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Christmas Books to Read with Your Family

December 8, 2010

Thank you for the great response to our gift guide posts last week! If you want to download the entire list, you can find it here. While any of the books on that list will make wonderful gifts for the children or teens on your shopping lists, we know that many families love to read more specifically Christmas themed books together this time of year. Here is a fun list of recommended titles from all of us!


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

I know, every reader out there is already familiar with this Christmas classic, but to make a list of favorite holiday books and not include it would be silly. The Grinch is one of the great characters of children’s literature- silly, mean, and plotting, but ultimately redeemed. The vivid three color art and the hilarious rhyming text ends in a wonderful line that is important for all children who celebrate Christmas to remember, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” 

Duck & Goose, It’s Time for Christmas by Tad Hills

This is a great holiday book for toddlers and preschool age children. Duck and Goose are back, and this time they are supposed to be decorating a Christmas tree! Of course, Duck is doing all of the work while Goose is having fun skating and playing in the snow. Can they find a way to celebrate the holiday together? If you haven’t read your kids one of Tad Hills’ Duck & Goose books yet, check them all out. They are sweet and clever and available in hardcover and board book formats.

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree written and illustrated by Robert Barry 

This book is one of my favorites, because it’s all about SHARING – it’s the ultimate “pay it forward” lesson, so enjoyable that you won’t even know you’re learning that lesson.  Mr. Willowby brings home a magnificent tree to decorate for the holidays but it’s just a bit too tall. No problem, he has the butler trim the top off. But the wonder unfolds as we see that every tree needs a home as much as every home and family needs a holiday tree and as the tree top makes it way from home to home by way of adorable families of forest creatures. Not a needle of the lovely tree is wasted and every family has a happy holiday celebration.

Christmas with the Mousekins by Maggie Smith

Such a sweet book with a classic feel! It put me in mind of Arnold Lobel’s Mouse Tales, which was a favorite of mine as a kid. I love the detail and the fact that it contains activities and recipes, which makes it a great family read.

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

This is a beautiful book for a family to read aloud together or for older children. It was originally read at the White House Tree Lighting Ceremony in 2005 and it is a moving poem about peace and the goodness of people around the world. The family in the poem joins with their community to celebrate the holidays together, and the book shows parents and children of all races and religions coming together. The book comes with a CD of the poem read aloud by Angelou, which is a great added value.

Little Tree by e.e.cummings/illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray

A lovely poem about two children who see the beauty in a tiny, scraggly pine tree is pure Christmas magic. Available again in paperback, it’s a perfect gift for the whole family.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry and J. P. Miller

 A lovely ‘”scratch & sniff” with delightful holiday smells – gingerbread cookies, candy canes, hot chocolate, a pine tree and more!  Start your celebration by sharing this wonderful classic.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2010 8:16 am

    I have a friend who is expecting a baby in the next few weeks. I’ve already bought The Grinch, Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree and Twas the Night Before Christmas. I’ll have to look for these other ones too! 🙂

  2. December 8, 2010 2:44 pm

    Best of all time is the Saturday Evening Post Christmas Book, which is now (I think) out of print. HINT HINT!

  3. erin permalink
    December 8, 2010 3:16 pm

    Laurel, I’ll have to look that one up.

    And please, all, feel free to comment here with more Christmas favorites! I know we don’t publish The Polar Express but I still love that book so much, even after years and years of reading it.

  4. December 8, 2010 6:02 pm

    Those are lovely lovely choices…there is nothing in this world like a Christmas picture book read aloud to a group of children.


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