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.



Bookmark & Share