THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS

A PIÑATA FOR THE PIÑON TREE

The words of the traditional Christmas song are adapted here to reflect a Southwest theme, with influences from Latino and Native-American cultures. On the first day of Christmas, a grandmotherly animal of undetermined species looks out her kitchen window to see her amigos bringing her a piñata for her piñon tree. The three friends (a skunk, a pig and an armadillo) bring in more decorations and more animals as the days of celebration progress, right on up to an 11-member mariachi band and 12 raccoons drumming. Wolff’s busy, brilliantly colorful illustrations depict the huge cast of characters slowly filling up the town square as they celebrate. An additional illustration on the left fourth of each double-paged spread holds the text and shows the hands (paws?) of the grandmotherly animal baking Bizcochitos cookies step-by-step. That simpler scene helps to set off a calm spot on the pages. A recipe for these cookies and the music to the song with the rewritten words can be found on the endpapers, though those will be partially covered by the book jacket in library use. The final scene, a double page of glowing windows set in snowy mountains and facing the sparkling tree, is just plain breathtaking. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-82323-4

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

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The feelings of community and togetherness are palpable.

SNOW GLOBE WISHES

When a snowstorm blows through town, it knocks out power and sends evening commuters scurrying for the safety and warmth of home.

But in the electricity-free night, one family turns the darkness into an opportunity to slow down and enjoy time together. This charming story follows the evening of an interracial family of four: a brown-skinned and dark-haired woman, little girl, and little boy, and a man presenting as white with light-colored skin and light hair. They have a candlelit picnic of Chinese takeout next to a blazing fireplace and decorated Christmas tree. The family enjoys the rest of the quiet snowy evening beneath a blanket fort in which they sleep together, cat and dog bundled in as well. The next morning, they and the rest of the community go out to play in the snow. The final spread in the book depicts the family’s cat and dog looking at the happy human tableau, now within the snow globe, which reads “Peace on Earth.” The muted colors, simple, childlike renderings, and happy characters make this book about a snowstorm feel warm and cozy—think hygge in picture-book form. Aside from the star-topped, decorated tree and the “Peace on Earth” message, often associated with Christmas, there are no religious symbols used in the book.

The feelings of community and togetherness are palpable. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-53411-031-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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