the sea becomes violent and produces a giant monster from its depths, the boy and the bear can't be sure of their fate. And when the seemingly worst thing happens, the boy and the bear discover that isn't so at all.
A wonderfully original, often funny and most entertaining tale, this story is rich with its subtle message about what true friendship really is.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children's literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.