Thursday, November 15, 2018

Candlewick Christmas lovelies: Little Christmas Tree by Jessica Courtney-Tickle and Coming Home by Mchael Morpurgo [Review & Giveaway US/CANADA 2 winners]

One would think by the design and titles of these two books that they are specifically designed for Christmas time or celebration. Not so. These are focused on the natural world and the beauty of it. Yet these would make lovely gifts to bestow on some child during this wintery season. They can be enjoyed throughout the winter season.

Little Christmas Tree by Jessica Courtney-Tickle (Big Picture Press an imprint of Candlewick Press)

My thoughts:  This is such a sweet book. It is a large sturdy board book that is safe in little hands. Yet it is designed to enthrall the little ones. There are fascinating lift-the-flap opportunities and when you lift a flap you discover an object or a creature. It is nice that the flaps' underside has the word for what you discover. Some of the flaps are very small and you must look closely to discover them all. Nice!

The book is lovely with the woodland illustrations and creatures highlighted with touches of silver embossing. Lends a nice pretty touch. I like that the tree remains in the forest. Uncut. Undecorated except with the glitter of snow and ice alight from the light of Moon or Sun. Lovely.

The story is a poem and reads very nicely with good cadence and rhyme. Love it because this method of story telling captures the child's imagination, ensures later recall, and promotes a love of poetry.

I highly recommend this as a Winter-Season book and not simply a Christmas  book. Be sure you look for this one.

About the book: One white and snowy night, a little Christmas tree stands alone in the forest. Everything is white and lifeless. As the night goes on, there are signs of life: an orange fox, a red-breasted robin, a cloud of fireflies. By the end of the book, the little Christmas tree is transformed by nature. Another glorious lift-the-flap exploration of nature in the same series as Little Tree and Little Honeybee.

Coming Home  by Michael Morpurgo and Kerry Hyndman (Candlewick Press)

My thoughts:  The author uses free verse and words that convey an urgency and impending danger. A longing. A compelling sense and need to get to a destination. The artist beautifully conveys this urgency and danger in the robin's journey through storms, over mountains and rivers and oceans, battling predatory birds, and his own weariness in the action packed illustrations.

A beautifully told story and one that will implant well in the mind of a young child the migratory journey that birds - not just this single robin - face as they move across this globe we call Earth.

This is a superb book for a child to have to read over and over during the cold, snowy days of Winter. He will be able to begin understand the wee bird's plight and yet also grasp the innate destiny that is the bird's to move from place to place in his migratory journey.

At the end of his journey, the robin meets his mate. We are not told why the mate is already there or if the mate never migrated. Perhaps that is a tale for another day.

About the book: A plucky little robin sets out on an epic journey. Through dark forests, driving rain, clapping thunder and flashing lightning. Across frozen wastes, huge mountains and stormy seas he flies. And all the while he's dreaming of home. Of her. But will he ever get there? Find out in this wonderfully lyrical Christmas story from the brilliant Michael Morpurgo, with stunning illustrations by Kerry Hyndman.

A Christmas gift perfect choice

2 Winners each Win 2 Books
Begins November 16
Ends December 2 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA/CANADA addresses only.
NO P.O. BOXES, please!

DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies of the two books to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone and are freely given. Winners' copies are provided and mailed by Candlewick Press to the winner.


  1. 1. In their Picture Books category, I'd like to have Bear Moves.

    2. In the Big Picture Press category, I'd like for you to review A Pandemonium of Parrots and Other Animals.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  2. "(1) One other Candlewick picture book you would like to have." "The Goods: Volume 1."

    "(2) Then look under the Candlewick/Imprints tab, select "Big Picture Press" and select one picture book you would like reviewed here on Chat With Vera." "The Night Flower: The Blooming of the Saguaro Cactus."

  3. 1. Book I'd like to have: Sleep, My Bunny

    2. Book I'd like to see reviewed: Highest Mountain, Smallest Star

  4. I would love to have 123: Early Learning at the Museum.
    I would love you to review Do You Believe in Unicorns?

  5. Dreamland, and in the big picture books; Fish Everywhere

  6. I would like to have And Here's to You! by David Elliott and Randy Cecil. I would like you to review Little Honeybee by Katie Haworth and Jane Ormes.

  7. 1) Dreamland
    2) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: A Puzzle Adventure

  8. 1) I'd choose Sleep my Bunny!
    2) Would love for you to review Little Honeybee

  9. 1 A First Book of the Sea (Hardback)
    author: Nicola Davies
    2 Secrets of the Sea (Hardback)
    author: Kate Baker

  10. One other Candlewick picture book I would like to have is Speechless. One picture book I would like reviewed here on Chat With Vera is Botanicum. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Hi Sunny - I DID REVIEW "Botanicum" here on Chat With Vera. Here is link.... They have lovely books, don't they!

  11. #1. Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster (Hardback)
    author: James Howe
    #2 Walk This Wild World (Hardback)
    author: Kate Baker

  12. "Coming home" looks like one we would really enjoy! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!


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