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An Interview with Ann Whitford Paul, Author of ‘Twas the Late Night of Christmas

Ronna Mandel interviews local L.A. author Ann Whitford Paul who’s written a new book, ‘Twas the Late Night of Christmas with illustrations by Nancy Hayashi.

NOTE: Consider making your purchase before the holiday season and house guests roll in. It’s an ideal present for the moms in your life who need to know there is light at the end of the hectic, sometimes dim Yuletide tunnel. With tongue-in-cheek (and all her holiday shopping already completed), Paul manages to entertain readers in need of a laugh and a nudge from one who’s been there whispering wisely, “Let it go!” Check the GRWR Facebook and Twitter pages for dates of Paul’s appearances at bookstores around town.

Q&A with Ann Whitford Paul

'Twas the Late Night of Christmas cover art
‘Twas the Late Night of Christmas by Ann Whitford Paul with illustrations by Nancy Hayashi, 2013.

Good Reads With Ronna:
Santa’s gone. The kids are complaining. Mom and dad have reached capacity. ‘Twas the Late Night of Christmas, your new gift book and a parody of Moore’s famous 19th century poem, shares the exhaustion of post-holiday-partum. The house is a wreck and who’s left to clean up? The parents. Or in this case the mom. Who or what inspired you to pen this tongue-in-cheek tale?

Ann Whitford Paul:
I’ve always loved the magic of Christmas and gone all-out, filling my house with handmade decorations—Christmas quilts and throws, pillows and pictures, wall hangings and toys.  Right after Christmas I begin making new decorations for the following year.  As you can imagine, the number of decorations has gotten out of hand and the more I make, the more exhausted I’ve become.  This book came out of a combination of my love for the holiday of giving and thinking of others and at the same time my weariness from all the work involved.  I dream Mrs. Saint Nick might come and help me with the resulting chaos of the holiday.

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You Better Watch Out!


I’m excited to share my review of  Santa is Coming to California, one title in a clever new series from Scotland based illustrator Robert Dunn and UK based author Steve Smallman published by Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky ($9.99, ages 4 and up).

Old Saint Nick is getting his Santa-nav ready by entering the correct coordinates for California and then off he will go! Imagine how much fun you’ll have reading this story to your children as you follow Santa’s sleigh and reindeer as they make tracks from the North Pole all the way to the Golden State! Not only will you love the spirited illustrations, but you’ll also love how the story subtly teaches a geography lesson.

9781402277757Santa and company get lost in fog, but when they get reoriented they are zooming over the Golden Gate Bridge and all of San Francisco’s notable sites. Eventually they make it to Hollywood plus other delightful points here and yonder despite some weary and hungry first-rate sleigh pullers.

If you’re not a California resident, you can take advantage of Santa is Coming To My House, virtually the same picture book with a different cover and without the specific city names and landmarks (hence some different illustrations) so any child anywhere can enjoy it!

So which list are you on?

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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