I read some beautiful picture books this month that would make beautiful additions to your family’s library just in time for Christmas.

How to Hide a Lion at Christmas

Iris’ family has a lion. Lion is accepted in Iris’ town, but the little girl’s family is afraid the wild creature would scare the townspeople who live in Auntie Sarah’s town so Lion is forced to stay behind at Christmas. This makes Iris sad as she wants lion to come with her. So Lion follows Iris’ family on the train. Unfortunately, the motion makes lion sleepy and when he awakes, Iris and her family are gone and Lion is all alone. Lion follows the train track back, looking for Iris, but finding lots of trouble on his way.

I really liked this book. I didn’t know where it was going (I thought maybe Lion was imaginary. He was not. He is a real-life lion) and I like how it ended. I also liked how Iris tried to hide Lion by attempting squish him in a suitcase or cover him with decorations. The illustrations are funny.

How to Hide a Lion at Christmas is by Helen Stephens ($23.50, Raincoast Books, Henry Holt and Company).

Front cover image of Dinosaur Yoga of a T-Rex doing an upward dog on a yoga mat with a colourful water bottle and dinosaurs peeking out of the bush
Super fun. Dinosaurs doing yoga.

Dinosaur Yoga

Dinosaur Yoga by Mariam Gates ($23.50, Raincoast Books, Sounds True) is a super fun book about crashing, bashing dinosaurs who have big teeth and bigger feet, but aren’t trying to look mean. In fact they are trying to find inner peace by doing yoga. Step by step, we watch various dinosaurs doing yoga stretches and to find zen. What a fantastically fun idea. I love the illustrations in this book, the colours and shades of the dinosaurs. I love looking at these dinosaurs as they clasp their feet together and breathe deeply and I love the look on their faces while doing so. The end of the book kids can learn how to do the poses the dinosaurs do in the book with step to step guide coupled with a picture of the dinosaur doing the pose. Super fun.

Front cover image of How to Catch a Dinosaur of a cute green dinosaur looking behind him with eggs for the o's in the title
Fun book, cute illustrations

How to Catch a Dinosaur

In Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton’s How to Catch a Dinosaur ($14.42, Raincoast Books, Sourcebooks Wonderland, sourcebookskids.com), a group of friends decide they are going to win the science fair by catching a dinosaur. They create all these gadgets, but each time just miss catching the dinosaur, which leaves clues behind.

Spoiler alert. In the end the kids don’t catch a dinosaur, but do invent all these cool science projects. And the dinosaur – he reads about the kids’ win in the school paper while sitting in his underground cave underneath the school. I love it.

I like the illustrations in this book and the story. What a fun book.

Front cover image of When the Snow is Deeper Than my Boots Are Tall witha little boy being lifted by his parents high into the air
Playing in the snow is fun. Getting warm is even better.

When the Snow is Deeper Than my Boots Are Tall

In this picture book by Jean Reidy ($22.50, Raincoast Books, Henry Holt and Company), a little boy goes out in the snow as it gets deeper and deeper. He has fun playing in the white stuff with his cat and dog until the wind takes his hat and the snow is deeper than his boots are tall. And he is cold. Thankfully, mom and dad are there to rescue him, scooping him out of the snow and into the house for hot cocoa where he can watch the snow fly.

It’s a cute book about having fun in the snow and warming up after a morning of playing.

Front cover image of Who Wants to be a Pirate? What it was Really Like in the Golden Age of Piracy of group of beaten pirates poking their head around the captain who is steering the ship
I don’t want to be a pirate, but kids who do may still want to after reading this book.

Who Wants to be a Pirate? What it was Really Like in the Golden Age of Piracy

Forget what you think you know about pirates, particularly the ones found in stories. In this picture book, author Bridget Heos ($23.50, Raincoast Books, Henry Holt and Company) offers a look at what real pirates were like on a ship that smelt like animals and where the captain’s room is as humble as his shipmates. The book goes on to explain that life on a pirate ship is hard work and its crew was often hungry, so hungry in fact they boiled and ate their own boots. The book breaks myths, while showing what life was really like including food: “Today we are having rancid pork, mouldy bread and wormy cheese.”

While the “pirate life” isn’t for me, I would image for kids who want to be pirates, this book didn’t change anything. The illustrations aren’t my favourite, but seem right for a book about pirates (although I am really not a fan of the pig’s head on the table.)

A copy of these books were provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.