Tis the Season – Day 12

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

This unusual take on a Christmas tale is sure to make your day with its adorable illustrations and sweet story! All Yukio wants for Christmas is to have one incredibly, EPIC, AWESOME, AMAZING snowball fight! But having a snowball fight alone isn’t very much fun and when Yukio asks all his friends, they turn him down. They’re too busy being good for Santa. “We don’t want to be on the naughty list!” They reply. So Yukio devises a plan. If Santa is what’s stopping him from getting his Christmas wish, then he’ll just have to run Santa out of town! Full of humor and cute art, Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas is sure to be a book you’ll want to share with the whole family.

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything “Tinsel and Holly” themed. For those of you who don’t remember them, Tinsel and Holly were part of single-shot comics that I drew a couple years back. They were the trouble elves that always seemed to be getting into mischief – even as they attempted to be helpful! This version of them has more of a defined period, modeled after the styles of the 1930s:

Would you rather be an elf in the candy department at the North Pole or the toy-design department?

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Tis the Season – Day 11

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

The 12 Sleighs of Christmas is a clever and cute story written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Jake Parker. Following the misadventures of Santa’s elves, this story tells the tale of Santa’s sleigh. In its battered state, its not quite the right ride for the king of Christmas. So each elf comes up with a wonderful plan to improve upon the original design. From a submarine to a semi-truck to a spaceship, each elf comes up with something wonderful – but still not right? When Santa’s big night comes around and no sleigh seems to fit the bill, what is Santa supposed to do? This well-told tale is a sweet and funny story that will delight young and old alike.

For today’s drawing, we have a drawing inspired by the Nutcracker. We recently went to see the ballet and it was a wondrous show. It definitely made me regret having to give up ballet. Ah, but such is life:

For my question of the day: Would you rather have to battle the evil Mouse King or be haunted by three spirits?

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Tis the Season – Day 10

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

Captain Bling is not your average pirate. His favorite treasure is Christmas treasure and he’s ready to get it anyway he can. With his vicious pirate crew at his side, Captain Bling soars the seas, looking to grab treasure any way he can. When the crew washes up on the shores of the North Pole, the pirates are filled with glee. Finally, all the Christmas treasure they can grab! Though Santa attempts to stop them, the pirates run amuck, grabbing all they can to satisfy their greedy wants. Except wait! Perhaps there is more to their ceaseless plundering than meets the eye? Can Santa convince the pirates to give up their wicked ways and save Christmas?

Today’s image is of a couple of shepherds in prayer, inspired by the local Bethlehem Marketplace we attended this weekend:

Which Christmas song do you think of as the Christmas song and which song is your favorite?

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Tis the Season – Day 9

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

Today’s read is a simple one, but a very well-illustrated one. For those of you who know who Norman Rockwell is, you’ll be delighted by the compilation of his illustrations in Norman Rockwell: Deck the Halls. This book is a simple read, but an enjoyable one. It’s one of those books you’ll want to flip through slowly in front of the fireplace as you enjoy the artistry and imagination behind it. The scenes depicted remind me of moments many of us experience during our childhood or images that resound clearly with our fond ideas of Christmastime. With a foreword by John Rockwell, Norman Rockwell’s grandson, and a delightful assortment of classic illustrations, Norman Rockwell: Deck the Halls is a cozy book you won’t want to miss.

For my drawing of the day, I have a “Christmas card” sketch. I picture this being on a holiday card:

 

For my question of the day: which holiday film do you consider the quintessential Christmas movie?

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Tis the Season – Day 8

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

“Quintin Hamp was a joyous man, and a common sight at Union Elementary School….He loved the children and knew each and every one by name….Usually he loved to hear their laughter, but something wasn’t right this time.” So begins this delightful and heartwarming tale about two misfit souls, Quintin Hamp and a young boy named Welcome Comfort. Constantly bullied because of his round figure, Welcome Comfort has never had a real home. That is, until he comes to Union Elementary. With all the love and affection in the world, Quintin becomes almost a father to Welcome and spends his days with him. Every day, that is, except for Christmas Eve, when he goes up to the North Pole with his wife. “It’s just something we do,” Quintin always mysteriously smiles. And so every year, Welcome is lonely on Christmas Eve, hoping and waiting for Santa Claus to appear, following his friend’s instructions that “believin’ is seein'”. And one special Christmas Eve, Welcome does see… Patricia Polacco brings such a warmth and magic to this book, making it a very enjoyable and easy-going read. For children and adults alike this will be a real treat. Welcome Comfort is a Christmas story we all should read.

Today’s sketch is of another reindeer. I doodled this while everyone was getting into family pjs and was preparing hot chocolate; I think it turned out quite nicely. As you can tell though, I now know the difference between drawing a reindeer and just a regular deer. Fun fact: girl reindeer are the only species of deer that have antlers too!

For my question of the day: Which Christmas song could you listen to over and over and still never get sick of?

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Tis the Season – Day 7

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

Mrs. Claus is sick of Christmas and the North Pole. It’s freezing all year round, she’s stuck doing chores every day and at the end of the year when Santa gets to travel all around the world, she’s stuck at home. Well, not this year. Mrs. Claus is taking a vacation! From thetropical shores of an island paradise, to the Taj Mahal, to the forestry wilds of Sweden, she’s charting a course that most people can only dream of traveling. And yet, there’s something missing…it would seem, she misses Christmas and Santa just a little bit after all. Written and illustrated by Linas Alsenas, Mrs. Claus Takes a Vacation is a sweet story about one of the lesser-hailed characters of Christmastime.

 

For my sketch of the day, we have yet another retro elf. This one is supposed to be a chemist, mixing up new formulas for the best Christmas candy yet.

For my question of the day: would you rather not have a Christmas tree for ten years or would you rather have to decorate a fifty-foot Christmas tree?

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Tis the Season – Day 6

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

This book was a real treat for me, as I love Beatrix Potter’s work and her unique look at the world of children’s literature. Inspired by the original books, Emma Thompson brings a fresh new book into the world of Peter Rabbit with this magical Christmas tale! Peter Rabbit and his cousin, Benjamin Bunny are up to all their old antics and mischief as they try to save a turkey from becoming the McGregor’s Christmas dinner and avoid becoming dinner themselves! Filled with illustrations by Eleanor Taylor, this is sure to be an enjoyable read for both young and old alike.

For my sketch of the day, I have a doodle I did when first doing some research into deer in general. Though this is not quite an accurate picture of what reindeer look like, it’s a very cute sketch that I like nonetheless. What do you think?

For my question of the day: would you rather go ice-skating in a neon-green parka or in acid-pink jeans?

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Tis the Season – Day 5

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

Santa doesn’t believe in Harold. After all, he’s never seen him. All his friends say he’s fake. There’s no proof he exists! Though Mrs. Claus reassures Santa that Harold does indeedexist, he is not convinced. She doesn’t have to pretend for his benefit! For Harold, he believes in Santa about as much as Santa believes in him. Where is the proof? Why doesn’t he ever see him? This Christmas, both have a plan: they’re going to lie in wait and see if the other really is real….

This cute book was written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Cale Atkinson. It’s a very enjoyable read and for children who believe in Santa Claus, a hilarious one.

Today’s sketch is of my dog (Snoopy-fied!) while he licks his lips at a fruitcake waiting just beyond his reach. 

For my question of the day: do you prefer the combo of white chocolate and peppermint, milk chocolate and peppermint, or dark chocolate and peppermint?

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Tis the Season – Day 4

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

We all have days where we feel a little bit small and the world seems terrifyingly big. For Clementine though, it’s not an exaggeration: she’s so small she can fit in her parents’ palm!   Though life is pretty fun for Clementine, there’s one part of the year that flummoxes and confounds her. Try as she might, it seems she just can’t Santa to realize she’s the size she is. Everything he brings her is too big! One Christmas morning, when an especially big box for her comes, Clementine knows that Santa’s done it again and that she’s received another item a little girl like her can’t use. But wait until she opens it up! With cute illustrations by Harriet Muncaster and an adorable main character, The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present is sure to be a simple and enjoyable read for all, no matter what age they are.

This picture is another “retro” elf design. I actually have a name for this character though. This is Stella, Santa’s work coordinator. She makes sure he gets his spreadsheets, factory schedule, lists of inventory, and the naughty-and-nice list on time. She also is one of my personal favorite drawings just in general, because she’s a character that makes glasses look good, as opposed to the owl-eyed figures of my younger attempts:

For my question of the day, would you rather eat only one gingerbread piece every ten years or eat fruitcake every single day of your life (and when I say fruitcake, I mean the real stuff, not that imitation junk from the store)?

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Tis the Season – Day 3

Merry Christmas season everyone! To celebrate all the holiday festivities, every day in December I’m posting a doodle/sketch in addition to a review on a Christmas book. I hope you all join me this December to enjoy some fun and seasonal cheer.

Writer Devin Scillian and illustrator Marty Kelley have created a hilarious read for kids and adults alike in Missile Toe: A Very Confused Christmas! As the title professes, this book muddles through all the classic Christmas carols, poems, and themes to bring a very hilarious book for the family. I think this would be a wonderful bedtime read as an alternative to a basic narrative. It will definitely garner a laugh. The jacket definitely has it right: “…this is a perfect pick for a holiday full of belly laughs.”

My sketch of the day is very rough, but I am actually pretty proud of it as this was one of my earlier attempts to draw images from real life and not just out of my head. The adorable canine pictured is the family dog, Dutch, who in this picture is probably having visions of sugar plums or some kind of delicious food dancing in his head.

For my question of the day: which Christmas greenery do you love the smell of more, spruce or pine?

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