Monday, November 9, 2009

Review and Give-Away: Christmas Magic and the Nutcracker and the Mouse King

I remember when the Christmas season started on the day after Thanksgiving, and people thought that was early.  Maybe it is because our son's birthday falls in November, but it seems everyone has already been asking what he would like for Christmas, and friends have begun to stock up on gifts for under their trees already too!  Is Halloween the new Thanksgiving?  (Image is of the Infant Bibliophile's first Christmas, at one month old).


If you find it hard to get into the Christmas spirit early, here are a couple of books to get you on your way.  (Read through to the end for a give-away!).


The Christmas Magic (Hardcover), by Lauren Thomspon (illustrated by Jon J. Muth). From publisher: "Far, far North, when the nights are longe
st and the stars shine brightest, Santa begins to prepare for his big night of giving. He gathers his reindeer, feeds them parsnips and berries, and polishes his bells and his sled. Then lovingly, he chooses toys for every child in the world. For Santa loves them all, and he knows what each child at heart wants most. Then, with the thrum of magic that makes reindeers fly, he spreads ... Christmas joy and warmth throughout the world ..." Santa may be slightly trimmed down, and wearing bunny slippers, but his long white beard and big black boots should satisfy the most traditional Santa-fans among us. As Santa wanders around the house preparing for Christmas, he's like a lovable combination of a traditional, jolly Santa and everybody's favorite grandpa. A lovely book about the magic of Christmas.

Excerpt:

"Far, far north, where the reindeer are, there is a snug little house with a bright red door. And in that house lives Santa Claus. / Every year, just when the nights are longest and the stars shine brightest, Santa feels a tingling in his whiskers. / Then he knows that the Christmas magic will soon be here."

Bookworm's interest at 24 months: I thought it was beyond his age level, but he sat rapt through the entire book, and I think we'll get a lot of use out of this one as the holidays draw near.

Parent's Peeve: Where is Mrs. Claus?

Source: Review copy from publisher



The Nutcracker And The Mouse King (Hardcover), by E. T. A. Hoffmann (Illustrated by Gail de Marcken). Publisher's summary: "On Christmas Eve, Godfather Drosselmeier has arrived with gifts of marvel and enchantment for his young godchildren. Goddaughter Marie falls in love a bewitching nutcracker doll and claims him as her own. Yet when the clock strikes midnight, something terribly amazing happens to Godfather’s handcrafted toys…they come alive. Marie is swept off her feet on an incredible journey with the Nutcracker in this astonishing classic story by E.T.A. Hoffman. Critically acclaimed artist Gail de Marcken’s stunning illustrations bring this spellbinding tale to life." Aimed at children 4-8, this is a large, beautifully detailed version of the classic tale. Although I often read to the Infant Bibliophile outside of his age level, this one really does have a LOT of text per page, so the really youngest set probably wouldn't sit through it. On the other hand, it is so beautifully illustrated that I wouldn't hesitate to gift this to an older child or adult with a particular fondness for Christmas.

Excerpt:

"The room has become a Christmas wonderland. The Christmas tree was giant and covered with dancing lights, silver and gold apples, sugar almonds, and all sorts of treats. Around the bottom of the tree were gifts for both Marie and Fritz. From a beautiful new doll in a pink silk dress to a cavalry of toy soldiers on toy horses, the children gazed in delight."

Bookworm's interest at 24 months: He is way too young for the text, but as I sat down to type this review, it occurred to me that the detail-rich illustrations would be great for playing I-Spy, which he loves.

Parent's Peeve: More of an admission. It has been a crazy month around here, and I haven't read this book entirely through yet. I am saving it. One of these nights, when the house is quiet, I plan to sit down with a nice hot cup of apple cider, put my feet up, and get into the Christmas spirit with this one.

Source: Review copy from publisher



Give-Away

Two lucky readers will receive BOTH the Christmas Magic AND the Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Wow!

How to Enter:

1. Comment on this post for one entry.

2. Follow or subscribe to Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile and leave a comment letting us know.

3. Blog about this give-away and leave a comment letting us know.

4. Tweet with a link to the give-away and leave a comment letting us know.

Maximum number of entries: 4 per person.  This book promotion is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail).  Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if your email address is not available in your profile.  Deadline: November 23, 2009, midnight, Mountain Time.

Disclosure: Thank you to Scholastic Books for sending us a copy of each of these books in order to write this review.  Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.  

68 comments:

Christy said...

This is a fantastic giveaway!

I am bothered by the fact that I saw a lot of Christmas decorations in Target before Halloween!

lindley said...

Love the idea of the giveaway!

lindley said...

And---I'm a follower!

Britt said...

Cute books!
(Already a follower)
:D

Boo's birthday is in November, so I've instituted a "no Christmas music, no Christmas decor" rule. Since her birthday is sometimes right before and sometimes right after Thanksgiving, the rule is in place until after whichever comes 2nd. Doesn't stop me from shopping early though!

Have you read Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight? or Who Will Help Santa This Year? They're both great. The humor might be a little too old (Boo is more the right age) but even Mister loves them!

Ivy said...

Christmas starts way to early! I love the nutcracker and would enjoy looking through this version (even if they did change Clara's name. :-().

Ivy said...

Oh, and I follow your blog.

Amy said...

With 70 degree weather in Ohio, it really is a shock that Christmas is around the corner!

Amy Starr said...

Can I admit that I've started shopping already? It's so much better to not feel rushed at the end! No Christmas music yet, though! Thanks!

Amy Starr said...

I'm a loyal subscriber! I love your blog - so practical! Thanks!

Amy said...

And I follow on google reader. Have really been enjoying your blog. Although my little guy is only 7.5 months, it is good to look ahead at what might interest him.

abfantom said...

I follow and would love to win this giveaway.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

MaryAnne said...

We could use some Christmas-themed books in our home, and both of these sound like books my children could enjoy for several years, so I would love to win!

MaryAnne said...

I follow your blog =)

Sue said...

I'd love to enter the giveaway.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

MJ said...

I'd love these.

mj.coward[at]gmail.com

MJ said...

I follow

mj.coward[at]gmail.com

Joannof10 said...

We would love these book around here!!

Joannof10 said...

I follow your great blog....:-)

Infant Bibliophile said...

Britt, I haven't read those; I'll have to check them out!

1stdaughter said...

I'm so excited for these books! They are already on my kids' wishlists, but I would love to win them. Sign me up!
And I'm a follower!

Mamushi Love said...

I'd love to win these for my 5 year old God-daughter and 20 month old God-nephew. It's always nice to have a couple of Christmas books in one's home.
Thanks for the chance to win them.

Chels said...

These books look great!

Chels said...

I follow you on a private blog roll, does that count?!

ellie said...

It's still warm in Texas so it's hard to think about Christmas. But my 4 year old is getting excited and these would be great to share with him. Thanks for the giveaway.

Raising a Happy Child said...

Great books. Count me in :)

Raising a Happy Child said...

I follow you

aajacques said...

Our family loves the Nutcracker,
great giveaway.

Chels said...

Love the giveaway and I'd love to win!

ktgonyea said...

Count me in :)

ktgonyea at gmail.com

mindy said...

this looks wonderful thanks minsthins at optonline dot net

cstironkat said...

I love all Christmas stories. Please enter me in your giveaway.

okbarbie5 said...

These books are great and my grandchildren and I would love them. Thanks

JK said...

I'd love these to help my girls get into the Christmas spirit.
jaimiemildred at gmail dot com

JK said...

New follower.
jaimiemildred at gmail dot com

Pamela S said...

These are both great books to share with our children before Christmas. And I love books with beautiful illustrations. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Pamela S said...

New follower. Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

Dolphin Girl said...

These books look great. Email in profile.

cpullum said...

Please count me in! love to read these.
Carla
cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

Winning Readings said...

I'd love these books for my daughter!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Winning Readings said...

I'm a faithful follower!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Winning Readings said...

And we posted about this at Winning Readings: http://winningreadings.blogspot.com/2009/11/two-christmas-books_7692.html

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

wmmahaney said...

I would love this to add to our collection of Christmas books that we read every year. They look wonderful.
wmahaney(at)att(dot)net

souldolphindream said...

the kids and I are always looking for new books to read at bedtime story time. The nutcracker is so great to see in the theater. I cant wait to take the kids when they get a little older

souldolphindream@aol.com

Erica G said...

I would love to have these books for my kids. Thanks!

egreca (at) hotmail {dot} com

plb8156 said...

My kids would love these. Thanks for the chance
plb8156@aol.com

Daniel M said...

always fun to revisit the classics around the holidays - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Deedles said...

Wonderful books!
djeanq(at)gmail(dot)com

roseh2o19 said...

xmas is for winners

AEKZ2 said...

We would love these because they are always asking us to read to them some new stories.

doodlegirl said...

sounds like some great new books to read

Hotsnotty2 said...

I would love to win these, thanks for the chance!

Hotsnotty2@hotmail.com

crystalf said...

I would love to read these to my girls. Thanks for the giveaway!

Leslie S. said...

These sound like great books to ead to my 4 kids.Thanks!

Deb K said...

These books would be awesome for me to share with my grandchildren! As~i have 2 of them that were born on Christmas Day :) That was the nicest present that I have ever received!!

Thanks so much for the chance to win!!

deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

Deb K said...

I subscribe with Google Reader

deb55106{at}gmail{dot}com

susan1215 said...

These look like great books

Anonymous said...

Happy Stuffing Day!

theyyyguy@yahoo.com

Oneangel said...

Isnt it the best -to have a littleone in your lap and read a Christmas story to them?

sherri419 said...

My niece loves to be read to and would really like these books! I am always looking for new ones to read to her! Thanks for the chance!

sherri419 at gmail dot com

cdmarteny said...

nice review love the idea of new christmas book

Jinxy and Me said...

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Donna said...

I would love them for Christmas.
donna444444@yahoo.com

Donna said...

follower
donna444444@yahoo.com

Gianna said...

Please enter me :)

liliesrnice said...

i would love to be able to read these to my little one.

Betty C said...

I hate to see the Christmas decorations up so early but I understand it from the retail standpoint. They have to order and receive delivery of merchandise very early. They can't store everything for months so they need to start moving it off the shelves. So the decorations are part of the sales pitch.

twifanheather said...

What great books! :)

twifanheather said...

Subscriber!