March 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Light Up the Shelves for Christmas and Hanukkah! | December Holidays

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See our complete list of
October 2014 SLJ Stars.

redstarPerkins, Stephanie, ed. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories. 336p. St. Martin’s Griffin. Oct. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250059307; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781466863897.

Gr 7 Up –Twelve of the best-loved and best-known young adult authors–Rainbow Rowell, David Levithan, and Matt de la Peña among them–have contributed stories to this appealing collection. Most have a Christmas setting, but Hanukkah, the winter solstice, and New Year’s Eve are also represented. Most are realistic, but Holly Black, Kelly Link, Jenny Han, and Laini Taylor have contributed tales steeped in fantasy or the supernatural. What all 12 selections have in common is teen romance at its most fragile and meaningful. Never mind the winter holidays; booktalk this title all year round.–Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

redstarUnderwood, Deborah. Here Comes Santa Cat. illus. by Claudia Rueda. 88p. Dial. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803741003. LC 2013035538.

PreS-Gr 3 –The delightfully self-centered mischievous feline from Here Comes the Easter Cat (Dial, 2014) is back! He’s been naughty and believes Santa will skip him, so he dresses as Santa to give himself a present. A patient narrator advises Cat that Santa gives to others, not himself. After many silly and ridiculous attempts, Cat gives something nice, learning the true meaning of giving and receiving. Readers will enjoy the playful exchange between the narrator and Cat, the expressive full-color ink and colored-pencil cartoonlike illustrations, and the nicely resolved ending. Great for reading one-on-one or in small groups.–Maureen Wade, Los Angeles Public Library

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

Benson, Nicky. The Spirit of Christmas: A Giving Tradition. illus. by Jason Cockcroft. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2014. RTE $24.99. ISBN 9781589255302; Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781589251885.

Brenner, Tom. And Then Comes Christmas. illus. by Jana Christy. 32p. Candlewick. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763653422. LC 2013953455.

Brett, Jan. The Animals’ Santa. illus. by Jan Brett. 32p. Putnam. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399257841; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698171442.

Cousins, Lucy. Maisy’s Christmas Tree. illus. by Lucy Cousins. 16p. Candlewick. 2014. Board $6.99. ISBN 9780763674571. LC 2013953535.

Czajak, Paul. Monster Needs a Christmas Tree. illus. by Wendy Grieb. 32p. Scarletta. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781938063466.

Dannenbring, Cheryl. My Puppy Gave to Me. illus. by Cynthia Kremsner. 32p. Pelican. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781455619436. LC 2014000009.

Fischer, Ellen. Latke, the Lucky Dog. illus. by Tiphanie Beeke. 24p. Kar-Ben. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780761390381; pap. $7.95. ISBN 9780761390398.

Feldman , Thea , retel. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Classic Story. illus. by Erwin Madrid. Macmillan/Square Fish. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781250047601.

Frederick , Heather Vogel, adapt. A Little Women Christmas. illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. 32p. S. & S. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442413597; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781481418331. LC 2011016962.

Grün, Anselm. The Legend of Saint Nicholas. tr. from German by Laura Watkinson. illus. by Giuliano Ferri. 26p. Eerdmans. 2014. Tr $16.00. ISBN 9780802854346. LC 2013044478.

Guthrie, Woody. Honeyky Hanukah. illus. by Dave Horowitz. 24p. w/CD. Doubleday. 2014. lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780375973390; Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385379267; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780375982392. LC 2013045762.

Hennessy, B. G. A Christmas Wish for Corduroy. illus. by Jody Wheeler. 32p. Viking. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780670785506; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698156753.

Hopkins, Lee Bennett, ed. Manger. illus. by Helen Cann. 34p. Eerdmans. 2014. Tr $16. ISBN 9780802854193. LC 2013044516.

Hubery, Julia. When Grandma Saved Christmas. illus. by Caroline Pedler. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781589251649.

Kimmel, Eric A. Simon and the Bear. illus. by Matthew Trueman. 40p. Disney-Hyperion. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9781423143550.

Krensky, Stephen. The Last Christmas Tree. illus. by Pascal Campion. 32p. Dial. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803737570. LC 2013034357.

Lagerlöf, Selma. What the Shepherd Saw. illus. by Maja Dusikova. 32p. NorthSouth Books. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9780735841901.

McGhee, Alison. Star Bright: A Christmas Story. illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. 40p. S. & S./Atheneum. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781416958581; ebk. ISBN 9781442477148. LC 2014008465.

May, Robert L. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Classic Story. illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo. 40p. S. & S./Little Simon. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781442474956; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442474970.

Moore, Clement C. The Night Before Christmas. illus. by Barbara Reid. 32p. Albert Whitman. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807556252.

Nathan, Simone Bloom. Eight Candles and a Tree. illus. by Brian Barber. 32p. Beaver’s Pond. 2014. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781592989355. LC 2014905319.

Pham, LeUyen, retel. The Twelve Days of Christmas. illus. by LeUyen Pham. 40p. score. Doubleday. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385374132; lib. ed. $20.99. ISBN 9780375972058; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780375982002. LC 2013015115.

Pinkwater, Daniel. Beautiful Yetta’s Hanukkah Kitten. Yiddish tr. by Yael Strom. Spanish tr. by Alicia Padrón and Guillermo Casallo. illus. by Jill Pinkwater. 32p. Feiwel & Friends. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780312621346.

Plourde, Lynn. Merry Moosey Christmas. illus. by Russ Cox. 32p. Islandport Press. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781939017383. LC 2013958205.

Raczka, Bob. Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole. illus. by Chuck Groenink. 32p. Carolrhoda. 2014. lib. ed. $16.95. ISBN 9781467718059. LC 2013030819.

Sattler, Jennifer. A Chick n’ Pug Christmas. illus. by Jennifer Sattler. 32p. Bloomsbury. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781599906027; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9781619632622.

Schertle, Alice. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas. illus. by Jill McElmurry. 24p. (Little Blue Truck). Houghton Harcourt. 2014. Board $14.99. ISBN 9780544320413. LC 2014004027.

Scillian, Devin. Memoirs of an Elf. illus. by Tim Bowers. 32p. Sleeping Bear. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781585369102.

Shaw, Stephanie. A Cookie for Santa. illus. by Bruno Robert. 32p. Sleeping Bear. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781585368839.

Simoneau, D. K. & David Radman. Santa’s Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right Night Before Christmas. illus. by Brad Cornelius. 32p. AC Publications. Oct. 2014. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781933302188.

Simpson, Martha Seif. The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah. illus. by Durga Yael Bernhard. 32p. Wisdom Tales. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781937786281.

Sperring, Mark. How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas? illus. by Sébastien Braun. 32p. Tiger Tales. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781589251601.

Stark, Ulf. The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits: A Christmas Story for Advent. tr. from Swedish by Susan Beard. illus. by Eva Eriksson. 104p. Floris. Nov. 2014. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781782501367.

Thong, Roseanne Greenfield. ‘Twas Nochebuena. illus. by Sara Palacios. 32p. glossary. Viking. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780670016341; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698136441. LC 2013046782.

Walton, Rick. Frankenstein’s Fright Before Christmas. illus. by Nathan Hale. 40p. Feiwel & Friends. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780312553678.

Weninger, Brigitte. Merry Christmas, Davy! illus. by Eve Tharlet. 32p. NorthSouth. Oct. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9780735841864.

Yacowitz, Caryn. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel. illus. by David Slonim. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780439915304.

For Older Readers

Benedis-Grab, Daphne. The Angel Tree. 256p. Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545613781; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545613897. LC 2014005098.

Holland, Trish & Christine Ford. The Navy’s Night Before Christmas. illus. by John Manders. 32p. Golden Bks. 2014. lib. ed. $13.99. ISBN 9780375971808; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780375981654. LC 2012952463.

McLean, Michael. Fairy Tale Christmas. illus. by Scott McLean. 176p. Shadow Mountain. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781609079307.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.



  1. I’m excited about my new Night Before book – The Night Before Hanukkah – and wanted to share the news with your readers. It’s wonderful there are so many holiday book choices out there.