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Children’s books for holiday fun

You know how much kids love getting books as gifts. Seriously, though, these selections really will be welcome. They encourage kids to think, dream, and do. Anything that gets kids’ eyeballs off their screens is OK in my book.



The Adventures of Seymour & Hau

By Melanie Morse and Thomas McDade
Illustrations by John Soleas and Jon Westwood
Honey + Punch

Follow eleven-year-old Seymour and his out-of-this-world (as in extraterrestrial) friend Hau as the discover the joys of traveling the planet known as Earth. In this kids’ series, each book offers a new adventure and a new place to discover. The pair travel to different locations around the world where they meet a local kid who needs their help. The series targets readers ages five to ten and started four years ago with the release of The Adventures of Seymour & Hau. So far, Seymour and Hau have visited Morocco, Ireland, and Italy with plans in the works for books about Cuba, USA, Indonesia, France, and China.


Thomas McDade is television producer, director, editor and owner of Honey + Punch LLC, a Buffalo-based media development company. Melanie Morse is a mother of three boys, an experienced educator, storyteller, and the producer for Honey + Punch. 



Grandpa Magic

By Allan Zola Kronzek
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

Grandpa Magic: 116 Easy Tricks, Amazing Brainteasers, and Simple Stunts to Wow the Grandkids by New York Times bestselling author, Allan Zola Kronzek, is a compendium of over 100 tricks, stunts, and brainteasers that will engage the grandchildren and provide giggles, jaw-dropping awe, and wonderful memories. From perplexing card and coin tricks to entertaining mealtime stunts to verbal puzzles that surprise and delight, these tricks are illustrated step-by-step so they’re easy to learn and guaranteed to make grandparenting even more fun.


Allan Zola Kronzek is a magician, writer, and educator. He is also the author of The Secrets of Alkazar, 52 Ways to Cheat at Poker, and the forthcoming The Book of Powers. He lives in Sag Harbor, New York.



Puddinhead and the Christmas Poem

By Marilyn Foote

Miriam Foote, aka Puddinhead, is a little girl who likes to play with her family and friends.  Her curious mind is inquiring daily about God. In this sweet holiday story, follow Puddinhead and her siblings to their Grannie’s house. They have written a Christmas poem for their family and want to perform it (with songs!) after Christmas dinner. They plan to recite this poem for the evening entertainment.  This Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’ birth becomes a very special time for Puddinhead.


Marilyn Foote has written several other Puddinhead books. She lives in Western New York.



The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid

By Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco
Illustrated by Joy Ang
Workman Publishing

Adults may be familiar with the website and other media from Atlas Obscura, which provides readers with a list of 14,896 curious places around the world—some right in their own neighborhood. This pared down but by no means less compelling guide for kids is an imaginative expedition to 100 of the world’s most mesmerizing and mysterious wonders, both natural and manmade, in forty-seven countries and on every continent. The book is organized by type of attraction; for instance, an exploration at site of the Tunguska event in Siberia, where a meteor slammed into the earth in 1908, is linked to the Yucatan, ground zero for the ancient meteor crash that caused the mass extinction of dinosaurs. Illustrated in gorgeous and appropriately evocative full-color art, this book is a passport to a world of hidden possibilities.



Buffalo from A to Z

By Bob Uffalo with Brigette Atlas-Callahan
& Kristin Madej-Warham
Illustrated by Bill Jankowski
Buffalo Heritage Press

Take an alphabetical adventure through the Queen City with this charming book chock full Buffalo-area photos and illustrations. Nearly seventy WNY destinations are included in the text accompanied by images donated by two dozen of Buffalo’s top photographers. Bob Uffalo, a spunky little Buffalo, leads the way from Albright-Knox Art Gallery to the Buffalo Zoo with lots of stops along the way, including a visit to the Central Terminal, Niagara Falls, and even Shark Girl. Authors Atlas-Callahan and Madej-Warham are literacy specialists in the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District. Illustrator Jankowski works in the children’s entertainment industry.



Turn This Book Into a Beehive!

By Lynn Brunelle
Illustrated by Anna-Maria Jung
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

Brunelle, a four-time Emmy Award winning writer for Bill Nye the Science Guy, has produced a book that just might save the world (no bees = no food)—and offers a lot of fun to kids along the way. We’re familiar with honeybees, a species that’s know as a key pollinator. But have you heard of mason bees? The mason bee pollinates as many flowers in a single day as 100 honeybees, and mason bees don’t sting! They’re nature’s non-aggressive superpollinators. This useful and informative guide to mason bees can be made into a home for bees with its removable book jacket and tearaway paper nesting tubes. Each “room” provides space for up to a dozen mason bee babies.



What Am I? Vegetables

Written and illustrated by John Benzee
Split Seed Press

Fifteen riddles about various vegetables ask the question, “What am I?” Each rhythmic riddle describes characteristics of a vegetable. The answer is given on the facing page with a colorful and charming illustration. Kids will have fun trying to solve these riddles about veggies that they may be familiar with from their plate, grocery store, or garden.


John Benzee is Buffalo-area author, illustrator, filmmaker, and playwright. In his free time, he enjoys being outside—especially working in his garden.



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