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Cozy up to some winter reading
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Greetings from the Great Bend Public Library! Christmas is already just around the corner, if you can believe it. This year the library will be closed for the Christmas holiday, starting Friday, December 23, through Monday, December 26. We will reopen Tuesday, December 27, at our normal time of 9 a.m. Similarly, we will be closed for New Year’s starting Friday, December 30, through Monday, January 2. We will reopen Tuesday, January 3, at 9 a.m. If you are looking to grab some holiday stories, cookbooks, or movies to enjoy over the holiday, be sure to stop by before we close next Friday.

Speaking of holiday books and movies, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites that you can find at the library this season. First I’ll start with a book I read growing up. While this isn’t necessarily a Christmas or holiday book, it is a winter book so I enjoy reading it around this time of year. This book is called “Owl Moon” by Jane Yolen with beautiful illustrations by John Schoenherr. The story tells of a boy and his father setting out on a late winter night to go “owling.” The boy and his father use the full moon to navigate the winter woods in the hopes of seeing a great horned owl. It is a sweet and warm little book that will make you feel like you are there in the chilly night air looking at this magnificent creature. 

Because I couldn’t choose just one, my other book recommendation is another winter tale from my childhood that is very dear to me, titled “The Tomten,” by Astrid Lindgren. You might know one of her much more famous writings,”Pippy Longstockings,” but “The Tomten” is my favorite work of hers. It tells the story of a sleepy little farm visited by a gnome-like creature after everyone is asleep. The tomten reminds all the animals and small children of the promises of spring as they slumber through the cold winter nights. He also helps out by giving hay to some of the animals and milk to the farm cat. The tomten speaks a special language all his own that only the animals and children can understand. If you are familiar with Scandinavian folklore, the tomten may sound familiar. In that area of the world, there are legends of similar creatures who help farmers care for their livestock and keep them safe. It is traditional to thank them with an offering of food, lest they become dismayed by your ungraciousness and play tricks on you. Thankfully, the tomten is a much more kind-spirited creature, who helps the animals because he likes them and would rather his presence remain unnoticed by humans.

My last suggestion is a movie I love watching around the holidays, called “The Family Man,” starring Nicholas Cage in one of his milder performances alongside the lovely Téa Leoni. The story follows Jack, a rich businessman in New York City with everything he has ever wanted, including a penthouse and a Porsche. His life is turned upside-down one Christmas Eve, when he meets an angel in disguise. When the angel asks Jack if he is wanting for anything, the man replies, “Nothing, I have everything I need.” The next morning, he wakes up in bed lying next to Kate (Téa Leoni), his college sweetheart he left in order to pursue his career. To his horror, he soon realizes that his former life no longer exists. As he stumbles through his new suburban life with a wife and kids, Jack finds himself at a crossroads where he must choose between his high-power career and the woman he loves. It’s a hilarious, heartfelt, and honest look at how the choices we make can change us for better or for worse, and sometimes you can find what you need most in unexpected places.

I hope I gave you some fun ideas for entertainment this holiday season. For library events, visit our Facebook and our website, You can also message us on Facebook, email us at, or give us a call at 620-792-2409 for any questions about our programming or services.

Written by Hannah Grippin, outreach manager at the Great Bend Public Library.