Seasonal Titles: A Christmas Angel and One Family’s Christmas by Mary Jean Kelso, Illustrated by K.C. Snider

Melissa is a young girl who moves with her family to Oregon via The Oregon Trail. She has been allowed to bring one prized possession and she struggles to see that the porcelain angel that has topped the family Christmas tree makes the journey safely.

Read an excerpt!

Melissa inspected the angel carefully before handing her over to William. She straightened the small gown of white velvet. She carefully arranged the sleeves over its arms that stretched out as if to grasp the season with joy. She felt the downy fluff of its wings. Finally, she adjusted the tiny golden halo and handed the angel to William. She watched as he stretched to reach the top of the tree. William turned and looked mischievously at her. He acted as if he were about to drop the angel.

“William, do be careful!” Melissa shrieked.

Read the reviews!

“This is a lovely book about friendship between two very different people from opposite cultures. It is also a tale about hope and the magic of Christmas. Children will delight in the colorful illustrations as they learn about the Oregon Trail and the pioneers, their hardships and dreams of a better life. At the end of the book there’s a section with activities and information about the pilgrims, as well as a game and a map. The Christmas Angel will make a lovely Christmas gift to any child as well as an excellent tool for teachers to teach this era of American history.” –Mayra Calvani, Midwest Book Review

“The Christmas Angel is a very heartwarming story that I think not only children, but people of any age will delight in. This poignant tale not only touches the heart but allows the reader to be a part of the wonderful journey. The magnificent illustrations, along with the tender tale, are truly captivating. It is one that I know I will treasure. I can tell Ms. Kelso really put her heart into this wonderful read. I fell in love with The Christmas Angel.” –Linda L. Lattimer, Author/Reviewer and Literacy in the Schools Advocate

“In The Christmas Angel Mary Jean Kelso writes about a girl traveling westward with her family in a wagon train. Her adventures are related in a lively, colorfully illustrated tale that brings the frontier to life for young readers.” –Eric N. Moody, Author/Publisher, Curator of Manuscripts, Nevada Historical Society

PURCHASE THE CHRISTMAS ANGEL AT: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/christmas-angel.htm AND http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Angel-Mary-Jean-Kelso/dp/1933090588/

After a family’s star for their Christmas tree is destroyed they search for another ornament to top the tree. They resurrect the treetop angel carried across The Oregon Trail by a young pioneer and bring the story of The Christmas Angel full circle.

Read an excerpt!

Derrick turned the bright red glass in his hand and looked at the elf ’s big ears and mouth. The elf ’s painted lips smiled at him.

During the previous holiday season, Derrick had been two years old. This year he couldn’t remember what a real Christmas tree looked like. But he remembered that Mom had set him on some strange man’s lap. He hadn’t liked that at all. He had screamed and stiffened his body until he slid off the stranger’s red clad legs. Somebody flashed a picture and shoved a candy cane in his hand. He heard laughter when his mother whisked him away.

Read the reviews!

“I have been anxiously awaiting the sequel to The Christmas Angel, and One Family’s Christmas is certainly worth the wait. I think I enjoyed this book even more than the first one in the series as it reminded me so much of myself. I have a love of history and could appreciate this family’s excitement over finding the angel heirloom in their attic, and the pride they felt in being able to display it on their Christmas tree. These two books together will make for some great discussions in your family. I especially appreciate the extra pages at the end, explaining genealogy and how to learn more about your own family lineage. As a homeschool mother, I’m always looking for those added “extras” that make a book more educational.”Reviewed by Heidi Strawser

PURCHASE  ONE FAMILY’S CHRISTMAS AT: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/1-familys-xmas.htm AND http://www.amazon.com/Familys-Christmas-Mary-Jean-Kelso/dp/1935137050/

Mary Jean Kelso is a multi-genre’ author. Besides Cowboy James, RV Mouse, The Christmas Angel, and its sequel, One Family’s Christmas, and the Andy & the Albino Horse series, she is the author of the young adult Lynne Garrett series: Goodbye Is Forever, Abducted!, and Sierra Summer. Also Kat’s Cradle, Blue Coat, and The Homesteader series.

Mary Jean wrote for many newspapers and magazines and was an Asst. Editor prior to concentrating on fiction for children, young adults and adults. Mary Jean recently received awards from The Nevada Press Assn. and The National Press Assn. as a correspondent for The Lahontan Valley News. She is a member of Made in Nevada– www.madeinNV.com
Visit Mary Jean on the Web at www.authorsden.com/maryjeankelso

 

KC Snider, a prominent award-winning Oregon artist, has branched out into a variety of styles and subjects. Her collection of oil paintings, lithographs, and pencil drawings include the All-American Cowboy and Cowgirl and their historical lifestyles with magnificent wolves, buffalo herds, eagles and birds of prey along with horses and domestic animals. Her artwork has won numerous awards including the Snaffle Bit Award and the Pioneer Award.

Snider lives in the high desert with majestic views of the Cascade Mountains’ snow capped peaks. K.C. also illustrates children’s books: Cowboy James; A Star in the Night; Alleycat; The Christmas Angel; Preston, the Not-So-Perfect Pig; One Family’s Christmas; Cartwheel Annie; The Magic Violin; Does Heaven Get Mail?; Andy & The Albino Horse Series; Baby Jesus is Missing; Katydidn’t; A Short Tale About a Long Tail; Monster Maddie; RV Mouse; Frederico, the Mouse Violinist; Stilts the Stork; The Milk Horse & Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind. Visit KC at www.kcsniderart.com and blog.kcsniderart.com

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Secret Service Saint by Janet Ann Collins

 The legend of St. Nicholas comes alive in this touching story by Janet Ann Collins. Loosely based upon the legend we all know of the gift-giving Greek Bishop, Nikolaos of Myra, in Secret Service Saint, Nicholas is seen as being keen on adventure. When he is shipwrecked and forced to swim ashore, he finds the people happy to see him. They had been praying God would send someone to lead their church. They make him a special red robe and hat, so everyone will know how important he is. After a time, Nicholas feels his life no longer is filled with adventure. When God gives him a secret charge, Nicholas finds a way to help the people and satisfy his need for adventure too.

I have to admit, I’ve never read much about the saint who Santa Claus is based upon. It’s odd considering I was brought up Catholic, where saints are revered, but Secret Service Saint made me want to perform some additional research into what I could find. For kids, this is a charming story of how a man is changed by God’s will for his life. Told using words and actions young people can understand, they will easily be able to grasp the message of servanthood and true discipleship behind the story.

Talented artist, Eugene Ruble, provided the illustrations for this book. It was his work on Secret Service Saint that led me to feel he would be perfect to bring my book, Little Shepherd, to life. The illustrations for this book are mostly black and white, but some of the people and other special items are colored in with pencil to give an old world feel to the story. It works beautifully.

I’m glad I purchased a copy of this book from Guardian Angel Publishing earlier this year. You’ll love the message this book teaches and your kids will enjoy talking about Saint Nicholas in a new way.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10:1935137980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935137986
  • SRP:  $9.95

A Christmas Secret by Candace Hall

Jingle bells, Jingle bells,

Seasonal books are on the way!

Get your kids in the holiday spirit by sharing with them A Christmas Secret by Candace Hall.

Santa’s reindeer discover a lost black kitten named O’Malley while they are helping Santa deliver presents on Christmas Eve. Unable to find his home, they hide O’Malley on the sleigh and keep his presence a secret from Santa. Once they arrive back at the North Pole, many of the residents help take care of the tired, hungry little kitten. What would Santa say if he knew?

This is an unbelieveably adorable story. You have Santa’s reindeer acting like a kid hiding something he discovered on the way home from school. They know they’re not supposed to bring O’Malley home, but what are they going to do? It’s cold out. Besides, isn’t Christmas the season of peace, love, and joy? While I wish the interior illustrations were in color, they are still cute. The small size of the book makes it easy for little hands to hold too.

Your children will be enchanted by A Christmas Secret by Candace Hall.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Tate Publishing
  • ISBN-10:1617773530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617773532
  • SRP:  $7.99

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide my review.

Christmas Children’s Books

I love reading books set around Christmas. Children’s books are some of the most fun. I’m proud to say that Little Shepherd is among the many possible choices you have when selecting a Christmas children’s book for the young person in your life. There are, however, many other great books around this time of year. This video trailer mentions just a few.

Here are some lists of titles you can check out that others have suggested:

G. Powell’s list on Amazon can be found at: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Childrens-Christmas-books/lm/H65O5OCPJUKR

Elizabeth Kinney put together this list a few years back that includes slides of book covers:  http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/holidays/ss/christmas2004.htm

Apples 4 the Teacher suggests these ones: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/christmas/kids-books/

They also suggested this list of Christian Christmas children’s books: http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/christmas-religious/kids-books/

This is another list from Amazon. This one comes to you from Cassandra W.: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Christmas-Books-for-Kids/lm/F64KKM87CA3H

And last but not least, here are some of my personal favorites:

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Kat Whelan. This lovely book from tiger tales has a cute Santa Mouse who visits the Mouse family on Christmas Eve. The pages are cardstock and have glitter accents.

A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas by Ralph Covert and G. Riley Mills, illustrated by Wilson Swain. This book came out in 2009 from Chronicle Books. It takes the traditional nutcracker story and turns it on its ear.

Fritz is left home on Christmas Eve with his neighbor. All he wants to do is play his video game, but it’s been locked in the closet because he broke his sister’s doll. Fritz sneaks the game out of the closet and begins playing, sending him on a magical journey to Christmas Wood where he must help the Nutcracker defeat the Mouse King’s evil plan.

The Christmas Pumpkin by Debbie Reese, illustrated by Ron Head. This award-winning book from BeeBop Books tells the story of a young boy whose father gives him a green pumpkin at the end of the harvest season. The boy decides to decorate it for Christmas, but everyone he tells this it’s idea. That is until he meets up with a kind old man with a long white beard who offers him some help.

Baby Jesus is Missing by Dixie Phillips, illustrated by K.C. Snider. This book is from my publisher, Guardian Angel Publishing. When I read books like this one, it makes me realize all over again why I wanted them to be the ones to bring Little Shepherd to readers.

In this book, Mommy and Daddy are all tied up with winning the neighborhood Christmas decorating contest, but young Josiah is worried about something else–Baby Jesus is missing from their wooden manager scene, and you can’t have Christmas without Jesus. Baby Jesus is Missing features some of artist K.C. Snider’s wonderful winter scene illustrations that I love so much.

One Family’s Christmas by Mary Jean Kelso, illustrated by K.C. Snider. Another book from Guardian Angel Publishing, find young Derrick going up to the dreaded attic with his father to find the Christmas decorations. When they discover the Christmas angel that once traveled the Oregon Trail, Derrick and his older sister vow to protect the angel just as those who brought along the trail did many years before them.

All the books on my list and many of the others mentioned are available at Amazon.com.



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