Boris is a musician, playing the songs he learned growing up in Russia. Stella is a baker, baking cakes and pastries like her father used to back in Italy. Boris and Stella live in the city and are best friends. They like movies, hats, and each other. At holiday time, Stella wants to give Boris the perfect present for Hanukkah. She wants him to know how special he is. Boris wants to give Stella the perfect present for Christmas: she means so much to him. But perfect presents cost money and their bank savings contain very little. To make their dreams of perfect presents come true, Boris and Stella each sacrifice something very special. In a nod to O. Henrys The Gift of the Magi comes this tender story celebrating traditions, friendships, and gifts from the heart.
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.
One student from Mrs. Wallace's second grade class will be chosen to tell a special Christmas story at the school assembly. When Redheaded Robbie's name is pulled from the hat, the class groans. Poor Robbie! Whenever he is excited or nervous, his words come out all twisted and confused. How will he be able to tell his Christmas story at the assembly? Won't everyone laugh? With a little help from some friends, Robbie learns that it is not so much how a person speaks but what is said that matters the most.
It is the season of Christmas, and that means it is time to trim the tree, decorate the halls, and, most importantly of all, write to Santa with a heartfelt wish for the perfect present. While other children may be dreaming of new toys under the tree or stockings filled with treats, one little girl simply asks Santa for a friend to share her holiday. But this is a pretty tall order for the jolly old man. Can Santa make her Christmas wish come true? Readers of all ages will be cheered to see that Santa manages to find not just the perfect present, but three special gifts. Charming artwork brings to life the joy felt in making snow angels, the satisfaction of a rousing snowball fight, the pleasure of baking holiday cookies, and finally, the inner peace one feels sitting quietly in front of a warm fire - all the more special when done with a new friend. Jane Monroe Donovan has illustrated numerous titles for Sleeping Bear Press, including Black Beauty's Early Days in the Meadow; the bestselling Winter's Gift; and all of the "Likes to Say" books. Jane makes her home in Pinckney, Michigan.