STORYSTORM 2019

On the off chance you missed it, STORYSTORM starts today. This annual event–now into its 10th year–is for all of us interested in brainstorming new story ideas. Here’s how it works:

  1. Register.
  2. Read daily posts at Tara Lazar’s blog.
  3. Write down story ideas.

That’s pretty much it.

At the end of January, if you have at least 30 new ideas, you can sign the STORYSTORM PLEDGE and be eligible for PRIZES. Prizes include professional consults, signed books, original art, writerly gadgets and gizmos.

If you want to join us, you can register here. Registration closes on January 7, so sign up now.

The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy

When the ugly little fir tree is taken to the city, no one wants to buy him; they prefer the big tall trees. But a homeless boy asks the shopkeeper if he can take the tree, and down by the river in a cardboard box, decorated with a few candles, the tree finds itself at the centre of a magical Christmas Eve it will never forget. A Christmas tale with a classic feel but a modern theme at its heart.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (September 27, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780763679170
ISBN-13: 978-0763679170
ASIN: 0763679178

Purchase here!

 

What are some of your favorite Christmas books for children?

Tiger Tales Christmas Books for Kids

When my girls were younger, I loved receiving our shipment of Tiger Tales books each season. Here are some of their Christmas titles:

Celebrate the joy of Christmas and give thanks for this special time of year with this beautiful collection of prayers. With delightful illustrations by Sanja Rescek and simple rhyming text, this will become a holiday favorite to treasure.

 

Little Pip is excited for Christmas. “I think it’s Christmas Day!” he says to Daddy Grizzle one morning. But Daddy Grizzle tells him it’s not Christmas yet. Poor Little Pip wonders how he’ll ever make it. Will Daddy Grizzle be able to keep his cub busy until the big day?

 

Little Hedgehog and his friends are so excited to spend Christmas together. They pick out a tree and decorate it, then happily go to bed. But the next morning, everyone is grumpy! “You stepped on my paws!” cries Fox. “I can’t find my socks!” moans Rabbit. “Who was snoring all night long?” grumbles a tired Badger.  And someone even ate one of the cookies that had been hung on the tree! Is their Christmas ruined?

Big Mouse and Little Mouse are busy preparing their home for Christmas. Little Mouse realizes they’re missing the holly, so he sets out to find some. Suddenly, soft white flakes fall from the sky, and Little Mouse thinks the sky is coming apart! Lively text and inviting illustrations make this book the perfect way to experience the magic of Christmas.

To find these and other Tiger Tales books, please visit their website at www.tigertalesbooks.com

Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini

If Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini doesn’t melt your heart and make your eyes glisten, you might be the Grinch.

It has been hard for Maggie to watch her beloved Nana becomes ill and bedridden. She believes wishing on stars is too risky, so, with her mother’s help, she writes down her wishes for Nana and plants them where they can grow.

It’s not often that a children’s picture book can make you pause, appreciate life and your loved ones, and truly make you think. Where Wishes Grow is able to do that and more. It is a profoundly touching story, clearly born out of someone’s heart, that shows how caring for and loving each other can turn one child’s dismay into happiness. Artist Pauline Aksay is able to capture all this emotion so beautifully with the artwork for Where Wishes Grow. Her unique style is soft and warm.

My children are too old for this book now, but I might have to keep it because it is too beautiful to give away.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 56 pages
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing (August 31, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1988856000
ISBN-13: 978-1988856001

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses by Michelle Nott

Freddy and Hoppie go to school, but numbers are smooshed together, words blur, and the wrong answers make classmates snicker. After a week, Freddy knows it’s time to tell his mom what’s going on, but admitting you need help can be hard.

Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses by Michelle Nott is an adorable story about a young boy opening up to his mother about an ongoing problem with his eyes. His imaginary friend helps him, but at some point Freddy must work up the courage to share what he is dealing with so he can get better. This story will touch the heart and make it easier for young people who might be struggling with vision problems to open up and to have some idea of what to expect. The ending is so sweet. The story is made better by the colorful and fun artwork of Robert Lee Beers. From facial expressions, to background details, to that silly and cute little Hoppie frog, the illustrations are the perfect complement to a wonderful story. I look forward to more books from Michelle Nott soon.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; Large type / large print edition edition (February 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616337338
ISBN-13: 978-1616337339

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Enter the 12 Days of Christmas Books Giveaway

 

Some of my fellow Christian children’s authors and I have gotten together to offer you the chance to win copies of our books during the 12 Days of Christmas Books Giveaway. Today my book, A Christmas Kindness, is featured. You can find today’s post at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2018/11/28/12-days-of-christmas-books-featuring-a-christmas-kindness-by-cheryl-malandrinos/

Wishing you a blessed Christmas season.

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis

If your child enjoys books with strong female protagonists, a hint of mystery, and the joy of Christmas, then Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis will be a perfect gift.

It’s a few weeks before Christmas and Sophie and her friends are busy as school is coming to a close before the break. When Sophie begins receiving presents from a secret Santa, she can only guess who it might be. Is it one of her friends or one of the boys she knows? The answer might surprise her.

Though this is the seventh book in the Sophie Washington series, it’s the first one I’ve read. It’s a quick, fun chapter book with cute illustrations. As the reader gets to know Sophie and her friends, they eagerly turn the pages to see if they can figure out who Sophie’s secret Santa really is. Sophie is spunky and she has a love him/not so in love with him relationship with her younger brother that makes her even more relatable. In addition to the mysterious Santa, the book also addresses the topic of bullying. I don’t think we can have enough books that tackle this issue, and I like the author’s handling of it within this story.

If you set a story at Christmas, you’ve already partially won my heart. Sophie Washington: Secret Santa also inspires me to check out the previous books in the series to follow more of Sophie’s adventures.

EXCERPT:

“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!”

“Be quiet, Cole!” I put my hands over my ears to muffle my brother’s out-of-tune singing and focus back on my laptop to finish my English essay. It’s less than three weeks until winter break and my teachers have been piling on the assignments to make sure we get our end of semester grades in.

There sure is a big change between fifth and sixth grade, workwise, at Xavier Academy, the private school my brother and I go to. Between all the essays and projects and studying for final exams, I feel I can barely take time to pat my dog, Bertram, when I get home; whereas, my eight-year-old brother Cole acts like he’s already on vacation.

Since we got home from school an hour ago, he’s been living it up, shooting hoops in the driveway, eating a snack and now playing on the handheld video game player that my mother would make him put up if she were downstairs with us. I ought to tell on him now…

Ding Dong!

The doorbell interrupts my thoughts.

“Can you get it, Sophie?” Mom yells from upstairs. “I’m putting some clothes in the closet.”

I would ask her why she wants me to answer the door, and not Cole, but I already know the answer: “Because you’re the oldest.”

Of course, that logic doesn’t hold when it comes to who gets the first dessert or who doesn’t have to do the dishes at night. As the baby of the family and favored child, my little brother has got it made.

I trudge to the front door in time to see the mail carrier heading back to his truck. He’s left a medium-sized box on the porch. Wonder what it is?

My mother sometimes has holiday packages delivered to the house, but Cole and I haven’t made our Christmas lists yet, so I doubt it’s anything for us. I open the door, pick the package up, and check out the label. It’s got my name on it in bright, red ink, “Sophie Washington.”

Who could this be from?

I never get any mail, except for birthday gifts my Granny Washington sends to our house in Houston from Corpus Christi when she can’t be here, and I don’t remember my parents ordering anything for us online. Granny is driving up to see us tomorrow, so I doubt she would mail presents here when she could just bring them with her.

“Mom, I got a package!” I call out.

“What is it?” Cole bounds from the family room to stare at the box as I set it on the kitchen counter.

“Back off, Cole, it’s mine,” I move him to the side with my hip and take a closer look at the delivery. The box is wrapped in brown paper, and there is no return address. It looks difficult to open with my fingers, so I pull a butter knife out of a drawer in the kitchen and slit through the tape on the side. A sweet, sugary scent fills the air.

“Cool!” exclaims Cole in appreciation as the brown wrapping slides off to reveal a box filled with packages of licorice, gummy bears, gum, and red and green M&Ms. I notice a typed note underneath.

Dear Sophie,
Hope your day is super sweet!
Your Secret Santa

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 2 – 6
Series: Sophie Washington (Book 7)
Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Page Turner Publishing (September 10, 2018)
Language: English

Digital version available for only 99 cents!

Also available in softcover!

Website: tonyaduncanellis.com

Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks

Twitter: @TonyaDEllis

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

GIVEAWAY

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway