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Just in Time for the Holiday Season

by Michele December 17th, 2009 Children's
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snowy mountainsLooking for a book to share with your children during the holiday season?  Whether you are seeking a Hanukkah story, Christmas book, or even something about the winter solstice, we have some suggestions.  Our list of recommended reads is for children of all ages.  Peruse, and find one that suits your family best!

The Amazing Menorah of Mazeltown by Hal Dresner & Joy Fate

Mazeltown, in the Cry-Me-a-River valley, is a dreary village on the dark, cold days leading up to Hanukkah.  But everything changes when Molly and Max stumble upon an old and grimy menorah in their father’s junkshop.  After a quick polish Mazeltown starts to experience some strange goings on.  Night by night, the magic of the menorah is brightening the streets, whitening the sheets, lofting the bagels, making the river glow with life and lighting up everyone’s heart.

A Christmas Bear for Me by Jennifer Dewing

This is a beautiful, heart-warming, personalized story about a child’s Christmas wish for a special Teddy Bear friend. Each copy of the book comes with an adorable plush Gund® bear with the child’s name on the tag and a personalized letter to the child from Santa.  Written by Jennifer Dewing and illustrated by the nationally renowned artist Wilson Ong, A Christmas Bear for Me follows the child’s journey from longing and wishing to the magic of Christmas morning, when the child finds his or her special bear along with a personalized note from Santa under the tree.

A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas by Ralph Covert & G. Riley Mills

This is no ordinary Nutcracker! This time, it’s Fritz’s story. The traditional Nutcracker tale gets turned on its head in this rollicking Christmas adventure, based on the hit musical A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas by the popular family music rock star Ralph Covert and playwright G. Riley Mills. Includes a bonus CD of songs from the musical, featuring a read-aloud track with the music and story woven together.

Tinycandy’s Gift by Susan Estes

This book is a Christmas story of an elf named Tinycandy who is a little different from the other elves because he walks with a cane. Tinycandy is desperate to find his special “gift” in order to contribute to Christmas in Santa’s workshop and become accepted by the other elves. Tinycandy soon discovers that his gift is making special candies shaped like hooks that make Christmas a little sweeter for everyone. Impressed by Tinycandy’s new talent, Santa christens the special treats “Candy Canes.” Estes creates a unique history of how the candy cane got its name and weaves in a classic tale that conveys to children one of the pivotal rules of life.

William and the Christmas Moon by Laura Robinson

William stays up late to watch for Santa Claus.  While staring into the landscape he takes a visual journey through the moonlit surrounds where he and his grandfather spend their days exploring.  He then falls asleep, dreaming of a flight in his own grandfather’s sleigh, where “wrapped in sheets of soft moonlight, William glimpsed his gifts that night.”  William’s description of these gifts – his newfound appreciation of the moonlight and their time spent in the stark winter landscapes –in turn become his grandfather’s most treasured Christmas gift.  This book is a shadow-casting bedtime story, which transforms a child’s bedroom into a magical shadow theater. A special flashlight illuminates the text for the reader, while projecting large shadows of the intricate laser-cut illustrations onto the wall.

The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson

This book tells about the origins of winter holidays and celebrations all over the world, with an emphasis on Christmas. It ends with a beautiful Cherokee legend about the origin of the evergreen. It received  the Children’s Choice Selection award, given by the International Reading Association. It is a definite child favorite, as books are chosen for this award through children’s voting.

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