by Aimee Friedman – Kasie West – Melissa De La Cruz – Nic Stone
I said I’d never read a Christmas / Hanukkah / Winter themed YA compilation again after Let It Snow. I didn’t like that book at all. However I’m a sucker for sweet holiday themed stories so I knew if I saw there was a new compilation made I’d check it out from the library. I’m so glad I did I really liked these stories, some more than others but they were all great.
SNOW AND MISTLETOE by Kasie West: ( 4 stars ) The first story in the book and the best one! I really loved everything about this story from Amalie and Sawyer secretly crushing on each other to the great road trip that followed. The story was sweet and innocent and a great way to start off this book. This was my favorite of the four.
WORKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND by Aimee Friedman: ( 3 stars ) This story I guess was okay. I was happy to find out the main character Maxine was Jewish. There are so few Hanukkah books out there for teens. So I was excited to dive into it. However it didn’t really even touch Hanukkah this holiday and all the rich traditions that come with it. I guess in a way it did show us what’s it is like to have Christmas everywhere and very little Hanukkah anywhere.
THE MAGI’S GIFTS by Melissa De La Cruz: ( 2 stars ) I just didn’t click with this one. Nothing wrong with the story really just didn’t hook me like the first two. I mean come on you sell a family heirloom to buy a gift for a friend and not get in trouble really!
GROUNDED by Nic Stone: ( 3.75 stars ) I super sweet cute story. I really enjoyed the storyline and characters. This was a first for me to read Nic Stone but I think I need to read more. If Nic Stone can write such a fully developed story in so few pages I really need to read one of their books and ASAP.
A Story of Knitting and Love
by Michelle Edwards
illustrated by G. Brian Karas
This book is such a sweet story about how a special neighbor and little girl make hats for all their family and neighborhood friends. Mrs. Goldman is a knitter and she makes hats, mittens and even her little doggie a dinosaur sweater. Sophia is the little girl next door who helps Mrs. Goldman by making special pom poms to go on top of the hats. Sophia tried to learn to knit but it was just so hard. While on a walk one blustery cold day she notices Mrs. Goldman doesn’t have a hat to keep her head warm. Mrs. Goldman tells her she gave her hat away to someone who needed it, and is so busy knitting for everyone else she hasn’t made a new hat for herself. This gives Sophia an idea she is going to conquer knitting and make a very special hat for a very special Mrs. Goldman. She knits night and day when she is at home. After some time as passed she is finally done but it doesn’t look the greatest, what can she do to make it pretty? She knows just the thing and she goes to work creating lots and lots of pom poms. When she is done she runs it over. Mrs. Goldman loves her hat and the sweet gift makes her cry tears of joy. Now when her and Sophia walk the dog Fifi they will be nice and toasty in their knitted hats. The last few pages of this sweet little picture book includes directions on how to knit a hat. I would love to learn to knit but I’m with Sophia it is hard, a lot harder than I thought it would be. Maybe I need to be like her and just keep trying and conquer my own fear of knitting.
This library book has a great message and the illustrations are so soft and inviting. The book would be such a great one to read either at home or even in a classroom setting. If you have ever wanted to learn to knit maybe you could use the instructions to learn knitting yourself. Maybe even make it a family activity and learn to knit right along with your bookworms. There is also instructions on creating pom poms. Just think of all the fun things you can do with pom poms. You can add them to your knitted hats, make pom pom garland, add them to presents and so much more.