Without any further ado:
Alix Reid says: "I’d recommend The Secret of Goldenrod, which is the perfect book to curl up with under a blanket and next to a fire, and immerse yourself in a book about a lonely girl and a house that is magical and mysterious."
Greg Hunter says: "I would recommend The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, because the story teaches readers that every gift is precious--and that you should always beware of talking skunks."
For elementary-age kids, Anna Cavallo recommends Dino-Racing. She says: "It’s hard not to enjoy seeing the largest dinosaurs crammed in tiny cars, and illustrator Barry Gott’s fake logos adorning the race cars are hilarious. Plus, the text features lots of fun info about racing!"
And for teen girls, Anna recommends The Immortal Throne (along with the first two Into the Dark books, The Shadow Prince and The Eternity Key), saying, "This series is an engrossing escape from the winter cold and gray, easily enjoyment under a blanket with a mug of something warm. And Daphne, the badass strong female main character, should be a welcome example of a girl who’s saving the world, despite the bumbling and/or greedy men around her."
Amy Fitzgerald says, "I’d have to recommend Gabriel’s Horn, a Kar-Ben picture book about a boy whose brief meeting with a mysterious soldier changes his life forever. The art is gorgeous, the story is universal (thought it’s cleverly based on a Jewish legend), and the theme of giving and looking beyond our own needs is perfect for the holidays."
And finally, I'll throw in a couple recommendations of my own. For the science-loving kid: Masters of Disguise by Rebecca L. Johnson.
This book offers a surprising--and occasionally gross--look at animals that use incredible tricks to deceive predators or prey. (The assassin bug on the cover is wearing a "coat" of dead ants!)
For the kid who is going to be seeing a lot of relatives: Don't Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, with illustrations by Elizabeth Zunon.
Getting together with relatives can be wonderful, but at times it can be nerve-racking. This book explores something we don't often see in picture books--a feisty, prickly great-grandmother--and it offers a gentle message about finding ways to love our relatives as they are, eccentricities and all.
And that's our list! I wish our readers a happy holiday season: may you all read something you love!