Here are a few highlights from this holiday season’s wide array of gift books. Some focus on the observances themselves; others aim to foster spirituality in the coming year.
Sacred Space for Advent and the Christmas Season 2015–2016 (Sept.). The Irish Jesuits, creators of the Sacred Space website, have brought the daily prayer experience of their website to book format, to help readers draw closer to God. Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2016 (Nov.) leads them through the coming year.
Quiet Moments (Nov.). Tom Wright’s inspiring one- and two-sentence meditations, illustrated with full-color photographs. Hardcover, 5.5” × 5.5”, printed case.
Jesus Calling Morning and Evening Devotional (Oct.). Based on Sarah Young’s phenomenally popular Jesus Calling, this title offers comforting messages, Scriptures, and guided thoughts to begin and end each day. Hardcover, 5” × 7”, full-color illustrations.
Jesus Is for You: Stories of God’s Relentless Love (Oct.). Judah Smith, author of the bestselling Jesus Is , offers his thoughts in a devotional format, with quotations, Scripture passages, and inspiring stories of people affected by their faith in Jesus. Hardcover, full-color photography.
Christmas: A Gift for Every Heart (Sept.). Iconic pastor and author Charles Stanley shows how Christ is God’s gift to humankind. Hardcover, 7” × 7” trim, full-color photography.
The Advent Coloring Calendar: A Coloring Book to Bless and De-stress Through the Season (Oct.). This book has 30 designs to color, in addition to words of inspiration for each of the 24 days before Christmas, and a retelling of the Christmas story from the Bible, with convenient lay-flat binding.
The Story of St. Francis of Assisi in Twenty-Eight Scenes (Oct.). Art historian Timothy Verdon reproduces 28 Giotto frescoes and images of the Basilica in Assisi in full color, telling the story of St. Francis’s life in a 6” × 9” hardcover with a foiled dust jacket and color endpapers.
Westminster John Knox
Advent in Narnia: Reflections for the Season (Aug.). Heidi Haverkamp alternates between passages from C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the Bible, for readers to reflect and prepare for Christmas.
Wonder of Wonders: Christmas with Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Aug.). This hardcover has 25 full-color photographs with brief reflections from Bonhoeffer, the German pastor executed for resisting the Nazis.
God Has a Design for Your Life (Oct.). This journal has lined pages for writing and blank pages for sketching, doodling, and applying mixed media. Inspirational quotations and Scripture appear on each spread. 6” × 8” trim, full-color interior, pearlescent paper cover.
To God Alone Be the Glory (Oct.). The title of this journal is inspired by the Latin phrase classical composers used to sign their work during the Reformation; the book includes quotations from composers and historically significant figures. LeatherLuxe journal, 6” × 8”, smythe-sewn, ribbon marker, 160 pages, four-color interior. Lay-flat binding, printed art on fiscagomma.
From the Signature Journals line, the following are smythe-sewn hardcovers with 6” × 8” trim size, pearlescent paper, 160 pages, four-color interiors, lay-flat binding, and nonbleed paper:
Courage, Dear Heart (Sept.). This book alternates quotes from C.S. Lewis and Scripture. Pocket inside back cover.
My Soul Finds Rest (Sept.). Centered on St. Augustine’s statement that “my soul is restless until it finds rest in thee,” these inspirational quotes and Scripture readings have themes of rest and calm.
Christmas Look and Find Bible (Oct.). This is a collection of Bible stories of Christmas for children ages 4–8, written by B&H Kids Staff and illustrated by Gill Guile. Kids can use wipe-off markers to check off images they find hidden in the illustrations (similar to Where’s Waldo?)—for example, a picture of an innkeeper in the portrayal of Jesus’s birth—and use the checklist over and over. Hardcover, full-color illustrations.
Mary’s Treasure Box (Oct.). This book, written by C.E. Walz and illustrated by Bruno Merz, spins a tale for children ages 4–8 about a night several years after the death of Jesus, when Mary shows keepsakes from her treasure box (such as straw from the manger; wool from the shepherds; the gold, frankincense, and myrrh of the Magi) to Sarah, her granddaughter, while recounting the stories behind them. Hardcover, full-color illustrations.
Knowing My God Series Starter Set: Jesus Invites Me, Jesus Saves Me, Jesus Shows Me (2015). Three Bible-based board books from Graham Blanchard’s Learn, Absorb & Praise collection are available this season only in this keepsake package. The book band, by Callie Grant and illustrated by Jodie Stowe, provides bonus activities to bridge the Bible passages to a child’s everyday life. For children up to age 7.
Hanukkah Is Coming! (Aug.). In this book by Tracy Newman, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli, a family and its dog celebrate the eight nights of the holiday with traditional activities. For children ages 1–4. A 12-page board book, the third in the It’s Holiday Time series.
Nonna’s Hanukkah Surprise (Sept.). In this book by Karen Fisman, illustrated by Martha Aviles, Rachel visits her Italian grandmother, Nonna, who celebrates Christmas; Rachel and her parents celebrate Hanukkah. When Rachel’s special menorah goes missing, Nonna saves the day. A Hanukkah story for children ages 3–8 who are from the increasing number of intermarried Jewish families.
Sammy Spider’s First Taste of Hanukkah: A Cookbook (Sept.). This book by Sylvia A. Rouss and Genene Levy Turndorf, illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn, is the 15th title in the Sammy the Spider series. In it, Sammy and Josh, his human friend, present recipes and crafts projects for Hanukkah. For children ages 2–8.