Arrhenius, Ingela P. Where’s the Snowman? Nosy Crow, 2022. [10p.] $9.99. 978-1-5362-2783-3.
With just five spreads, this board book with felt flaps is better as a gift than for a library collection. Although it focuses on a snowman and other winter items to be found under the flaps, the backgrounds show Christmas decorations, which limits this.
Atinuke. Merry Christmas, Anna Hibiscus! Illus. by Lauren Tobia. Candlewick, 2010/2023. 106p. $16.99 hardback, $7.99 paperback. 978-1-5362-3121-2, 978-1536231229 paper.
In this charming transitional chapter book, Anna goes from her home in Nigeria to visit her white grandmother in Canada. She sees snow for the first time, and has fun even though she misses her large loving family. One culture shock is that grandma has a dog, and in Nigeria it is unusual to allow a dog in the house. A nice addition to this popular series.
Barnett, Mac. How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney? Illus. by Jon Klassen. Candlewick, 09/2023. [32p.] $18.99. 978-1-5362-2376-7.
Many children have wondered how Santa gets down the chimney on his many Christmas Eve visits. Does he go down head first or feet first? Use night vision goggles? This charming story offers several possibilities without really answering the title question, because who knows? The full color graphite and ink artwork depicts a tan-skinned Santa in his usual red suit, visiting a house with a TV antenna. Both the text and the artwork have a subtle, dry humor that will resonate with children and parents alike, and inspire yearly holiday readings.
Collins, Ross. We Disagree About this Tree. Nosy Crow, 09/2023. [28p.] $16.99. 978-1-5362-3198-4.
Third in the series about a polar bear and a mouse, this time they disagree about the type of decorations for their Christmas tree. The bouncy rhyming text is clever and engaging, and the colorful digital cartoon artwork focuses on just the two characters and the tree. A fun, original holiday story.
Dealey, Erin. Christmas Ahoy! Illus by Kayla Stark. Sleeping Bear, 07/2023. [32p.] $18.99. 978-1-53411-178-3.
A city’s nighttime holiday boat parade is the focus of this rhyming story. There is also a counting element from one to ten, but only the words for the numbers are shown, not the numerals. A variety of different boats are featured, and the end shows each boat with a paragraph explaining its unique qualities. The full color cartoonish illustrations depict the townspeople representing different ethnicities. Many Bay Area towns have boat parades so some libraries will find this especially relevant to their communities.
Huang, Yu-hsuan. Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush. Sing Along with Me! series. Nosy Crow, 2023. [8p.] $8.99. 978-1-5362-3154-0.
This traditional nursery song is adapted to focus on Christmas holiday activities, with lyrics about playing in the snow, caroling, and making a wreath. The full color cartoonish artwork features animals dressed in clothing, and the book has sliders and dials to add movement. This would be fun for a December storytime.
Sparkes, Amy. The Christmas Doll: A Repair Shop Story. Illus. by Katie Hickey. Candlewick, 09/2023. [28p.] $17.99. 978-1-5362-3136-6.
Based on an episode of the British reality TV series, a little girl and her great grandma have an old doll repaired by the shop. The true story involves great grandma’s experience being sent to the countryside to avoid wartime London (I assume it is World War II but that is not specified). Because the TV show is not seen in the U.S., this may not see much demand. But the story is pleasant and the full color artwork is well-matched to the tale.
Tavares, Matt. Dasher: Can’t Wait for Christmas. Candlewick, 09/2023. [40p.] $17.99. 978-1-5362-3013-0.
In this follow-up to Dasher (2019), the young reindeer goes exploring the night before Christmas Eve and gets lost. A child loans Dasher a compass so she can return to Santa in time for their annual gift deliveries. Readers will learn about the North Star and using a compass, and will identify with a child who gets lost. The story is original, and the lush full color paintings have a cinematic quality. Although the story is a little too long for preschool storytime, it is briskly told and good for a family reading experience.
Penny Peck, SJSU iSchool