# book giveaways # Christmas

Children's Christmas Book Giveaways

Today I have two very fun and sweet classic children's books from New York Review Books to introduce to you that would make wonderful stocking stuffers or Christmas presents for the special children in your life.

We can be so inundated by commercial characters and fast-paced children's TV shows these days that there is something extra sweet about vintage children's books. Something for Christmas by Palmer Brown and Mud Pies and Other Recipes by Marjorie Winslow will charm you with their simplicity and innocence.

I can personally tell you that I adore both of these books and have read them several times with my own children. Today I'm excited to share them with you.

Something for Christmas

“What are you doing, dear?”
“It’s a secret.”
“Secrets are better if you share them a little. So tell Mother why you look so sad on Christmas Eve.”
“I am wondering what to give—someone—for Christmas.”

So begins the story of a little mouse’s search for a very special gift for a very special person. Nothing seems just right until the little mouse realizes that the best present of all is already at hand.

Palmer Brown has given us something special for Christmas—or any day—an entrancingly lovely story, filled with the true spirit of the holiday season.

Mud Pies and Other Recipes

Whether you’re entertaining garden sprites, feeding a regiment of toy soldiers, or simply whiling away a lazy afternoon, Mud Pies and Other Recipes is the only make-believe cookbook you’ll ever need. With Marjorie Winslow’s timeless guide on hand, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do in your backyard or by the seashore; you’ll be busy scooping up sand (a filling for Stuffed Sea Shells), hunting for flower petals (they make lovely hors d’oeuvres), and collecting raindrops (essential for brewing up Fried Water). The book is organized by course, and includes a general discussion of yard cookery along with detailed ingredient lists, methods for preparation, and helpful serving suggestions. And on every page, Erik Blegvad’s delightful pen-and-ink drawings ensure that Mud Pies and Other Recipes is a feast for the eyes as well as the imagination.

New York Review Books is kindly offering to give away one of each of these books to a reader of The Daily Connoisseur. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only (terms set by the publisher). Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. The winners will be announced one week from today on the widget. Best of luck!

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See you on Sunday for a special Christmas candy tutorial...

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Tammy said...

Those look like such sweet books. I haven't seen either of them.

Growing up, we split time between my two sets of grandparents for Christmas. It was a fun two days of visiting both on Christmas Eve and Day. On Christmas Eve we went to my mom's parents for chili and then we went to my dad's parents to "surprise" them with caroling. On Christmas Day we lugged all our gifts to my mom's parents and had a crazy wonderful time opening all the gifts there. In the afternoon we would go to my dad's parents for more gifts and food. Those were lovely Christmases!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the giveaway!! Those look like adorable books. My favorite Christmas book to read was The Polar Express, every Christmas Eve I would read it.

Christmas memories: decorating the tree, going over to my Grandma's house to make Christmas cookies and then taking them home to my family, and having people over.

Our holiday traditions: make "pofferjes" a little Dutch pancakes on Christmas morning in our pajamas. We were allowed to open a big present on Christmas Eve and then opening the stockings after we all were stuffed from the "pofferjes"! :) We still do this, in my own little family and I can't wait.

Dianna said...

I absolutely love the NYBR re-issues. I read voraciously as a child; I had so many favorites! But one was the Wizard of Oz series.

Unknown said...

My favorite family tradition at Christmastime was baking and decorating elaborate sugar cookies. We made 12 dozen every year and delivered platters of them to many family friends.

Angi said...

These books are adorable. Thank you for such a wonderful giveaway.

I always loved going to my grandparents house for Christmas but now my favorite memories are the ones I am creating with my children.

Rebecca D said...

These books look adorable. I love children's books and I'm loving your giveaways. So much fun!

rhonda said...

Our annual open house old friends new friends all generations.wonderful memories each year.

abby said...

I'm always on the lookout for quality books, and these look so neat! We used to sit around as family and listen to my dad read to us. So many great memories!

Unknown said...

Hans Christian Anderson is my favorite from childhood. My great grandmother had his fairy tale collection bedside. Everytime I spent the night, she would read Thumbelina or The Little Mermaid, upon my request of course. Around the Holiday season, I would ask for The Little Match Girl. I had a tendency to doze off before the ending. : ) Those nights I remained awake will always stay with me.

Laura said...

These look lovely. I love the New York Review books and have checked out all that our library has available. Thank you for the giveaway!
We are still in the process of creating new traditions for our young family. We hang ornaments on a "Jesse tree" as an advent activity for our young children. I try to make cheese fondue for dinner on Christmas Eve, and cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning.

Lisa said...

These books look just wonderful! My favorite books growing up were definitely the Little House on the Prairie books! My favorite Christmas traditional always been the Christmas Eve service at church, I love it!

elnaclark said...

Love your blog. Thank you! These books look beautiful.

Jess said...

Hi Jennifer, I've been following your blog for years, and loved Madame Chic. I just created a blog! I think it is something you would like, check it out if you get a chance- http://www.jessicasteinberghealthcoaching.com/#!blog/c1prd/Date/2014-12/

Carla said...

I came across your book while Christmas shopping and bought it as a little gift for myself. I have a Madame Chic in my memory too, after a year of living with a wonderful French family in Lyon when I was 21. Like you, I didn't pay much attention to how she did it all at the time (all those delicious meals) because I was young and not interested in domesticity. But now that I'm a stay at home mom I find myself recalling how she did things. My husband is French, and I speak French fluently and travel to France (and Paris!) every year, so I am regularly reminded of some of the wonderful things about French culture. My husband's family is not especially sophisticated - they are from an agricultural village near Strasbourg - but food and family meals are of course very important, and they eat better than Americans. My sister in law is the epitome of all that is right with the French approach to eating and weight management and I am so glad to always have her example. But, back to my Madame Chic, she too took pleasure in everyday home life and never grumbled about all the meals she had to cook - she always said she loved cooking. We ate so very well every night, she had no help with maintaining the home, and she was a Maitresse at the local Ecole Maternelle and the mother of three children, ages 17, 15 and 12. We would have aperitif at least once a week before dinner and that was so much fun for a young American like me. Just the idea of relaxing in ones own home without a TV on was a little foreign to an American! Their house was neat and well-run. Many of the difficulties we have in America are related to what I call "affluenza". I don't mean I wish we had less money, but our wealth does bring problems. For example, the number of activities that keep American families busy and stressed are related to the fact that families can afford all these after-to-school activities and their required accoutrements. Plus, the clutter is certainly part of "affluenza". Americans have too much money and not enough time, while French have enough time to save money, which they do have less of, but are they worse off? Sometimes I do get tired of French meticulousness and carefulness - I just want to bake a cake and make a mess of the kitchen in the process, while my SIL can bake a cake in a kitchen the size of a postage stamp and not drop a bit of flour, she's so meticulous. Whenever I lament that I'm not more French, my French husband makes me feel better by reminding me that the French can be "boring" while Americans are much more fun and carefree. But as you explain in your books, there is a magic to being careful and ordered about your everyday activities - the pleasure in the mundane. Anyway, I do strive to emulate my own Madame Chic in so many ways. The French know how to enjoy life. True they may not be as productive or dream as big as Americans (there is no French Steve Jobs) but if you have decided like I have to give up your career and lead a private domestic life (I always think of Dorothea in Middlemarch and what George Eliot writes in the last lines of that amazing book)…if you have decided to lead a quiet life there is something to be said for being careful about how you consume and spend your time. I just wanted to share all this! It was a bit of a repetitive ramble. And, while some who may be intellectually snobbish may write off your book as a silly self help book, I think it is a lovely attempt to give other women the experience we were so lucky to have of living with a classic French family and learning from knowing another culture. I am so grateful to know both French and American culture. You only ask questions of your own culture when you know another. There are so many American habits people take for granted that may not actually make sense if we stop to reflect…like snacking. Ah, I could go on and on. Good for you for writing the book

Unknown said...

My favorite book as a young child was The Ugly Duckling.

My favorite Christmas memory is when my 2 little brothers thought it was a good idea to wake their college age sister up on Christmas morning by jumping on my bed. It wasn't. They went flying.

Ashley Diaz said...

One of my favorite Christmas memories and family traditions was going to the candle-lit service at church on Christmas Eve night. The stillness and peacefulness of the glow of the candles made us refocus on the true reason we celebrate. After the service, we would return home for deli sandwiches on huge Kaiser rolls before turning-in for a sleepless night.

L.E. said...

My favorite traditions were observing Christmas in the European way, celebrating mostly on Christmas Eve and opening gifts in the coziness at night, capped off by beautiful Mass late at night (either 10 p.m. as kids or later Midnight Mass).