Children's Book Reviews

OWTK Bi-Monthly Book Suggestions – December 2006 (Special Holiday Edition)

Out With The Kids presents a special Holiday 2006 edition of our book suggestions.

To refresh your memory, every two months OWTK recommends six (or so) fine pieces of literary joy suitable for families with children of most any age. We will resume the normal bi-monthly schedule in January, ’07.

Olive, the other Reindeer
by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold (Illustrator as well).

“Olive was surprised it was so easy to fly”. Those nine words appear on page 12 of this modernly illustrated Christmas book. I nearly spit out the water I was drinking when the Mrs. turned the page and read this sentence aloud for the first time.
Olive keeps hearing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer being sung and played throughout town, only Olive thinks they are singing “Olive the other reindeer” in place of “All of the other reindeer”. He figures he must be a reindeer, not a doggy. Quickly, Olive gets to the North Pole and his presence intrigues Santa and the other, real reindeer. Our hero is quickly taken under the reindeer’s wing, err hoofs, and is allowed to be Santa’s special guest for the big Christmas Eve flight.
Olive, the other Reindeer is absolutely hilarious. This book is a modern Christmas classic and deserves a prominent spot on your child’s bookshelf. The good folks at Chronicle Books, the publisher of Olive, the other reindeer, are currently having a 40% off sale. This means that Olive is only $9! (Act fast – The offer is only good through 12/10/2006. They will even gift wrap your purchase for you!)

Snowmen at Night
by Carolyn Buehner. Illustrated by Mark Buehner

Ever wonder what happens after you build a snowman, then snuggle off to bed that evening? Do they just stand there while we sleep? Do they have friends, family?
Lucky for us, The Buehner’s have contemplated these exact questions and wrote a charming little book offering up their best guess at what Snowmen do at Night. Snowmen at Night will ignite any small child’s imagination this wintertime.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
by Charles M Schulz

I was hesitant to include this all time classic because I assume everyone has already encountered this story via the television, videotape, or book but I would remise if I did not convey OWTK’s absolute love of A Charlie Brown Christmas. If by some odd chance, you have not yet shared this story with your kids – do so now. Schulz manages to relay the true meaning of Christmas without being obnoxious or preach-y. In fact he has Linus get it all out, philabuster-style, on one page.

On Christmas Eve
by Margaret Wise Brown. Illustrated by Nancy Edwards Calder

On Christmas Eve is a classy book about the magic that happens on the night before Christmas, by the author of Goodnight Moon. On Christmas Eve tells the tale of three children who are unable to fall asleep on the night before Christmas, so they agree to sneak downstairs where they find the tree aglow, the stockings stuffed full and a train circling the Yule. The language is simply gorgeous. The words are so picturesque and the imagery so alive that the story does not even need to be accompanied by pictues. Of course there are illustrations, and they are stunning and realistic in detail as they show us the children, house and living room basking in the glow of the fire and the glittering Christmas Tree. On Christmas Eve is a lovely edition, ideal for any child accustom to longer, more intricate storytelling.

The Snow Must Go On!
by Molly Wigand. Illustrated by Mike Esberg

I picked The Snow Music Go On! up at Hallmark, only $1.99 with my three card purchase. It is a nice little story of the South Pole and the neglect that the residents down there feel, what with Santa, the Elves and reindeer cavorting about up North and getting all the press and publicity. IThe book features an Albatross, so it immediately is cool in my book.

Curious what we suggested last time around? Read about those books here.

To purchase any of the books suggested on OWTK please visit your local independent book seller should one remain in your area. You could also, if you prefer, make an online purchase from or and in doing so, support Out With The Kids. Our Amazon and Powells links are located on the right hand side of the page and with a click and a purchase you can keep OWTK chugging along – and enjoy some great children’s book in the process. Thanks in advance for the love and happy reading!


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