Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jan Brett's "Home for Christmas" ~ A Great "Before Christmas" Purchase!

Published by:  Penguin
Pages:  32
Ages:  3-5

The Story in a Nutshell:

A wild little troll runs away from home because he doesn't want to do his chores. Rollo tries living with various woodland animals, but he finds out that there is no place like home, and returns to his family just in time for "the best Christmas ever."
Among the animals who take him in are an owl family, a mother bear and two rambunctious cubs, some playful river otters, a hungry lynx and a friendly moose family.
Jan Brett creates an irresistible, mischievous character that kids will recognize in themselves. Jan transports us to a glorious Scandinavian landscape where a beautiful fall turns into a magnificent snowy winter.

Why I picked this off the shelf ?
Jan Brett's illustrations, naturally.  They are just stunning.  I've been a fan of hers for nearly 35 years.  Has it been that long?  Yes, I remember buying my little boy, David, her "Mittens.." book when he was about 5 years old, and I had bought his older brother and sister Jan Brett books before that!   She's been around a while, thankfully.  And, her books are so gorgeous.

What made me hesitate ?
This is a book for ages 3-5, and while my grandson is a precocious 3 yr. old, I wondered if the illustrations weren't a bit detailed for a child that young. 
There's a lot going on in this book.  I always thought Jan's books were more simplified for this age group, as was the "Mitten..," but this one is more complicated than I remembered them being. Although the illustrations are stunning, it seemed over-whelming, even for me! 

Why I decided to go ahead and buy it :
What pushed me over the edge into purchasing the book had to do with three things:

1)  Classic Jan Brett ~ First Edition volume ~ gorgeous illustration, Collection Book for my grandson.  We are building a children's library for him of special books.

2)  The rascally little troll in trouble and on an adventure, reminded me of my "Spidey" grandboy so much!  He's just the sort of child who's inquisitive and ready to take chances for a discovery, but he always wants to stay close to home.

3)  If he doesn't get all the nuances of the book this year, he will in the years to come!

Grandpop mailed this "Before Christmas" book right out to our "Spidey" grandboy.  Coincidentally, he just got a letter from us last week about an otter shimmying across the road and stopping traffic in Naples, FL.  So, he's going to like this little troll encountering a river otter in his new Christmas book, I think.  :]

Grammie Bee gives this 4 Moosey Moos

"Llama, Llama Holiday Drama" by Anna Dewdney ~ For Early Christmas Rushes!

Published by:  Penguin Group
Pages:  40
Ages:  3-5

The Story in a Nutshell:

Publishers Weekly~
In his fourth outing, Llama Llama learns what many children know: waiting for Christmas is tough. Shopping, making cookies, school activities, and unpacking Christmas tree lights proves "too much everything for Llama" and he has a "Holidrama" meltdown. Luckily, Mama is there to remind him: "Sometimes we should take a rest/ and hold the ones we love the best." Dewdney delivers a familiar holiday message with grace, as Mama and Llama Llama snuggle on a tranquil spread, next to their undecorated tree. Overwhelmed by holiday excitement and expectation, Llama Llama is as relatable as ever.

The Buzz from Grammie:

I loved this book from the moment I saw it!  It so reminded me of my little boys (and girl) when they were small and didn't really understand all about the holidays...bearly understood Christmas...and yet, were getting caught up in all the makings of the whole thing.

Soon the waiting became too much, and they would come to me with those sad eyes asking when was Christmas coming, anyway??

It was this memory that made me grab this sweet book from the shelf and know in that second that it belonged to my Moon and Stars grandboy.  He is the special one to get this book as his "before Christmas" story this year.

There's just something of the kind heart of the little Llama that reminds me of this one of my very precious grandchildren.  I wish him and all of my darling grands the best of fun in the Christmas festivites as they wait for the special night to come, and I want them all to know that love is the best gift of all; it always was, and it always will be.

Grammie gives the Llama 5 sugar spun ribbons

"Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas" ~Waiting and Anticipating Book for Little Girls

Published by:  Harper Collins
Pages:  30
For Ages:  3-6

A Quick Summary:

What could be fancier than Christmas?
Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles—and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Ooh la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited about decorating the Christmas tree. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and has been waiting for Christmas to come. But when things don't turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?

Grammie's Buzz:

Of course!   Christmas, or any other holiday for that matter, will always be splendiferous with Miss Fancy Nancy!  She is the one to have a girly girl holiday with, and she'd be missed like a sugar-plum princess if she weren't somehow involved in every smart and sassy,  fancy little girl's Christmas this year!

This is a collector's book in its beauty and quality. The hard copy is beautifully detailed with brilliant colors and the silvery cover is perfect for a pre-Christmas gift...or, if you must, for an under the tree present, too.  Personally, I couldn't wait to get it into the hands of my "Fancy Nancy" while she counts the days to Christmas.

My little grand-daughter has nearly every Fancy Nancy we can get our hands on and that's just because you can't find another character that delights the heart of a child who loves beads and sparkles, tutus and twirlies, tiarias and high heels...well, you understand what I mean.

Nancy is absolutely the fanciest.  Take a look at the insides of this darling book and rush to get this one for your charming little girl so she can be prepared in every fancy way for the special days ahead...

There is an audio version!

Grammie gives this a 5+ star for this holiday season

PS:  A quote by Grammie's Little Squirrel regarding her recently received book, "Grammie always knows just the right books to send!"
She's 5 years old.  Sigh!