Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday. Show all posts

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Sunday Post #3: Christmas (kids) book haul

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  It's a chance for book bloggers to share what's going on with them this week, any new book-related news, etc.

I am still in recovery mode over here from the holidays, people!  Christmas, as I mentioned previously, was great, if tiring.  Small Fry is 3.5 now, and the "magic of Christmas" is totally in his bones at this age.  He was SO FREAKIN EXCITED about everything.  And Tater Tot was excited that his brother was excited, so that made me happy.

Post-Christmas, we made the mistake of letting Small Fry stay up til midnight for the first time on New Year's Eve, and we are still suffering the consequences.  Please pray for us that someone sleeps in this house soon.

Despite our sleepless state, we have been happily reading to our kiddos the last few weeks, especially from their new Christmas books.  They received several books, both from us and from relatives, but here are their favorites:

A Treasury of Curious George by Margaret and H.A. Rey

Small Fry is TOTES into Curious George right now.  He already owns The Complete Adventures of Curious George, which he adores, but is full of the older stories in which little C.G. smokes a pipe and gets high on ether (not a joke, look that craziness up for yourself).  I was happy to buy him this book of newer stories, in which Curious George is inquisitive, but not on the road to prison.

Duck & Goose 1, 2, 3 by Tad Hills

Tater Tot took a bit longer to get into books than Small Fry did as a baby.  However, around his first birthday, TT started sitting and listening when I read to him (vs. the smacking me in the face that was happening before).  Duck & Goose books have been some of his favorites.  For whatever reason, he goes into a trance-like state when he sees those adorable waterfowl.  This is the newest one in his collection, and he is delighted.

Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle

Small Fry already loved the original Little Blue Truck book.  This one has blinking lights in it.  BOOM.  Both boys are fully entranced.

Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney

Another new one for Small Fry.  He enjoys Llama Llama books, but I had to special mention this one because my husband laughs so.flipping.hard. every time he reads the part when Llama Llama has his complete meltdown in the grocery store.  SO DRAMATIC, LITTLE LLAMA.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  Any of your kidlets get good books under the tree this year?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: Being Santa Claus by Sal Lizard with Jonathan Lane

Title: Being Santa Claus: What I Learned About the True Meaning of Christmas
Author: Sal Lizard (with Jonathan Lane)
Publisher: Gotham
Publication Date: November 8, 2012
Source: ARC received from publisher for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

A veteran Santa reveals heartwarming true stories and lessons from his twenty-year career spreading Christmas magic.

With the holiday shopping season beginning earlier each year, more than ever.  Americans are struggling to remember the true meaning of Christmas. And who better to deliver the gift of Christmas inspiration than a man who has spent the last two decades playing Santa?

Sal Lizard was in his twenties when his beard and hair turned completely white.  Today he appears everywhere from malls and parades to schools and hospitals. And— from his custom-made red velvet suits to the mistletoe that hangs from the rearview mirror in his Santa-mobile—he is Santa Claus three hundred and sixty-five days a year. 

In  Being Santa Claus  Sal reflects on his experiences with both children and adults including:

Christmas magic is all around us: We don’t always see it, but it is there, shaping and enriching our lives. 

Sometimes you need to go that extra mile: Santa Claus is the one person who can’t even use a blizzard as an excuse not to honor his commitments, and Sal teaches adults the importance of always showing up for our children. 
Even a small child can make a big difference:  Sal has met some impressive children over the years, and he’s learned that you don’t need to be a grown-up to make an impact on the world around you. 

In  Being Santa Claus  Sal shares these lessons, along with often heartwarming, occasionally heartbreaking, and sometimes downright hysterical stories from his twenty-year career as Santa.

My Review:

Usually, I don't start getting into the Christmas spirit until after Thanksgiving--I like to take my holidays one at a time.  But when I had the chance to review this ARC, I couldn't resist getting into the spirit a bit early here on the blog!  Plus, who doesn't like a feel-good memoir once in a while?

This book is a short read--at 196 pages, many of you could probably do it in one sitting.  Even so, Sal Lizard's tales as a professional Santa leave their mark.  They alternately made me smile (as he got an entire mall to start singing Christmas carols with him at random) and cry (when he visited child cancer patients in a Boston hospital).  And I am NOT a crier, people.  Believe that.

The best thing about this memoir is that Sal's passion for truly being Santa Claus comes through in his stories.  He takes his role very seriously; even when he's out and about in non-Santa capacities, he makes sure that he behaves in a way that kids would expect to see from the Big Guy.  He seems to have a simple, genuine interest in spreading Christmas cheer.  I'm one of those people who gets very frustrated with the commercialization of Christmas at times, but this book reconnected me with the things I LOVE about the holiday--being charitable, enjoying friends and family, and remembering the childlike joy of the season.

The only complaint I have about this book is that, at times, the writing almost makes the stories seem too good to be true.  I know, I know--I was just waxing poetic about the wonders of Christmas, and now the book is too happy?  But it's worth mentioning this, because the thought poked into my brain more than once.  In all of these stories, Sal always acts/thinks/responds in the perfect way, and his timing is always exactly right--almost to the point where the tales started to feel fictional by the end.  It was a little overdone, and I point it out because I think it will be evident for many other discerning readers, as well.

However, that does not make me recommend this book any less!  It's a book about Santa, after all--so maybe I just need to believe?  ;-)

If you want a fun, light-hearted read that's sure to get you into the Christmas spirit, Being Santa Claus definitely fits the bill.

Happy Holidays!
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