The holiday season is finally, truly here. We can go ice skating and make cookies and drink hot chocolate. We can decorate our houses and have festive parties with friends and sing Christmas carols. It is the season of giving.
Of course, we at Bright Sky Press believe that books are some of the best gifts. I would create a gift guide to help you pick out books for all sorts of people, but I would probably end up recommending all of them. Reading is one of the best things you can do, and you can’t go wrong with any of the titles we publish. Instead, I’m going to talk about a couple of our seasonal children’s books, because nothing is more exciting for a child than the holidays.
It is a magical time of year. Everything is brightly lit, the air is filled with wonderful smells, and there just might be snow on the ground (depending on where you live). People are happier. Children get swept up in this wave of excitement faster than anyone and it isn’t just about presents. They love all of the things that we do about the holidays. It’s important to keep this youthful exuberance alive, and when you combine this with reading, you get these two beautiful children’s books.
The first is Artie: The First Artificial Christmas Tree by Dee Maner. First of all, the watercolor illustrations are just gorgeous. They perfectly capture the warm, family-oriented aspect of the holidays as well as the artistic spirit that the holidays bring out in us when it comes time to decorate. But the story is also heartwarming. It’s about Artie, who is (if it isn’t obvious) the first artificial Christmas tree, and his first Christmas with a family. He isn’t sure that he is as good as a real tree, but he tries to spread the Christmas Spirit anyway. He is successful and loved, and Santa reassures him that he is just as good as a real tree. His Christmas Spirit is genuine. This story is not only one about trying to fit in when you are the odd one out—it is also about embracing change. In this new world where so many things can be replaced with artificial or technological versions, it is hard not to pick a side. This story teaches us that we don’t have to. Sometimes the new things are just as good as the old. (And it doesn’t even matter if they are better; the older things have a history that is important to remember and cherish.) Change can be a good thing, and being open to it is even better.
The second book is The Magic Gingerbread House by P. M. Franks. This is a truly magical story about children who make a gingerbread house for the elves to visit right before Christmas. The elves come and exchange notes with the children. The two girls make friends with another girl who has just moved there. This story is definitely about the magic of Christmas and how important it is to believe. It is a great book for children to read because they may have similar traditions and might get inspired to try this one. And who doesn’t love gingerbread houses? It’s an excellent way to help the Christmas spirit thrive. The book also has a good balance between the anything-is-possible mentality that this season tends to encourage and a more realistic message about what the season of giving truly means. It is also especially important to value your relationships at this time of year.
I hope you pick up one or both of these books to read to a child in your life, because these books are great candidates to become holiday favourites. Have a marvellous holiday season.
Bright Sky Press, where Texas Meets Books the Holidays.