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If You're Too Busy To Read A Picture Book
To A Child, You're Too Busy

  by Jeanne Duffey for Parent + Family
In This Review

Stan Lee’s Superhero Christmas


Hurry, Santa!


Little Red’s Christmas Story


Froggy’s Best Christmas


Shall I Knit You a Hat?


Too Many Tamales


More Reviews

If you’re too busy to read a picture book to your own child, or your nephew or your granddaughter or to the little girl next door, you’re just too busy. Stop what you’re doing right now, proceed to the children’s department of any of the eight branches or bookmobile of the Springfield-Greene County Library District and check out holiday books to read to the kids.

Start with a brand new one called “Stan Lee’s Superhero Christmas” by the co-creator of Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk. This is definitely a modern tale of the season and the illustrations by Tim Jessell reflect his advertising graphics roots. His realistic drawings in pastels and mixed media are perfect for a story about how a superhero family—parents and two kids—save Santa from his old nemesis, the evil Ice King.

In “Hurry, Santa!” by Julie Sykes, Santa gets off to a bad start by oversleeping on Christmas Eve. This throws off his schedule, he trips over his pants, loses the reindeer in the woods and then crashes in the snow. This lovable, hapless Santa is illustrated by Tim Warnes in cartoon-like drawings that just make you smile.

Santa is in trouble again, this time in a book called “Little Red’s Christmas Story” by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. As Little Red and her friends hop and skip through beautiful illustrations of snowy scenes, they spot Santa whose reindeer Percy has a bad cold. “I’ll never be able to get all these presents delivered with only seven reindeer.” But, of course, there’s a solution to save Christmas Day.

Froggy usually hibernates in the winter, but this year his best friend, Max the beaver, wakes him up to experience the holiday season. It’s all new to him, but in “Froggy’s Best Christmas” by Jonathan London, it doesn’t take him long to learn all the traditions. Frank Remkiewicz, the artist who designed the Animal Crackers box, created the vibrantly colored illustrations.

Kate Klise, who lives and writes on a 40-acre farm near Norwood, Missouri, has penned “Shall I Knit You a Hat?”, cleverly subtitled “A Christmas Yarn.” Her sister, M. Sarah Klise, from her studio in California, illustrates the book with delightful drawings showing a whole family of rabbits busily knitting creative hats for all their friends.

Christmas Eve at Maria’s house is going well until she discovers she dropped her mom’s diamond ring in the tamales made for the holiday dinner. In “Too Many Tamales” by Gary Soto, Maria realizes there’s only one thing to do: she and her cousins must eat all the tamales until they find the ring. It looks grim, but, in true picture book fashion, it all works out in the end.

-Jeanne Duffey is Community Relations Director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District.
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