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“The Thing About Yetis”

By Vin Vogel

Best for ages 4 – 8

Definitely not abominable, these cute yetis show us that fun can be had in every season.

It’s a no-brainer that yetis would enjoy snowball fights, building snow castles and ice skating. However, when winter drags on, the hot chocolate runs low and the winter blahs begin taking hold, yetis — like humans — miss the warm summer months. Vogel takes the reader from stark white winter landscapes into lush green summer environments as the yetis remember building sandcastles, watching fireflies, and playing on slip and slides.

These adorable snowmen are out in time for children to enjoy their antics all through the winter.

What’s good: The yeti facial expressions will engage readers and draw them into the story.

What’s bad: A little simplistic for some children, this tale is best for the youngest set of readers.

“The Christmas Tugboat: How the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came to New York”

By George Matteson and Adele Ursone

Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Best for ages 4 – 8

What is your favorite holiday memory? For one family, it’s a special trip to deliver a special package. This story begins in the wee hours of a November morning before the sun comes up. It follows a young girl as she and her mother join her father for work. He’s a tugboat captain, and this morning he is tasked with retrieving the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree from up the Hudson River and delivering it to Manhattan.

This has a nostalgic feel that is enhanced by Ransome’s rich, acrylic paintings. A mixture of panoramic vistas and intimate close-up imagery combine with the lilting prose to portray the life of a tugboat captain as much as the journey of the Rockefeller Christmas tree.

This is an enjoyable book to introduce a discussion of holiday traditions and unique occupations.

What’s good: Warm and inviting illustrations.

What’s bad: There’s more about tugboats than the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

“Waddle! Waddle!”

By James Proimos

Best for ages 4 – 8

Comic book-style illustrations, bright colors and quick text propel this book about finding friendship. Young readers will eagerly engage with the bold illustrations as they convey big emotions. They’ll worry along with the main penguin as he struggles to find his new dancing friend. The other penguins he meets along the way are interesting but they don’t dance. He keeps on looking until he finds a polar bear by mistake. That’s when all the penguins he met on his journey show up to save the day.

“Waddle! Waddle!” will make a great book to engage children on picture walks and read-alone time.

What’s good: The “friend reveal” will make children laugh.

What’s bad: The comic book style makes it difficult for read-aloud story time.

Talk to McGeath

Connect with McGeath Freeman on our website, UpstateParent.com. Click here to see more of his book reviews.

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