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Three picture books kids will love to see under the tree + A giveaway!

All this talk about last-minute Christmas shopping is making me anxious. To me, last-minute is just before the stores close on December 24, which means there’s still plenty of time to pick up prezzies for your loved ones. And if books are on their list (and even if they’re not, get them some!), here are three picture books sure to be a hit. 

The Christmas Eve Tree Jamesy


Granted, this first one would make a sweet surprise before Christmas. It’s The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy, illustrated by Emily Sutton.

“It’s late on Christmas Eve, and a little fir tree is the only one left for sale. What a poor thing I am, the crooked, spindly tree thinks. But along comes a boy who doesn’t seem to mind that the tree is neither tall nor straight, and it becomes an unforgettable Christmas for both of them.”

It’s a beautiful, heartwarming story illustrated in a style reminiscent of children’s books of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. The ending is hopeful but open-ended as well — readers may wonder what becomes of the boy and in this way, it’s a great jumping off point for a conversation about the less fortunate among us not only at Christmastime, but all the year through.


Next, A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers, illustrated by Sam Winston.

“A little girl, a child of books, sails her raft across a sea of words and arrives at the house of a young boy. She invites him to go away with her on an adventure into the world of stories … where, with only a little imagination, anything at all can happen.”

The story and the illustrations in A Child of Books evoke the magic of reading and the power (and fun!) of storytelling. It’s a keepsake book both young and young-at-heart readers will love.


And finally our favourite (which I’ve been thrilled to see my guy reading over and over): We Found A Hat by Jon Klassen.

“Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat.”

It’s a simple story — the third and final in a series — with Jon’s trademark deadpan humour and incredible ability to evoke emotion in the smallest details. How will the two turtles solve their conundrum? The answer may surprise you. And make you laugh along the way. (I love LOVE this book!)


For a chance to win a copy of We Found A Hat, tell me one of the books you’re giving (children’s or otherwise) or hoping to receive this holiday. (This entry is mandatory. Please leave your answer in the comments below.)

For an additional entry, follow try small things on Facebook and share this post, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below.

For a third entry, follow try small things on Instagram, like this photo, and tell me your Instagram handle in the comments below.

And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things on Twitter for your entry to count.

Books make the best gifts! #WIN We Found A Hat by Jon Klassen CAN 1/7 http://bit.ly/wefoundahatgiveaway @trysmallthings #wefoundahat

The giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on January 7, 2017. The potential winner must respond to prize notification within 48 hours, including the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another winner will be selected.

Update January 8, 2016: Congratulations Janette V! 

Penguin Random House Canada sent me all three books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

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Comments (



  1. Jeannie Lam

  2. intensev5

    I follow on Facebook.

  3. intensev5

    my son is hoping for any Dr Seuss Books.
    Entry form name: Marlene V.

  4. Victoria Ess

  5. Jeannie Lam

  6. Marla P

    FB bonus done
    Marla p

  7. Marla P

    IG follower @marlibup and liked

  8. Marla P

    I would love to see the darkest dark under the tree

  9. Calvin F.

    Twitter bonus

  10. Calvin F.

    Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children movie making over hard cover book

  11. Aarone Mawdsley

    i do because i like books

  12. Margaret H

    Always give books as we are all readers usually connected to the holidays Havent done that shopping yet waitinf for advice from their mom

  13. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  14. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

    I am giving my husband a book about sailing! I would love to find any cookbook under the tree this year!

  15. Linda

    This year I’m giving one of my nieces an Xavier Deneux board book.

  16. Andrea Lee

    liked and following on instagram @hippolee999

  17. Andrea Lee

    Shared on FB! name is Andrea Lee

  18. Andrea Lee

    We are giving our daughter The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield!

  19. Tracey

    Liked & following on instagram @tracey_insta_gram

  20. Tracey

    I am giving the book Matilda by Roald Dahl away for Christmas this year to my niece.

  21. Stephanie

    I’m giving my 6 year old niece a Berenstein Bears chapter book as part of her Christmas gift 🙂

  22. Meg S

    I just finished wrapping up a copy of Each Peach Pear Plum for a friend’s daughter – love that one!

  23. Victoria Ess

    instagram name: victoriaess2

  24. Victoria Ess

    I’m giving my niece a collection of Dr. Seuss books for “beginners”!

  25. Victoria Ess

  26. Jeannie Lam

  27. Monique L.S.
  28. Monique L.S.

    I follow on Instagram under minty_mo99

  29. Monique L.S.

    I follow on Facebook under Monique Norton Shuell

  30. Monique L.S.

    I am giving my eldest daughter a pop-up version of The Wheels on The Bus. It is pretty cool.

  31. Creative Cat

    The Night Before Christmas!!! Love the experience of reading (and oddly, the smell!) of a good children’s book. Reminds me of my childhood…

  32. M

    books by Robert Munsch

  33. Jeannie Lam

  34. Jeannie Lam

    FOllowed and liked the picture on instagram. name: nomnombearinyvr

  35. Jeannie Lam

    Followed and shared on facebook. Name: Jeannie Lam

  36. Jeannie Lam

    I am giving my son Santa is coming to Vancouver in his stocking this year.

  37. Maritess S

  38. Maritess S

    I’m giving Robert Munsch collection to the kids in the family and to my tween the boxed set of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

  39. Silvia D

    following and liked on Instagram sapphireraynebow

  40. Silvia D

    following on FB and shared Silvia Demmy

  41. Silvia D

    Shared on Facebook silvia demmy

  42. Silvia D

    I am giving the step grandkids personalized books! One is T’was the night before Christmas with the childs name and picture through out the book!

  43. Davyd Balloch

    my daughter would love this

  44. Phyllis Anderson

    Love your stories, and love the pics. Not giving books this year, giving cheques so Mommy and Daddy can buy the books.

    1. hugh laing

      great for grandchildren
      important to encourage reading

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