At the beginning of December, I went to my favorite children’s bookstore, The Yellow Book Road, and asked the question I ask Ann every Christmas season, “Is there an especially touching Christmas book this year?”
Ann led me to several books—neither one specifically a Christmas book.
I looked for new children’s Christmas books at three other bookstores and found several I liked and could visualize children enjoying.
So which books did I get?
I bought The Blessing Cup, written and illustrated
by Patricia Polacco and published this year by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. As in many of her books, Polacco writes about her family’s history. When her ancestors are forced to leave Tsarist Russia, the family carries a tea set that brings a blessing. Most of the set is left behind when they come to America. Only one china cup is left to pass through the generations.
The emotional and spiritual wealth of Polacco’s family is shared with people in the past and with us, her readers. The Blessing Cup was the first book Ann showed me.
Then I found Once Upon a Memory, by Niria Lorden, illustrated by Reinata Liwsha, and published by Little, Brown, & Company in 2013 under our tree!
This book simply asks a series of short questions. “Does a feather remember that it once was . . . a bird?”
Wait ‘til you read the wondering about what you will remember.
Once Upon a Memory can be read to the youngest children who are ready for stories and by the oldest of us. The Blessing Cup is an illustrated story (so longer and more complex than many picture books) that will be most suitable for elementary school-age children and up. I’m planning on reading The Blessing Cup to a group of adults next Monday.
Good news/bad news: The hard cover edition of The Grizzly’s Christmas is sold out.
Good news: The e-book is still available through Amazon. Even though Christmas is over for this year, the information sections of the book are multi-seasonal.
Bad news: Another independent book store, The Open Door, had to close its doors as of 12/24/13. It was an establishment with a mission rooted in the love of books and readers. Just a reminder that if you also value independent book stores, support them with your business so they can continue to exist.
On this, the first day of 2014, I wish you a Happy New Year. May the best of your dreams come true!