The December 2012 Carnival of Children’s Literature

posted in: 2. Illustrators and Authors | 13

Is there a more perfect way to round off the year than with a party celebrating brilliant books for children, a party where so many amazing advocates for children’s books drop by and say hello? Well I don’t think so, and thus it’s with open arms I welcome you to the final Carnival of Children’s Literature for 2012.


Darshana at Flowering Minds has a round up of her favourite picture books of 2012. She’s got different categories, including “Best Squabble in a Book”. Why not head over and see what she’s chosen and share your favourites in each category?

Pat at Read, Write, Repeat has a review of a picture book which I think will feature on quite a few “best of 2012” lists: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen. The review isn’t actually by Pat, but rather by 7 year old Gabi. Was the book a hit with her? Do click through and find out.

Debra at has created an amazing resource for us to download – a document containing all her books reviews from 2012. Given that she set herself a challenge of reviewing a book a day, it’s not surprising that the document runs to 74 pages!


Julie at Instantly Interruptible shares a review of If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen. “This book indulges the creative spirit of children, and marries it with a fascination with design, architecture, and engineering.

Margo at The Fourth Musketeer updates her list of favourite Hanukkah books to include several more recently published books, including ones by Lemony Snicket and Jane Yolen.

Over at Perogies & Gyoza Jen shares her Top Ten Picture Books of 2012. Are they they same as your top ten? I’m very ashamed to say I’ve not read any of them, but I’m already on the case to change this situation!


Katy at Secrets and Sharing Soda reviews two books by Karla Oceanak: Finicky, and Glitch. These “stories have lots of heart and learning opportunities, and they’re lots of fun to read.”

LH Johnson at Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again? has a round up of the best books she’s read this year – not just published 2012, but a mixture of current and classics – and comics! After reading her post I went and grabbed one of the books on her list, I wonder if you will too?

Loll at Storyseekers has a review of The Lost Christmas Gift by Andrew Beckham to share with us. “The knowledge that hope and belief are powerful forces when we’re faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the addition of kind acts by benevolent strangers all combine to make this a truly magical Christmas book.


Renee at No Water River shares a holiday poem and poetry video by guest poet Penny Klostermann. Renee also interviews Penny, ending with a challenge to create a rhyming couplet using the word “antlers”. Can you do it? (Do go and see how Penny does it!)

Anastasia at Booktalking highlights Santa on the Loose!: A Seek and Solve Mystery! written by Bruce Hale, illustrated by Dave Garbot. A Christmassy twist on Where’s Waldo/Wally!

Ali at Fantastic Reads reviews a great family read for this time of year: Lost Christmas by David Logan. “This book deserves to become a Christmas classic.


Maeve at Yellow Brick Reads has a wonderful post about maps in children’s literature. As Maeve writes, “This blog post gives a brief survey of maps and mapping in children’s literature. From treasure islands to fantasy worlds, maps enhance the magic of their creator’s fictional lands.” What’s your favourite children’s literature map?

Dawn shares a guest post she wrote to support Sally Poyton’s campaign to get a #Book_in_Every_Stocking. Did you give or receive any books in your stockings this Christmas? If so, why not let Sally and Dawn know?

Camille at A Curious Thing reviews Starry River of the Sky: Grace Lin’s latest story is a magical tale filled with interesting characters woven together with old Chinese folk tales. It is a story you will want to escape into.


Gail at Original Content shares her experience of reading Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen. She writes, “I believe that adults have a difficult time reading children’s and YA books and really assessing them the way child/YA readers do because we can’t help but filter our reading through our adult acquired knowledge. Reading this particular book was a rare experience for me in that I found myself responding to it as I know my younger self would have.

Catherine from Story Snug has three Moomin picture books to recommend. Also, if you haven’t yet seen the recent BBC documentary about Tove Jansson you’ve just got time – click here to view (though I’m not sure it’s viewable outside the UK).

Indian author Anita Vachharajani writes about Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas.I think it’s a lovely, un-soppy way to talk about Christmas. It’s also a window into conversations on all the work and the hardship involved in just keep the wheels of our lives and our societies going.


There’s a tremendously useful post from Sarah at Chicken Spaghetti, a list of lists of best kids’ books of 2012. “Very handy for librarians, teachers, and children’s book aficionados.

Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glen has responded to a reader’s request for book suggestions for a ten-year-old girl. What books would you have suggested? Do they feature on Melissa’s list?

Jeanne at True Tales & A Cherry On Top shares a review of The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Amanda Hall. “Although he is best known for his jungle paintings, he could never afford to leave Paris. Instead, he travelled in his mind.


Susan, The Book Chook, reviews The Diary of a Wombat, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Susan’s post includes all sorts of resources to follow up a shared reading with some extra fun!

Amy at Delightful Children’s Books shares the Grand Finale of her 60 Not-to-be-Missed Picture Books project. It’s an eclectic and exciting list – go check it out!

Nancy at The Busy Mom Bookshelf shares a review of Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Kwanzaa, written by Carolyn Otto, “a great book for young children about Kwanzaa with accompanying photographs, rather than illustrations“.

Next month’s host is Imagination Soup. I look forward to catching up with you at her place, if not before!

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy 2013, full of the best of books!

13 Responses

  1. I love the banners! I can’t wait to dig in and am bummed that I forgot to send you a link for your wonderful round up! Happy New Year 🙂
    Stacey recently posted..Holiday Magic

  2. Great roundup! Thank you so much for including Chicken Spaghetti.

  3. Thank you for putting this together Zoe. Can’t wait to sit down and read everyone’s posts. Happy New Year!
    Catherine recently posted..Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo

  4. Wow – there’s some fantastic stuff out there that I can’t wait to read. Thanks for pulling it all together in one place – it’s very impressive!
    Sam recently posted..Review: Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat by Ursula Moray Williams

  5. Hi, Zoe. Great roundup! And I love the format and graphics you used. Can’t believe I forgot to submit this month, but I look forward to reading lots of the posts!

  6. Great carnival Zoe. Plenty of reading here for the tail end of 2012. Love the bunting too!
    Maeve recently posted..Christmas Recommendations

  7. I love the ribbons holding the books! What a nice touch! Thanks so much for hosting this month, Zoe!!

  8. Thanks for a terrific roundup, Zoe! I so enjoy reading all your comments and then hopping over to the wonderful kidlit blogs. Beautiful presentation of the books!

  9. Looks like a great line-up, can’t wait to read through the posts. Love the banners!
    Darshana recently posted..Best Picture Books of 2012

  10. Great roundup! And I love the books display – thanks for
    Putting this together.

  11. How wonderful! Thanks to Renee for her Facebook post which led me here to this carnival of fun!
    Cathy Mealey recently posted..December at Last: Riding the Polar Express

  12. Happy New Year and thank you, Zoe!
    Susan Stephenson recently posted..Looking Back to December 2011

  13. The carnival was very well done. In addition, while visiting your blog, I discovered TED Talks.
    Gail Gauthier recently posted..Time Management Tuesday: New Year’s Resolutions Are A Waste Of Time

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