Wednesday, December 7, 2022

7 Days of Books, Day 7 Winter Holidays

Oh My Goodness! Day 7, and the Holiday season is upon us!

I hope you have been enjoying the books I've shared and are thinking about which ones might be good matches for the kiddos on your list. I've certainly found joy in reading all of them over the past couple of months. And much to my surprise, my librarian has certainly appreciated getting my list of requested titles in her queue. Last week when I dropped by to pick up a few new books, one of the assistants said, "We always love the books you ask for." And the head librarian chuckled and said, "What I love most is seeing a title you'd like to be ordered, and I can say, 'I beat her to it!'" 

It feels good to connect over books, doesn't it? 

I'm sure all of the visitors to this blog have a special library with special experiences to talk about.

But here we are on Day 7 with our last category of BOOKS! 

The #giveaways for all of the days are still open and will remain open until DECEMBER 10, so there is still time to go back to earlier posts to log your entries with blog post comments and do the rafflecopters for the daily prizes. PLUS, you'll be inspired with ideas for great gifts! Winners will be chosen and announced on about December 11.

I hope that in this season of Gathering that you each find JOY in spending time with the company of others who warm your heart and lift your soul. Perhaps that sounds cliche, but it is sincerely wished for YOU and those you love. 

These books below are meant to be read aloud to young ears and eyes that gleam with hope and excitement of the holidays. Wherever we are, may our inner lights shine bright, may we use that light to kindle the flame in others, and let us remember those in need and give however we can.

Peace and God Bless

The Donkey's Song. A Christmas Nativity Story 
by Jacki Kellum, illustrated by Sydney Hanson (Doubleday Books for Young Readers 2022). 

This story is absolutely wonderous. 

From it's rhythmic text that lends itself toward snuggling down into a safe warm bed to its softly lit illustrations that render the miracle of a Baby's birth on one December night, readers will feel the bits of love and tenderness evoked from each illustration before slipping into their own gentle dreams. 

Mendel's Hanukkah MESS UP by Chana and Larry Stiefel, illustrated by Daphna Awadish (Kalaniot Books 2022).

When an accident-prone boy is asked to help spread the news of the local Hanukkah celebration, the joy and message of the holiday ends up becoming more widespread than ever, showing that sometimes even if the best efforts don't go as planned, the best outcomes will fall into place due to what is felt in the heart--and coming to realize that "we each have a spark to light up the world." What a beautiful message in a wonderful story for all young readers.

Thankful Thanksgiving 
by Deb Adamson, illustrated by Benedetta Capriotti (Cottage Door Press 2022). 

This rhyming board book celebrates an American holiday traditionally set aside for gathering with family and friends. The delightful mice family and vibrant illustrations will ignite memories and initiate discussions about the holiday and how to give thanks on any day of the year in young readers. 

Another book to keep an eye out for by Deb Adamson, illustrated by Alessia Trunfio is God Sent You With Love (Cottage Door Press 2022), which will be released on December 20th, so you can preorder it now for the holiday season and beyond.

Miss Mary's Christmas Mittens 
by Trinka Hakes Noble, illustrated by Renee Andriani (Sleeping Bear Press 2022). 

As a teacher, there are so many things to love about this story. The way it shows how much Miss Mary cares for her students, the way it shows how to be resourceful and problem-solve in order to meet a goal, and the way it shows gratitude for acts of kindness. I'm sure this book will inspire young readers to go on and do their own acts of kindness over the holidays, which can then be continued throughout the year. Plus, the story inspires craft activity, which was a big hit in our home for as long as I can remember.

Christmas Fairies for Ouma
by Lindsay McDivitt, illustrated by Katarzyna Bukiert (Familius 2022). 

What is it about miracles that grab our attention? Is it the miracles that come into being due to the workings of everyday people that imbue the most awe at the events that had to line up just perfectly--at just the right moment and at just the right time? That is what this story meant for me. Imagine how a letter put in a mailbox for a grandmother found its way another continent on the other side of the ocean, without a stamp or proper address? Yes, that really happened. That is this beautiful story, showing that  kind and thoughtful people are all around us, and they help make miracles happen. (And if a divine power helped in some little way, then all the better.) This is a story for all ages.

A Very Mercy Christmas by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick 2022). 

My kids loved the Mercy Watson books when they were little -- oh how many giggles we shared while reading them. My nieces loved them, too, because I brought those books to them on one of my visits. Story after story we read, while snuggling on a comfy couch. That particular visit was one year during the holidays, which might be why I nearly jumped for joy when I saw this new Mercy Watson book had been published. Joy. Silliness. Warmth. Love. It's all there in these pages. Mercy Watson won't disappoint.

Playing with Lanterns
by Wang Yage, illustrated by Zhu Chengliang, translated by Helen Wang (Amazon Crossing Kids 2022). 

This story about Chinese New Year, as it is celebrated in China with handmade paper lanterns has it all. Beautiful and vibrant illustrations. A lyrical text that sings with metaphors in just the right places. A subtle social-emotional learning message about a kids dealing with emotions when a holiday comes to an end (they all do, don't they), but the realization of looking forward to another. And insight about how a traditions for Chinese New Year is celebrated over 15 days with friends and family. I fell in love with this book as soon as I read it, and predict it will get multiple re-readings with families.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel
 by Caryn Yacowitz, illustrated by David Slonim (Arther Levine Books 2022). 

There is so much to love with this book: a new twist on a familiar rhyme, escalating humor, holiday traditions, and art - as in, representations of artworks. This story is for every kid, because the humor will please, while the rhyme and the details will engage.

To finish out our #7DaysOfBooks, there are 4 #giveaways with today's post. 

Winners will be chosen after the event wraps up on December 10. So that means there is still time to nab a chance at giveaways from Days 1-6 and get excellent ideas for gifts. 

Books make great gifts and help nudge confident readers into blooming. There is no better life-long skill you can instill in a child than an appreciation for stories and books! And it all begins with wonderful memories of reading with family.

Today's prizes include:

1) A signed copy of THE DONKEY'S SONG from Jacki Kellum to US address

2) A signed copy of MENDEL'S HANUKKAH MESS UP from Chana Steifel to US address

3) A PB manuscript critique from Deb Adamson

4) A PB manuscript critique from me, your #7DaysOfBooks host, S. K. Wenger

Do you have more HOLIDAY BOOKS to share? Grab your first entry for one of the amazing giveaways by leaving a comment on today's blog post. 

Then grab more entries with this rafflecopter below.


  1. I have been so excited to read Donkey’s song! Now I have lots of others to add to my TBR list. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for sharing these joyful holiday books! I’ve added several of them to my library check outs.

  3. I needed a few holiday themed books to get my kiddos this year, so this post is perfect! Thank you so much for doing this for us - it's been such a wonderful way to add to my TBR list and inspire all sorts of creativity!

  4. As a teacher, I want ALL of these books!

  5. I recognize several on this list, and now have others I WANT to read!

  6. Thanks for spotlighting so many great books this week!

  7. What an amazing list of books! Thank you for offering this give-away.

  8. Thank you for sharing seven days of outstanding books and great giveaways.

    Sue Leopold

  9. Love a giveaway! These picture books are all simply adorable! Sharing to my story!!

  10. New holiday books to check out! Thank you for the introduction!

  11. So many great books to add to my tbr list!

  12. So many great books to add to my tbr list and gift! Thanks for hosting, Shaunda!


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