Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Stars of the season

There’s a new book for everyone on your Christmas list

For those of you still shopping for the perfect gifts with just days left until Christmas, consider this year’s release of new books.

No matter who’s on your list –- mother, child, man, woman, teacher or student – there’s bound to be something they’ll like and appreciate. Books can also serve to inspire someone on your list – like a teenager learning to play guitar. You never know what they’ll glean from a book purchased with their hearts and desires in mind.
So, without further ado, here are a few of the new books that have come across our desk in the past year. Some of them have been read - others suggested. Take your pick and be sure to get one for yourself - in case the weather turns (bring on that snow) and you find yourself snowed in for a few days.

Charles Santore's beautiful illustrations breathe new life into the classic story, The Night Before Christmas ($18.95, www.applesaucepress.com). Share the story on Christmas Eve or let the reader dive into the book's big and colorful pages themselves. Each page is a mural with enough details to feed the muse for hours.

Santa is coming to Michigan ($9.99, Sourcebooks) and it is likely that children will be excited about the news and the wonderful illustrations of Detroit's Renaissance Center and Comerica Park depicted in this book by Robert Dunn, a freelance illustrator from Scotland. 

One Child, One Planet: Inspiration for the Young Conservationist ($19.95, Emerald Shamrock Press) is a joint effort between Michigan's award-winning wildlife photographers and co-creators of the New York Times best-selling "In The Woods" series of books, Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick and author, Bridget McGovern Llewellyn. Beautiful and amazing images partnered with simple but elegant words provide young readers with a wonderful message about the world we need to protect.

Penguin and Pinecone ($12.99, Walker & Company) by Salina Yoon is a cute friendship story about a little penguin that finds a lost pinecone in the snow.

My Feelings Activity Book ($12.95, Ruby's Studio) by Abbie Schiller and Samantha Counter-Kurtzman is a special kind of book featuring personalized fill-in-the-blank activities to help children explore who they are and how they feel. Cool stickers included.

You can take your children to a museum or you can read them, Hello Circulos! and Colores Everywhere ($7.95 each, Arte Kids). The first board books in a Spanish/English bilingual series are the brainchild of the San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Library Foundation and Trinity University Press. The bright and colorful books make learning about art and a second language fun.

For the reader, movie-goer and ultimate fan there's this colorful collection of "Hobbit" keepsake books from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (www.hmhbooks.com) including: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/The World of Hobbits" ($9.95); The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/Visual Companion by Jude Fisher ($19.95); "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/The Movie Storybook ($9.95); and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide by Brian Sibley ($14.95).

Star Wars Origami ($16.95, Workman Publishing) by Chris Alexander is filled with Star Wars facts, stories and enough paper-folding projects (72 sheets of specially designed paper) to keep a little Jedi busy for months.

For writers, historians or the best man looking for a toast there's, Great Sayings: Classic Words for Modern Times ($20, Penguin Group). Although another book of familiar phrases this one also includes outlandish anecdotes and a few unexpected discoveries. 

A Shtinky Little Christmas ($9.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing) is a delightful snack for anyone who enjoys the Mutts or humor.

Consider the Fork ($26.99, Basic Books) by Bee Wilson is a historical look at how we cook and eat. It is an odd topic for a book but Wilson's style makes the information interesting and even entertaining. Talk about food for thought!

If she's got a sense of humor or has already read Rhoda Janzen's Mennonite in a Little Black Dress you'll want to give her the New York Times Bestselling Author's newest book, Does This Church Make Me Look Fat? ($24.50, Grand Central Publishing.

For the bride-to-be or that fun person who always volunteers to have the party at her house there's Mermaids and Martinis: Turn Your Party into a Memory ($19.99, Dunham Books). It's a one-of-a-kind guide to creating a party everyone will remember (and enjoy).

A teacher, mom, artist, anyone can appreciate, Craft techniques & projects ($40, www.DK.com). This hefty hardcover book features more than 50 contemporary projects that people can create at home with inexpensive equipment and materials.

The Alex Cross Collection, Volume 1 ($26.97, The Hachette Book Group) is out just in time for Christmas. If they love James Patterson chances are it's on their wish list. The holiday paperback package includes Patterson's "Double Cross," "Cross Country" and "I, Alex Cross."

The Essential Supernatural : On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester by Nicholas Knight, Eric Kripke and Christopher Cerasi ($50, www.insighteditions.com) is new enough that it might not be on someone's wish list. However, what a surprise this would be for the "Supernatural" fan. This hardcover edition features a wicked collection exclusive photos and memorabilia.


Stephen Colbert takes a funny look at America (as do readers who use the enclosed 3D glasses) in America Again: Re-Becoming The Greatness We Never Weren't ($28.99, Grand Central Publishing). 

Now Eat This! Italian ($26.99, Grand Central Life and Style) is an ideal choice, whether it’s for the aspiring chef, foodie book collector, or anyone who loves to cook but has to watch their weight. Award-winning celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito’s presents a low-calorie, low-fat but still delicious versions of 90 classic Italian recipes.

Forbes staff writer Monte Burke’s 4th & Goal: One Man’s Quest to Recapture His Dream ($26.99, Grand Central Publishing) tells the story of Joe Moglia, who, at the age of 60, left his job as a successful CEO to accomplish his lifelong dream of becoming a college football coach. It’s a book for jocks, financiers, and anyone in need of inspiration.

52 Little Lessons from It’s a Wonderful Life, by Bob Welch ($15.99, Thomas Nelson) revisits the defining lessons in Frank Capra’s 1946 classic film, reminding us that life’s most important work is often related to an unexpected situation.

For the ultimate football fan or sports historian there's, The Pro Football Hall of Fame 50th Anniversary Book ($34.99, Grand Central Publishing). This collectible hardcover book is not just a story about the game of football (1892-2012) but features the kind of quotes and anecdotes one might hear in the locker room before and after a game.

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