I love books. Picture books, kids’ books, novels, classics…it doesn’t matter. I’ve always been a voracious reader and if there’s one thing I want to pass on to my girls, it’s a love of all things reading. Books are an escape like no other, and the things you can learn from them are priceless and never-ending. You can imagine how excited I was, then, when we received a beautifully decorated box from the Kohl’s Cares program containing 4 lovely children’s books, a cookbook, a Christmas CD and a plush lion.
This season, Kohl’s Department Stores and author and illustrator Nancy Tillman are teaming up and selling each of these items at just $5 in support of the Kohl’s Cares program, which donates 100% of the net profit to children’s health and education initiatives in communities nationwide. Since its inception over ten years ago, Kohl’s has turned $5 merchandise into more than $180 million to help make a positive difference in the lives of children. And what could be more appropriate during this season of giving?
Immediately, I was drawn to the rich colors and illustrations on the hard covers of the books as well as the poetic, rhyming language in each of them that flows so nicely. My three-year-old wasted no time in cuddling up with the plush lion and climbing onto the couch, eager for me to read the new books to her. Nancy Tillman’s foreword in each book tells the reader how her aim is to have a message in each story that shows children that they are loved.
We started with The Spirit of Christmas, a story of a person nodding off and being visited by the Spirit of Christmas. As the Spirit suggests different holiday things that the person believes is missing from the holiday season, we are treated to beautiful illustrations of lit houses glowing with Christmas lights, snow-covered sleigh rides, regal animals and their cubs snuggling up, a child making snow angels and much more. The illustrations are so lively that I could nearly feel myself shiver at the nighttime scene, sensing the biting cold winter air swirling around. In the end, the person discovers that the best part of Christmas will always be “you beneath my Christmas tree”, with an invitation to the child to always come home, no matter where they are. Beautifully simple and delightful, we have read it nearly every night since; it has become a family favorite!
Next, we took a look at Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You, another Tillman book that is peppered with gorgeous watercolors of different animal scenes and speaks of an enduring love that “never gets lost, never fades, never ends”. There are pages of children bouncing on a trampoline with a kangaroo, riding a giraffe, playing hide-and-seek with some snow bunnies, and painting a peacock, just to name a few. It reminds the reader that “there is no place, not one, that my love can’t find you” and encourages him or her to feel that love when lonely, sad or just having a bad day.
Our new bedtime favorite, It’s Time to Sleep, My Love drowsily leads us around the animal kingdom, from the fishes in deep waters crooning that it’s time to sleep, to birds, tigers, otters, turtledoves, deer and others, all calling their little ones to bed in their animal tongue. The darker hues in this particular book are perfect for settling down before bed, and make the reader feel as though the entire world is settling down right alongside them. I love the gentle flow of this one, which is perfect for bedtime and sending our little ones off to sleep with the knowledge that they are loved.
Lastly, we read On the Night You Were Born, which pictures two polar bears dancing under a night sky filled with shining stars. In the story, the reader is led on a beautiful journey of how different facets of the world rejoiced and celebrated on the night the child was born, from the moon smiling, the wind and rain whispering the child’s name, and those dancing polar bears, all celebrating the child’s eyes, nose and “silly, wiggly wonderful toes”. What a message to our children that their birth was a celebration not just by us, but by nature itself because they are a gift to the world. I cannot count the times we have read these four books over and over. They make a perfect Christmas or anytime gift to let a special child in your life know that he or she is loved unconditionally!
And what about the cooks and music lovers in your life? Christmas is not just about the children, after all! Kohl’s is also selling Good Housekeeping’s Cookbook, A Very Merry Christmas Cookbook. This cookbook not only helps make holiday entertaining stress-free with seasonal recipes, but it also has table decoration ideas and mouth-watering pictures. Also only $5 and part of the Kohl’s Cares program, the book makes a perfect gift for someone else or a wonderful addition to your own cookbook collection. As I leafed through it with all three of my girls, they helped me choose a couple of recipes to test this year. I will be trying my hand at New England Apple-Nut Stuffing for Thanksgiving, and the girls are very much looking forward to trying out the Pennsylvania Dutch brownies at some point!
When I’m cooking up a storm, I like to have a little music to get me motivated as well. Kohl’s is selling the Have Yourself a Merry Little Country Christmas CD, filled with enjoyable tunes by popular country artists. Being a huge country music lover myself, I was happy to hear some of my favorite Christmas songs with country flair! Even though it’s early in the season, we’ve been playing this CD in our van for a couple of weeks now! You can’t deny the infectious charm of these twangy holiday tunes; even if you don’t consider yourself a country music buff, I bet you’ll be tapping your toes and singing along!
Amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations, Kohl’s is doing things right: offering customers beautiful books, CDs and stuffed animals (choose from a polar bear, dolphin, lion or panda) at a low price that also contribute to doing good in our world. All of these items are available through the end of December; stop by your local Kohl’s or visit www.Kohls.com to help cross some things off of your “to buy” list!
GIVEAWAY: One (1) That’s IT Mommy reader will receive a Kohl’s Care gift set. The set will include: set of books, one plush toy, a cookbook, and CD. This giveaway is open to US residents only (18+). Ends 12/1/11.
REQUIRED MAIN ENTRY: To enter, tell us what you love about the holidays! Leave your comment in the reply box below this post. That’s IT!
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*This giveaway will run through midnight on December 1, 2011 (PST). Winner will be chosen using Random.org from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy received the mentioned products above from Kohl’s free of charge to facilitate this review. Giveaway items will be provided by Kohl’s. Kohl’s has the right to refuse filling prize for duplicate winners from other blogs. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.