The Spider’s Gift: A Ukrainian Christmas Story

Katrusya is devastated that her family cannot afford Christmas presents this year, but it simply wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree. She soon finds the perfect one in the deepest part of the forest and decorates it with homemade ornaments. But the next day the tree is crawling with spiders! Luckily, Katrusya convinces her mother not to throw the tree away. When the family returns from church that evening, they discover that the spiders have left a dazzling Christmas miracle.

One Hundred Shining Candles

This well-loved storybook has been reissued with enhanced reproduction and many newly created illustrations just in time for a warm Christmas read under a cozy quilt by the light of a flickering fire. Ten-year-old Lucy is a pioneer girl in the Upper Canada of 1800. Her imagination fired by the schoolmaster’s stories of Christmas memories, Lucy sets about making a special Yuletide gift — something her frail mother will be able to remember and cherish forever. But even with the unwelcome help of her little brother, Dan, making one hundred handmade candles to light on Christmas night is a daunting task. Limited supplies and resources make the job that much harder, but in the end it is Lucy’s own bossiness that nearly causes a disaster. Deeply disappointed in herself, Lucy accepts the sacrifice Dan offers to make, and together the children manage to create the most wonderful of all Christmases. One Hundred Shining Candles, written by one of Canada’s best writers for children, shows readers of all ages the true joy of giving from the heart. Delicate illustrations throughout perfectly depict this gentle story set against harsh times.

Beto and the Bone Dance

A fantastic encounter on the Day of the Dead. Today is Beto’s favorite holiday — the Day of the Dead. First, he and his father craft an altar at home in honor of Beto’s recently departed grandmother, filled with the things she loved in life. Later, it’s off to the cemetery, where at midnight all the dead souls will come to visit the living. It’s a celebratory occasion, but Beto is distraught because he isn’t able to find a perfect gift for Abuela’s altar. The answer to his dilemma is found in a wild dream, in which Beto joins a conga line of dance-mad skeletons. Through her effulgent paintings and rhythmic text, the author conveys all the excitement of this unique Mexican fiesta, as well as a comforting message for children who have lost a loved one.