Valentine’s Day Picture and Activity Book and Handmade Note Card Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to winner Adrianne Braun from Michigan!

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Enter for a chance to win four children’s books about LOVE plus eight handmade note cards during our Two-Day Valentine’s Day Giveaway!

Hurry to Enter, as a winner will be randomly selected on Tuesday!

 

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Eight Note Cards with Envelopes

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Note cards are handmade from watercolor paper stock, cut card stock, ribbons and buttons.

Book #1

When You Were Born

When You Were Born

•        Targeted Audience: PreSchool, Lower Elementary (Ages 2-5)
•        Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•        Author/Illustrator: Emma Dodd
•        Publisher: Candlewick Press
•        Publication Date: February 10, 2014
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 8″ x 8″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 24 Pages
•        Retail: $12.99
•        ISBN: 978-0763674052

“When you were born, the rain stopped . . . the sun came out and the sky turned blue. When you were born the snow melted . . . the birds sang, and the flowers grew.”

Emma Dodd’s books warm the hearts of both the young children and parents who read them. They are simple, charming and show children just how much they are loved. In When You Were Born a mama seal tells her baby just how much joy she brought into the world on the day she was born. Big, colorful, darling illustrations are printed on matte paper highlighted by silver metallic ink. This is a book you read to your child just before bed to make him feel extra special, and if he is having a bad day, When You Were Born will remind him just how much he is loved.

Book #2

Everything

Everything

•       Targeted Audience: PreSchool, Lower Elementary (Ages 2-5)
•        Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•        Author/Illustrator: Emma Dodd
•        Publisher: Candlewick Press
•        Publication Date: February 10, 2014
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 8″ x 8″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 24 Pages
•        Retail: $12.99
•        ISBN: 978-1848778344

“When you smile your bright eyes twinkle and your nose begins to crinkle. Your laughter sets my heart aflutter. Your warm hugs make me melt like butter.”

Any book with koalas in it captures my immediate attention, and Everything is all about everything a mama koala loves about her little cub. Mama tells her wee one all the lovely little things he does that make her adore him so much. The endearing illustrations of mama and her baby will melt your heart. Just like When You Were Born this book is printed on matte paper but has gold metallic ink highlights that make the images extra special. Do yourself a favor and buy both Emma Dodd books to read with your child as you snuggle in bed.

About the Author

EmmaDoddEmma Dodd has created a host of books to critical acclaim. She works from a studio in Surrey, England. When not working, Emma and her family spend as much time as they can in North Cornwall, surfing and walking in all weathers. Read my review of Emma Dodd’s Forever here.

Book #3

LoveyBunny

Lovey Bunny

•        Targeted Audience: PreSchool, Lower Elementary (Ages 3-7)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction Picture Book
•        Author/Illustrator: Kristine A. Lombardi
•        Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
•        Publication Date: March 3, 2015
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 9.25″ x 9.25″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $14.99
•        ISBN: 978-1419714856

Aptly named, Lovey Bunny is the story of a girl bunny who loves just about everything – including her mama’s special handmade dress. Bunny simply cannot resist trying it on. And wearing it outside. And writing her skateboard in it. What? Oh no! What will happen when Mama sees her mess of  a dress? And what will bunny do to make it all better?  Pastel illustrations are printed on a matte finish with lively little details and charm. Lovey Bunny learns her lesson, and this story will teach your loved ones that no matter what happens, they will always be loved by you.

About the author

KristineLombardiKristine A. Lombardi worked in advertising for many years but is now a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Lovey Bunny is her first picture book. She lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

Book #4

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Make Your Own Theater: Cinderella

•        Targeted Audience:  Lower Elementary (Ages 5-7)
•        Genre: Fiction Activity Book
•        Author/Illustrator: Clare Beaton
•        Publisher: B Small Press
•        Publication Date: October 1, 2014
•        Binding: Paper Back
•        Dimensions: 11″ x 8.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 20 Pages
•        Retail: $7.99
•        ISBN: 978-1905710188

I previously reviewed other wonderful B Small Pop Up Activity Books, and what story says “love” more than the classic Cinderella? Make Your Own Theater: Cinderella contains all your child needs to make a theater and put on a show for you. The book includes an illustrated story of Cinderella plus a page instructing you how to use the book. The cover and middle pages, printed in color, form the scene. The black and white pages are for coloring and cutting out 12 figures to use as characters in Cinderella’s story. There are instructions with tips on how to use the theater to put on your own show too. The book is a marvelous tool to teach readers how to follow instructions and use their imaginations. Check out other fantastic B Small titles on the Independent Publishers Group website.

Two-Day Giveaway Rules: Enter for a Chance to Win this Valentine’s Day Picture and Activity Book Giveaway.

  1. Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and sending us an email to smartbooks (at) comcast.net with your name and mailing address. In the subject line of the email write Valentine Giveaway.  We will not share your email or address or use it for any other purpose than this giveaway. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not include your mailing address in your email your entry will be discarded.  (We only require addresses so books can be mailed quickly and in the past we have found it difficult to contact winners to obtain their mailing addresses.)
  2. Optional: You will receive one extra entry for leaving a valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me about the best Valentine’s Day Gift you ever received.
  3. Optional: You will receive TEN extra entries for sharing this giveaway from our Facebook Page. Go to the Facebook page and from there, click share on the link to this giveaway. If you share it from your own Facebook status and not from the Smart Book Facebook Page, I will not know about it, so it will not count. Please mention in your email that you shared the link.
  4. There will be one winner for this Valentine Giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  5. This giveaway starts on Sunday, February 8, 2015 and ends on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 4 pm.
  6. The winner will be notified via email on February 10, 2015.
  7. Book will be mailed by February 10, 2015.
  8. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

 

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Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

We Wish You a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year and We’ll See You in January!

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As you are getting ready for the holidays, so are we. We’ve posted our Best Books of the Year Lists, have reviewed and given away piles of Christmas books, and now it’s time for a break here at Smart Books for Smart Kids. We thank you for your loyalty and look forward to a new season of books, reviews and interviews!

Looking for Christmas books for kids? Click here

Looking for the Best Books of the Year? Check these out:

Read my List of the 10 Best Biographies for Children 2014

Read my List of the 20 Best Science Books for Children 2014

Read my List of the Five Most Wonderfully Unique Children’s Books 2014

 Read my List of the 15 Best Picture Books 2014

Read My List of the Seven Best History/Politics Books for Children

Giveaway #14 of the 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways: Crafting for Mom

Holiday Giveaway Winners Have Been Selected! Congratulations to:

Giveaway 2 Adopt Me-Piper Smith from WI
Giveaway 3 Lovable Characters-Janet Coffield from NC
Giveaway 4 Comic Strips-Debra Hays from LA
Giveaway 5 stories for Christ Eve-Amy Burbol from TX
Giveaway 6 Essentia Classics-Cassandra McCavy from MA
Giveaway 7 Pirates-Kristina Carter from NC
Giveaway 8 Creative Christmas-Nicole Lancasteer from AZ
Giveaway 9 Cultural Xmas-Adrianne Braun from MI
Giveaway 10 Fairy Tales-Silvia Rodriguez from IL
Giveaway 11 Christmas Spirit-Robin Marshall from MD
Giveaway 12 Peace on Earth-Laura Zeigler from IN
Giveaway 13 True Meaning-Nikki Watkins from FL
Giveaway 14 Handicrafted Christmas-Christy Hawkes from UT

It’s the final day and the final giveaway of the 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways and this one is all for you, Mom!

This giveaway includes a beautiful Christmas crafting book plus a pair of Christmas tree earrings I handmade from corrugated paper and glass beads. There are only three days left to enter this and all the other 12 giveaways still open for entries.

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Giveaway #1 – Happy Hanukkah! (Winner Already Chosen)

Giveaway #2 – Adopt Me! Books

Giveaway #3   – Loveable Characters

Giveaway #4  – Comic Strips

Giveaway #5 –  Stories for Christmas Eve

Giveaways #6 – Essential Classics

Giveaway #7 – Pirate’s Christmas

Giveaway # 8 – Creative Christmas

Giveaway #9 – Cultural Christmas

Giveaway #10 – Fairy Tales

Giveaway #11 – Christmas Spirit

Giveaway #12 – Peace on Earth

Giveaway #13 – True Meaning of Christmas

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Cover image courtesy of Stewart Tabori & Chang

 Handcrafted Christmas: Ornaments, Decorations and Cookie Recipes to Make at Home

•    Targeted Audience: Adults
•    Genre: Adult Craft Book
•    Author: Susan Waggoner
•    Photographer: Dane Holweger
•    Publisher: Stewart Tabori & Chang (Imprint of Abrams Books)
•    Publication Date: October 14, 2014
•    Binding: Hard Cover
•    Dimensions: 7 x 9
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 144 Pages
•    Retail: $19.95
•    ISBN: 978-1617690563

A Creative Christmas Awaits

DSC_0019I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new crafting ideas – especially when it comes to making Christmas crafts. Handcrafted Christmas appeals to the creative ones who adore nostalgic looking crafts, with 40 original projects created for the home crafter. There are a few delicious cookie recipes too you can make before you get started crafting so you having something to devour while you create an original Christmas gift or something for yourself or your home.

©Copyright- Stewart Tabori & Chang

Unique and Beautiful Ideas

Author Susan Waggoner has written numerous non-fiction titles for DSC_0023making Christmas brighter, and after reading this title, I’d love to check out the others. In this book, find 40 unique vintage-style projects, with detailed, clear instructions, detailed supply lists and beautiful photographs. Create a sparkly Christmas cottage, a pine cone wreath, tabletop tree, holiday charm bracelet, needle-felted snowman and many more projects. In addition to the directions, the author shares interesting facts about Christmases of the past. It makes for great reading.

©Copyright- Stewart Tabori & Chang

What You’ll Love About This Book

DSC_0021The 40 projects included within the 144 pages of Handcrafted Christmas are not the quintessential crafts you so often see in Christmas books; these are original, out-of-the-ordinary and because there are so many different types of projects, this book appeals to a wide range of crafters. The high quality book itself is so lovely and made to last, so you can take it out every year and try something new. The recipes look delicious and are present beautifully in the photographs too.  Handcrafted Christmas is truly a keepsake for the dedicated Christmas crafter.

©Copyright- Stewart Tabori & Chang

About the Author

Susan Waggoner has written numerous fiction and non­fiction books. She is the author of STC’s It’s a Wonderful Christmas, Under the Tree, Christmas Memories, and Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas. She lives in New York City.

Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of Handcrafted Christmas and One Pair of Handmade Christmas Tree Earrings and Check Out All Our Other Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways!

  1. Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and sending us an email to smartbooks (at) comcast.net with your name and mailing address. In the subject line of the email write Handcrafted Christmas Giveaway.  We will not share your email or address or use it for any other purpose than this giveaway. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not include your mailing address in your email your entry will be discarded.  (We only require addresses so books can be mailed quickly and in the past we have found it difficult to contact winners to obtain their mailing addresses.)
  2. You may enter any or all of our 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways but no person will be eligible to win more than one giveaway this week – we’d like to spread the cheer to as many readers as possible.
  3. Optional: You will receive one extra entry for leaving a valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me about your favorite Christmas crafts.
  4. Optional: You will receive two extra entries for following me on Twitter.
  5. Optional: You will receive FIVE extra entries for sharing this giveaway from our Facebook Page. Go to the Facebook page and from there, click share on the link to this giveaway. If you share it from your own Facebook status and not from the Smart Book Facebook Page, I will not know about it, so it will not count.
  6. There will be one winner for this giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  7. This giveaway starts on Sunday, December 13, 2014 and ends on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5 pm.
  8. The winner will be notified via email on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
  9. Books will be mailed by Thursday, December 18,, 2014.
  10. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

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Giveaway #12 of the 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways: Peace on Earth

Holiday Giveaway Winners Have Been Selected! Congratulations to:

Giveaway 2 Adopt Me-Piper Smith from WI
Giveaway 3 Lovable Characters-Janet Coffield from NC
Giveaway 4 Comic Strips-Debra Hays from LA
Giveaway 5 stories for Christ Eve-Amy Burbol from TX
Giveaway 6 Essentia Classics-Cassandra McCavy from MA
Giveaway 7 Pirates-Kristina Carter from NC
Giveaway 8 Creative Christmas-Nicole Lancasteer from AZ
Giveaway 9 Cultural Xmas-Adrianne Braun from MI
Giveaway 10 Fairy Tales-Silvia Rodriguez from IL
Giveaway 11 Christmas Spirit-Robin Marshall from MD
Giveaway 12 Peace on Earth-Laura Zeigler from IN
Giveaway 13 True Meaning-Nikki Watkins from FL
Giveaway 14 Handicrafted Christmas-Christy Hawkes from UT

Giveaway #12 gives kids ages 8 and up three special books for Christmas. Scroll down for the Rules for the Peace on Earth Children’s Book Giveaway.

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Giveaway #1 – Happy Hanukkah! (Winner Already Chosen)

Giveaway #2 – Adopt Me! Books

Giveaway #3   – Loveable Characters

Giveaway #4  – Comic Strips

Giveaway #5 –  Stories for Christmas Eve

Giveaways #6 – Essential Classics

Giveaway #7 – Pirate’s Christmas

Giveaway # 8 – Creative Christmas

Giveaway #9 – Cultural Christmas

Giveaway #10 – Fairy Tales

Giveaway #11 – Christmas Spirit

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Book #1

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A Simple Case of Angles

•    Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary, Middle School (Ages 8-11)
•    Genre: Fiction Middle Reader Chapter Book
•    Author: Caroline Dderson
•    Publisher: Groundwood Books
•    Publication Date: September 16, 2014
•    Binding: Paperback
•    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8
•    Printing: Black and White
•    Length: 160 Pages
•    Retail: $9.95
•    ISBN: 978-1554984282

 Can a Good Deed Make up for a Dog’s Bad Behavior?

June Bug, Nicola’s dog, is nothing but trouble. She steals the neighbor’s turkey, pulls down the Christmas tree and destroys Mom’s almost-finished giant crossword. No one but Nicola wants to keep that dog around. One day Nicola and June Bug spot Shady Oaks, a new nursing home, and they decide to volunteer to be visitors to entertain the elderly residents. After all, that active little dog will surely cheer them up.  Inside the new nursing home, they can use a hand decorating for Christmas and putting up a tree. Back at school, some new things are happening too. There’s a new fifth grade girl there named Lindsay, and she seems to bring out the worst in Nicola. But after Nicola’s mom forbids her to visit Shady Oaks alone, out of desperation, Nicola invites Lindsay to join her. While there they discover something terrible going on and if they can make this wrong right with the dog, maybe this good deed will make everyone change their minds about keeping June Bug. But first we must meet some angels.

Why You’ll Love This Book

Caroline Adderson keeps the story moving with terrific dialog and a lot of action. The reader is instantly smitten with the likable main character and feels like he or she is part of the story. Of course there are some angels in the story too, but you’ll have to read it to find out just who they are. The best aspect of this book is the message that the elderly must be treated with kindness and respect, and when they are not, they need our help to seek justice. A Simple Case of Angles is a heartwarming and feel-good tale perfect for middle readers at Christmas time.

About the Author

carolineCaroline Adderson is the author of award-winning books for adults and young readers. She has been nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award and the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her children’s books include Jasper John Dooley, Left Behind (named a Best Children’s Book of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews), the picture book Norman, Speak! and her middle-grade novel, Middle of Nowhere, which won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and was shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, the filmmaker Bruce Sweeney, their son and their dog.

Book #2

9781419711756

Shooting at the Stars: The Truce of 1914

•    Targeted Audience: Upper Elementary, Middle School (Ages 8-12)
•    Genre: Historical Fiction Picture Book
•    Author/Illustrator: John Hendrix
•    Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
•    Publication Date: October 7, 2014
•    Binding: Hard Cover
•    Dimensions:11.5 x 10
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 40 Pages
•    Retail: $15.99
•    ISBN: 978-1419711756

“Why can’t we just go home – and have peace?”

Peace During War

Shooting at the Stars: is historical fiction based upon the true facts surrounding the Christmas Truce of 1914, when allied and German soldiers spontaneously stopped fighting during WWI to celebrate Christmas Eve together. The story is told from the viewpoint of a British soldier who writes a letter home to his mother describing the events that led up to the temporary truce. He describes how the Germans put candles and lanterns in the trees they set up on their side of the trenches and began singing “Silent Night.”  One of the British soldiers threw jars of pear jam into the Germans’ trenches, and eventually the two enemy sides met in the middle. They buried the dead all around them and celebrated Christmas, exchanging souvenirs, singing and talking – until the orders came to begin fighting again.
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© Copyright – Image Courtesy of Abrams Books for Young Readers

Why You’ll Love This Story

Shooting at the Stars: is such a powerful and moving story, it will bring you to tears. John Hendrix  weaves facts and fiction into the storyline to bring it to life, along with his beautiful watercolor and ink paintings. Some are of the letters the British soldier wrote to his mother back home. In the back of the book is a glossary and a poignant author’s note explaining the historical facts of the Truce of 1914. The book reminds us that no matter who the enemy may be, we’re all humans, we all experience the same emotions and peace is so much better than war. There’s even an old photograph from the actual Truce of 1914. This is one of the most touching picture books I’ve ever read, and I highly recommend it for middle readers.

HendrixAbout the Author/Illustrator

John Hendrix’s books include John Brown: His Fight for Freedom, a Publishers Weekly Best Book and New York Public Library Top 100 Book, and Nurse, Soldier, Spy, by Marissa Moss, which received a Eureka! Children’s Book Award and Booklist Editor’s Choice Award. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Book #3

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Christmas: Pocket Activity Fun and Games

•    Targeted Audience: Lover & Upper Elementary (Ages 6-10)
•    Genre: Children’s Activity Book
•    Publisher: Barron’s Educational Books
•    Publication Date: October 1, 2014
•    Binding: Paperback
•    Dimensions:11.5.5 x 8.5
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 96 Pages
•    Retail: $7.99
•    ISBN: 978-1438005171

“Santa Claus is on his way, and reindeer pull his toy-filled sleigh. To find out more, you’ll need to look inside the pages of this book.”

The Everything Christmas Activity Book

This pocket-sized activity book may be portable, but it’s HUGE in content. Draw, craft with beautiful papers and stickers in the book, spot the differences between pictures, connect the dots, bake cookies with Mrs Claus, Make 3D Christmas cards and so much more. The back card stock cover opens up into a two-sided, 3 panel spread for placing stickers too. There’s a whole lot going on here, and kids will love all these activities at home or on the road. Barron’s Christmas Activity Books just can’t be beat!

Enter for a Chance to Win All Three Peace on Earth Titles on this Post and Be on the Lookout for Many More Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways All Week Long

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  1. Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and sending us an email to smartbooks (at) comcast.net with your name and mailing address. In the subject line of the email write Peace on Earth Giveaway.  We will not share your email or address or use it for any other purpose than this giveaway. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not include your mailing address in your email your entry will be discarded.  (We only require addresses so books can be mailed quickly and in the past we have found it difficult to contact winners to obtain their mailing addresses.)
  2. You may enter any or all of our 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways but no person will be eligible to win more than one giveaway this week – we’d like to spread the cheer to as many readers as possible.
  3. Optional: You will receive one extra entry for leaving a valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me about your favorite Christmas gift you received as a child.
  4. Optional: You will receive two extra entries for following me on Twitter.
  5. Optional: You will receive FIVE extra entries for sharing this giveaway from our Facebook Page. Go to the Facebook page and from there, click share on the link to this giveaway. If you share it from your own Facebook status and not from the Smart Book Facebook Page, I will not know about it, so it will not count.
  6. There will be one winner for this three-book giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  7. This giveaway starts on Saturday, December 12, 2014 and ends on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5 pm.
  8. The winner will be notified via email on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
  9. Books will be mailed by Thursday, December 18,, 2014.
  10. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

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Giveaway #11 of the 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways: Christmas Spirit

Holiday Giveaway Winners Have Been Selected! Congratulations to:

Giveaway 2 Adopt Me-Piper Smith from WI
Giveaway 3 Lovable Characters-Janet Coffield from NC
Giveaway 4 Comic Strips-Debra Hays from LA
Giveaway 5 stories for Christ Eve-Amy Burbol from TX
Giveaway 6 Essentia Classics-Cassandra McCavy from MA
Giveaway 7 Pirates-Kristina Carter from NC
Giveaway 8 Creative Christmas-Nicole Lancasteer from AZ
Giveaway 9 Cultural Xmas-Adrianne Braun from MI
Giveaway 10 Fairy Tales-Silvia Rodriguez from IL
Giveaway 11 Christmas Spirit-Robin Marshall from MD
Giveaway 12 Peace on Earth-Laura Zeigler from IN
Giveaway 13 True Meaning-Nikki Watkins from FL
Giveaway 14 Handicrafted Christmas-Christy Hawkes from UT

Giveaway #11 will warm your heart and put you instantly in the Christmas spirit. The winner of this special giveaway will receive three Christmas picture books to be read year after year, and one very special activity book.

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Scroll to the bottom for Giveaway Rules.

Enter all our Giveaways!

The deadline for these is Wednesday, December 17 at 5pm.

Giveaway #1 – Happy Hanukkah! (Winner Already Chosen)

Giveaway #2 – Adopt Me! Books

Giveaway #3   – Loveable Characters

Giveaway #4  – Comic Strips

Giveaway #5 –  Stories for Christmas Eve

Giveaways #6 – Essential Classics

Giveaway #7 – Pirate’s Christmas

Giveaway # 8 – Creative Christmas

Giveaway #9 – Cultural Christmas

Giveaway #10 – Fairy Tales

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Book #1

076365342X

And Then Comes Christmas

•    Targeted Audience: Preschool, Lower Elementary (Ages 4-8)
•    Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•    Author: Tom Brenner
•    Illustrator: Jana Christy
•    Publisher: Candlewick Press
•    Publication Date: September 9, 2014
•    Binding: Hard Cover
•    Dimensions:11 x 9.25
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 32 Pages
•    Retail: $15.99
•    ISBN: 978-0763653422

The Magical Days Leading Up to Christmas

Anticipation is part of the joy of Christmas, and the child who narrates this enchanting story describes the events leading up to the holiday in a magical, almost poetic tone. With flowing prose and delightful, brilliantly-colored illustrations, readers feel as though they are there in the festivities.  Leaves begin to fall, temperatures drop, and it’s time to hang the wreath and the Christmas lights. The snow begins to fall and the stores fill with trains and toys. Now it’s time to chose a special tree and trim it with the family. There’s so much more to be done before the big day . . . And Then Comes Christmas.

“When the frost glistens on pastures and fence posts, and icy grass crunches underfoot, and dark clouds sit low on the horizon . . . Then fill the windows with paper snowflakes and frame the house with colored lights.”

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AND THEN COMES CHRISTMAS. Text copyright © 2014 by Tom Brenner. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Jana Christy. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

What You’ll Love About This Book

Each paragraph alternates beginning with “when” and “then,” offering repetitive, eloquent prose and building splendid anticipation for readers. The irresistible illustrations captivate the reader and demonstrate all the glorious traditions of the season. You’ll love how the story encourages family bonding and appreciating the smaller things in life.  And Then Comes Christmas is a lovely story to read with your child, in a cozy spot in front of the fireplace, every year before Christmas, for years to come.

About the Author

7395.TBrenner.bst.med.1

After retiring from teaching, Tom Brenner began writing, submitting and getting rejected over and over again.  He returned to school to attend the University of Washington-to get a degree in Writing and soon got published. His books include The Treasure of Pirate Island: A Lift-The-Flap Playbook, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and And Then Comes Halloween. He lives on Vashon Island, Washington.

About the Illustratorab3f4c_6b0c788ba3fa4b8a9fe141a369948922.jpg_srz_288_331_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

Jana Chrristy is both a commercial artist and children’s book illustrator. Among the books she has illustrated are: The Ocean Story, How to Hug,, Your Love Is The Best Medicine, Bray Ten Items Or Less, The Dreamplucker of Perrysport, Happy, Sad, Silly Mad,l My Best Frenemy,  My Last Best Friend, and My New Best. She lives in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

Book #2

9781455619436

My Puppy Gave to Me

•    Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary (Ages 5-8)
•    Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•    Author: Cheryl Dannenbring
•    Illustrator: Cynthia Kremsner
•    Publisher: Pelican Publishing
•    Publication Date: September 15, 2014
•    Binding: Hard Cover
•    Dimensions: 8.5 x 11
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 32 Pages
•    Retail: $16.99
•    ISBN: 978-1455619436

A Puppy for ChristmasImage 2

All children want a puppy for Christmas, right? Well, after reading My Puppy Gave to Me, they might just change their minds. This is a modern take on The Twelve Days of Christmas, only this time, it’s all about the naughty new puppy and the terrible trouble he causes the twelve days before Christmas.  From getting tangled up in the Christmas lights to tearing up the wrapping paper, this little guys causes one mishap after another.

From My Puppy Gave to Me by Cheryl Dannenbring, illustrated by Cynthia Kremsner, © 2014 by Cheryl Dannenbring, illustrations © 2014 Cynthia Kremsner, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

“On the fourth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me, four fluffy friends, three broken bulbs, two empty socks and the lights of our Christmas tree.”

While You’ll Love This Book

Singing the verses makes this a real treat to read aloud, and the enchanting illustrations are detailed and the deep reds and greens help to make this a holiday classic. Perhaps the best aspect of reading My Puppy Gave to Me, is that the story is extremely finny – that is, unless it hits too close to home and you happen to have a misbehaving puppy tearing up your own house too. The repetition in the story helps develop reading skills and there’s a lesson in counting here as well. What a delightful holiday story to read with your family!

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From My Puppy Gave to Me by Cheryl Dannenbring, illustrated by Cynthia Kremsner, © 2014 by Cheryl Dannenbring, illustrations © 2014 Cynthia Kremsner, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

About the Author

1385658735A retired teacher, Cheryl Dannenbring received her BA in elementary and special education from Augustana College in Sioux Falls and her MEQ in teaching emotional and behavioral disorders from the University of Minnesota. She has written one previous children’s book with a focus on animals. The inspiration for My Puppy Gave to Me came from a writing-group session and from her own canine experiences. She had a dog that ate a whole table of decorated gingerbread men! Dannenbring enjoys traveling to Iceland, where she has family and friends. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with her husband.

About the Illustrator8900b5_9e8e5d37885f3643140708464fa5452a.jpg_srz_p_190_300_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

Illustrator Cynthia Kremsner is a self-taught artist with a love of music and animals. She studied at Santa Rosa Junior College and has worked with highly respected artists, Salina Yoon and Cyndi Marko to improve her skills. Kremsner is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s illustrator coordinator for the Nevada region. She lives in Sparks, Nevada, with her two children, her husband, two basset hounds, one lab, one cockatiel, and one large lizard.

Book #3

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The Night Before Christmas

•    Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary and up (Ages 5 and Up)
•    Genre: Fiction Picture Book
•    Author: Clement C Moore
•    Illustrator: Tom Browning
•    Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
•    Publication Date: Reprint – October 7, 2014
•    Binding: Hard Cover
•    Dimensions: 9.5 x 11
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 40 Pages
•    Retail: $15.99
•    ISBN: 978-1454913559

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© Copyright – Sterling Children’s Books

The Classic Christmas Story with Extraordinary Illustrations

Clement C. Moore was a doctor and a father who enjoyed writing poetry, including, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” This is the story which is better known as  ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, the most beloved and traditional of all the Christmas stories. In this version the words are the same as the original, but the illustrations are new and so impressive, they are sure to instantly put your family in the Christmas spirit.

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This is not the first version of The Night Before Christmas, and it certainly won’t be the last. But there cannot possibly be any illustrations better than these. They were created by Tom Browning, a name which is synonymous with Santa Claus paintings. His work can be compared to the talents of Norman Rockwell, with his realist depictions of Old St. Nick. You simply must study the detail – from the toys in Santa’s sack to the candles on the fireplace mantle.  Browning’s shadows and light are remarkably realistic and the visual splendor he adds to this classic story is what makes this version exceptional.

© Copyright – Sterling Children’s Books

About the Illustrator

Browning_01_dscf0893Tom Browning is a nationally acclaimed and award-winning artist known for both his Santa images and his fine art, which includes a wide array of subjects. His paintings of Santa Claus have been licensed for countless products with global distribution and are now famous around the world. Although Tom now spends his time primarily painting fine art, he continues to create several Santas each year and to add them to his private collection. Tom lives in Bend, OR.

Book #4

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Santa and the Elves: Pages of Festive Activites

•    Targeted Audience: Preschool, Lower Elementary (Ages 4-7)
•    Genre: Children’s Activity Book
•    Author: Debbie Rivers-Moore
•    Illustrator: Caroline Davis
•    Publisher: Barron’s Educational
•    Publication Date: October 1, 2014
•    Binding: Paperback
•    Dimensions:9 x 8
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 48 Pages
•    Retail: $6.99
•    ISBN: 978-1438005430

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Santa and the Elves begins with a boldly illustrated story of how Santa relies on his elves to help him get the toys ready for Christmas and load them on the sleigh.  Following the story are pages of fun activities. Readers can find the missing puzzle piece, name the elves, make a door hanger, draw, spot the difference, take a Christmas quiz, design hairdos for Santa, color by number, play a matching game, do some mazes and so much more!

DSC_0011An Activity Book That Puts You in the Christmas Spirit!

There are more than 50 colorful and beautiful Christmas stickers in the book and so many pages of activities, that your child will be happily busy creating and celebrating  the joys of Christmas. There are four press-out ornaments to color and hang on your tree and so many ways for kids to be creative and demonstrate their artistic skills. It would be wonderful to buy Santa and the Elves along with some of the other Barron’s Christmas Activity books, so your child can have a complete set to keep him or her busy and entertained for hours. i

Enter for a Chance to Win All Four Christmas Spirit Titles on this Post and Be on the Lookout for Many More Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways All Week Long

  1. Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and sending us an email to smartbooks (at) comcast.net with your name and mailing address. In the subject line of the email write Christmas Spirit Giveaway.  We will not share your email or address or use it for any other purpose than this giveaway. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not include your mailing address in your email your entry will be discarded.  (We only require addresses so books can be mailed quickly and in the past we have found it difficult to contact winners to obtain their mailing addresses.)
  2. You may enter any or all of our 14 Colossal Holiday Children’s Book Giveaways but no person will be eligible to win more than one giveaway this week – we’d like to spread the cheer to as many readers as possible.
  3. Optional: You will receive one extra entry for leaving a valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me about what puts you in the Christmas Spirit.
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  6. There will be one winner for this four-book giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  7. This giveaway starts on Saturday, December 12, 2014 and ends on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 5 pm.
  8. The winner will be notified via email on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.
  9. Books will be mailed by Thursday, December 18,, 2014.
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