New Holiday Books to Share with Children
Have you caught a case of Grinch-o-coccus? Are you beginning to hate Christmas and Hanukkah, all the endless gift buying, the stifling overheated stores, the overcrowded malls, the fake Santas, the suffocating smell of artificial pine from an aerosol can?
Would you like to rejuvenate your holiday spirit and rediscover the true nature of giving? One simple suggestion: share a bookand yourselfwith a child.
There are many children who do not have a loving adult to read to them. Think about volunteering this holiday season at your local children's hospital, Head Start center, library, or family homeless shelterand bring a great book to read aloud to the children. Donate a new children's book to your local and/or national toy drive. And, if you are a grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, or friend bring a book with you to holiday parties and family gatherings to read aloud to the children present and start a new tradition of sharing stories. For children, the gift of your time and interest is more valuable than anything money can buy.
Here are some new holiday books to share with kids of all ages.
For Very Young Children:
Santa Claus is Coming to Town by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
Kellogg's energetic illustrations echo the lively rhythm of the classic Christmas tune. The narrator, a singing bear, is a delight and kids will love the book's witty details.
Merry Christmas, Let's All Sing! written and illustrated by Grace Lin.
A set of three board books illustrating Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, and The Twelve Days of Christmas and an accompanying CD, great for entertaining kids in the car on the way to Grandma's.
Christmas Morning by Cheryl Ryan, illustrated by Jenny Mattheson
St. Nick arrives on Christmas Eve with the Nutcracker and the Rat King. A rhymed, repetitive text brings to mind "The House That Jack Built" and makes a wonderful read aloud for young children.
Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah written and illustrated by Susan L. Roth.
Inviting, whimsical collages illustrate this Hanukkah song of a mouse family celebrating the festival of lights.
My First Chinese New Year written and illustrated by Karen Katz.
Bright colored mixed media collages of a familial urban setting illustrate this exiting book celebrating Chinese New Year.
For Elementary School Age Kids:
A Christmas like Helen's by Natalie Kinsey-Warnick, illustrated by Mary Azarian.
A lyrical text and tinted woodcut illustrations tell the story of a warm Vermont Christmas in simpler times.
How Many Miles to Bethlehem? by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Peter Malone.
Luminous illustrations in the tradition of great European religious painting illuminate a poetic text retelling the story of Bethlehem from a wide variety of characters' perspectiveseven the donkey's!
The Story of Hanukkah by Norma Simon, illustrated by Leonid Gore.
This book offers a detailed factual account of the history and traditions of Hanukkah. Full page, lovely impressionistic-style illustrations complement the text.
Federico and the Magi's Gift: A Latin American Christmas Story written and illustrated by Beatriz Vidal.
Federico's family prepares for the twelfth day of Christmas and the arrival of the Three Wise Men. Magical gouache illustrations illuminate this warm family tale.
Christmas Presents: Holiday Poetry and Hanukkah Lights: Holiday Poetry,
both collections selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Melanie Hall.
Two selections of easy to read holiday poems for beginner readers.
For the Family:
The Christmas Alphabet: Deluxe Anniversary Edition written and illustrated by Robert Sabuda.
Artist and designer Robert Sabuda has created a magical pop-up book that will delight and amaze all.
A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, illustrated by Chris Raschka.
A new, vibrantly illustrated version of Thomas' classic memoir. The illustrations extend Thomas' characterization, ebbing, flowing, and moving beyond his fluid prosea wonderful book to read aloud on Christmas Eve.
© 2004 Mary Brigid Barrett