‘Grandma’s Christmas Wish’ reveals what Granny wants

It came as a complete surprise to you.

You had no idea, not a clue, but it made you happy anyway. You didn’t even know it was possible, but there it was: Santa visits Grandma’s house, too. There are always gifts waiting for you at Grandma’s, and in the new book “Grandma’s Christmas Wish” by Helen Foster James, illustrated by Petra Brown, you’ll see what they might be.

Grandma loves you.

That’s important to know. She loves you every day, especially at Christmas because you’re her “Jingle Bells Baby.” She likes spending the holidays with you, hanging stockings and decorating the tree. She likes to play in the snow, catch you when you slide and watch you open your gifts.

So will Grandma give you presents?

Yes! For sure, snuggles and kisses. Mistletoe and bedtime stories, memories, happiness and everything a kid like you needs at Christmas and beyond. And she gives you the wish of a good Christmas this year and forever.

But do you know what Grandma wants for Christmas? It’s not a ball or a doll or a new dress. You don’t have to wrap up candy or perfume. No teddy bears or tricycles. What Grandma wants is easier to find, and she won’t be taking it back to the store. No, what Grandma wants are “some hugs and kisses from you…” That’ll make her smile — but you’ll never guess what’s Grandma’s best present of all.

Yep, it’s YOU! You make Grandma happy and — should we say it again? She loves you very much. As much as a Christmas star. Even more than snowflakes, and 10 times more than anything you could put in a box. You are her “twinkle of light” and her “candy cane kiss.” For Grandma, there’s nothing under the tree that’s better than the gift of you!

Certainly, 32 pages of story doesn’t seem like a good gift, does it? Especially when you consider that the words in “Grandma’s Christmas Wish” are few. But what you don’t know is that there’s so much more to this adorable little book.

The smallest people on your gift list, first of all, are going to love this charming story of a little bunny and his relationship with his grandmother. The author uses a sweet rhyme to get the point across, and the artwork is so irresistible that you’ll want to reach inside this book and hug the illustrations.

The hidden goodness in this book is that, once you’ve read it to your little snowflake, it becomes a keepsake thanks to the lined-and-ready page at the back, perfect for writing a note to your own beloved grandchild. There’s even ample room to attach a picture you can enjoy during next years’ holiday read-a-thon.

Just imagine the tradition that’ll make.

I believe there are two distinct beneficiaries to a gift like this: the 2- to 5-year-old who’ll unwrap and treasure it, and the grandma who’ll personalize and give it. For both, “Grandma’s Christmas Wish” is the perfect holiday surprise.

— View publishes Terri Schlichenmeyer’s reviews of books for children weekly.

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