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The Greatest Gift

(Heartwood Hotel #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  335 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Mona the mouse has finally found a place to call home, the cozy Heartwood Hotel, where she works as a maid and sleeps snuggled up in a room with her best friend. Following the festive St. Slumber celebration, most of the guests have settled in to hibernate, and the staff is looking forward to a relaxing winter. But disruptions abound, from a difficult duchess to a ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published July 3rd 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  335 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A sweet, cozy read for wintertime. A few of the references to St. Slumber's Day and the like are somewhat reminiscent of Christmas so it makes a good holiday read but it's also vague and nature-based enough to work for families who don't celebrate Christmas. As with the first book, it's a tale of friendship, giving, misunderstandings, and ultimately compassion. It is a light, easy read yet is pleasantly written and I love the little details about the Heartwood Hotel and the rooms for different ...more
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, read-aloud, 2018
Very sweet - I actually liked this one more than the first!
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars: An adorable sequel with charming characters and important messages.

Mona the mouse is happy in her new home at the Heartwood Hotel. She has a family and lots of friends. She is excited to attend her first St. Slumber celebration, but she is dismayed when she learns that everyone exchanges gifts. Mona receives gifts, but has nothing to give in return. She is determined to make it right, but her plans are interrupted when a demanding visitor shows up at the hotel, and someone
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Is it just me, or does reading this make me sleepy? Maybe because it's winter themed, and quite peaceful at the beginning. I have no idea, but I'll sum this book up in one word. Cozy.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A sweet, wholesome, feel-good book perfect for fall/winter reading. This would be great choice for a confident reader in the lower elementary grades, and also as family read alouds. I look forward to more in this series by Kallie George.
Suzanne Montigny
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an imagination Kallie George has! This was a pleasure to read. A true classic.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, series
The Heartwood Hotel series by Kallie George follows the life of a mouse named Mona on her adventures in the perfectly cozy Heartwood Hotel. Mona works at the Heartwood Hotel with other staff and a colourful cast of guests and visitors. All small creatures are allowed to stay at the Heartwood Hotel, from bunnies to bugs and all furry and feather fowl in between so long as they follow the rule We live by Protect and Respect, Not by Tooth and Claw.
The first in the series, Heartwood Hotel: A True
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grade-3-read
In this book there is a mouse at a hotel named Heartwood Hotel and the mouses name is Mona. So far Mona is a maid at Heartwood Hotel and her best friend is a squirrel named Tilly and a swallow named Cybele. One day at winter Mona received a few presents. They were all really good including the one from Tilly and Cybele. However the problem was that Mona didnt prepare a present for anyone which Mona thinks isnt very kind. Next day in the morning a guest arrived. Her name was Duchess Hazeline and ...more
Barbara Ann
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mona, the Mouse, is an orphan who lives and works as a maid in the Heartwood Hotel. As the story opens, most of the winter animal guests are turning in to hibernate. The staff is about to celebrate with the St. Slumber party hosted by Mr. Heartwood. The employees celebrate with a feast and exchange of gifts.

Mona's best friend and roommate is Tilly, the Squirrel. Their quiet, winter season is disturbed by the arrival of the haughty, Duchess Rabbit who makes unreasonable demands. Then a mysterious
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own

Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!

I read Heartwood Hotel books one and two back to back. This sequel, The Greatest Gift is a much more gentle book compared to the first one. Mona has now found a place to call her own, and the true villain of this story is winter. I think we can all relate to that, at least here in Canada!

I think The Greatest Gift continues to show the strengths of the first book, focusing on themes of friendship and learning to rely on others for help. This
The Keepers of the Books
Following the festive St. Slumber celebration, most of the residents have settled in for a relaxing winter full of hibernation. As the snow stacks higher, a mysterious snacker is causing the hotel to be low on supplies way too early. Can Mona and Tilly keep the peace while finding some help with regards to the food supply?

The illustrations are cute, loveable, and detailed. The plot is engaging and the perfect level for early chapter book readers. The characters are human-like, complex, and
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
My kids (boy, age 7, and girl, age 4) and I are very much enjoying this delightful series. We read the first back in the fall and after voting it was decided we would read them each during the season they took place. This particular book took place during the winter. It was greeted each morning with cheers for more and just one more chapter.

Three Things We Loved:

1) The friendships. I love excellent examples of friendship.
2) My 7-year-old loved when they solved the mystery of how all the food was
Elaine Bearden
This heartfelt series continues. I do love that there is a coziness about these stories, but there are real problems they are trying to solve. I think I would have enjoyed this book as a third/fourth grader. The writing is not quite first chapter. It is on the first level of "real" chapter books. I thought the first one in the series was better in terms of how the plot pulled the reader through. However, this one has plenty plot to keep a reader's interest. (This felt a little more
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mona the mouse has finally found a place to call home, the cozy Heartwood Hotel, where she works as a maid and sleeps snuggled up in a room with her best friend. Following the festive St. Slumber celebration, most of the guests have settled in to hibernate, and the staff is looking forward to a relaxing winter. But disruptions abound, from a difficult duchess to a mysterious midnight snacker. As the snow stacks higher, Mona will have to gather friends both old and new to keep the peace, finding ...more
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love these books. Wonderful characters, interesting situations, simple sweet lessons.

Mona has a lot to learn since she didn't grow up with a family. She receives gifts at a celebration, but didn't know that was part of it, so she didn't have any to give in return. Through thinking about what she could give, and the adventures during winter at the hotel, she learns what some of the greatest gifts are.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a gentle series about friendship and doing for others. Throw in a bit of mystery and you've got a perfect tale for young middle grade readers. Mona and Tilly deepen their friendship, as Mona learns about the winter customs and traditions she's not known of before. And the Duchess...well, the Duchess is a character who helps readers know how not to behave. Heartwood Hotel is a place I'd certainly like to dwell.
Andrea Wright
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Started this series with #2 because I was trying to read all the wintery holiday books and this one is just adorable! I should have probably started with #1 because there were a few times that I really felt that I had missed important things, but I loved this book all the same. Nothing better than a cute story with forest animals for the holidays :)
Edward Fenner
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who love animals
This sequel is as good as the first. Fun little tales for youngsters learning to read bigger books for the first time. Anthropomorphized animals working together to solve problems offer plenty of lessons and entertainment for children. My wife and I read this book and its progenitor as part of our kid-lit research.
Meredith Spidel
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Yay that there is a second book in this sweet series! I am loving reading this books with my kiddos, especially my daughter, who loves animals--all of them! Warms my heart to see sweet tales being written for our children in today's world. Thanks to Disney for publishing and for sending my way for review!
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A shy mouse working as a maid in an animal hotel deals with the embarrassment of social cluelessness due to her orphan past, the thrill of making her first gift, and the worry of dwindling food supplies as a thief stalks the halls. It's charming but aimed at a strong early reader.
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sweet story. I think I liked this one even more than the first. Perfect to put into the hands of 2nd and 3rd grade students!
Vicki Cook
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These books are so cute and hold my interest even though I'm an adult. Will be reading the remainder of the series.
Hilary Scroggie
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Continues to be ridiculously adorable.
Michele Knott
Such a sweet series, I think this transitional chapter book series is going to be one kids will really enjoy!
Edward Sullivan
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disruptions abound as most of the guests settle in for hibernation after the St. Slumber festivities.
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, 2019
Held up just as well as the first. Sweet, wholesome. Will definitely look for the third!
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sophia rating - 4/5
David rating - 4/5
Mommy rating - 4/5

Marie Bosma
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cute story about trust and making sacrifices for friends and loved ones.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A super cute follow up to the first cute story
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another sweet tale to add to this quickly growing series that reminds us of what's really important in life... family, friends, and a kind heart. A few extra seedcakes doesn't hurt either... 😉
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Im an author, editor, and speaker living in Vancouver, BC, near the sea. When Im not writing or editing, Im teaching creative writing workshops.

I have my Masters of Children's Literature from the University of British Columbia.

I love picture books, fairy tales, beautiful art and music, and baking cookies.

Other books in the series

Heartwood Hotel (4 books)
  • A True Home (Heartwood Hotel, #1)
  • Better Together (Heartwood Hotel, #3)
  • Home Again (Heartwood Hotel, #4)

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