The Gifts They Gave

Disclosure: I received a copy of a book in exchange for a review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Based on the traditional Christmas hymn, “The Friendly Beasts” with two new verses (written by author/illustrator Patricia Reeder Eubank) to include the cat and dog, “The Gifts They Gave” is sure to delight your ‘lil readers this Christmas season.

Jesus our brother, kind and good,
Was humbly born in a stable of wood,
And the friendly beasts around him stood,
Jesus our brother, kind and good.

Adding precious illustrations to the verses, Eubank tells the story of the nativity. Animal lovers will appreciate the tenderness that the stable friends show to the newborn babe. The creatures are illustrated as “fluffy” or snuggly, and are sure to wow your kids. (My ‘lil animal lovers kept saying “awwww” and “so sweet” as we read this story.)

The Gifts They Gave
Credit: Sterling Publishing

While I love all of the pages, the one with the dove and resting Baby Jesus is my favorite of them all. Eubanks made Him look so sweet and peaceful, a perfect Christmas moment.

You can find a copy for your holiday enjoyment in your bookstore orat Sterling Publishing to order online. This hardback book retails for $9.95 and is recommended for children ages 2-5.

The First Christmas Night

Disclosure: I received a copy of The First Christmas Night in exchange for an honest review. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

You’re all probably very familiar with the rhyme “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, but have you ever heard a version about the night before the real, first Christmas?

The First Christmas Night
Source: Ideals Children’s Books


Keith Christopher, author of “The First Christmas Night”, has brought us a beautiful poem in the style of this familiar rhyme. A beautiful telling of THE Christmas story (accompanied by illustrations in oil paintings by Christine Kornacki) brought me to tears. I haven’t read this to the kids yet (saving it for Christmas Eve around the tree), but I am sure they are going to love it just as much as I did. Even though we know the conclusion of the story, it’s still a magical, beautiful moment, making me fall deeper in love with all.the.things.

And now, we that know can say with delight, Jesus was born on the first Christmas night!

Suggestions for using this hardback book:

  • Family story time during the holidays
  • Children’s ministers and Sunday school teachers
  • Chirstmas carolers
  • Literacy skills in kids ages 4-8 (rhyming, verbal language, early reading skills)

From the journey through Bethlehem to the visit from the Wise Men, this story is a gorgeous way to celebrate the season. You can get your own copy through Ideals Children’s Books for $16.99.

K’NEX Value Tub Building Set

Disclosure: At no cost to me/in exchange for a blog review, K’NEX sent me its 521 Amazing Value Tub Building Set  through its Toys “R” Us® Mom Blogger Promotion. All opinions are 100% my own.

The K’NEX 521 Amazing Value Tub Building Set provides your ‘lil builder with a box full of opportunities to build, build, build. As an exclusive Toys “R” Us product, the Value Tub Building Set contains 521 pieces (these are small pieces, I’d recommend sticking to the recommended ages of 7-10) and 35 ideas for building. But, if your ‘lil builder is anything like mine, they’ll find hundreds of other ways to build with it.

K'NEX Value Tub Building Set
Source: K’NEX

Included are the container for organization, K’NEX blocks, wheels, pivot pieces, and more. The pieces are bright and durable. Official product information from K’NEX follows:

Build anything you can imagine with the 521 Piece Value Tub!  Loaded with 521 parts for lots of building fun! Includes instructions/ideas for 35 unique models including, dragsters, Ferris wheels, dinosaurs, creatures and more!  Parts and built models can be stored in the convenient storage tub.  Made in the U.S.A.  Suggested retail price $24.99. Ages 7+.  Available exclusively at Toys “R” Us.

My take on the set is that for the price, options, and imaginative play building, this would be a great addition to your holiday list.