Give the gift of great books this holiday
season. Below are four at the top our list.
THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN Reproduced by permission of the publisher, The Folio Society, London.
Princess and the Goblin," by George MacDonald, introduced by Maria
Tatar, illustrated by Madalina Andronic; The Folio Society, $44.95, 192
pages, all ages.
stunning edition of George MacDonald's eerie tale of Princess Irene and
her daring battles with subterranean-dwelling goblins will delight the
fantasy fans on your holiday list. In fact, this offering
from The Folio Society would probably be adored by anyone who enjoys
receiving beautiful books. Originally published in 1871, readers
unacquainted with The Princess and the Goblin will likely recognize similarities with Alice and Wonderland, another Victorian-era fantasy tale. Here,
a young, bored girl discovers a hidden stairway that leads her to an
enchanted world filled with magical, otherworldly beings where she must
do battle in order to save kingdom from the goblins. A favorite of J.R.R
Tolkien, MacDonald's tale of adventure and bravery will keep readers on
the edge of their seats. Harvard University's Professor of Germanic
Languages Maria Tatar wrote the introduction, and readers will benefit
from her instructive explication of MacDonald's creative ideology. Romanian
artist Madalina Andronic's bright and detailed watercolor and inks
perfectly match this timeless flight of the imagination.
WITH A MIGHTY HAND. Text copyright © 2013 by Amy Ehrlich. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Daniel Nevins. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
"With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah," adapted by Amy Erlich, paintings by Daniel Nevins; Candlewick Press, $29.99, 224 pages, all ages.
winning author Amy Erlich decided to tackle the Torah and render it
accessible for children, or anyone interested in reading a new
interpretation of this ancient story. Here she has managed to condense
the five books of the Hebrew Bible into a single, flowing narrative.
When Erlich began the project, her goal was to 'follow the thread of the
story' by keeping the text as clear as possible without being mired in
complexity and contradictions. Her mission was a success; simple,
powerful words, with lots of white space in the background make for easy
reading. Bringing the people and places to life is
painter Daniel Nevins in his debut as a children's book illustrator. The
pigment-laden images capture a world that existed over 5,000 years ago,
yet are still exuberant and emotional. With a Might Hand would be a lovely gift for a budding religious scholar or for children just starting Torah study.
Image reproduced with permission from HMH Books for Young Readers.
"What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings," by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski ; HMH Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 80 pages, ages 7-10.
Newbery Honor winning poet Joyce Sidman has crafted a book that will touch readers' hearts and stir their emotions. What the Heart Knows offers
poems to address just about every possible feeling; pleas for
forgiveness, incantations to summon bravery, and chants simply to find
happiness. The book is organized into four sections, with
each group exploring a different theme. Ultimately, Sidman's words
provide courage, comfort and strength no matter the topic. This
is the poet's third collaboration with Caldecott winning illustrator
Pamela Zagarenski, and it's easy to see why; Zagarenski's dreamy,
expressive paintings are a perfect match for Sidman's soulful verses.
Images reproduced with permission from Phaidon Press.
"Bugs at Christmas," by Beatrice Alemagna, Phaidon Press, $12.95, 38 pages, ages 3-5.
It's Christmas Eve in the bugs' cozy blanket world, and they're trying to organize a holiday party. Unfortunately, they each seem to have a different idea of how to celebrate; Little Yellow Bug wants to sing Jungle Bugs around
a piano, while Little Long-Legged Bug prefers dancing the Santa Samba
until he drops. The critters can't agree on the best way to ring in
Christmas until they learn that the spirit of love and togetherness
triumphs over creative differences. Beatrice Alemagna
created these surprisingly loveable hairy creatures using appliqué,
fabrics, and stitching techniques that together resemble the texture of a
nubby, wooly quilt.
Image Reproduced with permission from Quirk Books
"Winter Cocktails," by María Del Mar Sacasa, photographs by Tara StrianoQuirk Books; $22.95, 160 pages, all ages.
this is definitely not a book for children, but it would make a
wonderful present to parents who have been busy helping Santa prepare
for Christmas. These winter drinks infuse the body with warmth and
ooze holiday spirit. Recipe developer María Del Mar Sacasa
shares 100 delicious liquid infusions such as English Christmas Punch,
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate and Pumpkin-Bourbon Eggnog. Tara
Striano's enticing up-close photographs plus step-by step photo
instructions will bring out the holiday barista in everyone. Try out the Nutella Melt recipe here and enjoy in front of a blazing fire.
Check out more great images from these books here!