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Valentine's Day

 
Arthur's Great Big Valentine
By Lillian Hoban
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Review
After they have a falling out, Arthur and his best friend Norman make up with very special valentines.

 Barney's Happy Valentine's Day
By Guy Davis, June Valentine-Ruppe
Reading level: Baby-Preschool

Review
This charming holiday book follows Barney as he wishes all of his friends a happy Valentine's Day. Featuring Barney's friends Baby Bop and BJ, "Barney's Happy Valentine's Day" also includes appearances by Professor Tinkerputt, Stella the Storyteller, Mother Goose, and other lovable characters from the popular TV show. Full color plus 8 valentines. Ages 4-8.

Be My Valentine
By Katy Bratun (Illustrator) and M. J. Carr
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Review
The course of true love certainly doesn't run smoothly when Isadore Mouse--who doesn't exactly have a way with words--tries to tell Athena that he wants her to be his valentine. Full color throughout.

St. Patrick's Day

 
Classic Irish Recipes
By Georgina Campbell, Marlene Ekman (Illustrator)

 

A Little Irish Cookbook
(Little Books) 
By John Murphy, Karen Bailey (Illustrator)

Review
Great simple recipes plus the traditional St. Patty's Day meal of Corned Beef, etc. Includes personal memories of the author about when dishes were served as well as any regional variations.

 

The Complete Book of Irish Country Cooking
Traditional and Wholesome Recipes from Ireland
By Darina Allen, Regina Sexton (Introduction

Review
Fresh and wholesome, comfortingly nostalgic, Irish food is famous for its heartiness and flavor.   Now Darina Allen--the "Queen of Irish Cooking" who cooked breakfast for President Clinton and 150 guests last St. Patrick's Day--presents more than 250 wondrous Irish recipes, from traditional festival food to manor fare.

 

Leprechaun's St. Patrick's Day
By Sarah Kirwan Blazek, James Rice (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Review
While leprechauns play pranks, such as stealing the breakfast bread and getting the Lord Mayor's carriage stuck in a ditch, an Irish family goes to Dublin to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Using pedestrian verse, the story is choppy and lacks a strong plot. The ink and pastel illustrations have a clumsy feel.

 

St. Patrick's Day
By Gail Gibbons
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Review
In addition to the story of St. Patrick's life, here is information about how St. Patrick's Day is celebrated. There are decorations from shamrocks to shillelaghs. People give cards, share meals, and wear green to honor Ireland, the Emerald Isle. And there are parades! Included are six legends about Patrick. Full color.

 

Crafts for St. Patrick's Day
Holiday Crafts for Kids
By Kathy Ross, Sharon Lane Holm (Illustrator)
Reading level: Baby - Preschool

Review
The festive holiday provides the inspiration for twenty projects (some more original and interesting than others) that kids can make from basic household materials. Although the clearly worded step-by-step written and illustrated instructions are simple enough for kids to follow, the book's narrow scope will likely make it of more interest to teachers looking for holiday project ideas.

Easter

 

175 Easy-To-Do-Easter Crafts
By Sharon Dunn Umnik (Editor), Charles Cary (Photographer)
Reading level: Ages 9-12

Review
A delightful craft book for children integrates simple directions and colorful photographs to offer everything needed to make clever projects that celebrate spring, from Victorian eggs and bunny puppets to simple jewelry and egg-carton tulips. 

 

Benjamin's Box
A Resurrection Story
By Melody Carlson, Jack Stockman (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4 - 8

Review
The hero of this story for children in a boy named Benjamin who lives during the days of Jesus. When Jesus comes to Jerusalem, Ben decides to follow him and find out who He really is. At last he learns the good news--news that every child can share.

 

Easter Angels
By Bob Hartman, Tim Jonke (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4 - 8

Review
Picture book ages 4 to 8. From the critically acclaimed author/artist team, Hartman & Jonke, comes a compelling Bible story with a new twist. Written specifically for young audiences, this story captures the true meaning and significance of Easter and relates it both visually and verbally.

 

Mother's Day

 

A Gift for Mama
By Esther Hautzig, Donna Diamond
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Review
Sick and tired of making presents for various holidays and occasions, Sara decides that for this Mother's Day she will do something different.

 

I Liked You At Ten... I’ll Like You Again
By P. Taylor Copeland, Suzi Bliss Kyle
Review
These poems take the reader on a lovely-sentimental excursion through the developmental stages of the child. The author has a keen awarness of the emotional developmental tasks of both child and parent and reflects the importance of the bond.

 

Ideals Mother's Day
More Than 50 Years of Celebrating Life's Most Treasured Moments
By Ideals
Review
"Ideal Mother's Day" features breath-taking photos of spring in full blossom along with poems from American writers, including Louisa May Alcott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes; features include an article about heirloom quality dollhouses, a garden journal article about the exquisite bleeding heart flowers, and recipes for several favorite pies.

 

Morning Glory Mother
By Carol Lynn Pearson
Review
Divorced Alison Andrews lives next to Martha Harris, Mother of the Year and a former beauty queen, whose children have planted 16 rosebushes for her on various Mother's Days. Totally devoted to her children, Martha seems never to be forgotten by them. Alison, on the other hand--with only skimpy morning glories around her house- -has two teenagers who never remember her for anything and from whom kind words come like pulled molars. They never clean up, and they commit misdemeanors beyond number.   ' On the day before Mother's Day this year, Alison boils over when she overhears her two kids being bribed to attend their school's Mother's Day pageant. She decides to take half of the Disneyland money she's saved up and run away from home. She goes only as far as the nearby Delphi Hotel, however, where she plans to spend the whole Mother's Day weekend, beyond reach of her kids, and have room service galore. And so she does. But her children, while they may seem impossible, aren't dumb. They track her down, though all their begging can't get her to return home- -until they spill the bad news about Mrs. Harris, which galvanizes Alison into action. An amusing, affectionate, if somewhat rosily superficial portrait of motherhood.

 

Mother's Day Crafts
Holiday Crafts Series
By Jean Eick
Review
Directions for making decorations, gifts, and greeting cards are followed by brief suggestions for activities related to the occasion. Popsicle-colored illustrations clarify each step and are clear but bland. The projects are easy and the materials are readily available.

 

Mothers of the Bible
A Worship Service for Mother's Day or Other Special Occasions
By Lynda Pujado
No Review

 

My Very Own Mother's Day
A Book of Cooking and Crafts
By Robin West, Robert L. Wolfe, Diane Wolfe, Jackie Urbanovic
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Review
There are all kinds of great ways to show Mom you love her. This Mother's Day, make her a little gift -- a basket, a bouquet, or a necklace -- and whip up a fast and easy breakfast or put together a picnic lunch. Mom will be thrilled! Mother's Day will be here before you know it, so get started!

 

The Mother's Day Mice
By Eve Bunting, Jan Brett
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Review
Brett's illustrations show the love between a mother and her sons as three mouse brothers search to find their mom the perfect gift.

 

 

Father's Day

 

All Dads on Deck
By Judy Delton, Alan Tiegreen
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Review
The rest of the Pee Wees are going to hook a fish as they spend Dad's Day with their fathers on board a boat on a lake. Molly doesn't want to hurt any fish. So she buys the only fish she can find at the store that has its head still on--a jumbo saltwater shrimp. She's sure no one will notice.

Dad's Dinosaur Day
By Diane Dawson Hearn
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Review
When Mikey's dad has a "dinosaur day", he doesn't go to work, doesn't take a bath, and doesn't know how to read. But he does go to school with Mikey and eats pizza for dinner, and has stories read to him. By bedtime, Dad's had a break, and they've both had a blast. Dinosaurs and small boys burst from the pages of this zany cheerful, full-color picture book.

A Perfect Father's Day
By Eve Bunting, Susan Meadaugh
Reading level: Ages 4-8

Review
Susie's plans for her dad on Father's Day include a few of her favorite things: they eat at a fast food restaurant, feed the ducks, play at the playground, and bring home a red balloon. A fine depiction of an amiable father, illustrated with colorful, humorous illustrations.

The New Father
A Dad's Guide to the First Year
By Armin A. Brott

Review
An indispensable handbook on all aspects of fatherhood during the first 12 months, The New Father charts the physical, intellectual, verbal, and emotional changes which a child experiences in the first year and examines the emotional and psychological developments the father may be experiencing.

 

Independence Day & Labor Day

 

Beat the Drum; Independence Day Has Come
By Lee Bennett Hopkins and Tomie de Paola (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Review
Hopkins and de Paola have teamed up to celebrate the birth of our country with a bang! Poems and pictures invite young readers to join the fun of picnics and fireworks in a patriotic anthology with work by poets such as Carl Sandburg, Aileen Fisher, and Lucille Clifton.

Celebrating the Fourth
Independence Day and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early Republic
By Len Travers
Review
This book is well constructed and nicely written, displaying deep, solid research. Not only should it appeal to specialists in the period, but it is likely to be read by scholars in American studies and folklore. The straightforward approach, rich documentation, and nice vignettes and anecdotes will make this a book with good general readership.

Celebrating Independence Day
(Holiday Celebrations)
By Shelly Nielsen, Marie-Claude Monchaux (Illustrator)
Review
Rhyming text introduces aspects of this important national holiday.

The Fourth of July Story
By Alice Dalgliesh and Marie Nonnast (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Review
An accessible story of America's birthday brings alive the history and spirit of the Fourth of July with an introduction to the fight for independence and the events and people that shaped American tradition.

Happy Birthday, America
By Marsha Wilson Chall and Guy Porfirio (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Review
Relatives arrive in dizzying bunches for a small-town family's glorious Fourth of July. Seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old narrator, the traditions are both fresh and familiar: reunion hugs and kisses; casseroles and red-white-and-blue Jell-O on bowls on long tables set up on spacious lawns; children marching with the floats and fire trucks down Main Street; a post-picnic plunge off the dock; fireworks over the lake after sunset, followed by waving sparklers from the shore. In broadly focused, slightly hazy paintings, Porfirio parades gaggles of laughing aunts, uncles, and cousins over wide, well-kept, very green landscapes.

Fireworks, Picnics and Flags
By James Cross Giblin and Ursula Arndt (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Review
James Cross Giblin does an excellent job of bringing the history of America's Independence Day to life. Woven into his vivid descriptions of events surrounding the Declaration of Independence (down to the annoying flies and mosquitoes in Philadelphia's State House) are amusing anecdotes--how the 1890s "Society for the Suppression of Unnecessary Noise" tried to outlaw Fourth of July firecrackers; what a Yankee Doodle really is; that Uncle Sam was a real person; and how Benjamin Franklin wanted America's national bird to be ... a turkey. Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags concludes with chapters on the Centennial and the Bicentennial, a July 4 events timeline, and a helpful index. Ursula Arndt's skillful pen-and-ink drawings enliven this already spirited treatment of the symbols and history of America's most patriotic holiday.

Fourth of July Fireworks
(Holiday Symbols)
By Patrick Merrick
Reading level: Ages 9-12
No Review Available

 

Halloween

 

Awful Roy And The Great Halloween Iguana
By Preston McClear
Awful Roy tells all of his friends he's too old for Halloween. How could this be? Everyone knows Halloween is Awful Roy's favorite holiday. Everyone is in for a big surprise, though, because Awful is planning his greatest Halloween costume yet-----The Iguana Man! But the real fun begins when the adults in town mistake Awful for a real Iguana Monster!

Tricks & Treats
The Ultimate Halloween Book

By Deborah Harding
This is a GREAT Halloween book, perhaps one of the best! It has a little bit of everything, including some wonderful and original ideas for Halloween. ie- recipies for Halloween cookies, designs for Halloween jackets, how to turn your small pumpkins into excellent looking cats and your squashes into black and white ghosts. Also has tons of fantastic decorations and many cute and original Halloween costumes for little kids. This is great, and totally worth it!

Shy Mama's Halloween
By Anne Broyles and Leane Morin
For Anya, Dasha, Irina, and Dimitrii, newly arrived to this country, Halloween seems a wonderfully strange and exciting holiday. They enlist Mrs. Rumanski and her midnight-blue Singer sewing machine in the apartment upstairs to help with their costumes, and Papa agrees to take them out trick-or-treating. But Papa comes home sick that evening, and it looks as though the children will be watching the trick or treating from the upstairs window. Mama, who is frightened by so much in this new country, especially the thought of ghosts and goblins on the streets, surprises them all when she rises to the occasion and takes her young princess, witch, devil, and clown down the stairs and out into the night. As they go from house to house, they find that everyone along the street is friendly. No one seems to care that their Thank yous are said with an accent, or that Mama, in her babushka, can speak only a few words of English. For Anya, Dasha, Irina, and Dimitrii, it is their first sense of belonging in their new country, of savoring the fun and magic of Halloween and the generosity of strangers. For Mama, it is a much greater step out into a new world, led by her children.

Clever Costume Creating for Halloween
By Suzanne Singleton
What you also receive with this book purchase are pages filled with fun to view black and white visuals of the costume ideas. The pages are bordered with corn candy and various halloween graphics which only adds to the fun and festive halloween spirit. It is cute, fun, festive and fills a need! Never again will you lose sight of the Halloween fun that costume panic brings!

175 Easy-To-Do Halloween Crafts
By Sharon Dunn Umnik
Detailed, easy-to-follow instructions and full-color photographs present a wide array of Halloween craft projects, including costumes, masks, gifts, pumpkins, and decorations, all of which can be made of ordinary materials found around the house.

Family Fun Tricks & Treats
100 Wickedly Easy Costumes, Crafts, Games and Foods
By Deanna Cook
There are so many wonderful ideas. A must have! There were a lot of spooky things to do with foods and great little ideas for those little helpers to decorate your home with lots of memories! You have to get this one!

Halloween Costumes
As with the other books in the Singer series, this one offers great step-by-step instructions and detailed color photos that are fairly easy to follow and yield very polished results. Construction comes in three basic styles: tabards, gowns, and full-suit costumes, as well as detailed directions on making various types of headwear, capes, collars, skirts, wings, leggings, and shoe covers. Though the costume ideas are a bit on the ordinary side (pumpkin, spaceman, lion, king and queen, and the like), the terrific instructions can be adapted to unlimited costume designs of your own devising.

101 Spooktacular Party Ideas
By Linda Sadler
Planning a Halloween party has never been easier! Whether you are having a few neighborhood children over, or are throwing a huge Halloween bash, 101 Spooktacular Party Ideas will help you plan an unforgettable Halloween party. It is filled with ideas that will help you haunt your house with boo-tiful decorations, serve sinisterly delectable treats, play bone chilling games and make fiendishly fun crafts and party favors. 101 Spooktacular Party Ideas features 9 outdoor decorations, 10 indoor decorations, 10 quick and easy treats, 15 make ahead treats, 10 beverage ideas, 22 relay and active games, 11 quiet games, 14 craft and party favors, and more!

Haunt Your House for Halloween
Decorating Tricks & Party Treats
By Cindy Fuller
Create a charming country-style Halloween setting through your whole house, from the front yard and the entryway to the windows, mantelpiece, and table, with a little help from Haunt Your House for Halloween. More sweetly spooky than scary, the decorations feature lots of simple, painted wood cutouts, easy wreaths, and clever edibles. Full directions and patterns are given for each project, although the book's format occasionally makes finding the instructions for a particular project challenging: a series of photos illustrates a number of project tableaus, followed by the step-by-step instructions for those projects compressed together, then another series of photos, and so on. Everything is clearly pictured, though, and the directions do refer back to the illustration page, so this minor drawback shouldn't keep Halloween crafters from finding their way.

The Big Book of Halloween
Creative & Creepy Projects for Revellers of All Ages

By Laura Dover Doran
Here's a great book that celebrates the second most popular holiday of the year. Adults and children will find a book jam-packed with decorating ideas, costumes, Halloween goodies, pumpkin carving and lore, scary ghost stories and superstitions explained. Readers will find pumpkin-and-ghost light strings, a spooky spoon centerpiece, haunted house cake, witch's brew, costumes like a picnic table, dragon or pirate, face painting and everything they ever wanted to know about pumpkins, including growing, carving, painting, eating and seed roasting. Also included are hints and tips, ghost stories and lots of Halloween legend and lore.

Thanksgiving

 

175 Easy-To-Do Thanksgiving Crafts
By Sharon Dunn Umnik

Review
From turkeys, Pilgrims, cornucopias, and wreaths to greeting cards, games, jewelry, and holiday-table accessories--everything you need to create a memorable Thanksgiving can be found in this fun-filled craft book. Kids and grownups alike will have hours of enjoyment making Turkey-Feet Place Mats, Paper-Bag Pilgrims, Walnut-Mice Racers, and many other inventive crafts that reflect the autumn season and this most bountiful of holidays. Easy-to-follow directions and full-color photographs ensure success for young crafters.

Crafts for Thanksgiving
(Holiday Crafts for Kids)
By Kathy Ross

Review
Twenty simple holiday-related craft projects that use easy-to-find materials are presented with brief instructions and colorful illustrations. The projects, which vary greatly in appeal, include some interesting crafts and some silly ones.

Christmas/Holiday

 

101 Things to Do for Christmas
By Debbie Trafton O'Neal

 

The 12 Bugs of Christmas
A Pop-up Christmas Counting Book
By David A. Carter (Illustrator)
Reading level: 4 - 8 years

Review
David A. Carter has bugs on the brain. Pop-up bugs, to be precise. Popular author of a series of insect-rich books, including Jingle Bugs and Bed Bugs, Carter is a masterful paper engineer. His latest holiday extravaganza takes a traditional Christmas song and turns it positively buggy. On each of the 12 days of Christmas "my true love" gives a new, festive creepy crawler--leaping, lurking, or popping right out of the box. By the fourth day, we're up to "four Snowflake Bugs, three Sneaky Bugs, two Cuckoo Bugs, and a Fruitcake Bug in a pear tree." Now if that's not true love.

101 Christmas Crafts
Ornaments, Decorations, and Gifts
By Pat Richards

Review
Traditional, rustic, or whimsical---whatever your preference, you'll find ornaments, decorations, and gifts to craft aplenty in this good-looking book. For an elegant Christmas, make a Victorian garland; ornaments of ribbons, lace, beads, and silk scraps; decoupaged serving plates; or a brocaded stocking, table runner, or eyeglass case (psst!--the secret to the quick and inexpensive brocade-style look is finding old neckties in the right colors). For gifts, consider bejeweled frames or a beaded eyeglass chain or key chain. If homespun is more to your liking, try the countrified-looking ornaments, garlands, placemats, dishtowels, and assorted trinkets (delightful hobby horses, gingerbread people, mitten-shaped appliques, and snowmen abound). Perhaps someone on your list would love the elaborate-looking (but easy to make) folk-art-style appliqued jacket, which starts life as a plain sweatshirt (so it's inexpensive, too). Or, for a "wild and wacky" Christmas, how about colorful craft-foam animals, a lamé-dotted tree skirt and stocking, a clock bedecked with fish cutouts, bath-mitt puppets, a bright fleece hat and scarf, or an appliqued vest (another great sweatshirt project). With so many ideas, complete instructions, good color photos, and lots of variety, 101 Christmas Crafts offers something for crafters of many tastes and skill levels.

New Year's Day

 

Happy New Year!
By Charles M. Schulz

Review
It's New Year's! And Snoopy, the unflappable life of the party, is off to a black-tie event. The rest of the Peanuts gang is ruminating over their New Year's resolutions and their party hats.  Ring in the new year with lots of good cheer and a small dose of wisdom from the Peanuts crowd.

 

Happy New Year, Beni
By Jane Breskin Zalben

Review
Beni and Sara and their prankish cousin Max spend Rosh Hashanah with their grandparents. Adding another warm family story to her holiday book collection, Zalben captures all the joy of this special celebration through her sensitive storytelling and detailed, pastel-colored illustrations.

Happy New Year, Pooh!
(My Very First Winnie the Pooh Series, No. 5)
By Robbin Cuddy (Illustration)
Reading level: Baby-Preschool

Review
The book tells us about Winnie the pooh and his friends, who sing poem about all the months and welcome the New Year. It is a great way to spend your time!

 

Matchcard Greetings: Happy New Year

Review
It's a card, a gift enclosure, and a mini present all in one. Chronicle Books is pleased to offer a new assortment of MatchCard Greetings. Perfect for attaching to presents, these innovative, accordion-folded greetings come in a colorful matchbox. With messages for a range of occasions--including six to choose from for the holiday season--these delightful greetings in a box will add sparkle to all your gifts or make great gifts on their own!

 

Making It Through The Holidays

 
How Will I Get Through The Holidays?
(12 Ideas for Those Whose Loved One Has Died)
By James E. Miller

 

Holiday Hope
Remembering Loved Ones During Special Times of the Year
By The Editors of Fairview Press

Review
"Holiday Hope" is a compilation of advice, stories, poems, activities, and even music for coping with grief during the holidays and other special times of the year, including anniversaries and birthdays. Over a dozen experts--therapists, clergy, counselors--have written short essays filled with practical tips and proven techniques for handling personal loss.

 

A Decembered Grief
Living With Loss While Others Are Celebrating
By Harold Ivan Smith

 

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Changes last made on: Tue Jun 30, 2009