05 December 2010

holiday books

Another Piece of Our Christmas Story: The Books

Each January I gather and carefully stow away the collection of holiday-themed books that have floated from room to room during the season. This prevents them from getting lost in the daily shuffle of our lives, but, better still, creates a deal of excitement when they are again pulled from storage each following December. This week, I opened that box.

The little holiday library grows each year, both with books gifted by family and friends and books carefully selected by me, as well as with those picked up on a whim here or there. I think we have about fifteen, both paperback and hard cover versions. This year I took a bit of extra time to consider reviews and recommendations before deciding on these four to add:

The Christmas Magic
By Lauren Thompson
Illustrated by John Muth

This is the Stable
By Cynthia Cotten
Illustrated by Delana Bettoli

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr. Seuss

Great Joy
By Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Not including the classic Seuss tale which I added without consultation, each of the other three receive good reviews by School Library Journal and/or Booklist.   I am so looking forward to this box of holiday goodness to arrive!

Some favorites in our collection include
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (Classic book & movie combo)
Santa Duck by Milgrim (Very, very funny)
The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola (Italian tale about the Epiphany)
The Cajun Night Before Christmas by "Trosclair"; Illustrated by James Rice (Read aloud only by me)
Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans 
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff  (Love these books)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert May; Illustrated by David Wenzel (Fab illustrations)
Night Tree by Eve Bunting (Winter solstice tale)
The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Scarry & Miller (A gift from an early Christmas that she loves)
The Night Before Christmas Pop Up by Moore; Illustrated by Robert Sabuda (Wow factor)


Does your family have favorite holiday books?


  1. The Santa Claus book by Alden Perkes is my absolute favorite Christmas book. A teacher of mine had a copy of it in elementary school and I was hooked. I bought my own copy and look at it every year.

    I loved your list of books! I'm going to have to bookmark it and get some of the titles for myself.

  2. oh, i LOVE This Is The Stable! one of my favorites. we bring out the holiday books (and nativity scene) on st. nicholas day--almost there!

    darn, i had no idea that kate dicamillo had out a holiday book. i've already bought our three christmas books for the year, but maybe i'll have to make an exception this year and get that one too!

    Do you know B is For Bethlehem by Isabel Wilner? That is also a great one. We also like Ezra Jack Keat's Little Drummer Boy. Not having the books in front of me I can't think of any others off the top of my head! This year St. Nicholas is bringing the kids Christmas Day in the Morning (Buck), The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree (Houston), and Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree (Barry).

  3. This is one of our all time favorite Christmas traditions too. Honestly, we have too many favorites - Olivia helps with Christmas, Santa's book of names, Fancy Nancy's Splendiferous Christmas (acquired last year) and a variety of gingerbread man tales. This year we're adding an English story, purchased from Amazon.uk. Unfortunately I don't remember the name. Hmmmm. Check my blog in the next few days (famous last words) I should have posted it by then.

    Oh, for Christmas gifts this year I started a Christmas Book tradition for my nieces, my nephew and a good friend's son. I started them with The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Jan Brett.

    Oh, we don't have the Polar Express yet. Next year? It always brings me to tears. It is a must have.

  4. We also like Christma magic! How was Stuttgart?

  5. Wow. Thanks for the tips. I look forward to looking up each of these books that you guys mentioned. These are great.

  6. Wish we had this tradition growing up. Our family has never been much of the "reading" kind, but we have our favorite holiday movies that we like to sitdown and watch throughout the season :)

  7. Yes since my daughters were tiny we have always had this tradition of a selection of seasonal books stashed away with all the other Christmas things.

  8. Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

    - Daniel