New Christmas Books from 2017

I’ve loved Christmas books my entire life.  I treasure my copy of Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree from childhood.  I’m always eager to find new gems each year.  Below are my favorites this year.

Pick a Pine Tree

Pick A Pine Tree by Patricia Toht and illustrated by Jarvis – A festive read-aloud brimming with all the joy and excitement of Christmastime — beginning, of course, with picking out a tree!

Little Reindeer

The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen – An enchanting Christmas story about a magical yet unlikely friendship between a little girl and a lost reindeer sure to be a Christmas classic lovingly told and illustrated with red foil highlights and interactive die cuts.


The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli – Elephant is delighted to get a gift, but as the twelve days of Christmas continue, presents pile higher and higher! A partridge in a pear tree? Cute! But soon, her dad despairs. Two turtle doves? THREE French hens?! And just what are they supposed to do with ten lords a-leaping? Kids will love each silly spread in this raucous take on the classic carol that is perfect for reading aloud around the fireplace.

Merry Christmas Peanut

Merry Christmas, Peanut! by Terry Border – A sweet (or is it salty?) Christmas story with heart, humor, and plenty of punny holiday cheer.

All summaries from publishers’ websites.



Halloween Books – New and Old

I love Halloween picture books.  Most aren’t very scary.  Instead, they’re funny scary.  Below are my favorites published this year; and my all-time favorite.

Sweetest Witch

The Sweetest Witch Around by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Harry Bliss – “On Halloween, a little witch and her baby sister study humans and their mysterious ways.”  Notice the Easy-Bake Cauldron and the Graveyard Barbie in the illustrations.  Other funny details are interspersed throughout the book.


Not Very Scary


Not Very Scary by Carol Brendler and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli – “On Halloween, Melly is invited to Cousin Malberta’s home for a surprise, but as she walks there on a beautifully spooky evening, she is followed by increasing numbers of creatures that may actually be frightening.”  They aren’t very frightening.  Notice the smiling skeleton, ghost, mummy, monster and more on the cover.

Shivery Shades

Shivery Shades of Halloween:  A Spooky Book of Colors by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Jimmy Pickering – “Introduces colors to young readers, in spooky scenes with rhyming text featuring a little monster on a Halloween adventure.”  A unique book featuring a subject I’m asked for often… colors.  When Halloween is over, I’ll still recommend this book to those looking for books about colors.

Tricks and Treats

Dog and Bear: Tricks and Treats by Laura Vaccaro Seeger – This book is comprised of three hilarious Halloween themed stories.  Each story includes a funny twist.


Little Old Lady

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd – “A little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, tall black hat and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her.”  This is a classic.  I read it at every story time the week of Halloween.  Preschoolers clomp, wiggle, nod, and clap along.