Books for children - Dec. 9


"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey" by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, Candlewick, 36 pages

Read aloud: age 5 and older

Read yourself: age 8 and older

The children in the village call him "Mr. Gloomy," but his name is really Jonathan Toomey. Mr. Toomey is a miserable man who keeps to himself. He had come to live in the village after his wife and baby had died. A magnificent woodcarver, it is the only good thing people can say about him anymore.

Newcomers to town themselves, the widow McDowel and her son Thomas, come to Mr. Toomey's door in early December. The widow asked Mr. Toomey if he would carve a new creche for her for Christmas. Theirs had been lost during their move.

Mr. Toomey takes the job, but with no guarantee on when it would be complete. But of all the miracles of that Christmas season, none was so grand for Jonathan Toomey as the happy hours he passed carving those figures with Thomas by his side.


Library: Salem Free Public Library, 264 Hartford Rd., Salem

Library Director: Jackie Hemond

Children and Teen Services: Pat Aldrich

Choices this week: "Giggle, Giggle, Quack" by Doreen Cronin; "Miss Spider's Tea Party" by David Kirk; "Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan


"Where's Ellie? A Hide-and-Seek Book" written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Robin Corey Books, 2012, 18 pages, $6.99 board book

Read aloud: birth to age 2

Read yourself: age 6 and 7

Little readers will love searching for Ellie the elephant in this fun book. Featuring familiar objects and new ones as well, children will enjoy looking for Ellie on every double-page spread until at last this adorable elephant is found!

"The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Emma Thompson, illustrated by Eleanor Taylor, Frederick Warne, 2012, 64 pages, $20.00 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4 to 6

Read yourself: age 7 and 8

This year marks the 110th anniversary of one of the most loved characters in children's literature - Peter Rabbit. Inspired by and based on the original tales by Beatrix Potter, author Emma Thompson has crafted, as the title implies, a further adventure for Peter Rabbit that involves the McGregors' picnic basket, an unforeseen trip to Scotland, meeting a distant relative and more. Wonderfully written and magically illustrated, this terrific book also comes with an audio CD of the text, read by the author.

"A Boy and a Bear in a Boat" by Dave Shelton, David Fickling Books, 2012, 294 pages, $16.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 7, 8 and older

Read yourself: age 8 to 10

A boy requests passage across the sea from a bear who captains his trusty rowboat "Harriet." As the days and nights go by and the sea becomes violent and produces a giant monster from its depths, the boy and the bear can't be sure of their fate. When the seemingly worst thing happens, the boy and the bear discover that isn't so at all.


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