Friday, November 13, 2009

Two new Christmas books - reviews and giveaways

I recently reviewed two delightful Christmas books for the latest issue of TTLG. They are The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and The Christmas Magic. Here are my reviews:

The nutcracker and the mouse king

Wren Maysen

Illustrated by Gail de Marcken

Picture Book

Ages 5 to 8

Scholastic, 2009, 0545037735

Every Christmas Eve, Marie and Fritz Stahlbaum get a special treat, their Godfather Dosselmeier gives them wonderful toys that he has made for them. This year Godfather gives the children a beautiful dollhouse and a wooden soldier nutcracker. Often reckless and in a hurry, Fritz breaks the nutcracker by accident. Compassionate Marie takes pity on the broken soldier and she cares for him tenderly.

The evening Marie stays up a little later than everyone else, and to her amazement some incredible things start to happen. The room fills with mice and then a huge Mouse King arrives. The Mouse King leads his mice soldiers in an attack, which is then repulsed by the Nutcracker and his toy allies. Toy soldiers, dolls, puppets, and animals join the battle, and then…Marie wakes up.

The next morning Marie wakes up and she is in bed. She has a cut on her elbow and she has to stay in bed. One evening, Godfather Dosselmeier comes to visit Marie and he tells her the sad story of the Nutcracker.

Many children are familiar with the Nutcracker story in some form. In this book, Wren Maysen presents her readers with a wonderful adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman’s original tale. This version of the Nutcracker is more involved than the one used in the Nutcracker ballet, and Gail de Marcken’s rich and detailed illustrations beautifully compliment the magic filled story.

The Christmas Magic

Lauren Thompson

Illustrated by Jon J. Muth

Picture Book

Ages 4 to 7

Scholastic, 2009, 0439774977

Far to the north of here, there is a little house with a red door. This is where Santa Claus lives. Now that the days are getting shorter, Santa gets that special feeling that tells him that the magic will soon be arriving. He has a lot to do to get ready.

Santa calls the reindeer in and he feeds them well. He polishes the sleigh and oils his boots. Santa looks in his big book and decides what each child should get for Christmas. And, of course, Santa waits for the magic.

This beautiful picture book perfectly captures that special Christmas magic that we all eagerly wait for. As we read, anticipation builds up until that special moment in the story when everything is ready.

Jon J. Muth’s illustrations beautifully compliment Lauren Thompson’s lyrical text. Together they give young readers that perfect taste of the Christmas magic that is on its way.

Scholastic is offering two lucky readers a copy of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, and two more a copy of The Christmas Magic. Please drop me a line to be entered in this giveaway.


The1stdaughter said...

I have seen these books around quite a bit recently and would love to add them to my collection! I think my son would love them the most at this point, being that he's about 3 and is getting really excited for Christmas this year. But I'm sure in future years my daughter would love them too, since now she is only just under a year old. Thanks for the opportunity!
daniellems78 at gmail dot com

The BEDBUG Blog said...

The Christmas Magic looks so interesting! This should prove an interesting read for adults as well as children.

Christmas can be such a magical time and this story sounds wonderful! I can't wait to pick up a copy.

Winning Readings said...

I would love to give these to my daughter!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

And we posted about these at Winning Readings:

Katie said...

I would love to add these titles to my Christmas collection!


plb8156 said...

Oh how magical :) My kids would just love these books. Thanks for the chance to win :)

Cherie J said...

This would be great to red to my kids. Thanks for the contest!


Cherie J said...

I guess I should proofread my posts. I meant "read" not "red". :-)

Marie said...

My kids would love these!

wmmahaney said...

These would be a marvelous addition to our Christmas collection of books

Jaimie said...

I'd love these to read with my girls this Christmas!
jaimiemildred at gmail dot com

Pamela S said...

What great books to share with our children before Christmas. And I love books with beautiful artwork. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Dolphin Girl said...

I would love to win these to share with my kids. My email is in my profile.

pippirose said...

They both look enchanting...magical...wonderous.
I'd love to be entered, but I live in Canada--if you don't accept non U.S., I understand.
pippirose59 at gmail dot com