Holiday Book Guide 2023!

Special Effects Lettering and Calligraphy

With Special Effects Lettering and Calligraphy, you’ll learn to master a variety of lettering styles and gorgeous mediums to create amazing lettered art.

This fun, colorful, and inspiring guide for lettering enthusiasts at all levels of experience is written and illustrated by popular lettering artist and Domestika instructor Grace Frosen of @gracecallidesigns, who shares her secrets on how to create vibrant and unique designs.

I love that this book is perfect for beginners!

Special Effects Lettering and Calligraphy

A Beginner’s Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Amazing Lettered Art
Explore New Styles, Colors, and Mediums
by Grace Frösén$22.99
144 pages / Paperback
ISBN: 9780760380543

Gifts for Kids, Pet Lovers & Gifts that Give Back:

PT Runs Free”, written by Jason Kraus and illustrated by Connor DeHaan, is an inspirational story featuring real-life rescue dog PT, who now resides in Fort Myers, Florida, and his journey as a shelter dog to facing further adversity by losing a leg to finding his “furever” home with a powerful message he now delivers – to Never Give Up. Not only is this book written with an inspirational message, but the power of hope is being spread as all proceeds are being donated to animal rescue groups and humane societies.

Follow the real PT at

Readers can purchase at:

Amazon: PT Runs Free: Kraus, Jason, DeHaan, Connor: 9798218046088: Books

Barnes & Noble: PT Runs Free by Jason Kraus, Connor DeHaan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (

ETHAN AND THE STRAYS by Ezra Jack Keats award winner John Sullivan, illustrated by New York Times bestselling Hatem Aly, is on sale October 3rd! Ethan is a sweet boy whose parents has a strict no-pet policy. But when he notices three stray kittens on the way to school, he has to do something! So, with the help of his older brother and the local animal shelter, Ethan learns all the ways you can responsibly care for stray animals. Ethan and the Strays is a simple and heartwarming lesson for the youngest of readers about caring for stray animals. Backmatter and extra resources are also available for more in depth learning. Caring for stray cats is also a passion project for author John Sullivan, who has rescued dozens of cats in his hometown of Chicago.

WINTER by debut author Kelsey Gross, illustrated by the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal winner Renata Liwska. This picture book is a soft and fuzzy ode to all forest animals and the atmospheric magic of the winter solstice. On the longest night of the year, all the animals gather to watch the light fade into night with all their friends as the moon and stars shine down on a lone tree in the forest. This gentle and lulling picture book is the perfect celebration of the peace, quiet, and serenity found during the Winter Solstice! (or before bedtime)

In ready-to-read (Level 2), BUMBLEBEE’S BIG MISSION by Patty Michaels (out: 12/12/23) readers will get the scoop on how one of the most famous Autbots, Bumblebee, spends his days. Since the Transformers War ended, Bumblebee has been living under the radar, helping Optimus Prime whenever he needs him. Only a select few know his whereabouts and the top secret, super important missions he has completed. Perfect for kids 4-8 year olds.

In the illustrated chapter book, MAY THE BEST BOT WIN! by Ryder Windham (out:12/12/23), Robby and Mo show the youngest Terrans that a little sibling rivalry can be fun, during a Terran Triathlon! This action-packed illustrated chapter book is an all-new, original story featuring beloved characters from the show. Perfect for kids 4-8 year olds.

love this story!

 Give the Perfect Gift this Holiday Season: Unconditional Love Wrapped in a Heart-Warming Children’s Book!

Score major points with kids this holiday season by giving them the gift that keeps on giving, the acclaimed children’s book, “From the Pocket of an Overcoat” (Friendly Falls Press; Archway Publishing from Simon & Schuster), by author and illustrator Robert Vincent. Ideal for classrooms, gift exchanges, stocking-stuffers or a wrapped gift, this charming book about the adoption of a loveable cat captures the holiday spirit and is perfect for kids, parents, and pet-lovers alike.

Available online at, and at the book’s website,, as well as select bookstores, “From the Pocket of an Overcoat”  is based on the real-life story of a cat named Max adopted by Vincent’s son Matthew from a homeless woman in Dallas who found Max as a tiny kitten and had him in the pocket of her overcoat as she was trying to find him a home. The tale is about an affable cat, Max Buckles, and how he finds himself and his way to a new home – moving from the cozy overcoat pocket of Sally in the city, to the country with Farmer Buckles and his other animals, including four dogs – Sam, Tots, Scotty (who is not Scottish, but is plaid), and Junior Buckles. Along the way, he discovers a true sense of belonging within his new family. As told through the journey of Max the cat, this is a story about self-identity, acceptance, animal rescue, and adoption.

A portion of each book sale of “From the Pocket of an Overcoat” will be donated to organizations that promote animal rescue and adoption – The Humane Society and Best Friends.  Readers and fans of Max Buckles canlike and follow the book on Instagram and Facebook, and can also send an email to with proof of purchase to get a special Thank You note from Max himself. To learn more,

 THE LITTLE TIGER(Paula Wiseman)

From the beloved author-illustrator of the My Little Animal Friend picture book series, comes a new adorable story about new friends and birthday surprises. THE LITTLE TIGER(Paula Wiseman | On Sale 12/12/23) is a tenderly told, gorgeously-illustrated story about finding the courage to go into new experiences with excitement, confidence, and joy.

Beloved author-illustrator Nicola Killen’s characteristic “understated charm” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review for The Little Reindeer) shines with this heart-warming bedtime story’s limited color illustrations accented with lovely foil and interactive die cut pages. This is a wonderful bedtime story book!

Dogtown is a shelter for stray dogs and discarded robot dogs, whose owners have tired of plugging them in, and keeping their parts in working order. We want to adopt ALL THE DOGS: Orphan dogs, real and robot, are irresistible. This book is about empathy as well as adventure. But at its core Dogtown is about friendship and having the courage to find out where you belong. Or as Chance says, “Your heart is a muscle. It grows stronger the more you use it.”

Fantoons Celebrates The Timeless Music Of The Beach Boys With First-Ever One-Of-A-Kind Official Coloring Book

Showcasing artwork driven by the band’s enduring legacy, unforgettable harmonies and good vibrations, the 72-page new-yet-classic coloring book pays homage to the vast array of sights and sounds of the band’s music, and eclectic artistry. Each page encapsulates the iconic essence of the band, while providing an original spin for old and new fans alike. 

For the first time in Fantoons’ acclaimed history of coloring books The Beach Boys: Official Coloring Book includes a special QR code linking to a custom Beach Boys Playlist

Available at with limited edition collector’s items, and at all the best bookstores in the United States and worldwide.

by Jesse Byrd (Author), Sandy Kaur Gill (Author), Monica Paola Rodriguez (Illustrator)
Paw Prints; May 30, 2023; Ages 5-8; 40 pages
Hardcover; $19.99; 978-1223191492; 10 1/4 x 10 1/4
Paperback; $9.99; 978-1223186986; 10 x 10

After Kavya and her family are flooded out of their home in Southeast Asia, they have to make the difficult decision to return and try to rebuild or move away from their native land. Two of the creators of Seeking Shanti are also behind the non-profits Create-Structure and Better Shelter. Over the past five years, Better Shelter has collaborated with leading UN organizations, NGOs, governmental donors and the private sector to provide shelter for the displaced due to climate crises. So far, they have provided 60,000 shelters that benefit displaced families, classrooms and health care facilities in over 60 countries.

About the Author: Jesse Byrd is an award-winning author of six traditionally published children’s books. As an editor, consultant, and art director, he’s helped develop more than 40 children’s books in the last three years, with most of those centering and being by diverse people. He has led creative projects for the NBA, PayPal, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Brex, and more and is the youngest NPR Foundation Board Member. In 2022, he was one of the top-selling literary agents in America, selling 21 titles to traditional publishers, with most of those titles being from first-time authors and illustrators from marginalized backgrounds. He believes in championing a spectrum of diversity and “own voices” across immigrant experiences, ethnic diversity, differently-abled communities, age, nationality, and more.

by Carina Ho (Author), Jesse Byrd (Author), Monica Paola Rodriguez (Illustrator)
Paw Prints; May 30, 2023; Ages 4-7; 48 pages
Hardcover; $18.99; 978-1223186306; 10 1/4 x 10 1/4
Paperback; $9.99; 978-1223186313; 10 1/4 x 9 2/5

A young girl aspires to dance despite her physical disability. Welcome to Sametown, where everyone and everything is…well…the same. Except Mara! She’s a little different. She’s bright. She’s sunny. And, unlike her classmates who are all planning on performing a similar magic show act at the school talent show, she is going to dance, dance, dance! One problem: everyone in Sametown – her classmates, her teacher – they all think she shouldn’t do it. And it’s not just (it seems) because dancing isn’t the status quo in Sametown…It’s because they just don’t believe in Mara because she uses a wheelchair. Mara won’t let their dissuading and their heckling rock her spirit, though. She’s Mighty Mara and she’s about to shake she some new life into her homogenous hometown in the most surprising and beautiful of ways.

About the Author: Carina Ho is a Bay Area-based music producer, award-winning dancer, and author who uses a wheelchair. As an electronic music producer, she creates work under the moniker ONIKHO and melds her influences of blues, soul, and pop. Having formerly danced professionally with AXIS Dance Company, she often blends dance and music through collaborations with artists both with and without disabilities. She is a Fulbright Fellowship recipient and has toured both the United States and internationally to teach and perform. As an advocate for inclusion and accessibility, Carina’s mission as an artist is to champion greater visibility for people with disabilities. Mighty Mara is her first book and she hopes that it will inspire young readers to practice inclusive behavior throughout their lives. Carina is represented by Jesse B. Creative and you can see her work at and follow her on Facebook and Instagram

by Malik Sickstein (Author), Paige A. Mason (Illustrator)
Paw Prints; May 30, 2023; Ages 5-8; 48 pages
Hardcover; $18.99; 978-1223186566; 10 1/4 x 10 1/4
Paperback; $8.99;  978-1223186573; 9 1 /2 x 10

Kiss stage fright goodbye…
You’re super fly.
Grab that mic!

I Grab the Mic is the first in a picture book series featuring kids overcoming socially-challenging scenarios and building confidence, all written in lyrical hip-hop inspired verse. In this first story, a young girl and her friends grapple with the nerves that come with public speaking. Ultimately the kids all find the confidence to share their voice!

About the Author: Malik Sickstein is a Master’s level counseling professional, hip-hop historian, proud Bison, and recording artist who co-authored the critically acclaimed YA novel Let Me Hear A Rhyme. He is a committee panelist for the Virginia Children’s Book Festival and is passionate about writing children’s and adult non-fiction that express life lessons. He is the product of three places: Harlem, NYC (where he was born), D.C. (his second home), and the SF Bay Area (where he lives). Malik Sickstein is represented by Jesse B. Creative and you can find him online at and follow him on Instagram

by Rev Valdez (Author, Illustrator)
Paw Prints; May 30, 2023; Ages 5-7; 48 pages
Hardcover; $18.99; 978-1223186399; 10 1/4 x 10 1/4
Paperback; $9.99; 978-1223186405; 9 4/5 x 9 4/5

Meet Bunso, a boy with a really scary problem. It’s the Mumu, the Filipino version of the Boogeyman, who likes to frighten kids who don’t do as they are told by their elders! The Mumu will not let Bunso draw (on the walls), eat ice cream (before dinner), or play video games (his older brother’s). But Bunso has had enough! Gearing up to fight back against this destroyer of fun, Bunso makes surprising discoveries about the Mumu (and himself) in this fun, comic-like picture book that introduces children to Filipino culture and words.

About the Author: Rev Valdez is a Filipino-American illustrator based in San Francisco, CA. He’s passionate about introducing young readers to the myths and mythical creatures of Filipino culture through fun and funny visual storytelling. He is the author and illustrator of Bunso Meets a Mumu and is represented by Jesse B. Creative. Follow Rev on Facebook and Instagram

by Mikki Hernandez (Author), Victoria Lewis (Illustrator)
Paw Prints; July 4, 2023; Ages 5-8; 32 pages
Hardcover; $18.99; 978-1223186429; 8 3/5 x 11 1/3
Paperback: $9.99; 978-1223186436; 8 1/2 x 11

A young mixed-race girl named Remy, encounters that intrusive question, “What are you?” during her first day at a new school, which sends her on a journey towards self-acceptance. Feeling confused about where she belongs, Remy learns about ethnicity and what it means to be mixed by doing her favorite activity with her mother: baking. When she then returns to school, Remy shares the importance of celebrating different backgrounds, as you would the ingredients that make up a delicious cake, with her classmates.

About the Author: Mikki Hernandez is an actress, voiceover artist, and writer. She attended UCLA earning a degree in Communications and works in entertainment. She is of mixed-race heritage and enjoys discussing culture and new perspectives on her blog MixedKids&Co. Her debut children’s book, Cake Mix: Learning to Love All Your Ingredients, is now available. In her free time, she can be found dancing, taking long walks in the sun, or planning her next international trip. Mikki lives in Los Angeles and is represented by Jesse B. Creative. Learn more about her at and follow her on Instagram.

by Janeen Jackson (Author), Brittanie Gaja (Illustrator)
Paw Prints; August 22, 2023; Ages 4-7; 40 pages
Hardcover; $18.99; 978-1223186535; 11 x 8 1/2
Paperback; $8.99;‎ 978-1223186542; 10 3/4 x 8 1.2

Young and in love, Momma Red and Poppa Yellow Tomato decide to have a baby tomato. However, Momma and Poppa quickly learn that they cannot properly care for their sweet seedling the way they want and make the difficult decision to release her to another loving tomato family in Hopewell Garden, using the assistance of a helpful ladybug adoption agent. Hello, Sweet Baby is a heartfelt, magical story by a bright new talent about adoption, making tough choices, honoring differences, and celebrating different types of families.

The Sun and Planets
Patricia Geis 

Filled with pop-ups, pull-outs, sliders, and foldouts, this interactive nonfiction book about our Solar System will blow children’s minds. This is a great book to introduce the solar system to children!

HC 9781638192084

Pop-up Book 

Ages 5 to 10 / 14 pages / $29.99 


Imprint: Bushel & Peck Books

Nana and Me
Special Poems Just for Us
Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Sejung Kim

From the pen of world-reknowned poet, author, and Nana, Jane Yolen, come 19 poems about grandmothers from around the world.

HC 9781638192145

Ages 4 to 8 / 32 pages / $18.99


Imprint: Moonshower

Body Music
Poems about the Noises Your Body Makes
Jane Yolen & Ryan G. Van Cleave
Illustraten by Luis San Vincente

“Yolen and Van Cleave give voice to bodily noises—from butts that “BOOM” to giggles and gasps—in a riotously silly poetry collection perfectly tuned to a toilet humor–loving audience.”—Publishers Weekly

HC 9781638192015

Ages 4 to 8 / 32 pages / $18.99


Imprint: Moonshower

Stronger Than She Thinks
Nancy Kerrigan
with Ryan G. Van Cleave
Illustratrated by Arief Putra 

In her first book for children, two-time Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan shares scenes from her childhood as she learns how to work hard, to believe in herself, and to land her first axel jump.

HC 9781638192077

Ages 4 to 8 / 32 pages / $18.99 


Imprint: Bushel & Peck Books

Workman Publishing: Indestructibles, Sesame Street Edition

The original INDESTRUCTIBLES® series—the bestselling chew proof, rip proof, and 100% washable line of books—is thrilled to collaborate with Sesame Street to launch an exciting team-up.

The first two books in a planned six-part series are Sesame Street: Elmo Says Surprise! and Sesame Street: Starring Abby Cadabby! Ages 0+; $5.99. These adorable new additions will encourage a love for reading as little ones join their favorite Sesame Street friends on delightful adventures.

It’s Elmo!


Indestructibles are books built for the way babies “read”: with their hands and mouths. Chew-proof, rip-proof, and drool-proof, they’re printed on a unique 100% nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up to anything babies can throw at it—gumming, spilling, dragging across the floor. Indestructibles are the little books that could. And if they get dirty, just wash them off. Beloved by babies and their parents, Indestructibles were invented by Amy Pixton, a mother of triplets, after bits of traditional board books found their way into her babies’ mouths.

New Cookbook Creates a Lively and Fun Way
to Think About Plant-based Cooking

This Plantastic Cookbook is a flavorful collection of plant-based recipes developed by Hollywood caterer and Edible Schoolyard Chef/Director Gwen Kenneally.

Renowned chef and food enthusiast, Gwen Kenneally, has released her highly anticipated second cookbook.  The Plantastic Cookbook offers home cooks a delightful array of delectable recipes that will tantalize the taste buds of both vegans and omnivores alike. Kenneally, a celebrated chef with over two decades of culinary experience, has crafted a cookbook that reflects her passion for sustainable and delicious plant-based dishes.

The Plantastic Cookbook is a culinary journey that showcases the incredible versatility of plant-based ingredients, bringing a burst of vibrant flavors to your table. Sections include toasts and jams, soups and stews, greens and sides, jackfruit, quinoa, grilled entrees, party fare and sweets. Over 90 recipes to expand the vegan palate and introduce new flavors and cooking techniques to those not yet familiar with the joys and benefits of plant-based eating.

Some of the recipes in the book include:

  • Fava Bean Mint Toast
  • Beet Soup with Cashew Crème Fraiche
  • Crabby Jack Cakes with Red Pepper Sauce
  • Breakfast Quinoa
  • Cedar-Planked Pecan, Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glazed Vegan Brie
  • Vegetarian Moon in the 7th House Rolls
  • Jambalaya
  • Cajun Grilled Eggplant
  • Rice Pudding with Whipped Cashew Cream
  • Lotus Kitchen Cookie

I love the Cajun Grilled Eggplant recipe!

Connect with Gwen at,

Facebook: Gwen Kenneally

Instagram: @gwenkenneall

by Kris Cramer
Ulysses Press; June 2023; $19.95

Looking to eat more plant-based this upcoming new year? Trader Joe’s has you covered with this one! 150 Delicious Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes Using Foods from the World’s Greatest Grocery Store. I love the Tasty Tofu Scramble! You can find this one on You can also purchase and find out more here.

Know a Wednesday show fan? This is a must!


By Editors of Ulysses Press

Color your way through Wednesday’s dark and twisted world with original, hand-drawn illustrations that will pull you by your braids into Jericho, Vermont and leave your head spinning.

You can find out more and purchase here.

by Iphigenia Jones

Here’s another one that is sure to be a hit with Wednesday show fans!

Grab your favorite knives, guillotines, and other torture devices and join Wednesday Addams on a culinary journey through Nevermore, Jericho, and beyond with 66 deliciously dark and twisted recipes inspired by the hit Netflix show. You can find this one on “Secret” Ginger Snaps is perfect for the holidays!

Perfect book for any cat lover!

Photographs by Mark Rogers.

By the Editors of Ulysses Press.

Discover the secret thoughts of our cheeky yet charming pet cats, with 50 adorable, full-color photos of cats paired with their hilarious commentary.

Find out where to buy here.

This one is great for cooking with kids!

I love this cookbook and it’s perfect for kids 10+. Craft some fun kitchen magic just in time for Halloween with this kid-friendly follow-up to the USA Today best-selling The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook. It has fun recipes such as Harvest Vegetable Pizza and Fully Charged Crystal Candy. Find out more here.

Love the drawings in this one!

by Mikayla Sherfy

Celebrate New York City’s best borough as you color your way through detailed illustrations of architecture, local spots, and more iconic scenes from Brooklyn. I have to admit that I have never been to Brooklyn or New York but after seeing this book, it is definitely on my bucket list! You can find it on and find out where else to buy here.

Self Disclosure: I received free copies of the above books to facilitate this holiday book guide. Cover images and information were also provided.

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