Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Christmas Picture Books

Yes, you're right. It's only October. (But it's the end of October so hopefully you'll forgive me for this.) I am going to talk about two new Christmas picture books. But before you roll your eyes and say, "But it's not even THANKSGIVING YET!" I'll just say two things:

  1. I have permission to give away a copy of each of these books to one of you; and
  2. It's nice, I think, to be able to plan ahead a bit for the holidays and, if you win, to receive your books before they get started.

If you agree, read on!

I was happy to open a mailing envelope and find a copy of these two books in my mail. Both are unique stories of interest. While I do enjoy the typical "deck the halls" and tra-la-la-la-la Christmas books, I also enjoy pulling out a one-of-a-kind story for us to read and think about during the holiday season. The The Christmas Tree Ship is one such story which prompts the reader to think about sacrifice, those in need, generosity and thankfulness.

In The Christmas Tree Ship we learn the true story of Captain Herman Schuenemann who used to load his ship up with Christmas trees and take them from Michigan to Chicago. The trees on his ship were sold for $0.50 or $1.00 on the docks in Illinois and were also distributed to poor families in need. This book tells of Captain Schuenemann's last trip. He had planned it to be his last and it was, but not quite in the way he expected. Sadly, his ship went down in a storm in 1912. As the Author's Note at the back of the book explains, the "remains of the schooner were found in 1971 near Two Rivers, Wisconsin, in 172 feet of water. Christmas trees were still neatly stacked and strapped to the ship's deck."

While this story does have a sad element to it, it also reflects the love and respect that Captain's wife had for her husband. The children in Chicago were blessed the following year (and many years still) as the Captain's wife, Barbara, and her daughters began sailing trees down to Chicago in his stead. This is very touching story about love, loss and sacrifice.

In A Christmas Spider's Miracle we are introduced to a version of an old Ukrainian tale about a nursery spider who is carried into a home one cold winter's eve upon a Christmas tree. In this story we meet a mother spider who is worried about her babies becoming too cold and exposed out in the natural elements. We also meet a poor peasant woman who is approaching yet another Christmas with her children in which she finds herself with nothing to give them. After she tucks the children into bed on Christmas Eve, she goes out and finds a little Christmas tree which she then brings into the home. As you might guess, there is a certain special nursery spider on it and this spider is so grateful to be brought inside the warm house that she ends up weaving a very special surprise for the women and her family. This is one of those beautiful, touching tales that make you feel all warm and cozy inside.

Both of these books are very unique and, as you may or not have guessed by this point, are both newly released by Sleeping Bear Press.

As I mentioned earlier, Sleeping Bear Press has graciously offered up a copy of each of these books to one of my readers here at Reading to Know. In order to win you must be a U.S. Resident. Please leave a comment below, including a valid e-mail address so that I can easily contact you should you be selected as the winner. This contest will be open through Tuesday, November 1st.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNER (as selected by IS #4 - Audrey

Merry Christmas in October! :)

Thank you to Sleeping Bear Press for sending a copy of both my way and for allowing a giveaway.


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Of course! I had just begin thinking about what I'll add to our Christmas collection this year!

A Faithful Journey said...

These look great! Thanks for the chance to win!

P.S. So glad you enjoyed the Turkey Squash Casserole! ;)

P.P.S. I was at the library yesterday with the kids and on the shelf when you first entered the kids section, staring at me, was The Mysterious Benedict Society! I remeber reading a review on it, but couldn't remember from who, so I quickly jumped on the library computer, looked up your blog, and found that it was you! :) Since I can always trust yoour reviews, I checked it out and am now looking forward to diving into later today! So...thank you! :) (sorry for all the added rambles) :)


angie said...

Thank you for offering these books.
I'm always looking for new, unique titles to add to our Christmas collection.

Audrey said...

I would like to enter. My email is justaudrey AT live DOT com

Rebecca (RivkaBelle) said...

Ooooh, it's never too early for Christmas picture books! :oD

These look so great, and the Christmas Tree Ship looks gorgeous!

quarterback.girl AT gmail DOT com

Alison said...

Pick me!!! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I have two little people who live on my street who would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these books. Actually, my daughter, who is 11 would love to read these books with our neighbour's children.
Thank you for the chance to win. Good Luck to everyone who leaves a comment.
Stumbled on your blog today while searching LMM. Have added you to my "favourites" list.
Have a great day!

Ami said...

Two great-looking reads! ajones at ci dot alamogordo dot nm dot us

Stephanie Kay said...

Sleeping Bear Press? Christmas books? Count me in, please! stephaniesmommybrain @ gmail . com

Katy said...

These stories look so sweet!
katy DOT l DOT bloom AT gmail DOT com

Shonya said...

Well, ok, I guess you persuaded me--it's ok to talk about *these* Christmas books when it's not even Thanksgiving yet! :) They both look darling.

Melody said...

Hi I'd love to have these for my Christmas collection

Heather VanTimmeren said...

Having lived not far from Lake Michigan for 10 years, I would love to win the Christmas Tree Ship story. The other one sounds pretty cute, as well! Thanks for the give-away!
histtheo1 AT yahoo DOT com

Krista said...

Oh these look really cute and unique! Although I'm still not a fan of spiders in my house... :P

Bluerose said...

Just this past week, I was re-organizing my storage containers of books and looking for my Christmas ones.

For somebody who hates spiders as much as me, the spider one looks really interesting!

bluerosesheart at yahoo dot com

Cathy W said...

These sound wonderful, thanks for the chance.
cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker said...

These look fabulous. Count me in!

Unknown said...

Please enter me in contest. I am a USA resident.

apple blossom said...

ok I got a weird message after I posted the first comment so not sure if it went through. So I'm posting again. would love to win these children's books thanks
I live in US

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...


Alicia said...

These look like lovely books. Thanks for offering them to us!

Kristin said...

I've been wanting to add to our (pathetic) library of Christmas books, so this is perfect!

Heather said...

I would Absolutely LOVE to win these for my daughter and to have for our family during the holidays! I'm trying to start a Collection of Christmas books to have for my kids! We had a great selection of Christmas books when I grew up and I know how special they can be. There is nothing like snuggling up by the Christmas Tree, listening to Christmas Songs and reading books!

Thank you for the Opportunity to Win these Wonderful Books!

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