Edmonds Booktalk: My favorite Christmas books for kids

By Elaine Mattson

December brings some of my favorite things: sparkly lights, festive wrappings, bubbly beverages, and kids’ Christmas books! I love kids’ Christmas books! My newest favorites:

“Home for Christmas” by Jan Brett. This is the story of Rollo, a naughty little troll, who runs away from home in order to avoid doing chores, and features Brett’s amazing illustrations of the main storyline, plus her unique bonus illustrations placed around the edge of each page that show us glimpses of the rest of the story – just wonderful!

“Bear Stays Up for Christmas” by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman. It’s the day before Christmas, and Bear’s friends have gathered in his lair to attempt to wake him up to celebrate.

“The Christmas Quiet Book” by Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska. The holidays are filled with joyful noise. But Christmas is sometimes wrapped in quiet: “Searching for presents quiet,” “Getting caught quiet.” Lovely, soft, colored-pencil illustrations of bunnies, bears, owls and all kinds of critters, in all kinds of sweet, quiet, [and funny!] family holiday moments.

And my favorite this year… “Christmas Wombat” by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley. An amazingly talented illustrator adds humor and whimsy and wonder to the latest adventures of our favorite Wombat diarist! That such simple illustrations can say so much, makes me so happy, and, just a bit jealous of such talent! If you don’t yet know about “Diary of a Wombat,” you have a multiple treats in store

December Events at the Edmonds Bookshop.
Our Book Club takes December off – more time for fun & shopping!

We have picked our Book Club books for the first half of 2013. It’s a great list, featuring two first novels; a Washington state author; a Pulitzer Prize-winning non-fiction title; an American classic and a Man Booker Award-winning novel. Find all of the details on our Book Club page.

Dec. 8. Saturday at noon. Join us to welcome Laura Ellen, and her new book, “Blind Spot.” Ellen was diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration as a teen, and she drew upon her own experiences with vision loss to write her debut YA mystery/thriller, an emotional and suspenseful page-turner.

Dec. 20. 5-8pm. Third Thursday ArtWalk. We welcome our very own Michelle Bear as artist of the month! Her lively, small paintings of nests and thickets bring the outside in! We also have a great selection of her note cards in the shop. Visit Michelle’s website for more information about her and her art. Join us to celebrate with festive snacks and beverages.

Recent book releases of note:

“Flight Behavior: A Novel” by Barbara Kingsolver. Set in a rural Tennessee that has endured unseasonal rain, the plot explores the effects of a bizarre biological event on a Bible belt community, and becomes a clarion call about climate change too lucid and vivid for even skeptics to ignore. Chosen as a Best Book of Fall 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly. Chosen for November IndieBound. Review in The Seattle Times.

Teen readers. “Reached: Matched Trilogy Book 3” by Ally Condie.

“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham. Great review in The Seattle Times.

“Sweet Tooth: A Novel” by Ian McEwan. In this stunning new novel, Ian McEwan’s first female protagonist since “Atonement” is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction. Chosen for November IndieBound. Review in The Seattle Times.

“Dear Life: Stories” by Alice Munro. A brilliant new collection of stories from one of the most acclaimed and beloved writers of our time.

For middle grade readers. “The Third Wheel: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, book 7” by Jeff Kinney.

“History of a Pleasure Seeker” by Richard Mason. In paperback! Chosen for November IndieBound.

“Notorious Nineteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel” by Janet Evanovich.

“Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher. Harry is alive!! Unfortunately, he’s not so sure that this is a good thing… It’s definitely not easier!

And coming later in December:

“Because I Said So! : The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids” by Ken Jennings. With his trademark wit and genius, the author and Jeopardy! Champion, dissects common phrases most adults say to their children at one time or another. Dec. 4

“The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of “Hallelujah” by Alan Light. Today, “Hallelujah” is one of the most-performed rock songs in history. Yet when Leonard Cohen first wrote and recorded “Hallelujah,” it was for an album rejected by his record label. Ten years later, charismatic newcomer Jeff Buckley reimagined the song for his much-anticipated debut album, Grace. Three years after that, Buckley would be dead, his album largely unknown, and “Hallelujah” still unreleased as a single. How did one obscure song become an international anthem for human triumph and tragedy, a song each successive generation seems to feel they have discovered and claimed as uniquely their own? Fascinating! Dec. 4

“Selected Letters of William Styron” edited by Rose Styron, with R. Blakeslee Gilpin. In an extraordinary editorial feat, Styron’s widow, a poet, translator, and activist, and University of South Carolina historian Gilpin, have collected, transcribed, and annotated this fascinating trove of letters charting Styron’s development as a man and as a novelist. Dec. 4

“A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths” by Tony Fletcher. The Smiths, one of the most influential rock groups in the U.K. since the Beatles, finally get the complete and vivid biography they deserve. Fletcher, a music journalist, perfectly captures the wit and complexity of the band and its music. Dec. 4

“Dying on the Vine: A Gideon Oliver Mystery” by Aaron Elkins. Forensics professor Gideon Oliver is visiting friends at a vineyard in Tuscany when murder leaves a bitter aftertaste…and I’m guessing Mr. Elkins had to spend all kinds of time in Tuscany “researching”! Dec. 4

“Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland” by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart. Dec. 4

“Haute Potato: From Pommes Rissolees to Timbale with Roquefort, 75 Gourmet Potato Recipes” by Jacqueline Pham. Turn a basic baked potato into the ultimate comfort food to help get us through winter. Dec. 18

As always, check our website for all the latest in book news!

Happy reading!

Edmonds native Elaine Mattson has worked at The Edmonds Bookshop off and on since she was 12 years old, and has also worked at a book wholesaler, a book publisher, and for the book publishing division of a large local software company (yes, that one). “I was raised a book lover [thanks, Mom!],” Mattson says. “We got book lights by our beds as soon as we were old enough to read. And then I probably got in trouble for reading too late the very next night. And I still read too late!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.