This year, the holiday season wanted to arrive even more quickly than usual – what with the snow trying to cancel The Great Candy Grab and chain stores displaying Christmas decorations even before Hallowe’en – let alone Thanksgiving – had arrived. Are you ready for the whirlwind of activity?
I’ve found that a great way to transition children (and the adults who love them) from one frantic time of year to another is through reading books relating to an upcoming season or holiday. To help you along, we have some suggestions (and a giveaway!) for new books available about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas.
First, let’s give thanks. Turkey Bowl, by Phil Bildner and illustrated by C.F. Payne, will reach out to any child who has waited to be old enough to do something BIG. Ethan, the 9-year-old boy who has waited all his life to play in his family’s traditional Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving Day, worries that a blizzard will cancel the festivities and ruin Thanksgiving. Sound familiar? It’s a very sweet story about family and conquering a surprise storm. Another Thanksgiving themed book, Thank You, Sarah, by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner, is a mini-history book focused on Sarah Hale and her desire to see Thanksgiving become a federal holiday. It’s a story about perseverance, the power of the pen, and our political system. Told in a straight-forward but humorous manner, children will learn that Thanksgiving Day as a holiday took a lot of doing – and the charge was led by a woman.
Almost a full month after Thanksgiving comes Hanukkah, and Hanukkah Hop! will help bide the time before the celebrations. Written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Steven D’Amico, this spirited book tells the tale of preparations for a huge family gathering for Hanukkah. An excited little girl named Rachel leads us through the book talking about the decorations, the latkes, the story of the Maccabees, and even the klezmer band – dancing all the while. Hannukah Hop! will entertain your whole family as they wait to celebrate the Festival of Lights.
The Magical Christmas Horse, written by Mary Higgins Clark with paintings by Wendell Minor, is a story about a Christmas wish for those who want to get away from the commercial hullaballoo surrounding the holiday. An eight-year-old boy named Johnny visits his grandparents in Connecticut for the first time in many years. His wish is to give his little brother a wooden horse he remembers riding when he last visited with his grandparents, but when he finds it, it is broken and dirty. This is a story about dealing with disappointment, and wishes coming true.
Thanks to the generosity of Simon & Schuster, we have all four of these books to give away in one package.
To enter, keep reading…
Simply tell us your favorite holiday tradition in the comments. One person who replies to this post by 11:59 p.m. EST on November, 15, 2011, will be chosen at random to receive all four books! Please post only once.
No purchase necessary. Starts Monday, November 14, 2011, 10 am EST and ends Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. Open to U.S. residents ages 16 years and older. Void where prohibited.