Ann is a very good friend of mine now, but I wouldn't know her if it weren't for this blog. Shortly after she moved to Germany (she's since moved back to the US), she wrote me an e-mail telling me she loved my blog and she lived in Frankfurt too. Isn't that cool? We've bonded over games of Time's Up, two trips to Italy together, trivia nights, and tons of sushi. I am so thrilled that she's finding picture book success (not only is POCKET out, but she has THREE books coming out in 2011 and one slated for 2013 - check out her website for more details).
This is what she says about POCKET:
When writing Pocket’s Christmas Wish, I wanted to convey my own sense of the meaning of Christmas. For me it is not about presents and commercialism, but about a feeling--a spirit of the season. This spirit is hard to capture on paper, but I do think that it contains love, joy, memory, promise, and comfort, just as Pocket discovers on his journey. And it is about giving--not just gifts, but giving of yourself to others, which hopefully continues all year round.Isn't that inspiring? POCKET is a heartwarming tale that is neither religious nor commercial - a rare thing in the Christmas picture book market. It's found its' way under the tree of my favorite little tykes.
And now, please welcome Ann Bonwill:
Newer Christmas Faves:
2. SHALL I KNIT YOU A HAT? A CHRISTMAS YARN - Kate Klise/M. Sarah Klise (Square Fish, 2007) - Mother Rabbit knits a hat to keep Little Rabbit's ears warm in the snow. Her gift kicks off a collaboration between mother and son as they work together to make hats for all their friends. Not only is this a snuggly story of friendship and giving, but the hats make fantastic fashion statements. Break out your knitting needles.
4. SANTA'S STUCK - Rhonda Gowler Greene/Henry Cole (Puffin, 2006) - I can definitely relate to eating too many Christmas cookies! Unfortunately for Santa, all this munching results in getting stuck in the chimney. Not to worry, with a little help from his animal friends Santa is soon on his way. Fun rhymes make this one a great read aloud.
Childhood Favorites (that are still available!):
1. MR WILLOWBY'S CHRISTMAS TREE - Robert Barry (Doubleday, 2000) - Originally published in 1963, this fun Christmas classic was reprinted in 2000 with full color washes. An ode to recycling before its time, it tells the story of a giant Christmas tree that bring happiness to many, from a Monopoly-like millionaire to a tiny mouse family.
2. Richard Scarry's FAVORITE CHRISTMAS CAROLS - Richard Scarry (Sterling, 2009) - True, I was a teenager when this one first came out in 1990, but I'm putting it on my childhood list since Richard Scarry was one of my favorite childhood illustrators. I'm not usually a fan of books that make noise, but who can resist the play-along keyboard attached to this jolly volume of carols. It was reprinted in 2009, perfect timing for my son to enjoy Scarry's wonderful animal illustrations.
4. TALES FROM MOOMINVALLEY - Tove Jansson (Square Fish, 2010) - OK, so I'm cheating and this isn't a picture book, but I can't miss an opportunity to talk about my favorite characters, the Moomintrolls. This reissued collection of stories includes one holiday tale, The Fir Tree, in which the Moomins wake up from hibernation just in time to experience the mystery of Christmas.
There you have it, my Christmas library. And while I'm at it, I can't resist mentioning two of my favorite Christmas movies - A Christmas Story for pure nostalgia, and White Christmas for pure glamour. In fact, I am off to watch White Christmas right now... Happy holidays to all!
What are some of your Christmas season picture book favorites?