by Martha Brockenbrough, illustrated by Lee White
Arthur A Levine Books, 2017
This book is sure to become a classic, as it dispels the myth of Santa in a loving, affirming way. It will be a hit with kids, as half the pages invite children to open letters tucked inside envelopes.
Beginning when Lucy was five, she wrote a letter to Santa, and Santa wrote back. When she was six, she wrote another letter, and Santa wrote back. When she was seven, she started a letter, but…asking for stuff didn’t matter as much. By the time she was eight, she suspected that Santa was not real and the presents had come from mom. Her mother wrote a letter back explaining Santa’s job is not to deliver presents, but to help us ‘believe’. Her mother tells Lucy she is now on Santa’s team. A touching story that reframes ‘Santa’ in a new, fresh way.
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The Book of Chocolate, The Amazing Story of the World’s Favorite Candy
by HP Newquist
This book is a chocolate lover’s delight for both adults and children!
The history of chocolate begins in ancient times with the cocoa bean and goes up until 2015’s top selling chocolates. Everything about chocolate you ever wondered is in this book. I completed it’s 147 pages in a weekend. As a history buff, I loved the stories of how chocolate started as, basically, cottage industries in the United States. How the families battled to make their own unique chocolates successful, how the second world war influenced the industry and helped bring peace to the world.
The book contains fun factoids, like, “Research has found that countries where people eat a lot of chocolate also produce a lot of Nobel Prize winners”, with Switzerland at the top with 26 pounds of chocolate per person and 32 Nobel Prize winners per 10 million people. The book includes old advertisements, old photos, and geography lessons, too. Maps show that 71.2% of cocoa beans grow in Africa. Wonderfully written, easy to read and you better have a box of chocolates on hand!
Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon. Great gift book!
A Voyage in the Clouds, The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785
By Matthew Olshan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Margaret Ferguson Books, 2016
Mix in a small bit of history from 1785, two partners trying to best one another, grown men in underwear, and two men literally ‘peeing’ from a hot air balloon ride to save their lives, and readers will have a fun read on the First International Flight by Balloon. In this ‘mostly’ true story, Englishman Dr Jeffries and Monsieur Blanchard, the pilot, join together to make the first hot air balloon flight between countries. They start in England and cross the English Channel/La Manche, to land in France.
The story opens when both men claim they will be the first to step off the aerial car in France, and it ends with both men insisting the other goes first. Find out how they both try to best each other, and how and why they join together in the end.
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