Local Library Finds Holiday Edition: Santa’s Miracles in the Snow

Family traditions~ they are what make the holiday season special, what bring us together to share love, laughter, and joy, to gather around the table for a delicious meal and conversation, and to fall asleep with dreams of Christmas morning cheer and prancing sugar plum fairies dancing in our minds ~ all while snuggling beneath piles of red velvet quilts, glowing with the warmth of feeling loved. Some of my own family holiday traditions~ the Christmas cookie decorating, icing the frolicking reindeer and big Santa bellies with sugar crystals and smooth, creamy frosting –  decking the Christmas tree with glittering, glass ornaments and gold trinkets, creating a *white* Christmas with our own glistening form of snow – staying up late and dressing up in our best attire for midnight mass, where we sing Christmas carols with open hearts and bursting lungs – making gift giving and unwrapping last the entire Christmas day, saving Santa’s stockings for nighttime opening by a crackling fire, dressed in pjs and sipping hot tea or cocoa.

The holiday season is the time for family and friends ~ a reminder to be grateful for the precious time we have together, and to cherish each other’s company. *Plus~ holiday season means Winter Break, which means plenty of free time to delve into the world of reading~*

As much as I *love* Christmas, I was a bit underwhelmed when perusing my own holiday children’s book collection. A few treasured classics *think The Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express* caught my eye, but the meager pile could not match my excitement for the holiday season. While my mind flitted to making lists of holiday book must-haves, the pile growing magically in my mind’s eye with a whirl of green and red sparkles, I   reluctantly acknowledged that purchasing a whole new *shelf* of holiday books was not in my budget. Maybe a couple of special ones could bet bought each Christmas, but building any book collection is a slow and steady process! It requires a mix of older classics and childhood favorites, books from Christmas’ past and books newly released this holiday season.

So as I carefully choose my two holiday favorites to add to my own personal collection, in the meantime, how can I tide myself over with festive-children’s-books-cheer? *Did you guess it??* With my Local Library of course ~ my very own local Santa’s workshop of books ~ for all the little ones to enter the world of reading and fall in love with the pages they discover. *Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a brand new book~ about you!~*

Check out the Book List below to see some *holiday* themed local library finds to look out for at your own library!

MaiStoryBook’s Local Library Finds ~ Holiday Edition

  1. The Snowchild by Debi Gliori
  2. Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
  3. Waiting for Santa by Steve Metzger, Illustrated by Alison Edgson
  4. Twas the Fright Before Christmas by Judy Sierra, Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
  5. Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert by Marla Frazee
  6. Carlos, Light the Farolito by Jean Ciavonne, Illustrated by Donna Clair
  7. Three French Hens by Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Richard Egielski
  8. Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
  9. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, Illustrated by Cheryl Harness

*~Take a sneak-peak inside these library gems~*

  • The Snowchild
    • A sweet winter story sure to get your toes twitching and nose wrinkling for the kiss of frosty snow. Katie loves to play- but her games are always bit off from what the other children are playing. Discouraged from having to always play alone, one day, Katie builds a snowchild~ her very own friend! And with the magic of winter snowfall, this dear snowchild may just bring a long a *real* friend this season for Katie.
  • Little Penguins
    • In this super-sweet, super-simple story, 4 little penguins venture out into the snow. With playful illustrations, short text, and adorable penguins, little ones will love learning about snow adventures. Dreams of land covered in snow, and of being bundled up with mittens and scarves are sure to float in your little one’s minds after reading this cute book!

  • Waiting for Santa
    • Perfect for any *non-believers*, this animal friendly Christmas story will get you and your little one prepping for Santa’s special visit! Bear tells his friends they have to get ready for Santa! Disgruntled Badger insists Santa won’t be coming, but Bear reminds his friends that the magic of Santa is that you need to believe! After all of their preparation, will Santa show up after all?
  • Twas the Fright before Christmas
    • For all the Halloween lovers ~ prepare to combine your two favorite holidays with this hilarious spin on the Night Before Christmas ~ Halloween edition! *On the night before Christmas in an old haunted house…not a creature was stirring, until…. Aroo-rooo!!!* Find out what happens on Christmas Eve in this haunted house of rollicking fun and spooky characters!

  • Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert
    • How does Santa know *exactly* what toy to give each child? How does he know the *perfect* gift that will make Christmas Day the most *wonderful day of the year?* Well, in case you didn’t already guess it, Santa is the Number One toy expert in the world! And what is necessary to become a toy expert?? Hours and days, 364 days to be exact, of researching toys, taking notes, testing toys, and compiling data~ until finally, it’s the day before Christmas Eve once more, and Santa has his finalized gift list completed just in time!
  • Carlos, Light the Farolito
    • A beautifully illustrated story introducing a Christmas custom practiced by families in and from Mexico ~ Las Posadas. Las Posadas is a traditional reenactment of the Nativity scene. In this tale, Carlos must step up and take his Grandfather’s role of being the Innkeeper during this year’s Las Posadas. As the procession in the streets draws nearer and nearer to his home, Carlos must overcome his shyness and fear to welcome the joyful celebration into his home.

  • Three French Hens
    • A twist on the classic *12 Days of Christmas* ~  when the mademoiselle sends her true love three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree, what happens when the three French hens…never arrive?? Instead of being delivered to the *true love* in Paris, the three French Hens end up at Phil *Fox’s* house in the Bronx. Phil the Fox, after going without a decent meal in weeks, can’t believe his luck when these three hens appear on his doorstep. But, with a little Christmas magic, these Three French Hens just may be able to bring some true Christmas spirit to Phil Fox’s home this holiday season!
  • Miracle on 133rd Street
    • Prepare to be enchanted by the most colorful, vibrant illustrations to be seen this Christmas! In this holiday treat of a book, an urban families Christmas dinner dilemma becomes a community celebration and a holiday miracle! On Christmas Eve, when Mama discovers that the roast cannot fit into the over~ Jose and Papa walk the streets, knocking on neighbors doors to find someone with a large enough oven willing to help. However, no one seems to be in the holiday spirit, until the delectable scent of Mami’s cooking begins to draw the neighbors from their houses ~ bringing everyone together for a holiday feast.
  • The Night Before Christmas
    • No Christmas story collection is complete without this classic. The perfect bedtime story for Christmas Eve, little ones will be racing to shut their eyes and fall asleep in anticipation of Christmas morning and the surprises it will bring! Either that, or they will sneakily yawn and hide under blankets, eyes wide awake as they strain their ears for the jingling sleigh bells and reindeer hooves on the roof.

*~I hope you enjoyed these special holiday treasures I found! Please comment below and share your own Local Library Holiday Finds! I’m always looking for new treasures to read!~*

*~Shoutout to my local Library: Oceanside Civic Center Public Library~*

*Plus, checkout out a read aloud of one of my current holiday favorites here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

*~ Happy Reading~*

Local Library Book Sale Book Haul: Pirates, Mummies, and 1,000 tortoises

*~Thank you for all the MaiStoryBook love, and 100 subscribers on MaiStoryBook Youtube Channel! To thank you all~ here is a book haul with 10 spectacular titles to check out! More books = more *Happy Reading*!~*

Diving into my local library book sale, I’ll never know what I find~ This week: pirates, mummies, 1,000 tortoises, writing worms, and kissing kangaroos. Curiosity peaked? Check out the titles below!

Every first Sunday of the month, my favorite local library bookstore *shout out to San Clemente City Library* holds an outdoor book sale, taking out books that were saved in their backroom specifically for this monthly event~i.e. books too good to be displayed in the ordinary library bookstore. What this means: treasures and fantastic finds *galore.*

One of my favorite days of the month, I look forward to this monthly outing to San Clemente, a quaint, dreamy town by the sea, a few cities north of home. The book sale coincides with the city’s weekly farmers market, thus making for the perfect combo of first browsing through piles of books, and then sampling and sifting through fresh fruits, vegetables, and organic snacks. The early afternoon is complete with brunch, mimosas, and a warm, gooey butter cake topped with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream. Books + Happy Tummy = My Perfect Sunday Morning.

But back to the books, this month’s latest book haul~ I struck gold! 10 beautiful *hardcover* books in great condition, each under $3. I look for not only quality of content in books, but physical quality condition as well, preferring hardcopies of books when affordable- and at these book sales, hardcovers are definitely affordable! Check out these great finds below and see if any titles catch your eye.

San Clemente Library Book Sale Haul

Two adorable books about being unique. Todd Park takes children on a colorful adventure of all the possibilities of being *different*, while Chodos-Irvine introduces us to Ella, a spunky girl determined to show off her style and express who she is. *Notice the price tags: $2.00 + $1.00 for these hardcovers in great condition!*

Road Dahl is one of my favorite authors with his quirky characters and imaginative adventures. I’ve actually never heard of this title before, *Esio Trot* but was able to delight in this quick-read, slightly bizarre love story of a man in love with a woman with a tortoise. His plan to win her heart? Buy 1,000 tortoises. Does it work? *Read the book and find out* Also, ever wonder what a worm does? Best way to find out: read their diary~

Two beautifully illustrated books to read to your little loved ones. “I Love it When You Smile” by McBratney explores how to get your grumpy grouch to break a smile. What’s one fail-safe way to get a young child to laugh? *Hint: some mud and a big splash are involved* Also, for fans of Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown delights again with this sweet, “Goodnight Little One,” book, taking you and your child on a nighttime journey through fields of baby animals.

Couldn’t resist this full collection of the classic comic. Perfect edition for the classroom for comic book readers looking for laughs and a couple new adventure pals.

My last 2 favorite finds. The Ology Book series offer pages of intricate displays of information on captivating topics such as wizardology, dragonology, mythology, and these 2 titles here. Fold-outs, flaps, hidden parchments, secret compartments- with all these interactive resources, these books offer a delve into topics sure to spark the curiosity and interest of any child and young reader.

Overall, I’d say it was quite a successful Book Haul! Please comment and share which titles call out to you, or if you’ve read any of these books~ I’d love to hear your thoughts! Which do you like best??

*~Plus, check out an interactive read aloud of my current Halloween favorite book here.~*

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

Local Library Finds: Dreaming of Orange Fairies in Tornados of Words

Upon entering a bookstore, other than feeling absolutely euphoric to be surrounded by thousands of different worlds, snugged tightly in their jacket covers, I can’t help but to feel that bubbling of anxiety as the small voice squeaks from the back of my mind, *You can only buy one book- make the right choice! Don’t buy the wrong one– what a waste of money!* I find myself hecticly scrolling through my phone, searching through multiple open tabs: Goodreads, Amazon, NY Times Bestseller List, Random Blogs etc., scanning through reviews and counting the stars. Anyone relate??

If only there were a way I could take a bunch of books for *free*, read them, see if I like them, and then decide if I should buy them for my own *home*-library. Well, *drumrollllll* lucky for me, there is!!!

*~Welcome to the Library~*

The Library: With no limit to how many books you can check out, it is the perfect place to sample something new, check out whatever catches your eye, and expose your child to a vast new world of books, all for free!

Then, if you find that you’ve checked out a jackpot winner, and your child falls in love with a special book, you have a few options: 1) You could renew it multiple times *with limitations unfortunately,* 2) or return it and see if you can rent it right away again, 3) or you could make the trip to the bookstore and feel assured that you will be spending your money on a worthwhile copy of your child’s new favorite book~ a book that will follow along with them as they grow up, forever a part of their childhood and sparking memories of bedtime stories and snuggles upon a glance at its cover or a ruffle through its pages.

The library is teeming with up-to-date selections, as well as classics and old favorites. This past weekend I went to the library to check out some books on hold, and couldn’t resist renting a handful of extra books that caught my eye. Check out the Book List below to see some *fabulous* local library finds to look out for at your own library!

*Tip: If you have a library card, you can login to your account on their website to search for books by title and put them on hold. You will be notified through your account when the books are ready to pick up, and must simply drive to the library and find them waiting for you on the front desk! Super time-saver if you know what you want~ *But if you have the time, browse around; you never know what treasure you’ll find*

MaiStoryBook’s Local Library Finds

  1. A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
  2. Gone with the Wand by Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Brian Ajhar
  3. Now! by Tracey Corderoy, Illustrated by Tim Warnes
  4. Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long
  5. Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex

*~Take a sneak-peak inside these library gems~*

  • A Child of Books
    • This was my favorite find~ the beautiful figure drawings of Oliver Jeffers combined with the fine word print work of Sam Winston unite to create a luminous realm of books and words, a dreamworld of stories traversed by two young children on an adventure to unlock their imaginations. This stunning story brings to life the rewards of reading and the ability of books to unlock a lifetime of magic and adventure.
  • Gone with the Wand
    • Author Margie Palatini never fails to leave me giggling with glee over plays on words, allusions to childhood tales and nursery rhymes, and lively plots. For children living in a fantasy world, this book will tickle their fairy senses and give them a glimpse into the lives of the fairies. With its allusions to the classic princess fairytales, children will delight in the familiar references and be taken on journey through pixie dust~*

  • Now!
    • Adults, ever had that child who wanted something, NOW? The perfect book to talk to children about patience, this story follows Otto the rhino as he learns that right Now, isn’t always the best time, and that some things are definitely worth waiting for.

  • Otis and the Tornado
    • This book is part of a beloved series about Otis the tractor, who is loyal and kind, and leads his group of friends to play rambunctious childhood games. In each book, the group plays a new game. Later in the story, the game is then used to help out a new friend in need, who by the end of the book, joins their friend group. Thus, with each sequential book, Otis and his group of friends gains one new friend, growing their group in size. A beautiful book about friendship and acceptance, Otis is a model for how to treat others, even those who aren’t, at first, always nice in return.

  • Nothing Rhymes with Orange
    • If you’re ever looking for a laugh-out-loud book, this newly released quirky tale will have you chuckling with cheer. As a child, I can remember lounging lazily with my friends, challenging each other to find a word to rhyme with orange. If you’ve ever wondered how to crack the challenge, read this book to find out! There just may be something that rhymes with orange.

*~I hope you enjoyed these special gems I found! Please comment below and share your own Local Library Finds! I’m always looking for new treasures to read!~*

*~Shoutout to my local Library: Oceanside Civic Center Public Library~*

*Plus, checkout out a read aloud of one of my current favorites here. *

*~Until Next Time, Happy Reading~*

Building Your Own *Cost-effective* Library

An important factor in children’s reading development is their exposure to books, especially in their home environment. Not only is it important that they read books, or hear books being read to them, but it is also crucial that they see books as well–and not just see them while they are being read to, but to see them around the home,  on shelves and bedside tables, on the counter or in stacks by the door– so that books become familiar objects that they internalize as parts of their daily lives. Having a book nearby to reach for becomes a habit.

Goal: Create your very own home-library for your children.

Now, Books Are Expensive. Trust me, I know. I too have been sticker-shocked by those Barnes and Nobles prices. So buying books to have around the house- not even to mention enough of them to build a decent library or bookshelf- is not an easy thing to do, or something that all families can afford to do.

BUT- when you know where to go- books don’t have to be expensive. There are many resources and locations in your own community where you can find quality, cheap children’s books.

The biggest children’s book pot’o gold: Your local library bookstore.

Ask your librarian if your local library has a bookstore. There, they sell used, quality books for low prices – most children’s books should average about $3 or less. I have had several book hauls from my local library, spending from a range of $15-35 for stacks of books.

In addition, most libraries have recurring book sales, most often monthly, during which they will bring out boxes of books from their storage that haven’t been showcased in the store yet, and hold a large book sale teaming with great finds. Usually on weekends, I make sure to arrive early when they start, around 9-10 am, to get first pick of their children’s books. A librarian gave me the tip to come early, as usually the children’s books are the first be sorted through and to go.

Another cost-effective way to build your library: garage sales. I’ve seen quality books sell for $1.00, even 50 cents! Plus, all books are meant to be read more than once, so help give these books a new home! Also, going through garage sales guarantees a wide range of books, as people have diverse and varying tastes. Bring your child along with you and have them help you sift through the piles to find their new, perfect storybook.

In this Local Finds and Book Hauls Collection, I’ll be sharing some of the awesome book hauls from my local libraries and neighborhood garage sales to show you what treasures you can find that are *quality* and *cheap* ~ the perfect combo!

~Book by book, let’s build your new reader a library of their very own~

Coming Sunday!

Local Finds and Book Hauls

Check Back in This Sunday, August 27th, for the First Local Finds and Book Hauls Post!

The best discoveries can be made right at your local library, aka, the public university.  I’ll be sharing some great finds with you that you can look out for at your own local library or bookstore. Also, I’ll be highlighting some cost-effective ways to build you own library~ sharing quality and cheap book hauls through videos and posts!