Staff Picks: Holiday Reads for Kids
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson; illustrated by Jane Chapman
In this playful and sweet picture book, a variety of woodland animals gather to help their friend Bear stay awake on Christmas instead of missing it as he usually does due to hibernation. Demonstrating the value of teamwork, each animal has a job to do to prepare for the celebration. I especially love how the book highlights the importance of inclusion and togetherness, as the characters make sure everyone gets to celebrate the holiday.
– Melissa, Warrenton
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski; illustrated by P.J. Lynch.
This is one of my favorites to share with the whole family. A very sad and grumpy woodcarver, Jonathan Toomey, is transformed by a young boy, his widowed mother and the miracle of Christmas. Thanks to the rich illustrations you can almost smell the freshly baked molasses cookies, so you might want to have those already baked!
– Nancy, Warrenton
Little Robin’s Christmas by Jan Fearnley
Although a Christmas favorite, the message of this book is perfect for any season. Little Robin is prepared for the cold nights of winter, with his seven vests, but as he ventures out each day he gives them away, one by one, to shivering animals in need. With his last vest gone, Little Robin huddles on a snowy roof as night falls. While there, he is scooped up by a special person, taken in a sleigh to a warm house, and rewarded for his kindness. While children may receive many gifts at this time of the year, Little Robin quietly shows that giving can bring more joy than receiving. A timeless message for all of us.
– Deborah, John Marshall
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Tohy; illustrated by Jarvis
In this picture book, a family selects a pine tree from a tree lot and goes about the task of turning it into their beautiful Christmas tree. I love the book’s rhyme scheme and the illustrations that remind me of the Little Golden Books I read as a child. The double-page spread showing the fully decorated tree at the end is a particular favorite.
– Jennifer, Warrenton
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner; illustrated by Mark Buehner
This wonderfully illustrated book brings to life a boy’s imagination of how snowmen celebrate Christmas while people are asleep in their beds. Its rhyming narrative and pictures of snowmen celebrations will forever change how your children think about snowmen. It may even convince your children to join you outside to build their own snowmen this winter.
– Christina, Warrenton
The Tree That’s Meant To Be by Yuval Zommer
This sweet book shares the inspiring story of a fir tree that does not grow big and tall like the others and is not chosen by any families looking for a “perfect” Christmas Tree. Ultimately, the fir tree finds its purpose within the forest and becomes the tree it’s meant to be. The message of embracing who you are resonates with me. The gorgeous illustrations celebrate nature; the final illustration of the book is my favorite.
– Julia, Bealeton
Tune in to Holiday Book Showcase for additional suggestions of great books to read in December.