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This time of year brings with it the winter holidays. No matter what you and your family celebrate, we wish you a warm, happy, healthy, and peaceful one. Below are a couple books from our collection here at LBPH that discuss various traditions at this time of year. No matter your age, the poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” is usually a welcome classic. The version listed below is a Pennsylvania Dutch re-telling that includes Belsnickel! In addition, many researchers think Stonehenge, on the Salisbury Plain in England, was used for ancient Winter Solstice celebrations. Learn more about that in Marc Anderson’s book listed below.

Take a moment to enjoy whatever traditions you observe this time of year. Enjoy some books from our collection while you curl up with a mug of something warm.

Drawing of Belsnickle, an old man with a bushy beard in a hooded cloak, holding small switches, with sticks on his hood that look like horns

Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas

By Chet Williamson


An adaptation of the famous poem about a Christmas Eve visitor, set in the Pennsylvania Dutch country.  Belsnickel, a thin, cantankerous old man rewards good children and punishes the bad.  Includes a pie recipe plus information about Belsnickel and the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.  For grades K-3.  2000.

Stonehenge in winter, snow on the ground, the stones standing tall, with large lintel stones over the tops

If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge

By Marc Anderson


Traces the history of archaeological excavation at 4,500-year-old Stonehenge in England. Discusses a Madagascar scientist’s belief that the circle of stones was a memorial to the dead, rather than a temple, and British archaeologists’ subsequent work to substantiate that opinion. For grades 5-8.    2010.



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