Book looks

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem, by Maya Angelou (Schwartz & Wade books, $17.99, all ages). The author first read this poem in 2005 at the White House tree lighting ceremony. Troubled by Hurricane Katrina and the impact of the Iraqi War, she called for peace at all times, but especially during the holidays. The picture book includes beautiful, textured illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher and a CD of Angelou reading her poem.

Celebrate Kwanzaa, by Carolyn Otto (National Geographic, $15.95, ages 5 to 9). The African American holiday of harvest and heritage is outlined in this picture book filled with rich photographs, projects, recipes and more.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Charles M. Schulz (RP Kids, $19.95, all ages). The beloved television special that has aired for more than 45 years and in which Linus relates the true meaning of Christmas is presented in a deluxe edition picture book.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Robert Ingpen (Penguin, $25, age 10 and older). The classic tale of Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the ghosts of Christmas is presented in a lush new edition with Ingpen's dramatic paintings of Victorian England. Also included is Dickens' short story A Christmas Tree, capturing the delights of an 18th century holiday.

Christmas Farm, by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Barry Root (Harcourt, $17, ages 4 to 7). The inventive story follows a woman and her 5-year-old neighbor (who ages to 10 by the end) as they plant and grow Christmas trees. Amid themes of patience and caring for the earth, Root's watercolor and gouache paintings capture the changing seasons.