Deck the Halls with Holiday Books for Kids

Seira Wilson on December 01, 2017
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It's hard to believe, but the holidays are fast approaching...they've been approaching since the day after Halloween according to my local drugstore decor, but I've put on the blinders until now.   I always enjoy this time of year and the holiday-themed children's books are part of what I like. This year there is a bounty of great new titles for the season and below are ten that made it to the top of my list of favorites.  I think some, like The Nutcracker in Harlem and Red and Lulu, are destined to become new holiday classics...


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The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker

In this picture book by the author of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, Santa's elves discover that his sleigh is a total wreck. What to do?  A build off, of course.  Every kind of vehicle is imagined but it's the smallest elf who comes up with the winner. Wild, imaginative, and perfect for kids who love vehicles.  Ages 3-6

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Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg

This Hanukkah story brings traditions together in a family that has samosas instead of latkes for a fun multicultural celebration.  Everyone gets a chance to participate and even some typical sibling irritation can't stop the fun in this holiday tale that will resonate with many of today's families.  Ages 4-7

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The Nutcracker in Harlem by T. E. McMorrow

A jazz-infused take on the Nutcracker gives it new dimension in this beautiful picture book.  Set in New York during the Harlem Renaissance, a little girl finds her voice in music thanks to a very special toy.  A beautiful and welcome addition for holiday reading to be shared with many future generations.  Ages 4-8

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Ramadan (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot

A beautifully illustrated board book that shares the traditions of Ramadan and what the holiday is all about--doing good deeds, spending time with family, and being thankful.  Ages 2-4

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Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas by Russell Hoban

The book that led to Jim Henson's classic Christmas movie is now back in print. Written in 1971 and inspired by The Gift of the Magi, this holiday gem from the author of Bread and Jam for Frances will delight a new generation of readers. Ages 3-7

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Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares

Incredibly sweet and heart-warming, this beautiful picture book about Red and his mate, Lulu, who lose each other when their fir tree home is moved.  Red searches endlessly for Lulu, until the singing in Rockefeller Center brings them together again.  A miracle of the season about the power of love.  Ages 3-7

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The Itsy Bitsy Dreidel by Jeffrey Burton

A chunky little board book that puts a Hanukkah twist on The Itsy Bitsy Spider nursery rhyme. A fun pick for reading to little ones who are getting ready for the Festival of Lights, just like the dreidel in the story. Ages 2-4

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The Nutcracker Mice by Kristin Kladstrup

Older kids love the holidays as much as the young ones, and The Nutcracker Mice is a delight. In this story, the mice that live in Russia's famous Saint Petersburg theater are about to stage their first production of a new ballet--The Nutcracker.  But when they discover mice are villains in the story, these little dancers start to worry.  The theater custodian's daughter comes to their aid, and the show will go on in this charming tale of friendship. Ages 7-10

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A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman

Start on Kiritimati (also known as Christmas Island), the first location to welcome Christmas Day, then travel across the globe to see what local treats and traditions children around the world prepare on the night before Christmas.  Fun and interesting for kids, the book includes nine cookie recipes to make.  Ages 4-7

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A Christmas for Bear by Bonnie Becker
I love the Bear and Mouse books, and this holiday installment is every bit as sweet and funny as the others.  While Bear thinks Christmas is celebrated with pickles and poems, Mouse keeps looking for the presents.  In the end, each gives the other one special gift that goes perfectly with their perfectly matched friendship.  Ages 5-9


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