Xmas Books for Kids

November 14, 2008.
Say hello to Mr. Tadaa!

I’ve been thinking about my Christmas list. I have quite a few young children on it this year. As a parent of two boys who have more toys than they need (or can ever clean up) I really appreciate it when friends and relatives give us books as gifts. They are comparatively easy to clean up, offer hours of quiet enjoyment and I don’t yell when I step on them in the middle of the night. What goes around comes around, right? I plan to give books.

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The Day It All Blew Away by Lisa Cinar

Perfect for boys and girls up to 7 as well as silly, noncomformist parents, this book cracks me up. Notes from Simply Read Books:

Huge-headed Mr. Tadaa and the little person are mighty lonely. Surrounded by hat-tippers who are always tipping their hats and shunning those who don’t return the favor, poor Mr. Tadaa has a head too big for his hat. Even worse, the little person’s hat is so big it wears him. One blustery day, Mr. Tadaa’s hat and the little person are blown away by the wind… and right into each other! A surprise twist at the end shows that even in a world of hat-tippers, nonconformists can find happiness and friendship.

Lisa Cinar is an Emily Carr graduate who lives in Vancouver.

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Where You Came From

by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Perfect for parents of newborns, children up to 4

The second collaborative work from the author/illustrator team of Montreal based Sara O’Leary and Vancouver artist Julie Morstad, Where You Came From adopts a playful approach to answering the inevitable question: Where did I come from? Rather than glossing over the question with a hopeful “Well, um… er… hey, lets see what’s on t.v., shall we?” Henry’s parents come up with a myriad of beautiful and entertaining alternatives to the too graphic, and likely premature, truth. Julie Morstad (one of my absolute favourite Vancouver artists) provides amazing artwork for this sweet story.

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The Red Shoes

by Eleri Glass, illustrated by Ashley Spires

The Red Shoes is a great story for little girls of any age.

This is a story about a beautiful, almost magical pair of shoes spotted by a little girl out shoe shopping with her mother. In a sea of drably coloured ‘sensible’ shoes she sees them: the most divine pair of red shoes ever. Sadly, the girl’s mother asks the sales clerk for pair after pair of sensible shoes for her daughter. Grey, brown, boring black. No one is happy: not the mother, not the daughter, and certainly not the sales clerk. As in all good children’s books, there is a happy ending: Mom gives in and buys the wonderful red shoes. Not sure about the bigger message of digging your heals in until your mother can’t stand it anymore and buys you what you want before she blows up – but really cute pictures. Vancouver artist Ashley Spires does a fantastic job of illustrating this story with great detail.

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All of the above titles are published by Simply Read Books. No, I’m not on their payroll. I just love their books because publisher Dimiter Savoff works with quality materials and top-drawer authors and illustrators to produce durable books with character.

All of the titles mentioned above are available at Vancouver based Kidsbooks.

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