Reading is important for kids year-round, but the holidays present an extra opportunity for parents to form warm memories and create cherished traditions by reading new and classic holiday stories to their children.
One new Christmas book is an especially good gift idea for Oklahoma children: “The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oklahoma,” written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Victoria Hutto, both Oklahoma residents.
The book is part of Sterling Publishing's “The Twelve Days of Christmas in America” series and focuses on interesting, distinctive and unusual things to do and see that are unique to Oklahoma.
“Reading books together can create warm and memorable moments for families,” Sauer said. “Not only can books evoke laughter, emotion and understanding, but they can spur wonderful conversations as well.”
“The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oklahoma” is written from the perspective of a little girl named Addison, who is visiting her cousin Ethan for the holidays in Oklahoma. Through her letters home to her mom and dad, Addison tells of all the adventures she has with Ethan in Oklahoma, including visiting many well-known Oklahoma sites such as the Blue Whale of Catoosa on Route 66, The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and Eskimo Joe's in Stillwater.
Addison's letters home are full of ideas for places to visit in Oklahoma for the holidays and throughout the year. From the Chickasha Festival of Light to Little Sahara State Park and the annual Sucker Day Parade in Wetumka, “The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oklahoma” takes readers to some of the state's most interesting locations.
Was it difficult deciding which of Oklahoma's many attractions to feature in the book?
“It was very tough,” Sauer said.
She's called Oklahoma City home for more than a decade and spends time each summer exploring the state's parks and lakes with her family. “Oklahoma has so much to offer! I did my best to showcase as many parts of Oklahoma as possible.”
Illustrator Hutto captured the Oklahoma sites beautifully in her vibrantly colored drawings. A California transplant, she said she never realized how much the state had to offer until she moved here 15 years ago.
“When I came here, I was so surprised to find what a rich culture it has,” Hutto said. “The people are so friendly, and I enjoy learning about the state's history. There is so much to cherish here, and I am happy to call it my home.”
“The Twelve Days of Christmas in Oklahoma” can be purchased at Best of Books in Edmond, Full Circle Bookstore and The Learning Tree in Oklahoma City and Occasions in Norman. It can also be found at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Other book ideas
A few additional new Christmas books from Sterling Publishing would make good additions to holiday reading lists.
“The Great Christmas Crisis,” written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Jannie Ho, is written to the rhythm of “'Twas the Night Before Christmas.” In it, Santa goes undercover as an elf to help solve a production problem in Santa's North Pole toy factory.
In “A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas,” written by Philip Yates and illustrated by Sebastia Serra, a cabin boy receives mysterious gifts each of the 12 days of Christmas when he is left alone to guard the pirate ship during Christmastide.
“Christmas Magic,” written by Kirsten Hall, puts magic at a child's fingertips with photos that transform with the pull of a tab. Beautifully illustrated by Simon Mendez, the book has Christmas scenes that offer a Norman Rockwell-esque vision of the holidays.