Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 27, 2022

Book Giveaway: CHRISTMAS WITH AUNTIE by Helen Foster James

Helen Foster James has a new picture book, CHRISTMAS WITH AUNTIE, illustrated by Petra Brown and published by Sleeping Bear Press. They have agreed to share a copy of the book to one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Helen and Petra!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


There is nothing like an auntie’s love. This sweet story celebrates the special bond between auntie and her little bunny at Christmas time. With a bedtime-friendly singsong rhythm and adorable holiday illustrations, this book is sure to charm children and aunties alike!


Some ideas simmer in an author’s imagination for a long time while others seem to come with one big blast of an idea.

People seem to really enjoy Auntie Loves You!, and I’m frequently thanked for writing a book for aunties. It was, of course, my pleasure to have written an auntie book as I have aunts who were very special to me growing up so I loved featuring a loving relationship between an auntie and her little bunny.

I love holidays. I was born on Labor Day and married on Memorial Day. I feel privileged my book, Grandma’s Christmas Wish, can be a part of a family’s Christmas since I loved our great, big family Christmas gatherings. This got me thinking about Christmas books, and the idea for Christmas with Auntie came in a jingle-bell-joyful moment. One day it occurred to me I should place my bunny auntie in a Christmas setting. I knew that instant I would write an auntie book set at Christmastime. I immediately started writing the manuscript.

I sent my manuscript to my editor, Sarah Rockett, at Sleeping Bear Press. She loved it, and then I got very lucky. Sleeping Bear Press loves Christmas books and there just happened to be a need for a Christmas book for a 2022 publication date. The manuscript went quickly to acquisitions and was fast tracked which pushed my manuscript that was going to pub in 2022 to 2023 as Sleeping Bear Press likes each book by an author to have the opportunity to have its time to shine in the spotlight alone.

Although the concept came quickly and I loved writing it, the difficult part was the title.  Originally I thought I’d write a companion book to Grandma’s Christmas Wish and title this manuscript Auntie’s Christmas Wish, but it didn’t quite work the way I wanted with the wish. The manuscript was really was about aunties enjoying Christmas activities with their favorite little bunny so I decided not to focus on a wish and, instead, to embrace holiday festivities.

My next book will continue the series of these adorable bunnies (illustrated by Petra Brown) and will feature a nana. I’ve had so many grandmothers tell me I HAD to write a nana book so I did and I hope nanas everywhere will enjoy it when it is published in 2023.

I also have another book featuring the same family of bunnies scheduled for publication in 2024 and I have just completed another manuscript with hopes it will be acquired. I’m keeping the titles on upcoming books quiet now as titles seem to have a way of changing.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my story-behind-the-story of Auntie Loves You!


Helen Foster James is the author of Grandma Loves You!, Grandpa Loves You!, Mommy Loves You!, and Auntie Loves You! That’s a whole lot of love. Daddy Loves You! will be published in 2020 and Welcome to the World will arrive in the world in the fall of 2020. She is currently working on a nana book.

One of her newest books is With Love, Grandma. It’s a picture book told in letters from grandma to her little grandchild. The grandma is a hedgehog and has an adorable van to travel the countryside.

helen loves holidays and has published two Christmas books: Santa’s Christmas Train and Grandma’s Christmas Wish.

Her book, Daddy’s Girl, showcases a girly, girl throws a tea party for her daddy.

Helen is the author of S is for S’Mores: A Camping Alphabet. She started researching the book when she was four years old–when she went on her first camping trip! Since that time, she has been on more than one hundred camping trips including backpacking down (and up!) the Grand Canyon, hiking to the top of Sierra Mountain passes, and canoeing down the Colorado River. She even met her husband on a camping trip to Catalina Island.

She is also the author of E is for Enchantment: A New Mexico Alphabet (published by Sleeping Bear Press) illustrated by Neecy Twinem. She received a WILLA Literary Finalist award for the book from Women Writing the West. The book was named to the Land of Enchantment Booklist for 2006-2007 and selected by the New Mexico Library Association as their “Legislative Gift Book” for 2007.

Helen is a former educator serving as an elementary teacher, coordinator of library media services, elementary teacher, media specialist, and as a professor of children’s literature. She received my doctorate in Educational Administration from Northern Arizona University and recently received an award from the California Reading Association for my contribution to literacy.

She a native San Diegan. Her home is in Pacific Beach and she has a cabin in the San Diego mountains where she can hear coyotes serenade the moon. She enjoys watching raccoons, woodpeckers, wild turkey, deer, fox, and other wildlife outside her cabin’s windows.

When she’s not camping, hiking, and hanging out on Sail Bay in San Diego, you can find her reading, writing, watching movies, and planning her next travel adventure. You can visit Helen’s website at


Petra Brown has been a children’s book illustrator since 2006 when her first picture book If Big Can…I Can, written by Beth Shoshan and published by Meadowside, was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards for Best Emerging Illustrator. was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Awards for Best Emerging Illustrator. Since then she has been illustrating for a range of publishers in the United Kingdom and abroad.

Petra comments, “I love drawing animals with human expressions. I find it such fun creating, for example, a thoughtful fox, a happy hippo, a shy sheep, or a caring bear! The other thing I like is creating landscapes, places where my characters can run about and have adventures. Living in a magnificent place like Snowdonia helps a great deal.” Petra lives with her partner in Wales. She is also the author and illustrator of the children’s book When the Wind Blew.

Helen, thank you for sharing you book and journey with us. So happy that you and Petra have continued this series of book. Christmas With Auntie is a wonderful addition and I hope you find ways to add to this heartwarming series. Children and parents will love the rhythm and rhyme and might even spur ideas for things to do with a favortie Aunt. Would make a great Christmas gift even for an Aunt. As always, Petra did a wonderful job creating the animal character. The book is a whole package of gorgeous. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This looks so cute, and I’d love to read it to my kids and to my nephews! We got lucky with wonderful aunts, and I try to be one myself!

    I subscribe to the email list!


  2. What a sweet, sweet book! Love the art and text! [Newsletter subscriber.]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Tags:Books, Christmas, Helen Foster James, Petra Brown, Picture Books… […]


  4. I’d love to have CHRISTMAS WITH AUNTIE by Helen Foster James. I recently babysat my 9 mo nephew for 5 days, and would love to give him this book! It looks adorable!


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  8. I enjoyed reading about the journey of CHRISTMAS WITH AUNTIE created by Helen Foster James and Petra Brown.

    This post was shared on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and my WordPress account. I subscribe to your newsletter.


  9. This beautiful and heartwarming book is going to be a joy to read and to give. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and tumblr.


  10. This looks adorable! Congrats!


  11. That cover is adorable! This looks like a really sweet book. I subscribe to your blog by email. Thanks for the chance.


  12. So sweet! I want to live with Auntie! Congratulations and best wishes, Helen and Petra!

    I follow by email and tweeted this post. 🙂


  13. I’d love to win this book to read with my kids! I subscribe to the email list.


  14. That looks like such a sweet story!


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