This blog is here for you to find fun learning activities to do with your children. We share great ideas we find and love on the Internet, as well as ideas we come up with on our own! We also like to share resources we find helpful.

To find ideas for your child, click on the age range blog label or on the theme/topic you are looking for (on the left side of the page). In each post, we try to list optimal age ranges for the activity, but you must judge for yourself if it is appropriate for your child. When you try an activity out, please comment and let us (and everyone else) know how your child liked it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Books and Recommendations

Here's my list of Christmas or Hanukkah books that are in my collection. As I find more, I'll add them to the list. Feel free to let me know some great books and I'll add your suggestions, too! Our tradition is to buy a new Christmas book for our collection each year. We spend the last part of Christmas Eve reading them.
I included pictures this time around. If you are like me, you may not remember a title of a book but may remember the cover. This way if you happen upon one of these books, you may know if you are interested in it without even flipping through it (which can be time consuming when little ones are with you).
Another recommendation is to check to see if your local library is online. Our library will let you reserve books online and pick them up at a drive-up window.
Lastly, I included the link to buy these books at either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com. Some of the books are as cheap as $.01. Yes...a penny. I'm not kidding! Enjoy!
**: A favorite!

The Animals' Christmas Eve by Gale Wiersum---The birth of Jesus told by the animals in the stable. A counting and rhyming book.

Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson-- Bear's friends wake him from hibernation to celebrate Christmas together. A rhyming and repetition book.

Counting to Christmas by Nancy Tafuri---A little girl recounts all the things she does, day by day, to get ready for Christmas. A counting book. A favorite when my daughter was 18 months.

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg---A little girl learns about the meaning of the candy cane and how it represents Jesus.

How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky---A humorous story about all the jobs Santa had before becoming a deliverer of toys. Great for older kids that don't believe in Santa or understand a play on words.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated byJan Brett--- The classic!

Light the Lights by Margaret Moorman--A story about families that celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.

**The Littlest Christmas Tree by Janie Jasin---A story about a tree that wants to grow tall enough to become a Christmas tree. So sweet!
**You Are My Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love--A rhyming book about the relationship between a parent and child. I bought this as a Christmas gift for my husband and daughter one year. A great gift book! (And it might make you cry, too).
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff--from the author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and other circle stories. Lots of fun!
**Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh---After hearing a familiar Christmas carol, Olive the dog thinks she is really a reindeer and heads off to the North Pole to join Santa.

Punchinello and the Most Marvelous Gift by Max Lucado---Punichello and the other Wemmicks all try to come up with a gift to give Eli on Maker's Day. A board book about giving.

**Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell--- A kind ox welcomes many animals into the stable. All the animals welcome Mary and Joseph and finally baby Jesus into the warmth of the stable. Lots of repetition for toddlers and preschoolers to help with. Very appropriate for small children through early elementary school age.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May---No need for explanation. :)

A Visit from St. Nicholas and Santa Mouse, Too by Clement C. Mouse--A version of The Night Before Christmas with Santa Mouse included in the illustrations.

**Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate--A rhyming board book. The animals are cleaning in preparation for baby Jesus. My toddler loved this book. A favorite at our house!

Where is Baby's Christmas Present? by Karen Katz-- A lift the flap book. My 10 month old loves these books. She has a series of flap books.

*******Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner--Probably my favorite of all my Christmas books. I love the illustrations. It's a story about how snowmen celebrate Christmas. LOVE this book.
One Yellow Daffodil by David A. Adler--Emotional Hanukkah story about a Holocaust survivor invited to celebrate the holiday with a family he barely knows. For older children.

On Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon and The
Runaway Bunny)

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg---No synopsis necessary, I'm sure. :)
'Twas the Day After Christmas by Mavis Smith--A lift the flap book about a mouse the day after Christmas.

If you have any other great books in this category, let me know and I'll post a picture and synopsis! I'm always on the look-out for a great book. :)


Kristy Shreve Powers said...

Thanks for this. I'm looking for lots of ways to teach my son about the giving and blessing aspects of Christmas, to counteract all the emphasis on getting toys. Of course we love to give to him and for him to receive things from loved ones, but it is so over-emphasized at Christmas. I never want him to get the feeling he "deserves" lots of toys. They are blessings and privileges, not things that are owed to him. Wow, time to get off my soapbox! I'm excited to discover new Christmas books from your list.

Stephanie Rawlins said...

I loved the books you recommended for Thanksgiving! Looking forward to checking some of these out at the library!

Ben & Jenny said...

I enjoy seeing your book recommendations. Thanks for doing it early enough that we could get a few in time to read before Xmas.
We just found this one: The Twelve Days of Christmas in MN. They have several states. Look under The Twelve Days of Christmas, state by state. If I need a short read, we just do the song part ("on the first day of xmas..."). There are also letters (as in communication letters, not alphabet)to make the story longer. Kinda fun to be state-specific.


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