It wasn’t easy, but after pouring through many of the new Christmas picture books published in 2016, we were finally able to settle on two we thought were exceptional.
The Christmas Boot is a wonderful folktale-like story that is sure to become a Christmas classic. A poor old woman named Hannah discovers a warm black boot while collecting kindling wood in the forest near her home. It’s a cold snowy day and she has no shoes on her feet. Amazingly the boot fits her foot perfectly. That night when she goes to bed she wishes that she had the boot’s mate. When she wakes, the other boot has miraculously appeared. Hannah’s wishes continue to come true until one day a man appears at the door in a red suit and hat, a very white beard and one black boot. Written by award-winning author Lisa Wheeler from Detroit, Michigan, Lisa has written more than 30 books including the Dino-sports series. Jerry Pinkney from Westchester County, NY, is an amazing illustrator. He has an incredibly long list of books and well-deserved awards including the Caldecott Medal to his credit. They are perfectly teamed to tell this story about Christmas magic.
Stowaway in a Sleigh is a charming story about a cat’s incredible night with Santa. The illustrations are gorgeous with many from the cat’s perspective; a close up of “Mr. Furry Boots” boots and looking into Santa’s big red bag where she starts her unexpected journey to the North Pole. This is the second story about Slipper the cat (Lost Cat, published in 2013) by Roger Mader from Normandy, France. Roger is a former advertising executive and Slipper is based on a cat that found its way to Roger’s door.