The 12 Books of Christmas 

The snow shovels and boots have been unearthed from the garage, staff parties are being booked, and yes, those are Christmas decorations on display at each and every big box store. Believe it or not, the holiday season is already upon us (or at the very least, bearing down like a freight train). This year, rather than revert to the standard, safe go-to gift certificates for folks on your shopping list, we recommend buying a book. Yes, that's right, remember those relics? They can make for a very thoughtful, and relatively inexpensive, gift for just about anyone. This year, we've compiled a list of 12 recent literary releases from local writers that will entertain and intrigue kids, adventurers, aspiring chefs, sports enthusiasts and amateur historians. Happy reading!

 

The Alphabet Goes to Ski and Snowboard School

By Tracy Higgs

$19.99

The Alphabet Goes to Ski and Snowboard School was published last November, but it's really a timeless Whistler classic for kids from infancy to the first few years of school.

Originally from Ontario, Tracy Higgs started skiing when she was 12 years old. She went on to ski race in high school and moved to Whistler almost 12 years ago to live the mountain lifestyle.

These days, she's busy with two young children, but that didn't stop her from self-publishing her first book last year. In fact, the children inspired the project.

"I always thought at some point I would publish a book, but I never thought it would be a kids' book," she admitted with a grin. "I thought it would have something to do with nutrition or health, or something like that."

She began working on the project in summer 2008, after she had her first son, Cole.

"Cole played an important role because he slept a lot," Higgs laughed. "So he was a really good napper; he allowed me to have the time to do it."

During a family trip to Hawaii, she saw a book called, S Goes Surfing , an alphabet book that teaches kids about the surf lifestyle and culture, and decided that she should make something similar for the future skiers and snowboarders who are currently toddling around in diapers.

"I realized that I'm a parent who's into outdoor activities and mountain activities, and I'm not really as into football, baseball and soccer - the traditional sports for boys - and all the books have to do with those sorts of stories. I decided I wanted a book that was more related to what I was into and where I was living and what we're surrounded by."

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