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The Children's Bookshelf: Holiday Gift Edition - November 29, 2021

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Hello. I’m Sue Ann Martin and this is the Children’s Bookshelf Holiday Edition. All titles discussed today have been published in the last two years and are put forth as ideal for holiday gifting due to their extraordinary visual beauty and interesting story content.

Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children written by Hollis Kurman and illustrated by Barroux is both a counting book and a tale of kindness as children and their families who must leave their home country find people with helping hands. The power of this book is found in its touching simplicity as children with white skin and children with brown skin play and learn together. Youngsters 3-5 years of age will enjoy the pictures and the counting!

America the Beautiful written and magnificently illustrated by Wendell Minor with the poem by Katharine Lee Bates is a visual treat as it moves across twenty-one United States landmarks. The beauty here is captured in the powerful matching of the words in the poem with landmarks such as Mt. Rushmore, Kitty Hawk, Cape Canaveral and Niagara Falls. This is perfect for readers 5-8 years of age and the whole family.

The Little Mermaid written and gorgeously illustrated by the late Jerry Pinkney is an enchanting story inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson tale. Here a mermaid princess gives up her voice as part of a deal with the evil Sea Witch. The illustrations of exotic fish and shipwreck treasures are captivating. This book is a gift of beauty for readers 6-9 years of age. It also has an important message: never give up your voice!

The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s Tomb written by Candice Fleming is just right for readers 10-12 years of age who like non-fiction and who are interested in the young King, how his tomb was finally found and what was in it! The over 70 official photographs add great interest to this gift book for older readers.

The Children’s Bookshelf is a production of WCMU. Links to the podcast and the complete reviews of these gift book suggestions can be found at Children’s Bookshelf dot org.

Sue Ann Martin is professor emerita of Communication and Dramatic Arts and the founding and past Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. She first became interested in children’s literature when she wrote her PhD thesis on the oral characteristics of the Caldecott Award-winning children’s books. Her PhD is in Speech and Interpretation with a cognate in Early Childhood Education. She went on to review children’s books for the Detroit Free Press, write three popular resource books for teachers regarding children’s books and the creative process. She also reviewed newly-published books for Arts Almanac specials on WCMU Public Radio. Her 2002 children’s books special for WCMU won a Merit Award in Special Interest Programming from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.