Holiday and Winter Favorites

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The holidays are a great time for sharing books with children.  Whether it’s during a morning off from school or post-dinner drowsiness, reading together can be an easy and relaxing part of a busy month. Build new traditions with any of these fun winter reads:

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

A little boy builds the perfect snowman, but notices it has looks pretty ragged (melted) the next day. He reasons his snowman must have been out all night playing with his snowman pals: ice skating, racing, drinking cocoa.  Lively illustrations depicting hordes of snow-people at play accompany Buehner’s rambunctious, rhyming story in this irresistibly fun book.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

When Herschel arrives in an isolated village just in time for Hanukkah, he learns goblins have kept the people from celebrating their cherished holiday. To break their spell, Herschel must outwit a succession of increasingly sinister goblins over the next nine nights.  Trina Schart Hyman’s ghoulish illustrations won the Caldecott Medal and are the perfect medium for Kimmel’s scary yet funny tale.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

Our narrator looks back on the year the worst kids in town overran the Christmas pageant. The Herdman children cover each other in bruises, set fire to toolsheds, and keep a pet bobcat.  When they elbow their way into the most important show of the year, the entire town attends out of morbid curiosity.  Instead of a disaster, the Herdmans may be just what the pageant needed, and vice versa.  Full of wry humor and nostalgia, the book is reminiscent of A Christmas Story, with six Farkuses.

Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Shelf Medearis

The principles of Kwanzaa are woven into Medearis’ story of seven brothers who learn to work together after their father dies.  Full of positive messages like supporting loved ones, working together, and giving back to your community, this remarkable book also features gorgeous linocut illustrations by Daniel Minter, a glossary of Kwanzaa terms, and instructions on weaving Kente cloth.

The best Christmas pageant ever

The six mean Herdman kids lie, steal, smoke cigars (even the girls) and then become involved in the community Christmas pageant.

Seven spools of thread: A Kwanzaa story

When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa.