Bring in the holiday season with these books about Christmas memories and adventures, Hanukkah, and the miracle on Christmas Eve.

“The Magical Christmas Horse” by Mary Higgins Clark, Illustrated by Wendell Minor, 2011, Simon and Schuster, ages 5 and up.

A heart home is the home where your heart longs to live. For eight-year-old Johnny, his heart home is at his grandparents’ farm in Connecticut. Johnny remembers a beautiful wooden horse, which he would ride throughout the farm house, and he longs to share this horse with his younger brother, Liam. A Christmas trip to the farm gives Johnny this chance, although the horse needs some tender loving care first. Adult readers may recognize the author, Mary Higgins Clark, for her numerous bestselling novels.

“A Bad Kitty Christmas” by Nick Bruel, 2011, Roaring Brook Press, ages 4 and up.

Readers may know and love Bad Kitty from her other adventures, “Bad Kitty Cat-Nipped”, “Bad Kitty Gets a Bath”, and “Bad Kitty for President”, just to name a few. In this story, a greedy Bad Kitty is disappointed in her Christmas gifts, so she takes off on a crazy Christmas alphabet adventure across the city. Bad Kitty eventually realizes Christmas is not about gifts, but about appreciating friends and family.

“The Hanukkah Hop!” by Erica Silverman, Illustrated by Steven D’Amico, 2011, Simon and Schuster, ages 3-6.

This lively rhyming story describes one family’s preparation for Hanukkah. Jewish traditions are shared along with information about their importance. A simple glossary provides readers with definitions for words such as menorah, dreidel, and zayde (grandpa).

“One Starry Night” by Lauren Thompson, Illustrated by Jonathan Bean, 2011, Simon and Schuster, ages 1-6.

Unadorned words and illustrations tell the story of a baby born in a manger on a starry night. A dove and her doveling, and various other mother and child animal pairs, come to see the miracle of this new little family.

Make reading a part of your family’s holiday tradition.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler

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