(This review has been updated as of March 25, 2009. Please see below.) For several years I have been receiving on a periodic basis a catalog from *Traditions* of Good Hope, CA. The catalogs were nice but quickly became lost in the shuffle of the myriad other publications I receive. Finally, I opened one the other day and looked through it. As I had suspected, *Traditions*' main thrust appears to be inspirational or downright sentimental but this doesn't change the fact that they have a wonderful assortment of gift items and things I would enjoy for myself. Especially special is their collection of books for sale. Christmas is only more than three months away so I have picked out several that I'm going to buy but there is something here for everyone and everything is reasonably priced. **Seasonal:** ***Christmas Legends** **to Remember*** by Helen Haidle (hardcover, 125 pages, $12). (See picture above.) A collection of three famous legends: the Christmas Cane, the Christmas Tree, and St. Nicholas. ***Quiet Little Woman*** by Louisa May Alcott (hardcover, 122 pages, $12). Apparently, Christmas was one of this famous author's favorite holidays as evidenced by these three recently discovered seasonal tales: "*The Quiet Little Woman*", "*Tilly's Christmas*" and "*Rosa's Tale*." ***Christmas Treasury*** by Louise May Alcott (hardcover, 283 pages, $14). I guess Christmas **was** her favorite holiday, as evidenced by this collection of Yuletide stories and novellas, some of which have been "*lost to the world of publishing for nearly a century*." No more information is provided as to the book's content so it is unclear whether it includes the three stories mentioned above. ***Clopper, the Christmas Donkey*** by Emily King (oversized hardcover, 32 pages, $10). For the younger set, here is the story of a pivotal participant in the Nativity story -- the little gray donkey who carried Mary to the little town of Bethlehem. **For the Kiddies:** ***First Reference Books***, no author's name given (oversized hardcover, each book 160 pages, set of two books $16.) That special child on your list may never forget "***My First Dictionary***" and "***My First Encyclopedia***" which look like great books designed for the beginning reader and beautifully illustrated in full color. ***How Things Work*** by the Editors of Time for Learning series (spiral-bound hardcover, 96 pages, $14.) This book, designed for ages eight and up, looks like it would be fun for an adult too. Not only does it explain mechanical wonders and inventions but even provides action with "*tabs to pull, wheels to spin, flaps to open and other fun features*." ***The States Book***, no author's name given (oversized hardcover, 32 pages, $12). Everything you or your kid ever wanted to know about the 51 (Washington, D.C. is included) great states which make up this wonderful country. Each state's history and full-color paragraphs are listed alphabetically and the book is accompanied by a "*very sturdy*" wall chart which supplies "*quick reference for homework and study*." ***Disney Princess Look and Find***, no author's name given, $8. This book will afford young ladies hours of entertainment by giving them magic things to look for (i.e. Cinderella' ball gown) in the beautiful illustrations. This is not a bad price for a Disney book. **For Her:** ***100 Best Full-Size Quilt Blocks & Borders***, no author's name given, (oversized spiral-bound with padded embossed vinyl covering, 208 pages, $14.) Everything you ever wanted to know about quilts and how to make them, ranging from illustrations, instructions, and patterns for both beginners and experts alike. Spiral binding is important here as this means the book will lay flat when it is open, so you can keep your hands free for sewing. ***Beautiful Threads*** by Mary Tatem, (softcover, 224 pages, $8.) Subtitled "***Pieces of Encouragement for Quilters***." This book which "*celebrates the art of quilting as it addresses the topics of friendship, love, loss, faith and more*" incorporates the use of various patterns to illustrate the grand design of life. Sounds like fun, even if you're not into quilting. ***Lincoln's Ladies*** by H. Donald Winkler, (softcover, 272 pages, $12.) This sounds like an engrossing historical study of "*The Women in the Life of the Sixteenth President*" including his true love, Ann Rutledge, his 23-year marriage to Mary Todd, and the influence of his mother, stepmother and others. ***Life's Too Short to Fold Your Underwear*** by Patricia Lorenz, (softcover, 279 pages, $9.) Here is the book that many of us have been waiting for, apparently written by someone who hates housework almost as much as we do! I'm going to order two or three of these, for myself and other sensible people who are stalwartly avoiding "*the traps of perfectionism*." **For Him:** ***History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide*** (oversized hardcover, 672 pages, $22.) This fascinating encyclopedic volume contains everything you ever wanted to know about cars and the people who invented and designed them. As the catalog says "*This is the ultimate gift for every car buff you know*" (and on a personal note, I'm going to order one for a special car buff in my life). ***Cars of the 1950's*** by the Auto Editors of the Consumer Guide (oversized hardcover, 191 pages, $10.) Oh Man! ... is the auto enthusiast in your life going to love THIS! This comprehensive and beautifully illustrated saga of the American car during the Eisenhower Years has been organized by the top ten manufacturers of the decade and packed with tons of information even down to vintage advertising images. ***The Love of Golf***, no author's name given (hardcover, 320 pages, $13.) Everything your golf enthusiast ever wanted to know about his favorite sport and then some! ***365 Things Every Golfer Should Know*** by Doug Fields (softcover, 201 pages, $4.) Every funny thing you ever wanted to know about golf. ***Best of the West***, no author's name given (hardcover, 320 pages, $11.) A treasury of information, photographs and illustrations for the Western history buff on your list. ***The Wit & Wisdom of Baseball***, no author's name given, (hardcover, 168 pages, $8.) Guess what this book is about! That's right, everything your favorite baseball enthusiast ever wanted to know about the best part of his or her favorite sport. To order a copy of the ***Traditions*** catalog, call (800) 833-8617 or access their website, ***TraditionsCatalog.com***. Shipping is free on orders of two items or more ($1 shipping on single-item orders) and your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Oak Park, IL