Plaid Elephant Books reveals 2023 Holiday Book Guide

Published 10:11 am Thursday, November 30, 2023

By Kate Snyder

Contributing Writer

What kind of holiday shopper are you? Do you buy gifts throughout the year, tracking them in an elaborate spreadsheet? Do you scrupulously hunt for the best bargains on hot items? Or, do you stagger into the shops with desperation in your eyes and panic in your soul on the 23rd of December? (No judgment – we’ve all been there.)

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No matter your shopping style is, good gift recommendations can help make the holiday shopping adventure easier. Each year, Plaid Elephant Books publishes a Holiday Shopping Guide filled with book and gift ideas for babies through adults. Here are a few of the more than 100 featured books in the 2023 Holiday Guide!

“ABCs of Kentucky” by Sandra Magsamen – This is a charming new board book that is filled with Kentucky landmarks and southern charm. It makes a perfect gift for families who have Kentucky roots but live elsewhere now!

“How Dinosaurs Went Extinct: A Safety Guide” by Ame Dyckman – A ridiculous and hilarious picture book featuring a host of favorite dinosaurs whose extinctions are explained using off-the-wall Dad Jokes. Stegosaurus? Scratched its bug bites! Brachiosaurus? Swallowed its chewing gum! Spinosaurus? Swam after eating and went down with a cramp.

“The Twelve Hours of Christmas” by Jenn Bailey – One of my very favorite illustrators brings to life a new, darling picture book that everyone needs in their holiday collection. My kids have outgrown picture books, but I bought a copy for our family anyway! In this reinvention of the classic holiday carol “The 12 Days of Christmas,” five golden rings become five Nana hugs, eight maids a-milking become eight mugs of cocoa, and much more, as a family comes together to celebrate the holidays.

“Mercy Watson Is Missing” by Kate Di Camillo – The Mercy Watson books are one of my favorite beginning chapter book series for young readers. They all star a delightful pig named Mercy who lives with a human family in a quiet neighborhood that becomes less quiet through the antics of the characters in the books. When Mercy Watson the pig goes missing, all of Deckawoo Drive is in an uproar in this highly satisfying, extra-special series finale.

“Juniper’s Christmas” by Eoin Colfer – It is an absolutely delightful illustrated middle grade novel that just begs to be a family read-aloud this holiday season. It’s got mystery, social justice, and a big scoop of Christmas magic. Eleven-year-old Juniper Lane is thrown into a Christmas adventure like no other when she seeks the help of a mysterious woodsman living in her local park, who she suspects is Santa himself, and accidentally gets exposed to North Pole magic. Join a boisterous cast of characters—including a neighbor who always believed in Santa, a young reindeer in training, and a cutthroat crime boss out to steal Santa’s magic—on an unpredictable holiday journey.

“A Horse Named Sky” by Roseanne Parry – This author writes fantastic animal-focused stories for middle grade readers. “A Horse Named Sky” gives a horse’s perspective on westward expansion, a shifting landscape, and the Pony Express. Exiled from his band, a young, wild horse must find his way across treacherous terrain to reunite with his family.

“Bittersweet in the Hollow” by Kate Pearsall – In this darkly enthralling YA novel, four sisters with unusual talents investigate a mysterious disappearance in their secluded Appalachia town. When describing thrillers and murder mysteries, “beautiful” isn’t often one of the words I’d pick…but this one absolutely is! Strong women. Small town secrets. Love. Betrayal. Murder. Plus lots of home cooking, natural wisdom, and even a dose of cryptozoology, when sightings of the moth-winged man correlate to mysterious disappearances in the community.

The full 2023 Holiday Book Guide is available in print format at Plaid Elephant Books or digitally on the Plaid Elephant Books website –

Kate Snyder is a Danville resident, mother of three and owner and founder of Plaid Elephant Books – Central Kentucky’s only independent children’s bookstore.