In The Nutcracker's Night Before Christmas preparations for a doomed stage production of the classic ballet goes from terribly bad to ridiculously worse. Sick stagehands, renegade cats, and crashing Christmas trees have everyone sure that the show won't go on. But it's Christmas Eve and help is on the way! Told in verse with wonderful whimsical illustrations, this story hits all the right notes for holiday reading.
"He came into the world in the middle of the thicket, in one of those little, hidden forest glades which seem to be entirely open but are really screened in on all sides." So begins one of the most beloved nature stories. Felix Salten wrote Bambi: A Life in the Woods in 1923. It was translated into English in 1928, becoming a Book-of-the-Month Club hit. Though not originally written for children, the film rights were sold to the Walt Disney studios and the animated movie was released in 1942. Taken directly from the first chapter of Salten's original tale, Bambi's First Day depicts the early moments of the fawn's life in the safety of a forest glen and the shelter of his mother's embrace. Lush oil paintings by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen showcase the beauty of the natural world and tenderly bring to life the heartfelt devotion and love of a mother for her child.Felix Salten is the pen name for Austrian writer Siegmund Salzmann who wrote short stories, plays, novels, and essay collections. Artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen has illustrated more than 20 books with Sleeping Bear Press, including the bestselling The Legend of Sleeping Bear; Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot; Friend on Freedom River; and his popular Hazel Ridge Farm stories. Gijsbert lives in Bath, Michigan, with his wife, Robbyn. They both travel to schools in the Great Lakes area.
One of the most popular animal stories of all time, Anna Sewell's Black Beauty was first published in 1877. Drawn from the original text and intended for even the youngest of horse lovers, Black Beauty's Early Days in the Meadow depicts the first few months of the horse's life as a foal frolicking in the meadow. Artist Jane Monroe Donovan renders the classic story in lush oil paintings that convey a pastoral world of green fields and shady trees, while tenderly capturing the special love between mare and foal. The perfect harmony of words and pictures proves once again that the simplest messages are often the strongest. Readers will relish the sweetness of life in the meadow and the companionship of family and friends.