Books about Christmas are favorites in December, but can also keep this season in our hearts and minds well beyond that special day.
“My Pen Pal, Santa” by Melissa Stanton, Illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell, 2013, Random House, ages 4-7.
An after-Christmas thank you note to Santa begins this year-long exchange of letters between Ava and Santa. Whimsical illustrations show the pen pals’ reactions to various holidays and events as time passes through the months and seasons of the year.
“Frosty the Snowman” by Steve Nelson & Jack Rollins, Illustrated by Sam Williams, 2013, Scholastic, ages 4-7.
Words from the beloved holiday song, first published in 1950, are matched with a glittery cover and colorful illustrations in this board book. Children, and those who read with them, will want to sing along.
“Bunnicula and Friends: The Fright Before Christmas” by James Howe, Illustrated by Jeff Mack, 2006, Atheneum Books, ages 6-8.
Howie the dog and Chester the cat are spooked by unusual noises on Christmas Eve, as they worry about the fat man in the red suit coming down the chimney. This easy chapter book takes readers through the animals’ search of the house as their emotions change from fear to relief. This book is part of the series of books by James Howe, featuring Bunnicula, the vampire bunny, and his furry friends.
“The True Gift” by Patricia MacLachlan, Illustrated by Brian Floca, 2009, Atheneum, 81 pages, ages 7-11.
Liam and Lily plan to pass the time during their yearly trip Grandpa and Gran’s farm for the Christmas holiday by reading from the stack of books they have collected. But the books go untouched as Liam decides that a lonely white cow needs a Christmas gift. Pencil sketches accompany this easy chapter book and add to the soft, touching tone of this rural Christmas story.
“The Christmas Wish” by Lori Evert, Photographs by Per Breiehagen, 2013, Random House, ages 5-8.
Beautiful color photographs provide the backdrop for this Nordic Christmas scene. Anja, in a bright red hat, sets off through the snow and woods in search of Santa Claus. A moose, a reindeer, a cardinal, and other creatures from the woods lead Anja to Santa, who gives her a magic bell so she can find him more easily in the future. The author and illustrator are a husband-and-wife team, and Anja is their daughter.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dobler
Image: Meggie Shearer