25 Books about Christmas for children — 20% off

There are so many great books for adults to give as Christmas presents, I hope to highlight more soon. From Padraig O’Tuama’s remarkable Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World (thanks to all who pre-ordered it) to the deeply thoughtful, new theology volume by Miroslav Volf & Ryan McAnnally-Linz, The Home of God: A Brief Story of Everything to the moving story of “One Woman’s Journey into Everyday Antiracism” called Doing Nothing Is No Longer An Option by Jenny Booth Potter (with a great forward by Austin Chaning Brown) to the new, quite handsome hardback by Richard Foster called Learning Humility: A Year of Searching for a Vanishing Virtue to important novels like Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver or The Passenger (and the brand new sequel, Stella Maris) by Cormac McCarthy, you can see we’ve got all sorts of good stuff for all kinds of readers.

As promised, though, here are a good handful of some great books to help mostly younger children enjoy the Christmas season. All are 20% off and we’re shipping them, or most of them, anyway, quite promptly — while supplies last.

Please be sure to scroll to the bottom — you don’t want to miss any of these nifty holiday titles. The easy order form link is at the bottom which takes you to the secure order page at the Hearts & Minds website right here at our shop in south central PA. We’re at your service.

Saint Nicholas the Giftgiver Ned Bustard (IVP Kids) $18.00               OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40

Not only is this our favorite book about Nicholas, it is so well designed with full color linocuts by the talented (and in demand) Ned Bustard.  The font is attractive, the size of the print is great, the stars are so cool.. This shows the truth behind the legends and how this gift-giver inspires us still today to give so many presents. Highly recommended, especially for families with preschool children or kids up to 7 or so…

Brown Baby Jesus Dorena Williamson, illustrated by Ronique Ellis (Waterbrook) $15.99                     OUR SALE PRICE = $12.79

This is a great book on many levels, a creative walk through the Biblical history of redemption,  showing, but not really discussing, the dark skin of the chief characters. As it says on the back, Like Moses, brown baby Jesus would be a deliver. Like Rahab, brown baby Jesus would save and protect God’s people. Like David, brown baby Jesus would rule as a great King This is rich with Scripture and displays “a multicultural weaving of love.” Clear God includes many races and nations in the story that lets up to the Christmas we celebrate each year. This really gets it right. They say this is good for ages 3 to 8. For sure!

You may know the author from her lovely picture book called Crowned with Glory, that follows a young African American girl’s journey to “let go of comparison and find her true beautiful self,” as she rocks her beautiful black hair.

The Christmas Promise Alison Mitchell & Catalina Echeverri (The Good Book Company) $16.99   OUR SALE PRICE = $13.59

We love the remarkably fun and deeply Biblical “Tales That Tell the Truth” series from this gospel-centered, British publisher, and we happily stock them all. (There are about a dozen of them now, all just tremendous. The newest came out this summer, by Joni Eareckson-Tada, illustrated again with great whimsy and power by Catalina Echeverri, called The Awesome Super Fantastic Forever Party Storybook: A True Story about Heaven, Jesus, and the Best Invitation of All. ) The Christmas Promise has been a staple for us as it highlights the profound theological insight that the Incarnation and Christ’s birth is a part of a story of promise, and God is faithful to the plot of the redemptive story. It’s so good. Who would have thunk it, a baby King?

The Christmas Story: The Bible Version Carine MacKenzie (Christian Focus Publications) $9.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $7.99

This is a splendid, clear, delightful, honest re-telling of the famous Christmas narrative — a great bargain in full-color hardcover. Allow me to say just one or two quick things: the cover of this strikes me as needlessly plain — unless these conservative Scots were trying to make a joke with the US movie set in the 1940s US. And the church on the cover is odd since this book is about first century Palestine. The chalk art is colorful and done by a remarkable artist, Natasha Ugliano — her name should be on the cover. So don’t be misled — this is a marvelous work, colorful, if muted, gospel-centered, Biblically faithful. It explains the straight, full story very well.

The Shepherd’s Story Jimmy Dunne, illustrated by Ivan Cravats (Loyola Press) $19.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99

This is a fun book and the art, in so many shades of blue, is stunning. I love the dog that trots along beside the boy as he responds to the angel’s call to go find the baby. It is set to the cadence of “The Night Before Christmas” so is lots of fun and easy to read out loud. There’s corny, contemporary phrases (the kid is “psyched” as he goes to “B-town”) bit it mostly is pretty straightforward. I like how the lad sees the love in the family’s eyes, the glory of a real birth, the beauty in a newborn child. Not much about Jesus as Messiah or King or Savior, but it still works as a nice re-telling. The shepherd boy ponders, at the end, “As I walked back that night, I stared up at the stars, and thought about how truly blessed we all are.”

The Animals Speak: A Christmas Legend Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Brittany Baugus (Beaming Books) $18.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19

Well, this is a creative and classic way into the Christmas narrative, about which children’s book specialist and author Kathi Appelt says, “In a perfect combination of lilting prose and radiant art, this age-old story feels brand new. Rejoice!”

The story is pared down, the lyrical text spare, retelling the old legend about the animals all speaking at the manger on Christmas Eve. It somehow evokes joy, then and maybe even now. Rejoice, indeed. I wish it had reveal who this Child was that causes such rejoicing. You can ask your child about that, okay?

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story regular edition Sally Lloyd-Jones, paintings by Alison Jay (Zondervan) $17.99                       OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39        Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story – Board Book Edition Sally Lloyd-Jones, paintings by Alison Jay (Zondervan)  $7.99                        OUR SALE PRICE = $6.39               Please be sure to tell us which one you prefer.

I have said often in recent years that this is one of my favorite books for little ones, artful, allusive, great prose with colorful paintings that evoke Americana folk art. The upshot is that all creation gets in on this big redemptive story and all the various animals and all of God’s good creatures join in the long-awaited song. It is a poem of sorts, simple yet profound. I cannot say enough about it — it has grown on me year after year. I sort of hate to say it, but the more expensive regular size hardback is much better, both the color and the striking impact of the images. The small, chunky board book works nicely, too, though. Enjoy and join in “the song of the stars.”  I’m sure you know the great Sally-Lloyd Jones from her many books, especially the best-selling Jesus Storybook Bible and its sequel, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing.

Don’t miss the simple, charming, and important Song of the Stars, in the regular picture-book sized edition or the smaller, chunky board book version.

The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas (Voyager Books) $7.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $6.39

I am not alone in declaring this one of the most amazing children’s picture books of the Christmas story we know. First released in the mid-1980s, year after year, folks discover this and are amazed by the vividness, the humor, the humanity.  (And, like clockwork, some complain. Yes, there is a full spread picture of the new, naked, baby Jesus, penis and all. Take it up with God if you don’t like that, since, well, that’s how it is.)

There are other things that are jarring that folks either love or hate. Mary is very pregnant and over the years that has become less bothersome to those who found it a bit too sensual (thank goodness.) The angels have these huge freaking wings, like the dragons on the cover of some graphic fantasy novel or some old Yes album cover. That one of them, a spiky-haired Gabriel, is wearing army boots just seals the deal for those who know the Hebrew meaning of “Lord of Hosts” (which Eugene Peterson in The Message rendered “Lord of the Angel Armies.”) But these army-booted wild angels are wide-eyed and eager to help, even if a bit — as most everybody in the story is — a bit clueless. There is wonder, amazement, and awe among these humble peasants and assorted servants at play in the fields of the Lord.

Apropos of not much, there’s one scene when one of the peasant gang is scolding a sheep for following, shooing it the other way, and it puts its head down like a puppy. It makes me smile every time, realizing that somebody was trying to keep the new baby safe. And then there’s the scene — I missed it at first — of an angel riding a sheep. Ha! The people have a Middle Eastern or South American look, or somehow Semitic, so much so that the New York Times called it “A people’s nativity.”

A Very Noisy Christmas Tim Thornborough, illustrations by Jennifer Davison (The Good Book Company) $4.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $3.99

This is another inexpensive winner from The Good Book Company, a gospel-centered company that provides really attractive books that are clear about gospel truth. We stock all of their children’s books. This one is really inexpensive, has artwork that features non-European-looking characters, whimsical as they are. It is designed to be read out loud, it playfully instructs you (even by the size and shape of the particular font) to whisper some sentences and to really shout out other parts. Fun! Most parents and children will get a kick out of doing this together (probably over and over!) How loud can you shout? How quietly can you whisper? The first Christmas was both quiet and noisy, after all (and the birth of Jesus is worth shouting about!)

After the opening page of instructions on how to read this little book it says, “And if you’re lucky enough to have a grown-up read to you, make sure that they use their loudest, softest, and silliest voices!” Consider yourself warned.

At this price you can get several and pass ‘em out. And then shout about it.

The Christmas Surprise Steph Williams (The Good Book Company) $4.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $3.99

This is even smaller than the above Very Noisy Christmas but has the same fun, fun appeal. This one is even more rowdy as it basically walks through a bunch of scenarios where the skeptical onlookers holler “Whaaaat?” There is so much surprise anticipated that it almost defies belief. And yet, the Christmas promise  — a baby born to be King, born among the rough-shod poor? — is outrageously surprising. This is a really good little book, funny, full of skeptics who come to realize the surprising truth.

At our sale price, only $3.99. Whaaaat?

Sounding Joy Ellie Holcomb illustrated by Laura Ramos (B+H Kids) $12.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $10.39

I hope you know Ellie Holcomb, artful Christian singer and very cool and quite popular kids author. (We really liked her previous two, Who Sang the First Song and Don’t Forget to Remember.) This is a rich oversized board book asking, in rhyme, “What does joy sound like? Does it sound like falling snow? Or a kiss on your cheek? There are fun wintertime scenes that warmly lead to the big answer: joy sounds like the song the angels sang “the night Hope was born.”

There is something nostalgic about the mood of the art which many will enjoy. There’s a line about heaven being our home at which anybody who has read NT Wright will cringe (but, hey, we can talk about the new creation explained in the Bible to our little ones, eh?) The big ending is to rejoice. Nice.

Jesus Was A Refugee Andrew McDonough (Sara Grace Publishing) $7.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $6.39

We only have a very few of these simple children’s books (that are imported from Australia.) With a blurb on the back by Max Lucado and Lucy Moore (of Messy Church), this colorful simple, cartoonish rendering invites readers into the sorrow of the Christmas story by exploring Mary, Jospeh and baby Jesus needing to flee to Egypt in order to escape Herod’s merciless attack. Bright colors, classic contemporary animation (not unlike the style of, say, The Beginner’s Bible) with some jarring (if cartoonish) bad guys. There is a small bit of helpful fine print by the author (who has worked with refugees) explaining a bit about this unusual book and the text of Matthew 2 in the CEV. Wow.

Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas Hisako Aoki, illustrated by Ivan Gantschev (Simon & Schuster) $9.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $7.99

Years ago we promoted this as a way to enjoy the Santa stuff without compromising the centrality of Christ in the Christmas story. Some families thanked us profusely. I don’t know if this tension continues among God-fearing folk these days but it should. And this is a delightful answer to the quandary.

The short version of the story is that Santa seems to be waylaid and the animals in the forest are beside themselves. What will happen if Santa doesn’t do his thing? Ha! Santa gathers all the creatures around and tells them with his own great jolly authority that Christmas is not, after all, about him. It is about Jesus — even Santa knows that — and he retells a short version of the Biblical narrative. (Of course, Santa does, after all, get to go out on his global gift-giving trip, the reindeer help, and they all retire the next day to the North Pole to remember the greatest gift of all and the true meaning of the holiday.) Hooray. The Bulgarian-German watercolor art is just a touch creative and artfully playful — it’s very well done. Don’t miss it if you have children or grandchildren.

All About… Christmas Alison Mitchell (The Good Book Company) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

We mentioned this in the list of books we sent out for Advent reading, not so much because this was uniquely Advent-oriented but because there is so much here that it can’t be read in a few days. Yes, the very first Christmas is one of the most famous stories in the world. It is, after all, a 2000 year old story and it is celebrated around the world.

This book firstly asks, “How do we know it is true?” And “What are the facts behind it?” In a sense, this is apologetics for kids, maybe a colorful kid’s nonfiction book like, maybe, Keller’s The Hidden Christmas.

Dig into the Christmas story from the Bible books of Matthew and Luke; investigate what life was like in that time and place; discover why we still celebrate this baby King every December.

One reviewer calls it “a wonderfully accessible, fascinatingly fun, all-ages adventure into the biblical experience of Christmas.”  Almost 50 large size, full color pages.

Seek and Find: The First Christmas Sarah Parker, illustrated by Andre Parker (The Good Book Company) $14.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $11.99

With over 450 things to find and count, this is nearly an activity book. With a rich hardback cover and super whimsical drawings (yes, with a dark-skinned baby) this book is great fun. The pages are thick, like in a board book, but it is not baby-ish. Pete Nicholas, one of the senior pastor’s of Redeemer Presbyterian (in downtown New York City) says it “holds kids’ attention and teaches them the glorious gospel of that first Christmas.”

Abby Wedgeworth (who wrote the book Held) says,

In a hectic season, this book makes meaningful quality time between parent and child simple and easy. Our family is so grateful.

That Baby in the Manger Anne E. Neuberger, illustrated by Chloe E. Pitkoff (Paraclete Press) $15.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $12.79

This was a good seller for us a couple of years ago so we wanted to name it again. It is a paperback with colorful, somewhat modern art, which makes it a beautiful sight to behold. It is just creative enough to provide allusive nuance to the portrayal but it isn’t odd or disorienting. That is, it is just a great visual treat. The story is more than a treat, it is nothing short of a profound blessing, nearly prophetic in its gentle but potent truth-telling.

Neuberger tells here a true story of a Catholic priest who is talking with the children of his parish — children of non-European descent. As they reflect on the creche scene, the children ask if Jesus really had blue eyes. Lurking just below the surface of The Baby in the Manger is this child-like question that has adult-world ramifications: can people of color relate to a white Jesus? Or, better, can Jesus relate to “all the children of the world” as the Sunday school song promises? This very clever priest, Father Prak, has this situation on his hands and invites the children to bring their own dolls to the nativity scene. Oh my, the glory of what happens and the great love this pen and watercolor artist put into her illustrating it is spectacular. It is fun and sobering, joyful and touching.

Let’s be clear: it gets at issues of racism and true inclusion but it does so with great care and gentle storytelling. Please, please, give this a try. Buy a few and spread the word. No matter what you or your friends look like, no matter who they are, the Christ child is born for them. Do you believe this? Can you proclaim such the wide, wide mercy of God without having this conversation? This book is a tool to help, as the best stories always are. Highly recommended.

Stations of the Nativity Lawrence Boadt, illustrated by Patrick Kelley (Paulist Press) $10.95  OUR SALE PRICE = $8.76

Many have heard of the classic Roman Catholic experience of the “Stations of the Cross” and in recent years many Protestants, too, have adapted it for their own deeply spiritual experiences. Not as many have attempted “Stations of the Nativity” — there are several books and lots of churches (Catholic and Protestant) do something like this. In this delightfully illustrated kids book beginning with the Annunciation, there are fourteen key moment from the Christmas story that are depicted in lush paintings and accompanied by Scripture and reflection. This is simple enough to be appreciated by most children, it is ideal for families who want a devotional pattern during the time of Christmas. There is a liturgical prayer and “lesson” for each art piece. The artist lives in Grand Rapids and has done lots of books for Paulist Press including a popular one on C.S. Lewis.

The Sister Seraphina Mysteries: The Curious Christmas Trail Haley Stewart with illustrations by Betsy Wallin (Pauline Kids) $24.95   OUR SALE PRICE = $19.96

This is a curious book, indeed; what fun! Thanks to a customer who alerted us to it. It’s a 65 page primary school mystery story, with delightful illustrations. The Catholic nuns and children in the story are dressed, of course, but are portrayed as mice. And the heart of the story is of a beloved Sister Dymphna, gone missing just before the rehearsal for the eagerly anticipated Christmas play.

And here is where it gets even more interesting — you see, it is Christmas Eve and under the floorboards of G. K. Chesterton’s home there are curious clues…

Yes, that G.K, Chesteron, of Father Brown fame, who, by all accounts, loved Christmastime.

There is a page offering directions for making home-made paper snowflakes, a script for a little Nativity play, and a page on “Who was the real G.K. Chesteron?” The author, by the way, has an great adult book called The Grace of Enough and a recent one on Jane Austen.

Tomie dePaola’s Book of Christmas Carols Tomie dePaola (Simon & Schuster) $19.99     OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99

In our 40 years of bookselling there is hardly a children’s writer and certainly no illustrator who has left his mark like the great Roman Catholic artist and storyteller (and lover of children) the late, great, Tommy dePaola. We have loved his many books and we are glad that this collection of art inspired by carols, next to the music and lyrics of more than 30 classic carols. What good poetry, what good singing, what good theology — and what wonderful art to enjoy. Very nicely done.

Christina’s Carol: Featuring the Classic Christmas Carol “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rossetti Tomie dePaola (Simon & Schuster) $17.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

Here is what I wrote last year about this, then brand new: It is hard not to get a bit choked up describing this; we have loved selling Tomie DePaola books over our nearly four decades, decades when his popularity was at its height. We have friends that met him, others who have been to retreat centers where he would sometime visit to pray. We have loved his folk tales, his funny ones, his Bible stories. His distinctive style has been much discussed in children’s literature circles and he is as esteemed as are only a handful of our finest writers and illustrators. He was awarded  both the coveted Newberry and Caldecott Awards medals (the Caldecott in 1976 for Strega Nona and the Newberry in 2000 for 26 Fairmount Street.) In 2011 he was given what was then called the “Laura Ingalls Wilder Award” bit which is now known as the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. We could say more.

This book was what seems to be his last, incorporating previously used pictures from some of his other seasonal books and drawn from some of his last known paintings. While they say this is good for ages 4 – 8 I would say older children might appreciate the interesting, colorful art and many adults, of course, truly love the moody, somber, wintry song with its declaration of love for Christ. The last picture of a heart just gets me.

Here is what Publisher’s Weekly wrote:

Based on the 1872 Christmas carol “In the Bleak Midwinter” by poet Rossetti, this illustrated edition combines previously published artwork and unseen art from the late dePaola’s personal collection. The artist’s trademark style brings charm to the classic poem, with photographed three-dimensional dioramas set alongside traditional illustrations rendered in vibrant washes of color. The book offers multiple depictions of characters and scenes; in one memorable spread, the Virgin Mary and Jesus are shown in four different styles surrounded by the text, “But only His mother/ In her maiden bliss// Worshipped the Beloved/ With a kiss.” DePaola fans will rejoice in having this lush, multilayered illustration of a classic hymn for their collection.

The Story of the Three Wise Kings Tomie dePaola (Simon & Schuster) $7.99  OUR SALE PRICE = $6.39

We should extend our children’s joy and our own being shaped by the joyous mysteries of this time by year by somehow celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. Epiphany, of course, is the day the traditional church has celebrated the coming of the wise guys from the East. This is my favorite book on this, what Horn Book called “gorgeous and sumptuous.” There is something deeply prophetic about these scholars (kings?)from distant lands coming to visit Christ and there is something that children truly appreciate in this. A lovely paperback for little ones.

Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story Barbara Brown Taylor, illustrated by Melanie Cataldo (Flyaway Books) $18.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40

This is one of the great Episcopalian preacher’s famous sermons, telling the story of the flight away from the awful King Herod. The wise men went of course, “home by another way” and Ms Taylor tells the tale nicely. To be read after Christmas, naturally; ideal for Epiphany. The illustrations are realistic and gorgeously done.

God’s Holy Darkness Shared Green & Becky Selznick, illustrated by Nikki Faison (Beaming Books) $17.99    OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39

We sold a number of these last month when we highlighted it as a book to ponder over Advent. Here is a re-run of what we said, then: This is one of the most amazing children’s books in many a year, powerful, aesthetically stunning, exceptionally well done. I highly recommend that you find a way to integrate this into your Advent reading with kids of various ages, even though it isn’t directly an obvious Advent book. There is one facing spread that does speak of Advent, so I guess it is an Advent book.

There are two important threads of import in this striking picture book. Firstly, it is (obviously) about darkness. That in itself resonates with themes of Advent, doesn’t it? We really appreciate how artfully it shows this and how vital and captivating this book is, inviting us to “celebrate the beauty of God’s holy darkness.” (Perhaps you recall the wonderfully written memoir exploring this by the exquisite Barbara Brown Taylor called Learning to Walk In the Dark: Because Sometimes God Shows Up at Night; this children’s book is a good companion for that.)

The second theme is wanting to — how do I say this? — redeem the notion of blackness. Too often we hear, or assume subconsciously, that black is bad, that dark times are irredeemably bad, that night and dark are scary and troubling. We needn’t overstate the case but some black friends have said this can be hurtful or confusing, so we need to think this through. God’s Holy Darkness is, in a sense, an anti-racism book.

As it says on the back cover of God’s Holy Darkness:

From the darkness at the beginning of creation to the blackness of the sky on the night when Christ’s birth was announced, this captivating picture book deconstructs anti-Blackness in Christian theology by exploring instances in the story of God’s people when darkness, blackness, and night are beautiful, good, and holy.

We often talk about how Christmas is best understood in the flow of the unfolding drama of the history of redemption. That is, we should frame the Christmas season by the whole story of God as portrayed in the big story of Scripture. (In the book by Daniel Spanjer that I highlighted in a previous BookNotes, Advent is the Story: Seeing the Nativity Throughout Scripture, it shows how to do this.) This exceptionally artful book does just that allusively, simply, walking us through the pages of Scripture. This is redemptive, nearly subversive, Biblical theology for children. What a book!

A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season Katherine Paterson (WJK) $20.00  OUR SALE PRICE = $16.00

We have spoken before of our admiration for the great youth novelist Katherine Paterson — I hope you recall my long, rave review last summer of her memoir Stories of My Life which will surely be one of my favorite books of the year.

Over her illustrious career she has done two paperback collections of holiday-themed stories, and this draws from those two, and adds two new stories. (Those previous books, now out of print, were Angels and Other Strangers and A Midnight Clear, which I know many of our customers dearly loved.)

Here is some of what the publisher says about this anthology:

A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season is a collection of modern-day short stories by Katherine Paterson, award-winning author of Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins both loved by children and adults for over twenty years. This compilation includes stories of real-life people such as a shopping mall’s night watchman, a lonely widower, a pregnant teenage runaway, a political prisoner in China, a grieving mother, and a privileged American, who have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas because of loss, pain, greed, or circumstances. Through unexpected and uplifting ways, each is reminded of the first Christmas story and the vision of hope and peace it offers the world. They realize that even in the darkness, the light and song of Christmas can be seen and heard.

This heart-warming gift book, filled with stories of realistic people finding hope, courage, and faith amidst life’s circumstances, radiates the spirit of the season and reminds each of us what Christmas truly means. Originally written to be read during her church’s Christmas Eve service, this collection of holiday stories is perfect for individuals, families, and churches to read and share during the season.

WHILE SUPPLIES LAST – 30% OFF                            IT’S NOT TOO LATE

The Birth of Jesus Advent Calendar: The Light Shines in the Darkness Agostino Traini (Beaming Books) $18.99  OUR EXTRA SALE PRICE = $13.29

We have bunches of different sorts of Advent Calendars, of course, classic one-page (9″ x 12″ or so) with old fashioned art and nifty little doors to open. Many are inexpensive and some are larger and some are small. They come and go each year depending on what we find that’s useful.

But this. This is a larger one with a more sturdy wooden design making it truly reusable, year after year. It is modern,  colorful and fascinating —  like a combo pop-up book and nativity scene, perfect for the whole family to use together. This is designed by the illustrious Italian paper artist, Agostino Traini, who has also done, for instance, the Birth of Jesus: A Christmas Pop-up Book and an array of other lavish, pop-up book creations for Beaming Books (such as an incredible one on the creation story, the Lord’s Prayer, an Easter one, and more.) The Birth of Jesus Advent Calendar is a unique item, though — instead of a “window” to open there is a cut-out figure to punch out of the page which becomes a developing, stand-up nativity scene.

If you order this we’ll send you a link to a free guide to download that has a brief bit of info about each of the 25 characters (including the three wise men that are used the day after Christmas.)

We only have a few of these left this year and we’re selling this at an extra discount. While supplies last.



It is very helpful if you tell us how you prefer us to ship your orders.

The weight and destination of your package varies but you can use this as a general guide:

There are generally two kinds of US Mail options, and, of course, UPS. If necessary, we can do overnight and other expedited methods, too. Just ask.

  • United States Postal Service has the option called “Media Mail” which is cheapest but can be slow. For one typical book, usually, it’s about $3.69; 2 lbs would be $4.36.
  • United States Postal Service has another option called “Priority Mail” which is $8.50, now, if it fits in a flat rate envelope. Many children’s books and some Bibles are oversized so that might take the next size up which is $9.20. “Priority Mail” gets much more attention than does “Media Mail” and is often just a few days to anywhere in the US.
  • UPS Ground is reliable but varies by weight and distance and may take longer than USPS. We’re happy to figure out your options for you once we know what you want.

If you just want to say “cheapest” that is fine. If you are eager and don’t want the slowest method, do say so. It really helps us serve you well so let us know.



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Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street  Dallastown  PA  17313

No, Covid is not fully over. Since nobody is reporting their illnesses anymore, it is tricky to know the reality but the best measurement is to check the water tables to see the amount of virus in the eco-system. And it’s still bad. And with new stuff spreading, many hospitals are really overwhelmed. It’s important to be particularly aware of how risks we take might effect the public good. It is complicated for us, so we are still closed for in-store browsing due to our commitment to public health (and the safety of our family, staff, and customers.) The vaccination rate here in York County is sadly lower than average. Our store is a bit cramped without top-notch ventilation so we are trying to be wise. Thanks for understanding.

Please, wherever you are, do your best to be sensitive to those who are most at risk. Many of our friends, neighbors, co-workers, congregants, and family members may need to be protected since more than half of Americans (it seems) have medical reasons to worry about longer hazards from even seemingly mild Covid infections.

We are doing our famous curb-side and back yard customer service and can show any number of items to you if you call us from our back parking lot. It’s sort of fun, actually. We are eager to serve and grateful for your patience as we all work to mitigate the pandemic. We are very happy to help do if you are in the area, do stop by.

Of course, we’re happy to ship books anywhere. Just tell us how you want them sent.

We are here 10:00 – 6:00 EST /  Monday – Saturday, closed on Sunday.