Staff Picks - 2019 Kids Holiday

The Staff Picks 2019 Holiday Kids Catalog can also be viewed or printed as a PDF
Staff Picks 2019 Holiday Kids Catalog (7.1MB)
Little Robin's ChristmasLittle Robin's Christmas by Jan Fearnley. A countdown of the seven days before Christmas. This is a warm-hearted book about a little robin named Little Robin, the spirit of giving, and gifts that come from looking out for one’s friends. The author’s illustrations are funny and sweet⁠—there’s even a visit by Mr. and Mrs. Claus! ~ Beth Byrne
The Tree That's Meant to BeThe Tree That's Meant to Be by Yuval Zommer. A heartfelt holiday story about a lonely Christmas tree who learns what it means to be loved, and also how to love yourself. A perfect book to spark conversation about kindness, celebrating what makes us unique, and the true meaning of Christmas. ~ Angela Turon
Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas ForeverDasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever by Matt Tavares. A very sweet, beautifully illustrated origin story of how Santa's team of reindeer came to be, all due to the actions of a brave little doe and the one wish she kept in her heart. ~ Jessica Wood
Christmas Is Coming! An Advent BookChristmas Is Coming! An Advent Book by Katie Hickey. Whether you’re singing a carol, crafting an ornament, or playing a game, the entire family will enjoy this sweetly illustrated book. A lovely and creative alternative to the traditional advent calendar, bound to be a keepsake for years to come. ~ Linda Then
The Shortest DayThe Shortest Day by Susan Cooper & Carson Ellis. A beautiful ode to the rituals and celebrations passed on through the ages as communities would gather to stave off the dark and to usher in a new year filled with light on the night of the solstice. ~ Jessica Wood
Most Wonderful Gift in the WorldMost Wonderful Gift in the World by Mark Sperring & Lucy Fleming. A delightful story about the true meaning of Christmas and friendship. Fleming’s bright illustrations show friends Esme and Bear discovering a present that is not theirs. When they fi nd the recipient, they see that she does not have a single gift but the one they hold in their hands. Or does she? After all, Santa just might have saved the best gift for last. ~ Jeanette
How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague. Another hilarious Jane Yolen dinosaur book that speaks to children on how—or how not to—behave on Chanukah. Text that rhymes coupled with superb illustrations. ~ Gail Cosgriff
Good Night HanukkahGood Night Hanukkah by Adam Gamble & Mark Jasper. A perfectly detailed look at the Festival of Lights. Gamble and Jasper have created a board book highlighting each family’s celebrations with foods, songs, the Menorah, games, gift giving, and the meaning behind the celebration. From playing the Dreidel game, to giving back to those less fortunate, this introduction to the holiday is for everyone. ~ Jeanette
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten BlocksLook Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds. Friends, foes, family, strangers, school buses, skateboards, bullies, and boogers. In his unique voice, Reynolds tells 10 different stories about what happens on the way home from school. With a brilliant balance of humor and gravity, this book tackles some pretty heavy topics with solid respect. ~ Linda Then
Words on FireWords on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen. Words on Fire is an exciting historical fiction journey full of adventure, friendship, and harrowing escapes. Set during the Russian occupation of Lithuania, this story tells the tale of preserving one’s culture and language. As character Lucas states, “...our weapons today are cleverness, and courage, and words.” These words can easily be applied in the 21st century. They show that passion for a cause can make an impact. ~ Wendy Marie
Craft-tastic Yeti String Art - Ann Williams Group CT1953Craft-tastic Yeti String Art - Ann Williams Group CT1953 . Make a sweet Yeti and a sparkly snowflake with string! No hammer or nails needed, making this a perfect activity for the artistic ones in your house. This kit includes two art canvases, string foam, and instructions.
Lite Flite LED Flying Ball - Island Genius 8001Lite Flite LED Flying Ball - Island Genius 8001. Your own mini drone! This cool LED flying ball is a mini drone you can fly without a remote control. Easy to fly. Simply wave your hand underneath the flyer to maintain a stable hover.
ExplorersExplorers by Matthew Cordell. By the author of the Caldecott Medal-winning Wolf in the Snow, this is a lively story told without words. The vibrant ink and watercolor illustrations invite the reader to accompany a boy and his family on an outing to a natural history museum. He learns lessons about the perils of possessiveness and control, and the joys of being open to new experiences and people. I loved this book! ~ Beth Byrne
How to Put a Whale in a SuitcaseHow to Put a Whale in a Suitcase by Raul Guridi. A conceptual and evocative picture book posing the question, "What would you take with you if you had to leave home suddenly?" The boy in the story, on the verge of a long journey, finds a way to fit his beloved whale into his suitcase. ~ Linda Then
I Love My Glam-Ma!I Love My Glam-Ma! by Samantha Berger & Sujean Rim. I Love My Glam Ma brought back memories of hanging out in my grandma’s kitchen and helping her cook fabulous Italian meals. Many folks have a special name for their grandmas, and Berger begins with this premise. Glam-mas do a wide variety of things to help and entertain their grandchildren, and they do it with a style all their own. They can be cake bakers or fiesta makers, karate choppers or concert rockers. Each one brings a unique pizzazz to their role and this book celebrates that diversity. ~ Wendy Marie
Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the BorderBetween Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins & Sara Palacios. Sometimes when you read border stories or immigration stories you get caught up in hopelessness, like you’re hearing about the aftermath of a tragedy. Between Us And Abuela is the kind of story that rejects tragedy with the force of the human spirit and goodwill. You close the pages believing we’re that much closer to all people being treated equally and that simple human goodness will win out. I love this book for its different angle and restorative value. ~ Dous Madany
The RangerThe Ranger by Nancy Vo. This starkly beautiful tale reminds us of the intrinsic relationship between humanity and the natural world. More of a fable than a story, the ink and watercolor illustrations imbue it with equal eloquence. ~ Jessica Wood
Love and the Rocking ChairLove and the Rocking Chair by Leo & Diane Dillon. A special tale of enduring love within a family and the fond memories that are shared between those that use the family rocking chair. This heirloom is passed on to new generations, and with it the constant support and love from the family—whether it’s reading stories, having rocking chair races, or welcoming a new baby. ~ Wendy Marie
Sleep: How Nature Gets Its RestSleep: How Nature Gets Its Rest by Kate Prendergast. Highlights the silly and quirky ways animals sleep. From dogs and cats to rhinos and harvest mice, each species has their own fascinating routines and behaviors. Gorgeous illustrations and an extended section at the back of the book that makes this a fascinating nonfiction read for little ones. ~ Gail Cosgriff
Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever HomeStormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home by Guojing. A beautiful tribute to all those stray dogs out there who just want someone they can love and share their life with. This heartwarming book of illustrations carries you through the chance meeting of a dog and a girl as they gain trust in each other. You will cheer in the end! ~ Lori Stalcup
King MouseKing Mouse by Cary Fagan & Dena Seiferling. Fans of Little Bear will adore this sweet tale of friendship, sharing, imagination, and kindness. When a mouse finds a tiny crown in the grass, it sparks a wondrous tale of Kings and Queens, and the importance of inclusion. ~ Angela Turon
The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's GardenThe Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden by Heather Smith & Rachel Wada. Inspired by a true story, this is a beautiful and moving account of loss, love, grief, and recovery. Steeped in the belief that "words on the wind" have a healing effect, Mr. Hirota sets out to ease the grief of his entire village. A story that will resonate for all ages. ~ Jessica Wood
When Everyone Was Fast AsleepWhen Everyone Was Fast Asleep by Tomie dePaola. This book is classic Tomie dePaola. The Fog Maiden and her cat Token are sent to visit a young boy and girl to show them how everyday items can be magical and can take on a life of their own. This board book edition is a beautiful, poetic bedtime fantasy story. A perfect treat for the holidays or anytime. ~ Jeanette
Life as a Mini HeroLife as a Mini Hero by Olivier Tallec. A very amusing look at the trials and tribulations of what it means to be a mini hero. With an array of characters in various scenarios, it becomes clear that the inner lives of mini heroes is just as whirlwind as their very adorable public personas. ~ Jessica Wood
Ruby Finds a Worry (Big Bright Feelings)Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival. One day Ruby, who is usually carefree, discovers she has a "Worry" that is following her around, and it's growing. When she notices her friend also has a "Worry," they discover a solution. If you share your concerns with someone, the "Worry" will go away. ~ Lori Stalcup
Margaret Wise Brown 5-Minute StoriesMargaret Wise Brown 5-Minute Stories by Margaret Wise Brown. Eight original stories by the author of Goodnight Moon, each illustrated by a different artist. The stories cover counting, seasons, adventure, nature, and dreams. Brown teaches children that stories can inspire creativity, and encourages them to anticipate what comes next. The rhymes are as fun for the reader as they are for the child who listens. ~ Beth Byrne
Peace, Love, Action!: Everyday Acts of Goodness from A to ZPeace, Love, Action!: Everyday Acts of Goodness from A to Z by Tanya Zabinski. I learned so many new things reading this gem! Filled with captivating profiles of peaceful activism and mindful living, the author presents an inspirational handbook for your young person’s inner advocate. What would you take a stand for? ~ Linda Then
Paper World: Planet EarthPaper World: Planet Earth by Bomboland. My only objection about this book is that it wasn’t available when I was a kid! With beautiful artwork and enticing flaps, this gorgeous book is an engaging and fresh approach to teaching the beauty and wonders of our one and only home, Planet Earth. ~ Linda Then
Overview, Young Explorer's Edition: A New Way of Seeing EarthOverview, Young Explorer's Edition: A New Way of Seeing Earth by Benjamin Grant & Sandra Markle. Do you have a child who enjoys learning about things, places, and nature? This collection of satellite images of the Earth is for them! They’ll see airplane graveyards, diamond mines, natural landmarks, and oil rigs. Plus, they’ll learn how nature and man have impacted, or could impact, each other ~ Jeanette
The Fountains of SilenceThe Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. From historical fiction rockstar Ruta Sepetys comes a hauntingly beautiful novel about the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and the secrets hidden by governments and families alike. Great for lovers of historical fiction, mysteries, and well-researched novels. Teens and adults! ~ Amy Depoy
Will Byers: Secret Files (Stranger Things)Will Byers: Secret Files (Stranger Things) by Matthew J. Gilbert. Every Stranger Things fan needs this binder full of all sorts of fun memorabilia. Inside you will find photos, drawings, letters, and newspaper clippings, as well as notes written by Will. Sure to be a hit this holiday season. ~ Lori Stalcup
We Are All Greta: Be inspired by Greta Thunberg To Save The World We Are All Greta: Be inspired by Greta Thunberg To Save The World by Valentina Giannella & Manuela Marazzi. This book follows Greta Thunberg’s activism, her rise to fame, and her teachings. Perfect for anyone looking to learn more about what they can do to help save our planet—good for adults, too! ~ Amy Depoy
JackpotJackpot by Nic Stone. A book to remind us of the giving spirit of the holidays. Impoverished Rico teams up with affluent Zan in an enlightening journey which showcases the detriments of living “paycheck to paycheck.” In classic Nic Stone style we are introduced to a host of diverse and supportive characters that make this work sing. Stone touches on absurdity, romance, and generosity of spirit, leaving the reader not with a bitter taste of the unfairness of it all, but rather a belief in the possibility of our actions being the means for change. ~ Dous Madany
Make Trouble Young Readers Edition: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to LeadMake Trouble Young Readers Edition: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead by Cecile Richards & Lauren Peterson. Cecile was a young person fi lled with a burning passion to fi ght for the rights of all people. In this memoir, we learn that from the beginning she was a conscientious objector in school. She continued to push on in her life’s work and eventually became the head of Planned Parenthood. In this role, she was tested by current political entities that wished to “make a deal” by giving up women’s rights for money. Her strength of character prevailed and the fight continues. What will you do? ~ Wendy Marie

Manchester students are such enthusiastic readers, we asked them to write book recommendations for us! We are proud to present seven of our favorites.

Mighty Jack and Zita the SpacegirlMighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. This book is about a boy, Jack, and a spacegirl named Zita, who has to guard a giant door to stop monsters coming in from another dimension. If the monsters get in they will destroy everything, including Earth. Jack helps Zita fight the monsters. I like this book because I enjoy reading about people fighting monsters and destruction. If you like graphic novels with an adventure, you should read this book. ~ David
Shine!Shine! by J. J. & Chris Grabenstein. This book is about a teenage girl named Piper. She has to go to a new school because her dad got a job as a music teacher at that school. Piper struggles with bullies, making friends, and finding out who she wants to be. I like this book because Piper is going through a hard time, but her friends support her. If you like realistic fiction then you'll like this book. ~ Lilly
King of the Mole People (Book 1)King of the Mole People (Book 1) by Paul Gilligan. This book is about a boy named Doug. He is not normal because he is the king of the mole people. Underground, there are lots of other creatures like angry skeletons, slug people, and mega-worms. I liked this book because it’s weird and crazy. If you like funny books then you’ll like this book. ~ Romi
Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of ChangeKid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change by Robin Stevenson & Allison Steinfeld. This book is about kids who changed the world by becoming activists. For example, Harvey Milk helped gay people have rights. Frederick Douglas helped lead slaves to freedom. I like this book because it has many true stories about people. If you like history, you’ll like this book. ~ Atticus
Lalani of the Distant SeaLalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly. Twelve-year-old Lalani's mom pricks her finger and falls ill, so she has to face an impossible task: to travel to legendary Mount Isa. But generations of men have failed, so how can ordinary Lalani succeed in getting there? I like this book because it has lots of turns this way and that. It's also mysterious and makes you feel like you're actually on the journey. If you liked Wild Magic then I think you'll really like this book! ~ Abby
It's Me, Two. (Catwad #2)It's Me, Two. (Catwad #2) by Jim Benton. If you liked the last Catwad book, Catwad: It's Me, you're going to love this one: Catwad: It's Me, Two! It may be great reading for you, but Catwad better watch out because Blurp is out to ruin his life. There's more comics, more jokes, and, you guessed it, more Blurp. ~ Collin
Weird Little RobotsWeird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi & Corinna Luyken. Penny Rose has just moved to a new town! She loves making weird robots and has five unique ones that she has made from things she just finds. She thought nobody would like her until she met Lark. The two girls find something Penny Rose did not know before Lark. It was like magic. If you like robots and a little imagination this is the perfect book for you! ~ Thira