Books and News to Give You Paws

Youth Yak

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Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows
Asia Citro

I really liked this book. It’s kind of an interesting young person’s book that’s a mix of fantasy and science. Zoey is a sharp little girl who stumbles onto a world of magical animals. One such animal is sick and left in Zoey’s care. Applying scientific methods, she attempts to save this special charge. It’s a good story with wonderful artwork. I think your budding scientist will like it.

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Star Wars the High Republic: A Test of Courage
Justina Ireland

Light sabers, Jedi Knights, and droids, oh my! Can this be anything but a Star Wars adventure?

Vernestra, a new Jedi Knight, gets her first assignment. Wow—adventure right off the bat, but alas, her new assignment is supervising a young female inventor, bound for a brand new space station way out in the far reaches of space. Well, at least they’re getting there on a luxury liner. But things go awry and the two, along with an intern Jedi Knight, a droid, and an ambassador’s son find themselves stranded on a nearby moon…and this group is not alone. Lots of learning and growing as the story proceeds.
This is a young person’s book that’s a lot of fun and a fairly quick read. One of the reasons I liked it was that most young people basically know a lot of Star Wars stuff, like light sabers and droids already and this allows them to get into the book quickly by eliminating a lot of background development.

A good book and it looks like it will be part of a series.

Note: Rats! Another book whose publication date has changed. This book will be out on January 5.


Hannah Hannah

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My family had a tradition of everyone reading a book on Christmas Eve to help get my daughter through a troublesome hour of anticipation. We all loved sitting around the tree and hearing these stories. Here are some I remember and recommend.

Santa's Favorite Story:
Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas

Hisako Aoki, illustrated by Ivan Gantschen

This was my sister’s favorite. She read it every year. I think the beautiful illustrations were part of the charm for her.

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Polar Express
Chris Van Allsburg

I have vivid memories of my brother reading this while his pre-teen sons added sound effects with their guitars.

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Christmas in the Barn
Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Anna Dewdney

This is the first book my daughter could read by herself. It’s by the author of Good Night Moon, and having a child proudly read it on Christmas Eve is a lovely experience.

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Cajun Night Before Christmas
Trosclair, illustrated by James Rice

Her father loved to put on accents, so his favorite to read was the Louisiana version of the Clement Moore poem wherein alligators pull Santa’s sleigh. This book is also available in a coloring book.
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Santa Calls
William Joyce

I picked different books different years. Some years I read the part of Holly & Ivy that makes me cry (I reviewed this last month). The one with the most fun use of language might be Santa Calls, about inventor Art Atchinson Aimesworth who receives a mysterious crate from Santa. The crate contains a Yuletide Flyer and an invitation to visit the North Pole (Santa calls!). Art, his pal Spaulding, and his annoying little sister Esther make the journey. Their visit is full of dangers and glories. The relationship between Art and Esther turns out to be at the heart of the adventure. This book was rather long for the Christmas Eve reading, but “Well, just in the St. Nick of time…”


Pam Pam

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Fern and Otto
Stephanie Graegin

This is the cutest story! I fell in love with the illustrations. Graegin tells the story of two friends who go for a walk for inspiration. The older of the two is writing a story. The younger of the pair wants the story to be exciting. In the end we see the story the oldest friend completes with both the exciting and the everyday activities. Along the hike the illustrations give references to other stories children may be familiar with. This book would be a great gift for a well-read child.


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