Text by Diane Slocum
hristmas is a great time to encourage children to enjoy books. Here are a few of our favorite Christmas stories published this year.
The Little Golden Book version of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” came out in July. It is illustrated by Jannette Arroyo. Based on Tim Burton’s classic film, it tells the story of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween Town, who wants to be also the King of Christmas Town. It is aimed at children ages 2 to 5 years.
“The Real Santa” (Random House, October) by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, follows one Black family as it discovers what the real Santa looks like. Based on Redd’s own family traditions, the story celebrates identity, family and holiday cheer. Appropriate for ages 4-8 years.
Poppy Harlow’s “The Biggest Little Boy: A Christmas Story” (Viking, November) centers on Luca, a boy who likes everything big. At Christmas, what he wants most of all is the biggest Christmas tree. What he learns is that what really matters is having a big heart.
The book is for children aged 3 to 7 years.
Valley native Jane Porter has no end of exciting news. Her latest novel in the Wyatt Brothers of Montana series, a Christmas story, came out in November. “Montana Cowboy Miracle” centers on Cade Hunt, a cousin of the Wyatt brothers who is trying to learn about his past and meets a young widow who has no interest in a brooding cowboy. Porter’s other Christmas novels include “Miracle on Chance Avenue,” “Not Christmas Without You,” “Christmas at Copper Mountain,” “Oh, Christmas Night,” “A Christmas Miracle for Daisy” and “Kidnapped Christmas Bride.”
Even more exciting, Jane has two books that have been made into movies this year for the GAC Family Network. Not only that, but “The Tycoon’s Kiss,” Book 2 of the “Taming of the Sheenan” series, retitled for the movie, “An Autumn Romance,” was the first original movie for the network when it debuted on Oct. 23. Her second movie is based on Book 5 in the Sheenan series, “A Christmas Miracle for Daisy.” This production will premiere on Dec. 11.
With all of this, Jane is not stopping to rest on her laurels. She has books that will be released next year and the year after.