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.
In this clever twist on the Night Before Christmas story, a gingerbread boy cookie is carefully crafted and placed on a plate. He was made special to serve as Santa's nighttime snack, a homemade thank-you for all the presents he will deliver. The cookie wonders if he is brave enough to face up to his holiday duty. But instead of spending the evening contemplating his fate, the gingerbread boy finds himself facing two rambunctious puppies experiencing their very first Christmas. Their mischief includes a tug-of-war with presents, leaving a big mess. And it's up to the gingerbread boy to save the day and Christmas!
Who lit the first jack-o'-lantern? What creature of the night must return to his grave by dawn? And why do we holler "Trick or treat"? J is for Jack-O'-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet invites you to come along on this A-Z adventure and celebration of all things that "go bump in the night." Poetry and prose combine to entertain and educate. H is for Haunted House A haunted house; you better beware. Only enter if you dare. Monsters lurking, looking mean-- Just can't wait to make you scream! Classic autumn games, jokes, and recipes (including gooey deviled egg eyeballs!) help round out the Halloween festivities.
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.
The Christmas story and the origin of many holiday traditions are thoroughly detailed in the text of S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet. The first Christmas cards were printed and sold in the United States by a German immigrant in 1874. Long ago, eating pie was believed to bring good luck, and during the holidays they were baked in an oblong shape to look like a manger. The message of Christmas is a message to all the world and is beautifully conveyed and illustrated in S is for Star. Our tradition of gift-giving is based on the Wise Men's visit to Baby Jesus. Nearly every country has its own gift-giving traditions. In Great Britain, children eagerly await Father Christmas. In France, he is called Pere Nol. In Italy, Befana brings presents, and German and Austrian children wait for a visit from the Christkindl. Celebrate these and many other traditions of the holiday season with S is for Star: A Christmas Alphabet.
Around the world Santa Claus has many names. But in a deep, swampy bayou of Louisiana, he's known as Papa Noël. In such a hot and humid place, there can be no sleds or reindeer, so Papa Noël rides the river in a boat that's pulled by eight alligators, with a snowy white one named Nicollette in the lead. On this particular Christmas Eve, it's so foggy on the river that even Nicollette's magical glowing-green eyes may not be enough to guide Papa Noël. The alligators are tired, grumpy and bruised from banging into cypress trees, and Papa is desperate to get all the gifts to the little children. Well, "quicker than a snake shimmies down the river," the clever Cajun people come up with a solution that saves the day. A colorfully inventive Christmas tale, Papa Noël is a lesson in fast thinking, as well as a witty introduction to a part of America that's rich in folklore and legend.
"Across the Atlantic Ocean, a lone ship on a vast sea. Ablaze with new hope, all praying to be free." From the lives of our early settlers, who established the foundations for American freedoms and ideals, to today's celebrations, P is for Pilgrim colorfully examines the history and lore of Thanksgiving. Educators will find the inclusion of the Core Democratic Values of valuable use for the classroom while kids of all ages will enjoy the bright, engaging illustrations and fascinating sidebar text. "Zippy bands zigzagging down the street, zebras trotting, zeppelin-like balloons afloat. Flags flying, banners waving, a Thanksgiving Day Parade playing a happy note."
It's Christmas Eve and Spark Elf has the very important job of keeping Santa Claus on schedule as he travels the globe in 24 hours delivering presents. Small in stature with pointy ears and stopwatch in hand, Spark lets Santa know it's time to go. He programs the GPS while the other elves secure the toy bag and check the Nice list. Little known fact: We don't even bring the Naughty list with us. Six hours into the trip Santa, sleigh and crew begin to fall behind--so many cuddly doggies to pet and extra cookies to eat. The jolly group makes up time in Brazil and soon find themselves back at the North Pole. Their work is done. But wait, there's something left in the bag--but it isn't a present at all--it's a family dog! Well known fact: Santa gives things away. He does not take things! Momma Claus comes to the rescue with a plan to get the dog back to his family. Can Santa return the family's beloved pooch in time to keep their Christmas merry?
Could Henry Ford have taken his idea for an automobile assembly line from the elves at the North Pole? Maybe so. Set just before Christmas in 1908, this charming tale finds Henry Ford puzzling over a way to make his Model T affordable for the average family. His little son Edsel suggests that Daddy write to Santa for advice. Since Santa makes toys for millions of children, Edsel points out, he must know a better way. Henry writes the letter just to please his son, but Santa actually answers by taking Henry to visit his North Pole workshop. When he sees the elves working in a line, each completing just one specific task on every toy that's made, Henry Ford envisions an automobile assembly line. The story not only illustrates that children can teach adults how to dream, but it also provides an author's note with factual information about Henry Ford and the Model T.
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's the season for giving but do you know what your cat really wants for Christmas? From Kandy Radzinski, the creator of the bestselling The Twelve Cats of Christmas, comes another yuletide treat with an animal twist. What Cats Want for Christmas gives a laugh-out-loud look into the hearts and minds of felines at holiday time. With clever rhymes and colorful illustrations, now cats get their chance to pen a letter to Santa. Forget the catnip! Whether it's Benny who longs for a sweater -- knit of a red Irish setter or Arty who wants a silver dish -- filled with little silver fish, Santa (and readers of all ages) will chuckle with delight at this fun-filled wish list. Cat owners will be tempted to leave this book open to share with their favorite pet. It's the purr-fect gift!
Originally published over twenty years ago, and out of print since 1998, Sleeping Bear Press is proud to bring this beloved Christmas tale to a whole new audience. Moving and nostalgic, and brought to life by glowing watercolor paintings, it reveals the joy of a very special present and the love that a father and daughter share.
Proving that cats don't have the last word when it comes to making Christmas lists, author and artist Kandy Radzinski returns this holiday season with the canine companion book to last year's favorite, What Cats Want for Christmas. Using witty poems and winsome illustrations, What Dogs Want for Christmas lets our four-footed friends speak for themselves. And what does Man's Best Friend have on his holiday list? Ruffus, a dapper Scottie, would love "something with fur... that once went purr..." while the more practical basset hound Daisy complains, "My ears hang down to my feet. Can you fix them so they're short and neat?" Santa is going to need a bigger sleigh to fulfill some of these holiday wishes!
It may be Christmastime but on a small, forlorn farm the holiday season is best forgotten, along with painful memories of loved ones lost. Mother Nature has other plans, however, and a chance snowstorm brings together two unlikely hearts, one human and one beast, yet both yearning for comfort, companionship, and that most elusive gift of all, hope. This lustrous jewel of a story, quietly told and perfectly complemented by soft, evocative paintings, reminds even the most cynical of readers that the heart indeed can recover and go on.
The monastery of St. Ambrose is situated on the Irish island of Morcarrick. Here, monks old and young live quiet lives spent in prayer and service. One day the Abbot decides that Brother Bede, their finest illuminator of manuscripts, will illustrate the Christmas story. It will be magnificent, praised throughout the world (as will St. Ambrose). Unfortunately, young Brother Cuthbert has been chosen to assist Brother Bede in this project. Cuthbert is impatient, lacks discipline, and even worse--is known for making mistakes. His nickname is "Smudge." How can someone so ill-suited assist in the creation of the greatest book of all? Award-winning author Gloria Whelan shows that sometimes, when given the right task, someone's greatest weakness can prove to be his greatest strength.
Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la la la la la. How wonderful the old carol sounds. A vision of warm family gatherings peacefully celebrating the holiday season comes to mind. But wait, this doesnt sound like a peaceful family get-together. What is happening here? Deck the walls with mashed potatoes! Fa la la la la la la la la. Make a snowman with tomatoes. Fa la la la la la la la la. Author Erin Dealey has taken the old holiday classic and turned it on its head. In her riotous, raucous rendition of a family meal gone hilariously awry, youll find food hockey, vegetable sculptures, crashing dishes, and grown-ups wondering what has gone wrong. From Feed the dog our peas and carrots to Food tastes better when you wear it, readers young and old will never forget this new take on an old holiday carol!
As a young boy in Gujarat, India, Kumar sometimes feels like he lives in two worlds. First there is the old world where people and their choices are determined by prejudice and bigotry. But then there is the second, modern world: in this world Kumar can be friends with whomever he chooses and his future looks bright. As part of the annual Diwali celebration, Kumar is invited to the house of his classmate Andal to watch fireworks. Andal is from a high-caste Brahmin family so Kumar is especially pleased to be included. But there in Andal's house, Kumar's two worlds collide in a very unpleasant way. Instead of being welcomed as a guest, Kumar is sent away, forbidden to join the festivities. Angry and hurt, Kumar is left questioning his place in Indian society. Where does he fit in? To which world does he really belong?
On November 21, 1912, the schooner Rouse Simmons set sail from a small northern Michigan town across Lake Michigan. Affectionately dubbed the "Christmas Tree Ship," this was an annual trek for the Rouse Simmons. With its cargo of Christmas trees, the ship was bound for Chicago. There Captain Herman Scheunemann would sell the trees for 50 cents or $1.00 and even gave many away to needy families. But the schooner never makes its destination. The Rouse Simmons, with all hands and cargo, disappears into the cold waters. The ship's wreckage is not found until 1971. Drawing from stories told by her grandfather, author Carol Crane weaves a fictional tale based on the true events of the doomed schooner. And she explains how the captain's widow went on to continue his tradition of delivering holiday trees to Chicago.
Long ago in a faraway place there lived two mothers. One, a humble peasant woman who struggled daily to provide for her children. And the other, a mother spider who also worked hard to care for her family. And although it would appear they were as different as night and day, these two mothers had more in common than would first seem. As the only holiday gift she can give her children, one cold Christmas Eve the peasant woman goes to the forest to get a tree, never noticing that someone has made a home among its branches. During the night, the mother spider spins webs decorating the tree, resulting in a Christmas that neither mother will ever forget. Based on an old Ukrainian story, Trinka Hakes Noble (The Orange Shoes) crafts an original heartwarming tale of the grace that can be found in the true spirit of Christmas.
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.
Once upon a time a dog traveled the globe in search of the perfect home. He visited many countries, learned interesting facts, and made new friends. And he did find that perfect home ...at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, to be precise. A very special address with a very special family. And now at Christmastime, Dog learns that his new home hosts a very special holiday party. With a lot of important visitors on the guest list, it's going to take a lot of preparation to get this "house" ready for the holidays. It's all paws on deck to make sure everything is in order, from the sparkling tree in the Blue Room to the delicious gingerbread house in the State Dining Room. But Dog is curious about how the rest of the world celebrates and he asks his international guests to share their favorite holiday traditions. And when the festivities start there's no stopping these tail-wagging partygoers! J. Patrick (Pat) Lewis lives in Westerville, Ohio, and is the author of 60 books for children. He visits elementary schools and speaks at literature conferences. This is his second book with his daughter, Beth Zappitello. Beth has a marketing company and lives in Portland, Oregon. Tim Bowers has illustrated more than 25 children's books, garnering such awards as the Chicago Public Library's "Best of the Best" list. Tim lives in Granville, Ohio.