ON THE SHELF: Easy reads for a cozy Christmas

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, December 21, 2022

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week the library is featuring Christmas picture books from our New Easy Book Collection.

Mariah Carey and Michaela Angela Davis introduce Little Mariah in their book “The Christmas Princess.” This modern fairy tale harkens back to the days when everyone pitched in and helped one another. Little Mariah doesn’t have a lot of things, but she really doesn’t want a lot either. All she asks is that everyone has a peaceful and joyous holiday season. Mariah feels alone in her quest, but she sets off on a wintry, magical adventure where she discovers the ability to use her voice to bring healing and spread the spirit of Christmas not just at home, but all around the world.

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“A Christmas Gift for Little One” by Sandra Magsamen is a holiday board book full of love, wonder and Christmas magic. Little One — an elephant — learns that the greatest Christmas gifts are the ones we feel in our hearts. The lively illustrations and gently rhyming text is full of the holiday spirit and celebration. “Christmas is a time of wonder, where wishes do come true. Little one, I have so many wishes I want to wish for you.”

Billy Sharff and Eda Kaban deliver a rollicking Christmas story in the picture book “When Santa Came to Stay.” Why can’t Christmas last all year long? What happens when your Christmas cookies are too good? Well, Santa comes to stay! At first, it’s great: there are treats and toys and reindeer rides every day. Then Mrs. Claus moves in with Baby Claus. Before long, so does the Easter Bunny and her babies Chuck, Puck, Luck and Duck. When the Fourth of July rolls around, everyone is sick of eggnog in their cereal and confetti in their hair. The family soon discovers that there is more to Christmas than presents and sweets, and maybe that’s the reason it only comes once a year.

“Murray Christmas” by E. G. Keller is a funny and charming tale of one family’s lovable “patrol dog.” Murray finds himself on high alert thanks to all the changes that come around the holidays — from the tree in the living room to the laundry mistakenly hung by the fireplace. The threats are everywhere! Worst of all, some random guy in a red suit keeps showing up all over town and Murray is not impressed. Can Murray learn to appreciate all of the festivities, or will his over-protectiveness ruin his family’s Christmas?

“A Very Merry Christmas” is a holiday book by Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen. Stella Endicott feels joyful and that something miraculous might happen. She wants to sing, so she decides that she needs to go caroling, but she has trouble finding someone to join her. Her brother, Frank, is not very good with spontaneity and the Watsons are in the middle of a tricky fruitcake attempt. They are happy to send their pig, Mercy, out to help though. Eugenia Lincoln declines rather rudely and Horace Broom is too busy studying the planets. Will Stella need to sing by herself — with happy contributions from the pig, the cat and the horse she picks up on the way? Or will Stella get a Christmas miracle?

Meena Harris and Keisha Morris have penned their Christmas tale called “The Truth About Mrs. Claus.” Amalia the Elf loves watching Grandma and Mama sew teddy bears. She loves the soft, velvety fur and imagining each one in their brand-new homes. But Amalia worries about disappointing her family because she isn’t sure about her ability to make teddy bears. Amalia goes to Santa for advice, but it is Mrs. Claus who knows how to solve Amalia’s problem. She also needs help with her own secret. Can Amalia and Mrs. Claus help each other by honoring family traditions and believing in Christmas magic?

“Through the North Pole Snow” is by Polly Faber and Richard Jones. The sweet and enchanting illustrations of this book show us what happens when a little white fox meets Santa Claus. When a hunting fox jumps through the snow and finds himself inside a warm home, it is welcomed with dinner by a kind, white-bearded man with a big, round belly. When the man decides it’s time for bed, he leaves the little fox to explore the wrapping paper and rows of empty shelves in the house. Soon, though fox decides to curl up and sleep until the sun and flowers return. Both are lured outside by the sunshine and good weather, but soon the man gets back to work. He begins drawing and measuring, painting and hammering, sewing and stuffing, until his shelves are once again full.

“Unicorn Christmas: A Sparkly Holiday Adventure” is by Diana Murray and Luke Flowers. “Jingle-jingle! Neigh, neigh, neigh! Clap your hooves for Christmas Day!” The unicorns are busy getting ready for Christmas and they have so much to do. They send out cards by shooting stars, they trim their trees with rainbow flowers, and they sing the Unicorn Christmas song. When Santa and his very tired reindeer arrive, however, it’s up to the unicorns to help deliver the gifts for Christmas.

We would also like to remind everyone that the library will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Monday, Dec. 19 to Thursday, Dec. 22. We will be closed from Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Dec. 26. We will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Tuesday, Dec. 27 to Friday, Dec. 30. We will be closed Saturday, Dec. 31 through Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. We will reopen with normal hours on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!