“A-Caroling We Go!”
Holiday songs are without a doubt incredibly popular year after year, and some songs have remained classics for decades. Several of this year’s new holiday titles are centered around many of these familiar songs. Several Christmas carols have been reimagined as picture books. Silent Night by Brigitte Weninger, illus. by Julie Wintz-Litty provides the history of this world-famous carol. The Little Drummer Boy by Bernadette Watts is a beautiful retelling based on the beloved Christmas song, while Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza, illus. by Don Tate and The Dance of the Realms by Calliope Glass, illus. by Marco Bucci both pay tribute to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. And several board books continue the theme as well. Christmas Songs illus. by Abigail Dela Cruz, Frosty the Snowman by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson, illus. by Lisa Reed, Hanukkah by Allan Morey, illus. by Luke Séguin-Magee, and Away in a Manger: A Christmas Story are all based on songs which manage to capture the spirit of the holidays. Why not check out a few and sing along!
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to New Holiday Books
All-of-A-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky
This picture book captures the charm of the middle grade series by Sydney Taylor, All-of-a-Kind Family. Five sisters prepare to celebrate Hanukkah, but is four-year-old Gertie too young to help? Zelinsky’s artwork and use of perception draws readers into the story.
The Broken Ornament by Tony DiTerlizzi
When Jack accidentally breaks a keepsake ornament, his greed turns to understanding as he learns about the true spirit of Christmas.
The Cat Who Ate Christmas by Lil Chase, illus. by Thomas Docherty
After the children have gone to bed, Jingle the cat destroys the decorations, opens the presents, and knocks over the tree. Is Christmas ruined or will his family come to realize what really matters on Christmas Day.
Christmas Cookie Day! by Tara Knudson, illus. by Pauline Siewert
This new board book celebrates the beloved tradition of making Christmas treats.
Christmas: From Solstice to Santa by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton
This is part of the non-fiction Origins series for middle readers. Illustrated with many color photographs, this book provides a history and overview of Christmas traditions and celebrations around the world.
Cookiesaurus Christmas by Amy Fellner Dominy & Nate Evans, illus. by AG Ford
Cookiesaurus Rex believes he deserves a spot on Santa’s plate. His attention seeking antics are sure to entertain.
D is for Dreidel: A Hanukkah Alphabet by Greg Paprocki
This board book introduces 26 Hanukkah themed concepts.
Dino-Christmas by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Barry Gott
The dinosaurs eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claws. This is the latest dino book from this author-illustrator duo, and it does not disappoint. The rhyming text and colorful illustrations are sure to please.
Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig
This is the third novel in the trilogy that includes A Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas. In this final book, Amelia is now living with Father and Mother Christmas but feels she doesn’t fit in. The evil Father Vodol tries to use this to his advantage to sabotage Christmas. He enlists the help of the Easter Bunny and his rabbit army. It’s up to Amelia to save Christmas!
How It’s Made: Hanukkah Menorah by Allison Ofanansky, photos by Eliyahu Alpern
This book provides an overview of the holiday as well as showcasing artists who craft menorahs. Numerous color photographs enhance the text.
Last Stop on the Reindeer Express by Maudie Powell-Tuck, illus. by Karl James Mountford
Mia goes on a mysterious adventure with a flying reindeer to deliver a card to her grandfather before Christmas. Die-cut pages and several lift-the-flaps add interest to the visually appealing story.
Little Christmas Tree by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
A little Christmas tree is alone in the forest, but as the reader lifts the flaps, several colorful creatures are revealed.
Meet the Latkes by Alan Silberberg
A family of potato pancakes prepares for Hanukkah.
Merry Christmas, Little Elliott by Mike Curato
Little Elliott the elephant and his friend Mouse set off on an adventure to find Christmas spirit.
Miracle on 34th Street: A Storybook Edition of the Christmas Classic by Valentine Davies, illus. by James Newman Gray
A little girl named Susan doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, until she meets Kris Kringle. This is an adaptation of the classic 1947 film of the same name.
My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa by Lisa Bullard, illus. by Constanza Basaluzzo
This fictional story explains the meaning and traditions of this relatively new holiday which is centered on African American culture.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illus. by Lindsay Dale-Scott
This board book version of the classic poem is enhanced with jolly illustrations and real twinkling lights at the end.
Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock, illus. by Helen Stephens
Noah loses his favorite toy elephant while Christmas shopping with his baby sister and mother. The rhyming text and watercolor wash illustrations add appeal to this story that most children will be able to relate to!
Santa Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Bruce is a cantankerous bear who doesn’t like the holidays. While wearing a red suit, he is mistaken for Santa Claus, and all the forest animals line up to tell him what they want for Christmas. Will Santa Bruce deliver?
A Savior is Born: Rocks Tell the Story of Christmas by Patti Rokus
This is an interesting picture book in which rocks are used to create art to tell the story of Jesus’ birth.
This is Christmas by Tom Booth
A curious, young chipmunk learns about the true meaning of Christmas. This is a very warm and cozy story, perfect for snuggling up
Written by Cecilia Horn and Terri Diebel
Cecilia Horn is currently the Juvenile Collection Development Librarian for the Kenton County Public Library. Terri Diebel is a Children’s Librarian at the Covington Branch. Both hold Master of Library Science degrees and have worked in the field of Children’s Literature for many years. In recent years, they have collaborated on presentations at local, state, and national library and literature conferences. “Children’s literature is our passion. Through this blog, we hope to share that enthusiasm and love of children’s books. As children’s literature enthusiasts, our blog name pays homage to the classic children’s poem from 1889, ‘Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,’ by Eugene Field.”