I wonder when Christmas shoppers start looking for books. I rather suspect ebooks might be the perfect last-minute gift, since they don't require any time outdoors or waiting for deliveries. But I'm still not sure about ebooks for kids... or am I?
A friend had been hoping my Bethlehem's Baby might come out in print so she could share it with her grandson at Christmas. But her grandson loves the computer--he plays games on it, reads on it, draws on it, keeps in touch on it... And now she's wondering if it might not suit him better to read the ebook. He could demonstrate his computer skills, enlarging pictures and text, while she reads the words. Or they could read together. It's his medium, so maybe presenting the story in his medium is part of the gift.
Of course, if that's true, I might have to wait until Christmas to see my book become a best-seller. As my husband says, I might have to wait until Christmas of which year?
Anyway, here are some children's books and ebooks for your Christmas lists, with coffee recommendations--though I do also recommend you keep hot coffee away from inquiring fingers--and computers!
I think I'll start with A Christmas Star’s Wish, by Jay James Gordy, a delightful picture book where a lonely uninspiring star becomes the most perfect star in a young girl's world, and the Christmas message reminds us of deeper meanings on the final page. Enjoy a smooth well-balanced 3-star coffee with this.
Next is an illustrated children's chapbook novel, Max and the Lowrider Car, by Tonton Jim. In a small-town American world of animals, these dogs and wolves live in Hounds Glenn, pigs in Pig City, and so on. The puns are fast and fun and the story's delightfully child oriented with good honest characters and an enjoyable plot (involving a "chopped and cherry" lowrider car). Enjoy this bright tale with some 2-star lively easy-drinking coffee and enjoy sharing the book and illustrations with the kids.
Jack David, or Ann Marie, the Noisiest Kid in the Class, by Lindy Brown, are two really clever "Tell and Show" books, telling the identical stories of a noisy boy or girl. As an adult, it's interesting to see how differently the characters might be portrayed in reading aloud. But a child will be more delighted to find these are illustrated books awaiting an illustrator. Nicely designed text and bright colored borders just wait for the child to start drawing, and a bonus section at the end explains colors and artistry, just to inspire parents and children further. Great fun, a neat story, and wonderful extras, this is one to accompany a well-balanced, full-flavored 3-star coffee.
I.M. Frightful Story of the Water Witch, by Dvora Swickle, is probably more appropriate to Halloween than to Christmas, but it's a neat fun tale, nicely illustrated with easy questions for the smallest listeners, and nice lessons in listening for those old enough to learn. The scares are no bigger than a dowsing rod and a child's imagination. Enjoy with a lively, easy-drinking 2-star coffee.
Those Gingernuts cats are back in Henry the Parrot and the Gingernuts, by Peter Brighouse, a fun tale of cats on safari in England, with a parrot and plenty of puns. Enjoy with a well-balanced smooth 3-star cup of coffee---and get the print version for the pictures! Plus there's the Ginger Nuts Alphabet, for smaller children, with plenty of cat-attitude and one word (plus one great picture) per page.
The Day Abraham Lincoln saved Three Kittens, by Suzanne Evans, is a nice short historical tale about a boy, some cats, and Abraham Lincoln. There's some good historical detail in there and enough paws for adult thought as well as a child's entertainment. Enjoy with a well-balanced full-flavored 3-star coffee.
Goodbye Mr. Zig, by Susie Epps, is a pleasant photograph book of a cat's life, simply told from kittenhood to the time when a new friend takes its place. A nice memorial to the family pet, and sweet reading with some lovely photographs, this is a short ebook to enjoy with a mild, light 1-star coffee.
And finally, for serious lovers of cats and computer art, Funky Cat’s Eyes, by Deborah Carney offers a wealth of psychedelic cat's-eye images to amuse and bemuse the observer. Browse them while enjoying a cup of mild crisp 1-star coffee.
Now to move on to reviewing those more grown-up tales...