I don't think there's an author-illustrator out there who more comprehensively captures the holidays and the richness of winter better than Jan Brett. With 37 titles to her credit including classic illustrated adaptations of The Mitten and The Night Before Christmas, Brett has been a significant figure on the picture book landscape for just over 30 years. We're fans of the Gingerbread Boy and Gingerbread Friends in our house. Reading those books always makes me hungry.
Brett's also got one the best and most generous websites going. Are you thinking of giving a 2011 wall calendar to your child for Christmas? Why not make a free one that features Brett's intricate artwork from her latest book, The Three Dassies. Alternatively, you could put on a pageant with your kids using Brett's stage adaptation of the same book. There's even a link to masks that children can print out and colour before donning them for the show. The Hedgie's Holiday Workbench link features 60 additional colouring pages, Christmas card pdfs, recipes, board games, computer games, iron-on transfers, and even a cross-stitch pattern. Whew. And that's not all. If you're not keen on getting your hands sticky, why not decorate Brett's interactive gingerbread house? Or maybe you'd like to make bookmarks for all your friends. See what I mean about this being a generous website? Please make sure that you and all the children you know have fun with it over the holidays.