Happy to have Janssen of Everyday Reading here today! She’s making it so easy for us today by sharing her favorite Holiday books based on topic!
I love Christmas books of all kinds, whether they make my little girls giggle uproariously or they’re the kind of quiet nativity stories for reading around a cozy fire by the light of the Christmas tree. On some December days we want Christmas classics, and other days we want new releases about Santa.
No matter what kind of books you’re looking to add to your collection this year, one of these (and probably several of these!) will be just what you and your family will love.
- Little Santa by Jon Agee. Santa grew up in the North Pole, where he delights in the cold and snow, but his family isn’t so convinced. In fact, they want to move to Florida! This fun story about Santa’s childhood and how he ended up living at the North Pole with the elves and reindeer is a delight.
- My Pen Pal, Santa by Melissa Stanton and Jennifer A. Bell. Plenty of children write Christmas letters to Santa, but how many of them send off a letter in January? When Ava writes Santa to inquire about the cookies he left uneaten, it sparks a year’s worth of correspondence between the two.
- A Creature was Stirring by Clement Clarke Moore and Carter Goodrich. Spin-offs of the classic Christmas poem are a dime a dozen, but I’m inclined to think this is the best one. On one page, you get a stanza of the original poem, while on the opposite page, there is a stanza about a little boy who sneaks out of bed, hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa. This book was made to be read aloud by two voices!
- Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera. Every Christmas, Sophie’s holiday-loving Aunt disappears on a mysterious business trip when the big day arrives. After years of wondering, Sophie takes matters into her own hands and smuggles herself along in a box and discovers exactly what her aunt is up to.
- Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. When Mr. Willowby’s grand Christmas tree arrives, it’s just a wee bit too tall. So the top gets lopped off. Surprisingly, it makes a perfect tree for the upstairs maid. But. . .it’s just a bit too tall for her too.
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston and Barbara Cooney. In the spring, Ruthie accompanied her father to mark the perfect Christmas tree for the town’s celebration, but when the time comes to cut it down, her father has gone off to war and there’s no word of him. So Ruthie and her mother must do it themselves.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. How could you talk bout Christmas books without including this one? Read the book first and then watch the movie as a family. Don’t forget the popcorn.
- The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. In this gorgeous wordless story, a little boy builds a snowman during the day and then is delighted to discover that night that the snowman has come to life. He shows the snowman around his home, and then the snowman take him on adventure to see the world.
- Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell and Jason Cockcroft. I love the beautiful, warm illustrations of this book and the sweet retelling of the nativity story, with Kind Ox in the stable making room for one animal seeking shelter after another, until finally Mary and Joseph appear, hoping there is just a little more room for them too.
- Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. A little mouse is on the hunt for a cozy new home and when he stumbles on the nativity scene near the Christmas tree, it seems like just the place for a tiny mouse to live. But when he overhears the Christmas story being retold, he realizes who belongs in the tiny manger.
- On This Special Night by Claire Freedman and Simon Mendez. A mother cat and her small kitten watch a parade of animals pass by, each following a bright star in the heavens, until eventually they decide to make the journey themselves to see where everyone is going.
- Listen to the Silent Night by Dandi Daley Mackall, Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson. Maybe Bethlehem wasn’t quite so silent on the night of Christ’s birth, with angels singing, animals bleeting, mooing and baaing, and the flap of sandals on the dirt streets.
- Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer. There aren’t many children who don’t love Olivia (or adults, for that matter!), and this one is just so perfectly Chrsistmas-y, from the frantic waiting for Santa’s arrival to the sweet quiet moments as a family.
- Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty and Jef Kaminsky. Ernest B. Spinosaurus has had something of a challenging year, behavior-wise. But he is desperate for a Jurassic X10 scooter, so he writes Santa a letter to explain how he really has been quite good. But one letter might not do the trick. Maybe seventeen will?
- Here Comes Santa Cat by Deborah Underwood and Claudia Rueda. The exchanges between Cat and the off-screen narrator in this story of hilarious. The narrator wants to know if anyone will really be fooled by Cat’s strategy to dress up as Santa and then give himself exactly the gifts he wants. Couldn’t Cat maybe get into the holiday spirit in a better way?
- The Money We’ll Save by Brock Cole. What could go wrong with a plan to bring home a small turkey, fatten it up with table scraps and then eat it for Christmas dinner? Well, when you live in a tiny 19th-century New York City tenement, the answer is “just about everything.”