When the weather outside is frightful and the holidays get a bit stressful, take a break and read a picture book together. Yes, a picture book–just the right size package to enjoy each other’s company and cherish this wonderful time of year together as a family!
There are many holiday books available at the , and libraries, but here are a few suggestions of picture books for people of all ages to enjoy, with stories and illustrations you won’t want to miss. Enjoy!
Home for Christmas by Jan Brett: This story is based on Jan Brett’s travels in Sweden where she met a moose family which she adds to the story of a naughty, run-away troll named Rollo.
“No, no, no!” more chores for Rollo, until he realizes just how much he misses his family and wants to be home for Christmas. This is an elegantly illustrated book full of Swedish landscapes and Brett’s signature borders.
A Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruel: Kitty is up to her childish antics again!
“Oh Kitty! Bad Kitty! I’m filled with distress! You’ve ruined out Christmas! Just look at this mess!” But even Kitty learns the true meaning of Christmas when she gets lost and meets a new friend on Christmas Eve.
The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel: This book is written by children’s historian David Rubel in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity and illustrated by Jim LaMarche. It celebrates the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and explains how this American tradition started during the Depression.
See how the circle of giving continues in this touching story with lush, often full-page illustrations. This story reminds us that, “the best presents are the ones you don’t expect!"
Can You See What I See? Toyland Express by Walter Wick: Who can resist Walter Wick’s I Spy books? His new Toyland Express takes you on a trip from the Toy Maker’s Workshop, to the paint room and store window, and then onto repairs and Toyland. See if you can find some of the old fashion toys mom and dad played with alongside the new ones you enjoy today.
Strega Nona’s Gift by Tomie DePaola: Celebrate the holidays with Strega Nona!
“Starring two of Tomie DePaola’s best loved characters, this funny story features beautiful art, introduces young readers to Italian holiday traditions and lands Big Anthony in yet another silly predicament that will delight fans young and old.”
The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Higgins Clark: Family traditions are highlighted in this loving story illustrated with Wendell Minor’s captivating paintings of Christmas in New England. Mr. Minor’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Library of Congress.
Ah, the smell of cookies baking, snow covered trees, family gathered together, and surprises on Christmas morning. Let’s hold onto the spirit of Christmas all year long!
Good Ole Favorites
Stars!, Stars!, Stars! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace: Now that it gets dark so early, it’s a great time to meander outside and look up at the stars. continues to explore nature with information that is accessible to young readers.
Enjoy her signature cut-paper illustrations and photographs from NASA. Recipes for star-shaped food and an activity page are included.
The True Gift: a Christmas Story by Patricia MacLachlan: This is the one chapter book that made our list. Author Patricia MacLachlan delivers the best kind of gift to her readers: a heartwarming holiday story that can be shared in one sitting.
While visiting their grandparents’ farm during the holiday season, siblings Liam and Lily learn the true meaning of gift giving while helping out a lonely and forlorn white cow.
Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner: What do snowmen do at night once you are fast asleep? According to the author and illustrator team of Carolyn and Mark Buehner, snowmen are surprisingly active!
Fans of Frosty will enjoy this delightful picture book. Gather around with a glass of frozen hot chocolate and enjoy a story that is always a crowd favorite in our libraries.
The Trees of the Dancing Goat by Patricia Polacco: Patricia Polacco bases this story on a childhood memory. This charming story celebrates the miracle of true friendship.
During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors by decorating a tree for them and making their own Hanukkah miracle.
The Mitten by Jan Brett: It’s that time of year again to pull out winter scarves, hats and mittens. Jan Brett’s story is set in a snowy forest, where the fun begins when, one by one, animals crawl into Nicki's lost mitten to get warm until the bear sneezes, sending the animals flying up and out of the mitten.
On each turn of the page, Jan Brett hints at what animal is coming next in her signature borders, inspired by Ukrainian folk art.