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Off the Shelf: Christmas is coming!

I hope you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. That you have eaten your fill of turkey last Thursday and have finished all of the leftovers. Maybe you are like me and you’re ready to swear off turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes for another year because you’ve eaten more than your share. I know I feel tempted to lie down for a week just to let the tryptophan slowly work its way out of my system. However, Christmas is now just four short weeks away and there is no time for napping!

Each year Children’s librarians are asked to recommend a good book or two for their child or grandchild’s Christmas list. Here are a few that caught my eye while ordering for the library this year.

When looking for board books for the library this year “5 Little Monkeys Playing Hide and Seek” by Eileen Christelow grabbed my attention based on my familiarity with her “5 Little Monkeys Stories” series. In this adventure the monkeys convince their babysitter that they just need one game of hide and seek before bed. You can imagine how that might end. Another new favorite of mine is “Pete the Kitty’s Cozy Christmas Touch and Feel” book by James Dean. I love touch and feel books for babies and toddlers. What a wonderful way to explore the world in a book at that age. And it’s Pete the Cat as a kitten, what more could you ask for?

New in Picture books that I would recommend for a gift this year are books from two established authors. John Jory gives you the fourth book in “The Bad Seed” series just in time for the holidays. “The Couch Potato” has everything he needs at his fingertips; snacks, a drink, the remote…and then the electricity goes out. Couch Potato is forced to go outside and find some fun. This is a humorous way of learning how to balance screen time and play time that all of us can enjoy. Craig Smith author of T“he Wonky Donkey” and “The Dinky Donkey” adds the series another silly look at this donkey family with “The Grinning Granny Donkey.” Meet Dinky Donkey’s grandma in this laugh-out-loud series, she is a “swanky clinky-clanky” sort of granny.

If you are looking for a young reader who has an interest in Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has just published in print “The Ickabog.” This story was released online for families to read during the first quarantine. It follows the story of Daisy and Bert who live in Cornucopia, a kingdom of happiness that is famous for its food. But there is a dark myth casting a shadow over the land that Bert and Daisy must uncover in order to live in peace. For the graphic novel readers I highly recommend “Class Act” by Jerry Craft. This is the companion book to “New Kid,” winner of the 2020 Newbery Medal. It continues the story of Drew Ellis who is struggling to find his place at the Riverdale Academy Day School. Can he find a way to bridge the gap between himself and his privileged classmates? Both books would make a great gift this holiday season.

If your reader is into the non-fiction genre I have some great recommendations for you.

“It’s Alive: From Neurons and Narwhals to the Fungus among Us” is from presenters, Molly Bloom, March Sanchez, and Sanden Totten of the award-winning science podcast for kids called Brains On! This book looks at all the things around us and takes them down to the funniest and most easily understood form. This book is a must for any and everyone who loves science. “50 Adventures in the 50 States” by Kate Siber is for the wanderer in all of us. Beautifully illustrated with an adventure in each state, the author also includes key information about the state’s natural and cultural highlights.

Those are just a few of the most recent releases that I might recommend for holiday shoppers. Please feel free to ask for any specific recommendations you might have, I am happiest when talking about books!

Just a reminder of our upcoming holiday hours. The library will be closing at 1:30 pm on Christmas Eve, December 24, and remain closed in observance of the Christmas holiday until it reopens on Monday, December 28 at 9:30 am.

The library will close early on New Year’s Eve December 31, at 5:00 pm and remain closed until Monday, January 4, 2021 at 9:30 am. The staff is wishing you the best holiday season this year.

Don’t forget to checkout our calendar of events online at www.newulmlibrary.org for a glance of the online programming the library has to offer.

Please remember that in this time of rising case of Covid-19 in our area that you are required to wear a mask in the library at all times and it must be worn over your mouth and nose. We are also asking that your visit be no more than one half hour of browsing or using a public computer. For those of you who are not able to visit the library please call us at (507) 359-8331 to arrange a contactless pick-up of your materials. You choose the materials, we find them and check them out on your card, and you pick them up at an arranged time in just inside our door. Thank you for helping us serve you.

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