New from Wee Creek Press: Mr. Poot’s Christmas by Emma Wildes

mr poot

Snow is falling, there is a sparkling tree in the living room, and Mr. Poot wonders just what he might get for a holiday treat. Surely a dashing feline like him needs deserves something unique. Little does he know his family has something very special in mind…

Recommended For Ages 3 – 7
EBook formats ISBN: 978-1-61160-925-7
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-61160-926-4



An Interview with Ernest from DEAR SANTASAURUS by Stacy McAnulty


Ernest B. Spinosaurus tries to stay on Santasaurus’ nice list, but he’s good at breaking stuff and really, really good at getting caught.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (October 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590788761
ISBN-13: 978-1590788769

An Interview with Ernest from DEAR SANTASAURUS

ernestMeet Ernest B. Spinosaurus. He’s a young dinosaur from the Cretaceous period. He’s here today to answer some of my questions.

The book, DEAR SANTASAURUS, is a collection of your letters that you wrote to Santasaurus all year long. Most kids write one letter. You wrote 16. Why?

I really wrote like a million. These were just my favorite. I think Santasaurus likes getting my letters. He’s never said it, but I’m pretty sure that I’m his favorite Spinosaurus.

Do you write letters to other dinosaurs?

Yep! I like to write my dad notes when he goes to the grocery store, so he remembers to buy Chocolate Meteor Bite cereal. (He always forgets!) I also write letters to my gram, and my best-friend Ty, and to the president, and to my favorite stuntdino Pteranodon the Terrible.

Do you think you will be a writer when you grow up?

No. I want to be a mail carrier. Maybe a stuntdino mail carrier.

In your letters to Santasaurus, you admit to getting in trouble often. Why do you think this is?

Adults have sooooo many rules. I forget a lot of them a lot of times. Like I forget I’m not supposed to eat off the floor. I’m not supposed to play near active volcanoes. I’m not supposed to paint my sister. Like I said, there are a lot of rules. I wish Mom and Dad would make a list.

Besides the Jurassic Turbo Scooter X9 that you’ve asked for in your letters, do you have another Christmas wish?

I hope all kids gets what they want! And maybe moms and dads too. We can all be happy at the same time. That would be awesome.

Merry Christmas everyone!


This interview with Ernest B. Spinosaurus is part of Stacy McAnulty’s DEAR SANTASAURUS blog tour. And with each stop on the blog tour, Stacy is making Christmas cookies.

Today’s cookie is a Snickerdoodle.


(visit for the recipe)






Stacy lives in North Carolina with her three children, two dogs, and one husband. She loves writing letters, Christmas, dinosaurs, and cookies. DEAR SANTASAURUS (Boyd Mills Press, 2013) is her first picture book. For more information on Stacy, please visit

Seasonal Stories with Great Messages

the-gift-of-the-magiI received a box of books for Michael Neugebauer Publishing from their publicist. I’ve only had a chance to read a couple of them, but as soon as I did, I had to share them with you.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry with pictures by Sonja Danowski

This edition takes the classic story by O. Henry and sets it to beautiful artwork by Sonja Danowski. The oversized hardcover makes a perfect coffee table book. I usually display my seasonal titles throughout the house at Christmas time, so this one will prominently be displayed in the reading room.

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, it goes something like this. Della and Jim are a young married couple who desire to give each other a special Christmas gift. After a year of scrimping and saving, Della discovers she has very little money to purchase a gift for Jim. But she soon comes up with an idea for how she can get enough money to buy him just what he needs, which leads to some surprises on Christmas Eve.

Keeping in mind that O. Henry lived from 1862-1910, the text is much more eloquent than one would expect of a picture book today. The author was also known for his wit and his wordplay, so some of the prose might not hit its mark with a younger audience. This would make a great read aloud for families.

ISBN-13: 9789888240579
Publisher: minedition
Publication date: 11/1/2013
Pages: 32
Ages 9 and up

The Message of the Birds by Kate Westerlund and illustrated by Feridun Oralbirds

The Message of the Birds starts off with the old owl telling the story of the birth of a special child long ago in a stable, where all the animals hear the baby’s coos as a song of blessing and good will. The birds then ask why they don’t sing it anymore. After many possible reasons are given, the robin suggests sharing the message with the children. So the birds fly far and wide, telling every bird to share the message with every child, which the children then share with the world.

This is a touching story made lovelier by the stunning artwork of Feridun Oral. If you want to add meaning to your Christmas, this is great book to share with your family.

ISBN-13: 9789888240555
Publisher: minedition
Publication date: 11/1/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 32
Age range: 3 – 5 Years


I received free copies of these books. These reviews contain my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Little Santa by John Agee


Ever wonder what Santa was like as a child? Award-winning author/illustrator Jon Agee brings us the funny, playful answer in this Christmas picture book destined to become a classic.

Little Santa loves the North Pole. The rest of his family? Not so much. So, when they decide to move to Florida, Santa is miserable. Lucky for him, a blizzard foils their plans. The only way out of the house is up the chimney. Up goes Santa, to look for help, and along the way, he meets a reindeer and a large group of elves, who are more than eager to join in the rescue!

With the sly humor of Jon Klassen and the read-aloud pleasure of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this tale of Santa’s beginnings is perfect for every kid’s holiday library.

From Booklist: *Starred Review* Mr. and Mrs. Claus live at the North Pole with their children—Larry, Mary, Willy, Millie, Joey, Zoe, and Santa. Life’s not easy, what with the constant chores. Only little Santa (decked out in a red-hooded onesie) savors both the work and the fun of living in a snowy land. Also, he likes sliding down the sooty chimney. Finally, the Claus family has had enough. They are moving to Florida—until a blizzard snows them in. It’s up to Santa to climb up the chimney and get help, first in the form of a flying reindeer and then from a houseful of elves. The story itself is amusing, albeit a bit thin, but the pictures are flat-out wonderful. A clever oversize design gives the pages importance, and the art has the same scope and vision. Using a mostly snow-white background (natch), Agee sets up his thickly outlined characters to fill the pages. The scope of the artwork allows readers to see all sorts of clever details. In one inventively packed picture of the elves at work, viewers are able to pick out Santa only by his red hood. In fact, most of the funny moments come in the art, as when Santa initially spies the reindeer, and he is buried so deep in the snow that he thinks the animal’s horns are a tree branch. Thanks to the short text and big pictures, this will be especially fine for holiday story hours. Make it a tradition! Preschool-Kindergarten. –Ilene Cooper

“Santa’s origins are explained in [this] quirky exploration of how Santa, the elves and the flying reindeer found their callings . . . A cheerful, original Christmas tale.”—Kirkus (starred review)

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Dial (October 17, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803739060
ISBN-13: 978-0803739062


Picture Book Idea Month – Day 21

The days keep flying by. Hard to belive that Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) is almost over. Coordinated by Tara Lazar, this annual event asks writers to set a goal of coming up with 30 picture book ideas during the 30 days of November. Here are my latest ideas:

PICTURE BOOK IDEA #19: How about a story of an ingenious turkey who comes up with ways to avoid being part of Thanksgiving dinner? I saw this cartoon about a turkey who crocheted a kitty hat to avoid the farmer’s butcher axe. I thought it would make a great idea for a funny kid’s book.

PICTURE BOOK IDEA #20:  In A Kitten for Christmas, a young girl tries to show her parents how responsible she can be so they will buy her a kitten for Christmas.

PICTURE BOOK IDEA #21: The Candy Store finds a young boy dreaming of what it would be like to own his own candy store.

Picture Book Idea Month – Day 18

It’s Day 18 of Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). Coordinated by Tara Lazar, this annual event asks writers to set a goal of coming up with 30 picture book ideas during the 30 days of November.

PICTURE BOOK IDEA #18: This might not be the best idea I’ve ever come up with, but how about Happy Valentine’s Day, Not! the story of a little girl who is grossed out by the boy who gives her a valentine at school. Boys have cooties after all. She does everything to avoid the kid the rest of the day, until a bully picks on her and the boy comes to her aid. Maybe he isn’t so yucky after all.

Picture Book Idea Month – Day 17

Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).  This is the last week before the church’s annual bazaar. I had a meeting this morning. Oh, and while I am typing this, nine screaming girls ranging in age from 6 to 11 are two doors down for the Lil Princess’ sleepover birthday party.  While the mind has been willing, the eyes and fingers have been weary. PiBoIdMo is coordinated by Tara Lazar, this annual event asks writers to set a goal of coming up with 30 picture book ideas during the 30 days of November.

PICTURE BOOK IDEA #15: Easter Bunny Socks is a silly story about the year the Easter Bunny decides to deliver multi-colored socks instead of treat-filled eggs. He can’t hack the pressure from people wanting him to deliver healthy snacks instead of chocolate eggs, so he takes up knitting with odd results.

PICTURE BOOK IDEA #16: Flag Day Fiasco, the school’s flag goes missing on Flag Day. The kids need to find it before the annual Flag Day celebration.

PICTURE BOOK IDEA #17: I Want to Be A Mattress Tester is the story of one little girl’s desire to test mattresses for a living.