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On the bookshelf

Polar 1

On the bookshelf

By Jane Muller

Merry Christmas Squirrels!
By Nancy Rose
I’m pretty sure no squirrels were harmed in the creation of this unique picture book but they were enticed to interact with handcrafted homemade miniature settings and become the inadvertent subjects of the story. The author created the settings and took many photographs of the critters to illustrate this tale about Mr. Peanuts sharing Christmas celebrations and winter fun with Cousin Squirrel. Fascinating on many levels, it’s worth adding this book to your Christmas collection. Ages 2 to 7 – Publisher, Little Brown Books for Young Readers – $19 hardcover 

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada
By Ellen Warwick & Kim Smith (illustrators)
As Canadian as maple syrup, this telling of the classic tale follows cousins Juliette and Theo as they spend the Christmas holidays travelling around the country. The pair visits places of national and local significance and experience the different cultures indigenous to each province and territory. In addition to the lyrics that list the gifts received, letters home provide lots of facts about Canada related through their experiences and the significance of each gift. Ages 2 to 5 – Publisher Sterling Children’s Books – $12.95 board book

Sing a Song of Bedtime
By Barbara Reid
Every child needs to experience classic rhymes and lullabies and in this collection, the amazing plasticine art of Barbara Reid gives them a fresh appeal. Wee Willie Winkie, Jack Be Nimble, There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe are among the familiar rhymes and included in the lullabies is Hush Little Baby, the one I sang to my youngest son dozens of times, willing him to sleep. Ages 0 and up – Publisher Scholastic – $19.99 hardcover

When Santa Was a Baby
By Linda Bailey, illustrator Genevieve Godbout
Santa has a great sense of humour, after all, he’s always saying ho, ho, ho. Apparently he’s been saying it since he was born and began giving gifts when he was a toddler and handed out his birthday presents. This is an amusing, tongue-in-cheek telling of Santa’s early life with his doting parents. Age 3 to 7 – Publisher Tundra Books – $19.99 hardcover

The Little Prince
By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This cherished classic gets even better when given the dimension of a pop-up book. It includes the complete text, illustrated with pop-up versions of the author’s original art. As an added bonus, there’s a free download of the audio book available through an access code inside the book. Ages 5 and up – Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – $35 US hardcover

Do Not Open Until Christmas
By Jean Little
Just in time for Christmas, Jean Little’s publisher has gifted young readers with her collection of Christmas-themed short stories. The critically acclaimed children’s author delivers 12 stories filled with hope and all of the warm and joyful emotions of the Christmas season. The stories would be wonderful to read aloud to a child or to provide a young reader with some quality reading material for the holidays. Publisher Red Deer Press – $16.95

Polar; A photicular BooK
By Dan Kainen and Carol Kaufmann
The realistic living motion displayed on page after page of this amazing book fascinates readers of all ages. The Photicular® technology is not just a gimmick, this unique method of illustration brings life to wildlife and lets their stories be told alongside fascinating, moving pictures. National Geographic writer Carol Kaufmann adds lively and informative text to this book that would be a wonderful gift. Ages 5 and up – Publisher Workman Publishing – $25.95 US

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Eye-Popping Oddities!
By Ripley Publishing
No one can resist having a second or third look at the cover of this latest version of the annual collection of strange-but-true stories. The 3D effect eyeballs provide insight into the awe-inspiring stories of the human body, animals, pop culture, art and more featured in the 256-page Ripley’s collection. It’s a great book for fact-hungry reluctant readers. Publisher Ripley’s Publishing – $32.95

Everything, Everything
By Nicola Yoon
The reviewer that I gave this book to said that it’s the best book she’s ever read and she’s read volumes of impressive fiction. The protagonist is a teenager who exists within a bubble, protected from the world due to a rare immunodeficiency. A relationship with the new boy next door threatens to burst the bubble. It’s a story told in a way to which young readers will relate…lots of emails. While recommended for ages 12 and older, it does contain mature subject matter. You’ll want to read it before passing it along anyway. Publisher Doubleday Canada – $21.99 hardcover