A Packrat’s Holiday: Thistletoe’s Gift won first place in children’s fiction in the 2022 New Mexico Press Women’s Communications Contest. The book will now go on to compete in the national contest sponsored by the National Federation of Press Women. It is indeed an honor for this story to be recognized. It is a story of a young packrat who wanted to find a way to fill the cupboards and decorate the bare walls of his den so that his mama could have a proper holiday feast.
The illustrator, Nancy Batra, has created such adorable characters that children are immediately drawn to the book when displayed at book fairs. The bright colors add to the book’s attraction. And who can resist the cowboys on horses herding a cattle drive passing through? Readers sing along with the folk song “Home on the Range,” sung with the cowboys by the campfire. And they can root for Thistletoe and his cousin as they hide from the Great Horned Owl hovering overhead. Throughout the story, readers wonder: Will Thistletoe succeed?
Anyone purchasing books for young children, ages 5-7, will find a fun and interesting story, a glossary packed with useful information about cattle drives, cowboys, and the desert Southwest. And the true story about what packrats are really like.
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