Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Count Down to Christmas with These Cute Picture and Activity Books from Candlewick Press (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Christmas is fast approaching, and now is the time to pick up some holiday books to share with your family as you count down the days until Christmas.  I wanted to share a handful of cute picture books from Candlewick Press that were a hit with my girls, and that we included in our holiday book advent this year, as we count down the days until Santa's arrival.  There is even a fun activity book to go along with the classic "We're Going a Bear Hunt" story, which we will pair with the movie that has become a staple during the winter months in our house.

About this book:

"There are two things everyone knows about Hillary the sheep. One is that, unlike her typically hued friends, Hillary’s wool is all the colors of the rainbow. The other is that she adores everything about Christmas, especially Santa. 

So when word gets out that Mr. Claus is traveling across Ireland seeking the perfect sheep’s wool for a sweater to keep his belly warm, Hillary’s head begins to spin. Could her wool-dest dreams be about to come true? Featuring a news-loving starling named Didya, a jelly-bean-obsessed farmer, and a choir of Elvish Presley–singing elves, this sweetly comical tribute to the season will find its place among kid-pleasing holiday traditions. Already a bestseller in Ireland, it offers a welcome humorous spin on the holidays and a strong female protagonist.

In a buoyant story filled with ewe-morous puns, a multicolored sheep who loves Christmas inspires a seasonal ritual."

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 5
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books US (September 10, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 153621132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1536211320

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for fun chapter book for your beginner chapter book reader to enjoy, this is the book for them.  I shared this book with my girls a couple weeks ago, and after skimming through the book, they both took turns sitting down to enjoy this book.  They both read it cover to cover, and couldn't put it down.  Not only was it a cute story, but the playful black and white illustrations that filled the pages of this chapter book really help to bring the festive story to life.

Both of my girls loved the story and were rooting for Hilary the rainbow-colored sheep to have her colorful wool picked by Santa for his holiday sweater.  Don't worry, I will not give away the ending.  What I will say, though, is that my girls are still talking about this book weeks later, and want to read it again soon, and will, when we kick off our holiday book advent next week. :-)

About this book:

Candlewick Entertainment
ISBN: 9781536211382 September 2019 Ages 3 – 7

"Inspired by the animated special based on a beloved classic, this treasure trove of activities, fun facts, and more than a hundred stickers is the perfect gift for a magical time of year. 

There’s so much to make, do, and discover in the countdown to Christmas! Whether kids like staying indoors to make crafts or stepping outside to explore, they’ll find plenty of ideas in this gem of a book."

My Thoughts:

I ended up picking up a second copy of this book from Amazon so that my girls would each have their own activity book to enjoy this holiday season.  My girls grew up watching and reading the "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" books and movies, and now they get to enjoy this cute activity book which is filled with over 100 stickers, crafts and fun activity for the whole family to do together.  This activity book pairs well with the book and movie by the same name, and would also make for a great activity book to gift kids and use as an advent of sorts for kids of all ages to enjoy and count down the days to Santa's arrival.

About this book:

Martin Handford
ISBN: 9781536201390 October 2019 Ages 5 – 9

"Maybe you’re good at spotting Waldo. But can you spot the difference? Waldo is wandering through the museum, where there are some devilishly difficult differences to decipher. 

Finding Waldo and his buddies is hard enough, but who can spot the minutiae that separate one Egyptian tablet from another? 

Or the itty-bitty discrepancies between the vintage books and scrolls? A brand-new spin on the art of finding Waldo."

My Thoughts:

Does your family love Where's Waldo books?  If you do, then you will love this new release, which has Waldo hiding out in different museum scenes.  This truly is the ultimate spot-the difference book that will have kids and adults putting their heads together as they try and find Waldo hiding out among amazing artifacts and exciting exhibits. Once you find Waldo, you will want to time time to admire and take in all the details of the illustrations that make up the fun museum-themed look and find scenes.  Once we found Waldo in all the scenes, my girls both agreed that this is favorite Where's Waldo...and, I had to agree with them!  This would definitely make a great non-toy gift that kids of all ages will love waking and finding under the tree for them on Christmas morning.

About this book:

Matt Tavares
ISBN: 9781536201376 September 2019 | Ages 4 – 8

"Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. 

One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. 

And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same. 

From the celebrated creator of Red and Lulu comes the story of a brave little doe who meets Santa and changes Christmas forever."

My Thoughts:

Usually Rudolph gets all the attention when it comes to talking about Santa's reindeer. But, after reading this book with my girls, they found themselves thinking Dasher was their favorite reindeer, as they liked how she wanted to follow her destiny and isn't afraid to take risks.  This book is not your average holiday story, but once your read it, you will find it being a favorite with your whole family.  Not only is the story cute and joy to read, but the vibrant and colorful illustrations of Santa and his reindeer really help to make the story come to life, and will get your whole family into the holiday spirit.

About this book:

Jan Fearnley
ISBN: 9781536208252 | September 2019 Ages 2 – 5

One frosty evening, a week before Christmas, Little Robin prepares for the chilly nights to come by washing his seven warm knit vests. 

But as the days go by, he comes across lots of shivering animals and kindly offers them his vests to wear. 

By Christmas Eve, Little Robin is cold and alone with no vests left. That is, until a special someone arrives to reward his kindness in this heartwarming holiday tale about the gift of sharing.

My Thoughts:

This is a cute holiday book that will remind both kids and adults that it is better to give than receive, and the joy that comes with giving.  In this picture book, a little Robin gives away his seven vests to those who need it more.  But, by the time Christmas Eve rolls around, the little bird is cold and alone.  Leave it to Santa to reward the Robin for his selflessness in giving away his vests, by gifting the bird with a present that is sure to keep him warm.  

My girls and I really enjoyed this picture book, and can't wait to enjoy it as one of our book advent selections in the coming weeks.  If you are looking for a cute picture book that will make you smile and warm your soul this holiday season, then you will want to check out this cute book from Candlewick Press.


These are just a handful of new books from Candlewick Press that would make for great additions to your family's holiday book advent, or a way to get into the holiday spirit with a few new books to share and enjoy as a family.  You can learn more about these and other books by visiting the Candlewick Press website here: https://www.candlewick.com/.

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Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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