A delightful introduction to a popular Christmas treat and traditions around the world.

A WORLD OF COOKIES FOR SANTA

FOLLOW SANTA'S TASTY TRIP AROUND THE WORLD

Cookies are set out for Santa on Christmas Eve in many countries around the world, described in this collection that includes recipes. 

A striking cover illustration shows five children of different ethnicities with Christmas cookies arrayed in front of them and Santa and his reindeer taking flight just below the title. The digitally composed illustrations are the sweet treat in this book, from a snow-speckled Santa facing the title page to the final spread with children in Hawaii setting out pineapple-macadamia bars for Santa under their tree decorated with shells. Vibrant, glowing illustrations show children of different ethnic groups along with cultural traditions and decorations. The Christmas-cookie traditions of 32 countries (or sometimes a city or a state) are each described in a short paragraph, including the type of cookie, local name for Santa, and fun, related Christmas customs that will interest children. For example, the double-page spread about Mexico includes children with a piñata and cut-paper decorations in the illustration. Thoughtfully designed front endpapers offer a map with all the locations marked as a continuous journey for Santa; the back endpapers repeat this map with the addition of illustrations of the cookies, coded to the locations by number. Recipes for nine different cookies are included, and an author’s note gives further information about Christmas celebrations and Santa traditions.

A delightful introduction to a popular Christmas treat and traditions around the world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-22620-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace.

SLUG IN LOVE

A slug longs for a hug and finds it unexpectedly.

Doug the slug would really like a hug and plods on, seeking affection. But a caterpillar, bug, spider, and worm want no part of hugging a slug. They are just not feeling it (might they feel sluggish?), voicing their disdain in no uncertain terms with expressions like, “Grimy, slippy!” and “Squelchy, slimy!” What’s a slug to do? Undeterred, Doug keeps trying. He meets Gail, a snail with crimson lipstick and hip, red glasses; she happens to be as grimy and squelchy as he is, so he figures she is the hugger of his dreams. The two embark upon a madcap romantic courtship. Alas, Gail also draws the (slimy) line at hugging Doug. Finally, mournful Doug meets the best hugger and the true love of his life, proving there’s someone for everyone. This charmer will have readers rooting for Doug (and perhaps even wanting to hug him). Expressed in simple, jaunty verses that read and scan smoothly, the brief tale revolves around words that mainly rhyme with Doug and slug. Given that the story stretches vocabulary so well with regard to rhyming words, children can be challenged after a read-aloud session to offer up words that rhyme with slug and snail. The colorful and humorous illustrations are lively and cheerful; googly-eyed Doug is, like the other characters, entertaining and expressive. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sweet, reassuring fun—and a story to fully embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66590-046-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned.

WHY A DAUGHTER NEEDS A MOM

All the reasons why a daughter needs a mother.

Each spread features an adorable cartoon animal parent-child pair on the recto opposite a rhyming verse: “I’ll always support you in giving your all / in every endeavor, the big and the small, / and be there to catch you in case you should fall. / I hope you believe this is true.” A virtually identical book, Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, publishes simultaneously. Both address standing up for yourself and your values, laughing to ease troubles, being thankful, valuing friendship, persevering and dreaming big, being truthful, thinking through decisions, and being open to differences, among other topics. Though the sentiments/life lessons here and in the companion title are heartfelt and important, there are much better ways to deliver them. These books are likely to go right over children’s heads and developmental levels (especially with the rather advanced vocabulary); their parents are the more likely audience, and for them, the books provide some coaching in what kids need to hear. The two books are largely interchangeable, especially since there are so few references to mom or dad, but one spread in each book reverts to stereotype: Dad balances the two-wheeler, and mom helps with clothing and hair styles. Since the books are separate, it aids in customization for many families.

New parents of daughters will eat these up and perhaps pass on the lessons learned. (Picture book. 4-8, adult)

Pub Date: May 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6781-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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