Looking for holiday gift ideas for the kids? Think about something to read together

Every year, I new collect Christmas, Hanukkah and winter children’s book to share with readers. Here are some titles to add to your holiday reading collections:

Religious Christmas

“Certain Poor Shepherds: A Christmas Tale,” by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and illustrated by Jonathan Bartlett. Ever wonder what the animals in the manger thought of the birth? Now you can read a story from their point of view. (Candlewick Press, $15.99)


“Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein,” by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer. All young Rachel Rosenstein wants for Hanukkah is Christmas. So, she writes a letter to Santa. (Double Day Books for Young Readers, $17.99)

Classic reprints

“The Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg. It’s the 30th anniversary of this book about a mysterious train that takes a young boy on a journey he won’t forget. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $19.99)

“The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey,” by Susan Wojciechowski. This 20th anniversary edition tells the story of a woodcarver who is gloomy after the loss of his wife and child. Along comes a widow and her son to cheer him up. (Candlewick Press, $17.99)


“Too Many Toys!” by Heidi Deedman. You probably have screamed this in your house. Lulu has too many toys, so she throws a party for her toys and her friends and gives her toys away — except one special one. (Candlewick Press, $15.99)

“The Best Parts of Christmas,” by Bethanie Deeney Murguia. Young Fritz knows that Christmas magic happens around the tree, so he figures out a way to keep it all year. ($14.99, Candlewick Press)

“Peekaboo Presents: A Lift-the-Flap Book,” by Night & Day Studios. This board book comes with an app so young tots can continue to find the surprises under the flap. ($7.99, Candlewick Press)

“Merry Christmas, Squirrels!” by Nancy Rose. This photo-illustrated book shows how squirrels get ready for Christmas. ($17, Megan Tingley Books)

“Jingle! Jingle!,” by Sebastien Braun. Lift the flaps to see what’s behind Santa’s sleigh, a polar bear, a Christmas tree, and yes, Door No. 1. ($8.99, Nosy Crow)

Hispanic-themed Christmas

“Rudolfo Anaya’s The Farolitos of Christmas,” by Rudolfo Anaya. Storyteller Anaya recalls the Christmas traditions of New Mexico that have both Hispanic and Native American traditions. ($24.95, Museum of New Mexico Press)

“Miracle on 133rd Street,” by Sonia Manzano. Known as Maria from “Sesame Street,” Manzano tells the story of a neighborhood not in the Christmas spirit until they smell the roast of one family wafting through the streets. ($17.99, Atheneum Books for Young Readers)


“How the Sun Got to Coco’s House,” by Bob Graham. Follow the sun from where it starts with the polar bears to when it arrives at Coco’s house in the city. ($17.99, Candlewick Press)

“The Little Plow,” by Lora Koehler. We don’t have so many snow plows here, but young kids who love their machines on wheels will love this story. ($15.99, Candlewick Press)

“Toys Meet Snow,” by Emily Jenkins. The toys are brave and go out into the snow for an adventure. ($17.99, Schwartz & Wade Books)

“Jingle Bells,” by Jim Lord Pierpont. Hide this one if you don’t want to hear the song “Jingle Bells” played over and over again, but your kids will love this illustrated book of the song. ($12.99, Candlewick Press)

There’s also the much more magical paper cut-out edition, that doesn’t play the song. Warning: The cut-outs could be destroyed in one reading by young hands. ($14.99, Candlewick Press)

“Goodnight Songs: A Celebration of the Seasons,” by Margarite Wise Brown. Brown’s poetry is illustrated as well as sung in the 12-song CD that comes with the book. ($17.95, Sterling Children’s Books)

Emma Dodd’s “Happy” and “Wish.”Follow the stories of a wolf parent and a penguin parent as they share their wishes for their children and what makes them happy. ($12.99 each, Nosy Crow)

“Winter’s Child,” by Angela McAllister. Something magical happens when a long winter sets in. ($16.99, Templar books)


“Can We Help?: Kids Volunteering to Help their Communities,”by George Ancona. Inspire your children in this season of caring with photographs of other children volunteering. ($16.99, Candlewick Press)

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s