Holiday reading is just the right thing to get everyone in the holiday spirit! And, libraries are a great place for children (and adults) to visit this holiday season. Everyone can pick up some of the usual holiday favorites and discover some new ones as well. So, if you’re looking for some great holiday reads, look no further. We’ve got your list! There’s no better way to celebrate this time of year than by cuddling up with your children and reading.
A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to New Books about December Holidays
New Hanukkah Stories
Good Night, Hanukkah by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper, illus. by Katherine Blackmore
In this board book children are introduced to the story of Hanukkah and all its exciting traditions as they prepare for the holiday celebration.
Hanukkah Baby by Ekaterina Trukhan
Share Hanukkah traditions with baby in this Indestructibles book, which means it’s rip-proof and drool-proof, perfect for baby!
Noah and the Eight Trucks of Hanukkah by Nancy Rips, illus. by Marina Saumell
Noah is obsessed with trucks, so he comes up with a way to have a Festival of Trucks along with the Festival of Lights.
One Night, One Hanukkah Night by Aidel Backman
A menorah that shone long ago now glistens in a modern home as holiday traditions pass from one generation to the next.
New Christmas Stories
Angela’s Christmas by Frank McCourt, illus. by Raúl Colón
This was originally published in 2007 as Angela and the Baby Jesus and has recently been made into a Netflix animated film. In this Irish Nativity story, six-year-old Angela worries that the baby Jesus in her church’s Nativity is cold. The story draws upon events from the author’s mother’s life. McCourt is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Angela’s Ashes. Colón is the award-winning illustrator of many picture books.
Christmas Cheer for the Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Can the Grouchy Ladybug get into the holiday spirit? The season’s sights, sounds, and traditions seem to do the trick.
The Colors of Christmas by Jill Howarth
Learn all about festive holiday colors in this sweet board book.
Countdown to Christmas by Dr. Mary Manz Simon, illus. by Brian Hartley
This board book is like an advent calendar only in book form. It tells the story of Jesus’s birth by providing daily activities, crafts, prayers, and Bible verses.
Dasher by Matt Tavares
In this beautifully illustrated picture book, Tavares gives us the backstory on how Santa ended up with his eight reindeer. This is sure to become a Christmas favorite!
Finding Christmas by Lezlie Evans, illus. by Yee Von Chan
This is a sweet holiday title about caring and sharing. Three woodland animal friends create gifts for each other and discover the true meaning of Christmas and friendship. The watercolor and ink illustrations are quite unique – the stylized animals are drawn with tiny repeating dashes and patterned lines to indicate fur.
The Great Santa Stakeout by Betsy Bird, illus. by Dan Santat
Young Freddy Melcher is perhaps Santa’s biggest fan. This year he is determined to get a selfie with Santa. Will his carefully devised plan work? Written by Betsy Bird, a well-known librarian in the field of children’s literature, and illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, this is sure to become a holiday favorite!
Happy Howlidays by James Patterson with Steven Butler, illus. by Richard Watson
This festive adventure is the second in the Dog Diaries series by best-selling author James Patterson. This is a fast-paced, fun holiday story.
Ho Ho Homework by Mylisa Larsen, illus. by Taia Morley
Jack’s substitute teacher, Mr. Clausen, looks and acts a lot like Santa Claus. Jack is somewhat skeptical. But, a homework assignment and a sudden snowfall–makes a believer out of Jack. The illustrations are bright and cheery. Included are instructions on how to make a paper snowflake, Jack’s “ho ho homework” assignment!
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York based on the film written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, illus. by Kim Smith
This is an illustrated storybook based on the popular film in which young Kevin gets separated from his family at the airport and spends Christmas alone in New York City.
On Christmas Eve, a mouse named Winston sets off to deliver a lost letter to Santa Claus. Each chapter is meant to be read on each of the days in December leading up to Christmas.
Is It Christmas Yet? by Sandra Magsamen
A perfect book for little ones caught up in the excitement of the season!
LEGO Holiday Ideas by Elizabeth Dowsett
This DK book includes more than 50 festive builds using your LEGO collection.
The Little Fir Tree: from an original story by Hans Christian Andersen, by Christopher Corr
In this folk-art rendition of the classic tale, a little fir tree longs to see the world. When it becomes a Christmas tree and later discarded, it reminisces about its previous life. This retelling ends on a more comforting note as a new little fir tree emerges in the forest.
Long Ago on a Silent Night by Julie Berry, illus. by Annie Won
The birth of an urban child today is linked to the birth of the Christ Child. The historical and modern Worlds merge in Won’s illustrations.
Magic Tree House: Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo
Although the title isn’t new, this is a brand-new oversized, beautifully illustrated deluxe holiday edition. Join Jack and Annie as they celebrate Christmas in in the Kingdom of Camelot.
A Mustache Baby Christmas by Bridget Heos, illus. by Joy Ang
Mustache Baby finds himself on Santa’s naughty list. Will he be able to make it on to the nice list in time? This holiday title is the fourth book about Mustache Baby, aka Baby Billy.
Nancy and the Nice List adapted by Krista Tucker, illus. by Disney Storybook Art Team
Fancy Nancy wants a fuchsia colored bike for Christmas. She wants to be on Santa’s nice list, so she spends her holiday trying to be nice, and in the process, learns about the true meaning of Christmas.
The Night of His Birth by Katherine Paterson, illus. by Lisa Aisato
Newbery winning author Katherine Paterson recounts the story of Jesus’ birth, from his mother’s perspective. The illustrations are moving and dramatic.
Nutcracker Night by Mireille Messier, illus. by Gabrielle Grimard
A young girl attends the classic Christmas ballet and a sensory-filled adventure ensues. The illustrations are rich and captivating.
Pout-Pout Fish: Christmas Spirit by Deborah Diesen, illus. by Dan Hanna
Mr. Fish isn’t feeling all that jolly, so he goes in search of some holiday cheer!
Rudolph and the Reindeer Games adapted by Joe Troiano
This includes the classic tale Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as well as two additional stories about the Reindeer Games.
Santa Mouse by Michael Brown, illus. by Elfrieda De Witt
This is actually a revised edition of a picture book originally published in the 1960’s in which a kindhearted mouse becomes Santa’s littlest helper.
Santa’s Puppy by Catherine Hapka
In this chapter book, an eight-year-old boy finds Santa’s puppy, Peppermint Bark, wedged inside the family’s chimney on Christmas morning. Will they be able to work together and help the pup make his way home? This should be a fun holiday read.
Santa’s Story by Will Hillenbrand
After remembering their annual tradition of story time on the night before Christmas, Santa and his reindeer are finally ready to go. This is just one of many great books by local author/illustrator Will Hillenbrand.
Sharing Christmas by Kate Westerlund, illus. by Eve Tharlet
The animals of the forest share what food they have during their Christmas celebration.
There’s an Elf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher, illus. by Greg Abbott
This interactive picture book invites the reader to take the Nice List Test so that Santa can bring presents. But be careful … Elf has a few naughty tricks!
Vegetables in Holiday Underwear by Jared Chapman
This is a silly holiday title that is sure to delight preschoolers. There are undies for all the fun holiday activities!
A Very Fiona Christmas by Richard Cowdrey
Fiona the Hippo, who was born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2017, romps through the zoo while searching for the true meaning of the holiday. The book sparkles with holiday spirit!
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.”