As if you didn’t already look forward to bedtime, five new books you’ll want to read — with or without your kids.
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp
Marcel the Shell (a YouTube phenom with more than 12 million views) tries out life as a children’s picture book protagonist. The dreamlike illustrations and his quirky personality (his dog is a piece of lint) make him one of our favorite kid lit newcomers.
The Listeners/These Train Tracks, by Breathe Owl Breathe
From the band Breathe Owl Breathe comes a children’s book that time forgot. A canvas-covered volume features two stories illustrated by reproductions of woodcut prints that start at each end of the book and meet in the middle, where you’ll find a seven-inch record of both narratives recorded as indie-folk songs.
Birdie’s Big-Girl Dress, by Sujean Rim
DailyCandy’s illustrator emeritus publishes her second children’s book about a precocious little girl who likes to dress up. It’s the perfect bedtime tale for moms and daughters who know their way around a dressing room.
Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers
Little Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, so naturally he throws his shoe up after it. When his shoe gets lodged in the branches too, an unexpected cast of projectiles (a cat, a ladder, a fire engine) follows. Read-out-loud fun at its best.
Eli, No, by Katie Kirk
Try to resist the bold graphic illustrations in Kirk’s debut children’s book. But it’s the toddler tough-love lesson — “No!” doesn’t mean we love you any less — that has us stealing one last snuggle before lights out.
Fantasy in Lights
What: Pile the gang in the car or hop on the Jolly Trolley to ooh and aah at the twinkling scenes.
Why: More than 8 million bulbs make for serious sparkle.
When: Thru Dec. 30. Daily, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Callaway Gardens, just south of State Hwy. 354, at U.S. Hwy. 27, Pine Mountain (706-663-2281). Tickets at 800-225-5292 or online at showclix.com. Adults and teens, $16-$22 in advance/$25 at the door; children 6-12, $8-$11 in advance/$12.50 at the door; under 6, free.
The Astor Holiday Ice Skating Rink
What: Go for a few laps, and then check out the giant gingerbread house in the lobby.
Why: S’mores and a fire await your snow bunny.
When: Wed.-Jan. 3, 2012. Mon.-Fri., noon-9 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: The St. Regis Atlanta, 88 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Buckhead. Reservations (recommended) to 404-563-7797. Adults, $30/hour; children, $18/hour.
Sweet & Savory Saturday
What: Learn about Southern foods and traditions at the Y’all Come Eat exhibit.
Why: Even tastier? Snack on classic holiday candies made by volunteers.
When: Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Marietta Museum of History, 1 Depot St., Marietta (770-794-5710). Adults, $7; children, $5; under 6, free.
Photos: Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers; Courtesy of Little, Brown Books; Courtesy of Abrams Books