babies/tots


Santa's Cookie Is Missing!
by Chris Ayala-Kronos
illustrated by Anne Passchier
Houghton, 2019, $8.99

This delectable board book serves up intriguing cut-outs and a holiday mystery. Tots will have to keep their eyes on the lively pup and kitty as the little female protagonist takes them through a search for a missing treat. Each turn of the sturdy pages reveals a different place to look for the lost cookie - and a different winter experience. Little ones can search amongst the ornaments on the Christmas tree, by the ice-skating rink and even between the covers of a favorite book. The final double-page spread depicts a delightful surprise for Santa - and a new search, this time for his glass of milk.



Goodnight Bubbala
by Sheryl Haft
illustrated by Jill Weber
Dial, 2019, $17.99

In this playful homage to Margaret Wise Brown's "Goodnight Moon," the little boy bunny enjoys a bedtime visit from "two little bubbies schlepping their hubbies." A Hanukkah celebration ensues, and kids will love hearing and saying the Yiddish expressions - "oy vey," "shmear," "mensch" - sprinkled throughout. But as with the beloved classic, soon it is time to say goodnight to the food, playthings and family members, and to drift off to sleep with a new toy. Back matters comprise a Yiddish-English glossary, an author's note about the historic Yiddish language and a latke recipe from celebrity chef Ina Garten.


ages 3 - 7


A Day for Skating
by Sarah Sullivan
illustrated by Madeline Valentine
Candlewick, 2019, $16.99

Join a little girl and her dad and dog as she ventures with "laced-up skates" on the "shining ice." She steps, slides, tumbles, but soon she is reveling in the joys of this new adventure, from gliding with friends to warming up with hot cocoa. Sarah Sullivan's rhyming verse proves as smooth as a graceful figure skater, with Madeline Valentine's art adding intriguing details and color. And when the little girl is snuggled into bed after a busy day, the fun continues in the final pages, as wild neighbors - squirrels, raccoons, rabbits - take their turn on the slick surface.



Kugel for Hanukkah?
by Gretchen Everin
illustrated by Rebecca Ashdown
Kar-Ben, 2019, $17.99

Follow this spunky first-person narrator as she celebrates the eight nightsof Hanukkah with extended family. Each night she notices what Grandma receives - "a shiny baking dish," "a teeny tiny bottle of vanilla" - and hopes her present might prove to be a pet, maybe a turtle with a shiny shell or a teeny tiny hamster. Instead, her gifts are a metal lamp, a ceramic bowl and an odd plant. To help assuage the little girl's disappointment, Grandma asks for her help in creating a special dish from all the culinary gifts. No sooner is the yummy kugel pulled from the oven than the doorbell rings - and there is a pet no one could have imagined! This playful Hanukkah tale warrants praise for two things in particular: a mystery pet adopted from the animal shelter and a modern Grandma who defies ageist stereotypes with her chic haircut and sparkly scarf.



Little Robin's Christmas
by Jan Fearnley
Nosy Crow, 2019, $16.99

Why do robins have red breasts? In this charming pourquoi tale, youngsters learn how brown-and-white Little Robin got his splash of color. He starts the Christmas season with seven festive vests of various colors - purple, yellow, green - but gives them away over time to the frog, rabbit and baby otter he finds shivering in the cold. When snow begins falling on Christmas Eve, Little Robin realizes he is without protection - until a white-bearded gentleman brings him home to thaw before a toasty fire. And then Little Robin receives a gift that will keep him "warm forever" - a cozy red vest, a "perfect fit" for the generous bird. A lovely story about the true "spirit of Christmas".


ages 8 - 12


The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Hero
by Joan DiCicco
illustrated by Ebony Glenn
Lee & Low, 2019, 19.95

Garrett Morgan certainly embodies all seven of the Kwanzaa principles, with his self-determination, creativity and sense of responsibility and purpose. Born in 1877 in Kentucky to sharecropping parents, Garrett loved to learn and invent things. As a young man, he moved to Ohio and became the successful owner of a garment business and an inventor of stop lights and protective helmets and gas masks for firemen and soldiers. Garrett constantly had to confront virulent racism, but he didn't let that stop him. He helped other African Americans with jobs and advice. He established a newspaper that focused on the African American community and hired black journalists. Garrett Morgan should be celebrated as one of America's most esteemed inventors - and hopefully, this book will be a step toward greater recognition.



Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Journey to Justice
by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Whitney Gardner
Simon & Schuster, 2019, $19.99

Debbie Levy brings her talents as a renowned author and skillful lawyer to this compelling graphic biography of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And art by Whitney Gardner brings to vibrant life the people and incidents that helped shape Ginsburg's thinking and career trajectory. Born in Brooklyn in 1933, Ruth became aware as a youngster of the anti-Semitism, racism and sexism "widespread in America" at the time. The book shows Ruth and her husband, Marty, wrestling with the challenges of law school and their first child - and gender-restricted library rooms and job opportunities. But when she becomes a law professor and begins to argue discrimination cases before the Supreme Court, Ruth is able to help create positive change that continues to this day across the country.



Mary Quattlebaum is the author of 27 award-winning children's books, most recently "Brother, Sister, Me and You," a National Geographic nonfiction picture book about animal siblings. Mary is a popular school and conference speaker. maryquattlebaum.com

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