Christmas 2023 is coming in over 190 days. And I found two books that will be coming out sooner than that. Both of the below titles were read via an online reader copy, but I will be getting copies when they come out in mid-September 2023 as they are too cute not to own several copies, give as gifts and read as many times as you can.
Normally I am not a “rambunctious child” fan. But with A Creature Was Stirring, the mischievous mouse is not being bad, but being as typical of a kid on Christmas Eve as possible. How can anyone be sleeping on this magical night? And besides, our little mouse has never heard of mice not scurrying about! Heather S Perczynski and Skylar Hogan’s picture book was a hoot. All of the adventures and silliness our young hero can get into and do, is boldly, colorfully, and wonderfully displayed on the page. A few twists and turns and a special guest appearance makes this my choice for a non-religious Christmas book this year. However, you can enjoy it any time, even if it is a solid Christmas story. This take of The Night Before Christmas will be a delightful addition to your child’s library.
And my second choice for a non-religious Christmas story goes to The Christmassy Cactus. This book is sweet, maybe not Pure Leaf Extra-Sweet-Tea (maybe just regular sweet) but it is sweet. It is not going to be for everyone because of that. However, it is a delightful book about believing in wishes and sometimes you must take care of things yourself. And with Beth Ferry’s Tiny Cactus, we see how Christmas can be wonderful, but not when Tiny’s girl seems to forget about her. Yet, it is a small, seemingly insignificant thing that shows Tiny Cactus what it is all about. The illustrations are what makes things mostly sweet, there is a lovely, diverse family, and wonderful details around the room where Cactus stays on her shelf. We see holiday colors, but overall there are less traditional colors and more bright colors (pink plays an important role). A. N. Kang’s artwork allows for the little things to become bigger things.