Sunday, December 13, 2015

Five Must Have Children's Holiday Books From Indie Authors You Want on Your Radar (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

I can't believe that Christmas is almost here.  Are you all done with your shopping, wrapping and prepping for holiday dinners and gatherings?  I can finally say that I am done with everything and enjoying time with the girls.  We have been taking it easy in regards to homeschooling because of all the excitement of the holidays.  There is more holiday baking, movie watching and story reading, and I can't forget the crafts -- my house is filled with all handmade gifts the girls have made for family and friends.  :-)

I shared a post a short time ago about holiday traditions and how we began counting down to Christmas with a book advent last year and have continued it this year.  The girls love getting new books, and I love having an excuse to snuggle up close to them on the couch or in bed at bedtime, to enjoy a good book. Does your family do a book advent?  If not and you are looking for a fun holiday tradition to add, this is sure to be a hit with kids.  Come on, who doesn't like to get new books, especially holiday ones?  :-)

In addition to the books I picked for the girls, I also included five books that I was recently sent to review, which are perfect for this time of year.  

Check of these beautifully-illustrated seasonal titles from indie authors that are sure to delight children of all ages. 

Each of these delightful books was published via Amazon’s independent-publishing platforms – CreateSpace for print books and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for e-books – and all are perfectly-poised to become the next seasonal classics for generations of children and families to come. These imagination-stimulating stories and the endearing characters they introduce are great for lighting up the holiday season and bringing families everywhere even closer together:

·         Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis—A swashbuckling winter’s tale and the newest addition to the multi-award-winning Captain No Beard book series by Carole P. Roman, finds the daring pirate Captain No Beard and his loyal crew heaving anchor for adventure as they steer a course due north for the icy waters of the Arctic. A prolific children’s book writer, Carole’s work is inspired by the antics of her grandchildren, who she often features in the pages of her books.

More about this book...

"Captain No Beard and his crew of loyal pirates heave anchor for another adventure, this time in the icy waters of the Arctic. 

Captain No Beard's steering a course due north, sailing by the light of the North Star. Everyone on the crew wonders what the captain's up to, especially as he gets embarrassed when they ask. 

When the captain finally admits his plan, the crew discovers he plans to steal the aurora borealis, the beautiful northern lights that brighten the arctic sky. They're all shocked. They may be pirates, but even they know stealing is bad. Besides, how can anyone steal the lights from the sky? 

A charming, engaging tale about doing what's right, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis is the latest installment in Carole P. Roman's award-winning pirate series. The first book, Captain No Beard—an Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life, received the Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012 award and the Star of Remarkable Achievement. The series presents real-life problems in an imaginary setting and encourages discussion with both parents and educators"

My Thoughts:

This is the second Captain No Beard book I have shared with my girls, and it quickly became a hit with them.  Come on, who doesn't love a good pirate book.  What I love most about this award-winning series is that the story tells a tale that includes real life problems that through an imaginative setting has children thinking of ways to solve it, as they read through the book.  Parents and even teachers can have thoughtful conversation with kids after reading the story, which I love.

Just like the previous Captain No Beard book we read and continue to enjoy, this book is filled with amazing color illustrations that bring the pirate tale to life keep kids of all ages and reading abilities engaged from start to finish.  This book really is a page turning and had my girls using their imaginations to help solve the Captain's dilemma.  

If you have children who are fans of pirates or this book series, or simply want a fun book to share with them, why not consider picking up this new release.  A bonus for readers is learning about the Northern Lights, which beautifully artwork to go along with it.  Who knew you could learn while having fun reading -- with these books you do!

·         The Fox and the Snowman – A beautiful story by author Angela Muse about a lone fox and his journey through a year of changing seasons. Along the way, the young fox discovers friendship and family in this colorful seasonal tale that’s perfect for giving and receiving at holiday time.

My Thoughts:

Out of all five books I was sent to review and share with my girls, I have to say that this book was my favorite of them all.  Maybe I am just partial to snowman and wishing for a white Christmas...or, maybe it was the sweet story about a lone fox and an unexpected friendship.  

The story is told in rhyme and includes some of the most beautiful illustrations I have ever seen in a children's book.  I found myself lingering on each page and showing the girls the different details of the animals and winter scenes, just to enjoy them longer.  I knew from the first time that we read this book that the girls would be pulling it from the bookshelf just to flip though and enjoy the artwork on their own.  And, that they have.  They have even gone ahead and made up their own stories about the animals based on the wonderful illustrations. :-)

This truly is a sweet story of friendship and family and perfect for families to enjoy during the holidays and for years to come.  I highly recommend this book...and have even picked up a few extra copies to share with nieces and nephews this Christmas.

·         The Deep and Snowy Wood – A delightful picture book about a deer, a squirrel and a mole and the very special person who pays a brief visit to the deep and snowy wood. Penned by author Elwyn Tate, this playful rhyming title is sure to captivate children during the holiday season and all year-round.

More about this book...

"A deer, a squirrel and a mole know a secret. They know that once a year a very special person pays a brief visit to the Deep and Snowy wood. Who could this special person be? Journey with the animals as they travel through a winter wonderland and discover the magical secret of "The Deep and Snowy Wood!. The Deep and Snowy Wood is a Christmas/Winter picture book."

My Thoughts:

This book turned out to be my youngest daughter, Bella's, favorite book, and tied in wonderfully to our winter animal theme week for school.  A beautifully illustrated picture book for young children, this book is written in a rhyming scheme, that will delight even the youngest of readers.  The story itself flowed nicely and got my girls excited about winter and wishing for a white Christmas.  

If the animals weren't enough, kids will be delighted when they get to the last page where they will find Santa. :-)  Instead of me going on and on about why my girls liked this book, why not just pick up a copy for yourself to share with your little one and see for yourself, why they and so many other children can't stop picking up this book to have read to them.

·         Kat McGee and The School of Christmas Spirit” (A Kat McGee Adventure) (Volume 1) – The first in a series of chapter books for young readers, featuring 5th grader and holiday-saving legend Kat McGee. In “Kat McGee and The School of Christmas Spirit” by Rebecca Munsterer, Kat travels back in time and through a magical snow globe to meet Mrs. Claus and experience the true spirit of the holiday.

More about this book...

"If Kat McGee had one Christmas wish, she'd wish to be special. Instead, she's the boring middle in a family packed with sparkly siblings, including three sisters who have all starred as Mary in Totsville, Maine's annual big-deal Christmas Pageant. All Kat's done is wet her pants on a roller coaster and earn herself the horrible nickname, "Kat McPee." When she doesn't get the part of Mary, Kat's convinced that Christmas will be just another Kat McPee failure. But then Kat's beloved Gram lets it slip that she went to school with Mrs. Claus. The Mrs. Claus. Before Kat knows it, a magical snow globe whisks her away to the North Pole, where she makes friends, checks naughty and nice lists, and takes classes in cookie baking, reindeer training, and toy designing. It's a Christmas miracle... But something is wrong. The North Pole is being threatened, and only Kat McGee can help. Kat McGee and The School of Christmas Spirit is about a modern girl in a magical adventure. Kat is about to learn who you can be if you believe in Christmas... and yourself."

My Thoughts:

What would you do if you had the chance to travel to the North Pole and meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves, thanks to a magical snow globe?  I would go! Would you?  

In this new release, volume 1 in I hope is many books by author, Rebecca Munsterer, Kat McGree is given the opportunity to visit the North Pole thanks to her Grandma, who used to go to school with Mrs. Claus.  Yes, you read that right.  This book sure is a page turner, and full of magic and excitement.  Kids, young and old with enjoy the story and find themselves relating to the character Kat, who is just your average and sort of plain kid, who wishes for more in life, but always finds herself being the butt of jokes or falling shy of achieving what she wants.  

At first I wasn't sure if my girls would enjoy this book, as it might have been a little advanced for them.  But, as soon as I started to read the story, they were smiling, giggling and asking me to go on.  I found myself enjoying this book and wishing I was Kat.  This truly is a magical book perfect for the Christmas season.  And, I know this book will be picked up and enjoyed time and again for years to come.

·         “The 13 Dog Days of Christmas” – An amusing and engaging counting book for children written by Melanie Johnston and illustrated by Bob Reedy that inserts a variety of adorable dogs into the familiar 12 Days of Christmas rhyme. The giggle-inducing title helps kids with their counting skills, all with a charming holiday theme. A portion of proceeds from this book benefit Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).

More about this book...

"A children's counting book based on the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song, "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a Pug snoring by a Pear Tree..."

A variety of dogs are amusingly illustrated - Pug, Basset Hound, French Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, Golden Retriever, Scottie, Setter, Lab, Dalmation, Dachshund, Boxer, and puppies. The colorful illustrations were especially commissioned for this work.
Your child, and the child in you, will thoroughly enjoy this wonderful variation on a Christmas classic."

My Thoughts:

Being a dog loving family, I knew this book would be a hit with the girls, and it was!  Savannah, especially loved the book and couldn't stop picking it up to flip through and enjoy on her own, or have me read at bedtime.  
Not only was the story cute and perfect for counting down the days until Christmas, but the pictures of all the different dogs were just so adorable.  We found ourselves lingering on each page to enjoy the dogs.  The girls kept asking if we could get each of the dogs included in the if the two rescue dogs we already have aren't enough. :-)

My youngest daughter, Bella, really honed her counting skills thanks to this book and even brought it into preschool to show off to her friends and teachers. I can see this book being enjoying for years to come, and would also make a great gift for dog lovers.


The holidays are nearly here and families everywhere are planning their celebrations to make the most of their time together.  So, why not consider picking up some or all of the above mentioned books available now from Amazon to share with your child(ren)?  They also make for great stocking stuffer gifts, too! :-)  Happy reading!

Disclosure:  I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. These books look super cute I will have to keep these in mind for this Christmas.
    heather [email protected]