Christmas Best

Children - Picture Book
52 Pages
Reviewed on 11/26/2017
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Author Biography

Most of us have days when we feel small and insignificant, when what we do simply doesn’t seem to matter much. Like my elfin character, Plumperson, I often found myself “…pushing on bumps and pulling on lumps,” but getting nowhere. So I decided to give myself — and children of all ages — a big pep talk. My story and pictures would declare that every job is important, every effort is necessary to create a wonderful whole. And who could be a better spokesperson and cheerleader than Santa? So I enlisted the entire North Pole holiday crew and created Christmas Best.

I am a Chicago area artist and member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. My work has been published by nationally and internationally known companies including Harcourt Achieve; Macmillan McGraw-Hill; Pearson Education/Scott Foresman; Compass/Seed Media; Pauline Books and Media; EDCO/Ireland and others. Most recently, I have both written and illustrated two children’s books: LETTUCE! and Christmas Best. They have been published independently under the imprint of Bright Bear Books.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Christmas Best is a children’s holiday-themed picture book written and illustrated by Diana Kizlauskas. Tap, Tweak, Twinkle, Plumperson and Top had very special jobs at Santa’s toy shop. Tap built dollhouses that were sturdy and strong. Tweak was the engineering expert who kept the trains riding safely on the tracks. Twinkle painted the neatest smiles on dolls and wooden horses. Plumperson made sure each stuffed bear was cuddly soft with a round, plump tummy. And Top kept the machines in the shop in tip-top condition. Each one played a vital part in Santa’s toy shop, but, one day, they each decided that their jobs were boring and didn’t matter. They wanted bigger, more exciting jobs. So, they left their posts and began to look for new holiday jobs. There were so many different choices out there; they should have no problem finding something much better, right?

Diana Kizlauskas’s holiday-themed picture book for children, Christmas Best, is a gentle and humorous fable about the importance of every chore, job or task, no matter how little it may seem. As Tap, Tweak and the others discover, all the other jobs they thought would be perfect for them fell through, and Santa’s Toy Shop was soon in disarray without their important skills. Kizlauskas’s story flows beautifully and is sprinkled with word pairs, jingles and matching sounds that will make reading this book aloud at story time as much fun as it is to listen to it. Each panel is gorgeously and intricately illustrated with myriad details designed to delight and surprise the careful reader. The vocabulary and repetition of sounds and words also make this an ideal selection for new readers to try on their own. Christmas Best is most highly recommended.