A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Holidays
Sharing stories is what the holidays are all about. Buy (from your favorite retailer) or borrow (from the Library) these wonderful children’s books during this holiday season. List compiled by Kenton County Public Library children’s librarians Terri Deibel and Cecilia Horn. Visit the catalog to search for seasonal books, movies, music and more. All the books listed below can be found on the Library’s Pinterest Board.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, retold by Adam McKeown, illus. by Gerald Kelley
This is a picture book version of the classic tale adapted for young readers. It makes for a great family read-aloud. The lovely watercolor illustrations enhance the retelling.
Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin
This slapstick story finds Farmer Brown getting ready for Christmas. Duck tries to play Santa but gets stuck in the chimney along with all the other animals who try to help. In the end, Santa saves the day.
Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer, illus. by Christine Davenier
The fact that Rachel is Jewish doesn’t deter her from wanting to celebrate Christmas so she writes a letter to Santa explaining her plight. This story is also good for introducing children to other cultural celebrations.
The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray, illus. by Mike Lowery
This is a jolly addition to the other two tales, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School and The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck. Here, the Gingerbread Man and his classmates make a trip into town to deliver goodies to community helpers.
How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan, illus. by Lee Wildish
The creators of the best-selling How to Babysit a Grandma and How to Babysit a Grandpa, have given us a holiday How to book. The illustrations are bright and cheerful with lots of amusing details.
Is It Hanukkah Yet? By Chris Barash, illus. by Alessandra Psacharopulo
Hanukkah is on its way in this simple rhyming tale with warm, soft-hued illustrations.
Merry Christmas Mr. Mouse by Caralyn Buehner, illus. by Mark Buehner
After Mr. and Mrs. Mouse observe a human family celebrating Christmas, they decide to put together a celebration for their own mouse children. The delightful rhyming verse is accompanied by warm, colorful illustrations.
Miracle on 133rdStreet by Sonia Manzano, illus. by Marjorie Priceman
The aroma of a Christmas roast puts everyone in this New York City neighborhood in the holiday spirit. The author, Sonia Manzano, is best known or her portrayal as Maria, one of the first Hispanic characters on Sesame Street. The illustrator has won several Caldecott Honors for her work.
The Nativity retold by Géraldine Elschner, illus. by Giotto, translated by Kathryn Bishop
This version of the Nativity story is illustrated with paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Giotto. Illustrations are set on one page, depicting major aspects of the Christmas story, with text on the opposite page. This is truly an exquisite book.
The Night before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illus. by David Ercolini
Ercolini’s contemporary illustrations put a new spin on the class Christmas poem. Kids are sure to laugh out loud!
The Nutcracker Comes to America by Chris Barton, illus. by Cathy Gendron
Three ballet-loving brothers from a small town in Utah staged the first full-length version of The Nutcracker in San Francisco in 1944 after hearing the story from Russian immigrants. This was the beginning of the holiday tradition still in existence today. This picture book with its rich, oil painting illustrations tells their story. A timeline with photographs and author and illustrator notes are also included.
Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon, illus. by Mark Siegel
Young Oskar, who is a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, arrives in New York City on the seventh night of Hanukkah, also Christmas Eve, in 1938. As he walks 100 blocks to meet his Aunt Esther, he encounters eight acts of kindness along the way. The illustrations move the story along through a series of variously sized panels. This is a very touching and heartwarming story.
Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure by Linda Ashman, illus. by Kim Smith
This is a contemporary take on the classic song. When numerous obstacles impede their travels, a family discovers that sometimes the old fashioned way of transportation works the best.
The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Isaac Bashevis Singer, illus. by Suzanne Raphael Berkson
This is a newly illustrated tale from the 1980 collection of short stories, The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah. A stray parakeet appears on the windowsill of a Brooklyn family home on a cold and snowy eighth night of Hanukkah. The story that unfolds eventually brings two families together.
The Reindeer Wish by Lori Evert, photographs by Per Breiehagen
This is the story of Anja and her magical friendship with Odin, a baby reindeer. This is the third book in the photographic series by husband and wife team Breiehagen and Evert. Their real life daughter Anja is the Anja in this Nordic tale.
Rudolph Shines Again by Robert May, illus. by Antonio Caparo
Who knew there was a sequel to the classic story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? In this story, originally published in 1954 and now with new illustrations, we learn what happens when Rudolph’s nose stops shining.
Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Christmas by Rubin Pingk
Yukio wants to have an epic snowball fight on Christmas Eve, but all the other ninjas don’t want to end up on Santa’s naughty list. In retaliation, Yukio decides to run Santa out of town, but his plan backfires, and that “epic” snow battle ensues … with a surprise ending! The illustrations are done in a muted palette of just black, blue, red, and a soft gray while the text is set in a very playful typography. Both add to the appeal of this very ninja tale.
Santa’s Sleigh is on its Way to Kentucky by Eric James, illus. by Robert Dunn
A little boy has trouble falling asleep knowing that Santa and his sleigh full of toys are on their way. Kentucky references are made throughout the book.
A Shiloh Christmas by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This is Naylor’s final book in the Shiloh series which began with her Newbery winning title Shiloh in 1992. Marty and his beagle get through Halloween and Thanksgiving and end with a Christmas meal shared by characters who don’t always agree. This is a heartwarming story that can be read on its own or in sequence with the other three titles: Shiloh, Shiloh Season, and Saving Shiloh.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Christmas 1 2 3 by Eric Carle
This board book provides simple Christmas counting fun in typical Carle style.
When Santa was a Baby by Linda Bailey, illus. by Geneviève Godbout
This is a clever take on the myth of Santa’s origin, and it’s absolutely our favorite of all the new releases. With nostalgic pencil and pastel artwork, Santa, a truly unique child, grows up to fulfill his destiny. From his first Ho-Ho-Ho to standing naked in front of the refrigerator to cool down, this humorous story is sure to become a holiday classic.