Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Christmas books at Candlewick Press delight and bring joy & a "Thanks a Latte" Giveaway Blog Hop [Review & Giveaway]

This post is being shared on a "blog hop"
hosted by Mama The Fox. A blog hop is 
a grand opportunity for you to see several
fun giveaways in one spot and enter many.

The Christmas Doll: A Repair Shop Story by Amy Sparkes, ISBN: 9781536231366 | Ages 4-9

My thoughts:
This is such a special and lovely book. Bright, cheerful. The style is reminiscent of vintage children's books in its story telling and illustrations.

A heartwarming story of a little girl in London who was sent, as were thousands of English children, to the countryside as far from the threat of war as possible during WWII. She had such sadness in leaving her parents behind coupled with the uncertainty and fear at perhaps being unwanted and uncared for. Then she began to enjoy her country life and the kindness of her new family. And at Christmas time they gave her a lovely little doll.

That Christmas Doll is the subject of this story, too. The doll is destined to become a third generation treasure as she is taken to the Repair Shop and restored to original lovliness.

Such a sweet, heartwarming story and gives young children a glimpse into what it was like to be an English child during WWII.

About the book: A little girl in wartime England finds that a simple act of generosity and kindness changes her life forever in this heartfelt holiday book based on a popular British TV show.

Susan is very young when she’s evacuated from London during World War II and sent to live in the countryside with a family she has never met. Uncertain of her new surroundings and desperately missing home, she holds out little hope for the months ahead. Then, on Christmas Day, she receives a doll that she names Lizzy. It is the best present she’s ever had. Only decades later, when Susan and her great-granddaughter Evie bring the precious doll in for repairs—and Susan narrates the tale of her tumultuous childhood—does she realize the true meaning and scope of the gift she received that long-ago Christmas morning. From the bustling endpapers showing the repair team at work restoring a legacy to glowing illustrations evoking nostalgia and warmth, this cozy tale based on an episode of the British TV series The Repair Shop is a festive read-aloud to share at the holidays.

Dasher Can’t Wait for Christmas by Matt Tavares, ISBN: 9781536230130 | Ages 4-8

My thoughts:
Such a sweet story about one of Santa's reindeer who slipped away for a little pre-Christmas excursion of her own. Dasher just wanted to see some of the Christmas lights simply couldn't wait until Christmas Eve to see them.

An exhausted and lost Dasher meets a young boy named Charlie who helps Dasher find her way back to the North Pole.

A sweet story.  

About the book: Matt Tavares's sequel to the New York Times best-selling Dasher is a joyful ode to helping others--and another holiday classic in the making.

"If you ever get lost, just look for the North Star."

With only one sleep left before Christmas Eve, Dasher can't contain her excitement for her favorite holiday. With the sound of Christmas carols on the breeze and twinkling lights radiating from a nearby city, she sneaks off to visit the festivities. But as night deepens and snow starts to fall, Dasher realizes she can no longer spot the North Star in the sky to lead her home. Will the kindness of a child, an unexpected gift, and a dose of Christmas spirit get her back in time to help guide Santa's sleigh? The New York Times best-selling creator of Dasher has crafted another delightful journey featuring everyone's favorite reindeer doe, in a story full of giving, joy, and holiday magic.

Merry Christmas, Anna Hibiscus!  by Atinuke & illustrated by Lauren Tobia, ISBN 9781536231229 | Ages 6-9

My thoughts: 
This is a really cute story (or actually a collection in this book of four stories) that shares how a young child from Africa experiences a change in cultures by visiting Canada. This change in location also brings a new experience in types of weather - hot and cold, snow and summer sun. 

She discovers a difference in homes, family structure - size, etc, and experiences children that are not kind.

This is one of a collection of books about Anna Hibiscus and is for readers age 6 to 9.

About the book: When Anna leaves her family home in Africa to visit her Canadian grandmother, she discovers how resilient she can be in this fourth collection of stories from Atinuke’s beloved series.

Anna Hibiscus has never been away from her big white house in Nigeria, where baby brothers, many cousins, parents, aunties, uncles, and grandparents are always nearby. But now she’s flying overseas on her own to visit Granny Canada and see snow for the first time! When she lands at the airport, Anna finds herself amid a sea of white faces in a place that is breathtakingly cold. Canada is very different, but Anna learns how to pull on toasty layers of clothing, warms up to Granny’s large dog (who does not live in a pack and bite people), hones her new talent for sledding, and celebrates cozy Christmas rituals—all while keenly missing her cousins. Told with warmth and humor and illustrated in delightful detail, this tale of finding family and belonging far away from home will resonate with every child who’s had to navigate an unfamiliar place. Secret word: Hop

We Disagree About This Tree by Ross Collins,  ISBN 9781536231984 | Ages 2-5

My thoughts: 
A simple story and illustrations about a bear and a mouse who cannot agree on how to decorate their Christmas tree. Not my favorite but a bit of fun to read. 

About the book: A festive follow-up to There's a Bear on My Chair and There’s a Mouse in My House

Bear and Mouse have finally overcome their differences and are living together in perfect harmony . . . until it’s time to decorate the Christmas tree! Bear wants dazzling lights, while Mouse prefers gigantic ornaments. Did Mouse just put a manatee on the top of the tree? After Bear attempts an upside-down tree, it looks as if Christmas might be ruined for the pair. But maybe, just maybe, Bear and Mouse can reach a compromise in the spirit of the season.

4 Books to 1 Winner
Begins Nov. 1
Ends Nov. 15 @ 11:59 p.m. ET
Open to USA/CANADA  addresses only
NO P.O. BOXES - Canadian phone # required
This hop is hosted by MamatheFox 🦊~ MamatheFox and all participating blogs are not held responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfill their prize obligations. Click the blogs/links below to open other giveaway opportunities you can enter.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publicist or publisher. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. My joyful act today was making a meal for all my son's friends that came over to play!

  2. Picked up snacks for a friend.


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