Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hot Tips for Christmas: New York Times Best Sellers for Kids

Nancy can't wait to see the splendiferous tree topper she bought with her own savings adorning the Clancy family Christmas tree, but when an unforseen calamity occurs, Granpa has just the right advice to save the celebration. And sitting atop the best sellers' lists this week is Jane O'Connor's Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas, reviewed here on December 1.

Nancy Clancy knows how to enjoy the holiday season, and among all the toys and tinsel, what gift gives pleasure any longer than a great read from the "top ten" books for children this week from the New York Times list? Here are the other best-sellers.

In Glenn Beck's The Christmas Sweater, the teenaged Eddie, hoping for a fancy bike for Christmas, scorns his hard-working mother's handknit gift of a red sweater, and when his weary mom dies in a car crash on the way home, turns his anger on his grandparents. (Grades 6-9)

Legos and Star Wars? Not my area of expertise, but here's what the professionals have to say about Simon Beecroft's LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. "If you like the LEGO Star Wars sets and minifigs, you will love this book. If you put it down long enough to let your kids read it, I can pretty much guarantee they'll like it, too." - (Ages 4 and up)

In Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle, by Brian Dennis and Mary Nethery, Nubs is adopted from a pack of wild Iraqi dogs, and when Dennis is relocated to another sector, tracks his owner across miles of desert. (Ages 4-8)

Jerry Pinkney's The Lion & the Mouse, a highly praised, nearly wordless picture book, retells in beautiful illustrations of life on the Serengeti Plain the fable of the lion and the mouse, in which no good deed goes unrewarded. (Ages 4-8)

If the moon is made of green cheese, it figures that Mars must be made of red pepper, and Judy Schachner's spicy Siamese is out to find out in her latest feline frolic, Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice. (Ages 4-8)

Rufus Butler Seder's novel scanimation-illustrated books have been the hit of the year, and his latest, Waddle!: A Scanimation Picture Book, (Scanimation Picture Books), celebrating animal locomotion, is no exception. For more about how Seder uses this fascinating illustrative device with jolly rhyming text, see my full review here. (Ages 4-10)

In their Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies, actress-singer Andrews and daughter Emily Hamilton have created a beautifully illustrated anthology which seems to please adults as well as children and is on its way to becoming a new classic collection. (Ages 4 and up)

In boldly illustrated style, Lucy Cousins (of Maisie fame) restyles her assortment of famous fairy tales, Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales, all facetiously food related, with all their original Grimm Brothers' punch, in language that appeals to boys as well as princess fanciers.(Ages 3-8)

Amazing engineering design and stand-out text make White Noise: A Pop-up Book for Children of All Ages, the next in David A. Carter's color books, a work which will delight children and adults alike. (Ages 2 and up)



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