Family traditions~ they are what make the holiday season special, what bring us together to share love, laughter, and joy, to gather around the table for a delicious meal and conversation, and to fall asleep with dreams of Christmas morning cheer and prancing sugar plum fairies dancing in our minds ~ all while snuggling beneath piles of red velvet quilts, glowing with the warmth of feeling loved. Some of my own family holiday traditions~ the Christmas cookie decorating, icing the frolicking reindeer and big Santa bellies with sugar crystals and smooth, creamy frosting – decking the Christmas tree with glittering, glass ornaments and gold trinkets, creating a *white* Christmas with our own glistening form of snow – staying up late and dressing up in our best attire for midnight mass, where we sing Christmas carols with open hearts and bursting lungs – making gift giving and unwrapping last the entire Christmas day, saving Santa’s stockings for nighttime opening by a crackling fire, dressed in pjs and sipping hot tea or cocoa.
The holiday season is the time for family and friends ~ a reminder to be grateful for the precious time we have together, and to cherish each other’s company. *Plus~ holiday season means Winter Break, which means plenty of free time to delve into the world of reading~*
As much as I *love* Christmas, I was a bit underwhelmed when perusing my own holiday children’s book collection. A few treasured classics *think The Night Before Christmas and The Polar Express* caught my eye, but the meager pile could not match my excitement for the holiday season. While my mind flitted to making lists of holiday book must-haves, the pile growing magically in my mind’s eye with a whirl of green and red sparkles, I reluctantly acknowledged that purchasing a whole new *shelf* of holiday books was not in my budget. Maybe a couple of special ones could bet bought each Christmas, but building any book collection is a slow and steady process! It requires a mix of older classics and childhood favorites, books from Christmas’ past and books newly released this holiday season.
So as I carefully choose my two holiday favorites to add to my own personal collection, in the meantime, how can I tide myself over with festive-children’s-books-cheer? *Did you guess it??* With my Local Library of course ~ my very own local Santa’s workshop of books ~ for all the little ones to enter the world of reading and fall in love with the pages they discover. *Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a brand new book~ about you!~*
Check out the Book List below to see some *holiday* themed local library finds to look out for at your own library!
MaiStoryBook’s Local Library Finds ~ Holiday Edition
- The Snowchild by Debi Gliori
- Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Christian Robinson
- Waiting for Santa by Steve Metzger, Illustrated by Alison Edgson
- Twas the Fright Before Christmas by Judy Sierra, Illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
- Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert by Marla Frazee
- Carlos, Light the Farolito by Jean Ciavonne, Illustrated by Donna Clair
- Three French Hens by Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Richard Egielski
- Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano, Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
- The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, Illustrated by Cheryl Harness
*~Take a sneak-peak inside these library gems~*
- The Snowchild
- A sweet winter story sure to get your toes twitching and nose wrinkling for the kiss of frosty snow. Katie loves to play- but her games are always bit off from what the other children are playing. Discouraged from having to always play alone, one day, Katie builds a snowchild~ her very own friend! And with the magic of winter snowfall, this dear snowchild may just bring a long a *real* friend this season for Katie.
- Little Penguins
- In this super-sweet, super-simple story, 4 little penguins venture out into the snow. With playful illustrations, short text, and adorable penguins, little ones will love learning about snow adventures. Dreams of land covered in snow, and of being bundled up with mittens and scarves are sure to float in your little one’s minds after reading this cute book!
- Waiting for Santa
- Perfect for any *non-believers*, this animal friendly Christmas story will get you and your little one prepping for Santa’s special visit! Bear tells his friends they have to get ready for Santa! Disgruntled Badger insists Santa won’t be coming, but Bear reminds his friends that the magic of Santa is that you need to believe! After all of their preparation, will Santa show up after all?
- Twas the Fright before Christmas
- For all the Halloween lovers ~ prepare to combine your two favorite holidays with this hilarious spin on the Night Before Christmas ~ Halloween edition! *On the night before Christmas in an old haunted house…not a creature was stirring, until…. Aroo-rooo!!!* Find out what happens on Christmas Eve in this haunted house of rollicking fun and spooky characters!
- Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert
- How does Santa know *exactly* what toy to give each child? How does he know the *perfect* gift that will make Christmas Day the most *wonderful day of the year?* Well, in case you didn’t already guess it, Santa is the Number One toy expert in the world! And what is necessary to become a toy expert?? Hours and days, 364 days to be exact, of researching toys, taking notes, testing toys, and compiling data~ until finally, it’s the day before Christmas Eve once more, and Santa has his finalized gift list completed just in time!
- Carlos, Light the Farolito
- A beautifully illustrated story introducing a Christmas custom practiced by families in and from Mexico ~ Las Posadas. Las Posadas is a traditional reenactment of the Nativity scene. In this tale, Carlos must step up and take his Grandfather’s role of being the Innkeeper during this year’s Las Posadas. As the procession in the streets draws nearer and nearer to his home, Carlos must overcome his shyness and fear to welcome the joyful celebration into his home.
- Three French Hens
- A twist on the classic *12 Days of Christmas* ~ when the mademoiselle sends her true love three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree, what happens when the three French hens…never arrive?? Instead of being delivered to the *true love* in Paris, the three French Hens end up at Phil *Fox’s* house in the Bronx. Phil the Fox, after going without a decent meal in weeks, can’t believe his luck when these three hens appear on his doorstep. But, with a little Christmas magic, these Three French Hens just may be able to bring some true Christmas spirit to Phil Fox’s home this holiday season!
- Miracle on 133rd Street
- Prepare to be enchanted by the most colorful, vibrant illustrations to be seen this Christmas! In this holiday treat of a book, an urban families Christmas dinner dilemma becomes a community celebration and a holiday miracle! On Christmas Eve, when Mama discovers that the roast cannot fit into the over~ Jose and Papa walk the streets, knocking on neighbors doors to find someone with a large enough oven willing to help. However, no one seems to be in the holiday spirit, until the delectable scent of Mami’s cooking begins to draw the neighbors from their houses ~ bringing everyone together for a holiday feast.
- The Night Before Christmas
- No Christmas story collection is complete without this classic. The perfect bedtime story for Christmas Eve, little ones will be racing to shut their eyes and fall asleep in anticipation of Christmas morning and the surprises it will bring! Either that, or they will sneakily yawn and hide under blankets, eyes wide awake as they strain their ears for the jingling sleigh bells and reindeer hooves on the roof.
*~I hope you enjoyed these special holiday treasures I found! Please comment below and share your own Local Library Holiday Finds! I’m always looking for new treasures to read!~*
*~Shoutout to my local Library: Oceanside Civic Center Public Library~*
*Plus, checkout out a read aloud of one of my current holiday favorites here. *
*~Until Next Time, Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
*~ Happy Reading~*