Sunday, December 24, 2017

A World of Cookies for Santa

A World of Cookies for Santa by M.E. Furman, illustrated by Susan Gal (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017). 

This is a wonderful book that shows how children around the world celebrate Christmas, and specifically the types of cookies or treats that they leave for Santa. There are even several recipes included at the end. As a kid, I love learning about different cultural traditions, and I know I would have loved this book. There are many parts of the world represented and the beautiful illustrations radiate a cozy warmth. Next year I'll have to try one of the cookie recipes!  You can find some of them on the book's website here.

For more multicultural Christmas books, view my post here.

To all my readers: Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I am very grateful for all of you, and the authors who have sent me their books for review this year. Thank you for your support.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Christmas Caribbean Cat

The Christmas Caribbean Cat by Monica Surrena (2017).

I am happy to have the opportunity to review an interactive e-book, which is something new to me. I downloaded the book app and was pleased to experience an animated, narrated, interactive story with festive Caribbean music. I especially loved the narrator, a man named Gerry O'Brien, who really brought warmth and good cheer to the poem which tells the story. 

A cat lives up north but is tired of being cold all the time and decides to move to an island where it's always warm. Then Christmas comes and she misses the snow and feels lonely, not knowing anyone in her new home. So she bakes yummy Christmas cookies, and soon animals come to try them. They end up having a feast and the cat's happy because she now has new friends to help her feel at home.

One of the best things about this book is that the author/illustrator is donating 20% of the proceeds to hurricane relief in Culebra, Puerto Rico, where she lives. She is hoping to give the money to the preschool there. I really admire that she was able to create this e-book despite only getting power back a week ago. 

You can find links here to buy the book, available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this e-book from the author in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A Piece of Black Cake for Santa

A Piece of Black Cake for Santa by Yolanda T. Marshall, illustrated by Miley Torres (Garnalma Press, 2017).

When I came across this book online, I had to buy it. The author is Guyanese and lives in Canada. I love this story about a Caribbean family celebrating Christmas. It's fun to see Caribbean food and drinks represented, like sorrel, oildown, and of course black cake. 

You can find 10 traditional West Indian Christmas recipes here

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Sinterklaas by Kathy Dobson (self published, 2017).

On December 2, my mom and I traveled to Rhinebeck, NY to attend their Sinterklaas Festival. Inspired by the traditions of the Dutch who settled in Hudson Valley over 300 years ago, this festival is non-denominational and all-inclusive. It's a celebration of children, who are crowned kings and queens for the day, with dance, theater, and music throughout the day, which culminates in a huge parade that night.  

This is an enchanting book, particularly for anyone who has attended the festival. It tells the story of a Dutch girl's Sinterklaas doll that is lost at sea as she sails to America. The doll makes its journey to find a home, eventually turning into Sinterklaas the man, who walks in the parade.

You can read more about the Sinterklaas Festival in Hudson Valley here.