A delightful introduction to a popular Christmas treat and traditions around the world.

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A WORLD OF COOKIES FOR SANTA

FOLLOW SANTA'S TASTY TRIP AROUND THE WORLD

Cookies are set out for Santa on Christmas Eve in many countries around the world, described in this collection that includes recipes. 

A striking cover illustration shows five children of different ethnicities with Christmas cookies arrayed in front of them and Santa and his reindeer taking flight just below the title. The digitally composed illustrations are the sweet treat in this book, from a snow-speckled Santa facing the title page to the final spread with children in Hawaii setting out pineapple-macadamia bars for Santa under their tree decorated with shells. Vibrant, glowing illustrations show children of different ethnic groups along with cultural traditions and decorations. The Christmas-cookie traditions of 32 countries (or sometimes a city or a state) are each described in a short paragraph, including the type of cookie, local name for Santa, and fun, related Christmas customs that will interest children. For example, the double-page spread about Mexico includes children with a piñata and cut-paper decorations in the illustration. Thoughtfully designed front endpapers offer a map with all the locations marked as a continuous journey for Santa; the back endpapers repeat this map with the addition of illustrations of the cookies, coded to the locations by number. Recipes for nine different cookies are included, and an author’s note gives further information about Christmas celebrations and Santa traditions.

A delightful introduction to a popular Christmas treat and traditions around the world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-22620-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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ALWAYS MORE LOVE

An interactive book works to get its titular message across to readers.

The narrator, an anthropomorphic cartoon heart with big eyes and stick arms and legs, is nothing if not exuberant in its attempts, clumsy and cloying as they may be. “I love you so much, / but there’s more in my heart. / How is that possible? / Well, where do I start? // Now move in close, and you will see / just how much you mean to me. // My love is huge—below, above. / As you can tell, there’s always more love!” The page following the instruction to move in shows a close-up of the top of the heart and its eyes, one stick arm pointing skyward, though despite the admonition “you can tell,” readers will glean nothing about love from this picture. À la Hervé Tullet, the book prompts readers to act, but the instructions can sometimes be confusing (see above) and are largely irrelevant to the following spread, supposedly triggered by the suggested actions. The heart, suddenly supplied with a painter’s palette and a beret and surrounded by blobs of color, instructs readers to “Shake the book to see what I can be.” The page turn reveals hearts of all different colors, one rainbow-striped, and then different shapes. Most troublingly, the heart, who is clearly meant to be a stand-in for loved ones, states, “I’m always here for you,” which for too many children is heartbreakingly not true.

Skip. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-7282-1376-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed...

TURKEY'S EGGCELLENT EASTER

From the Turkey Trouble series

The fourth entry in the Turkey Trouble series finds Turkey and his animal friends attending a children’s Easter egg hunt at a park next to Turkey’s farm.

Turkey and his pals want to win an “eggstraspecial” prize at the egg hunt, but the event is only for children—not animals. So the group of animal friends decides to attend the egg hunt in disguise and treat their adventure as a “secret mission.” Their disguises include dark glasses and costumes suggesting a rabbit, a bee, and a bunch of daffodils, but each attempt to participate in the egg hunt is rebuffed by the human attendees. The animals work together to create a large, egg-shaped costume for Turkey from a wicker basket, and Turkey and the boy who finds him in egg mode both win special prizes. Turkey shares his prize of a huge, jelly-bean–topped pizza with all his animal buddies. The mildly humorous story has funny animal characters, inventive action, and lots of puns incorporating “egg” into other words. Cartoon-style watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add to the humor with amusing animal expressions and the ongoing series theme of silly costumes. Several of the children at the egg hunt are children of color; the other human characters present white.

Not the most eggceptional tale on the Easter story shelf but still a fun-enough outing for fans of Turkey’s holiday-themed series. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4037-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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