12 Books That Will Get Your Kids (Even More) Excited for the Holidays
The Little Reindeer
The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen
The story is as adorable as the black, white, and red illustrations: A little girl in reindeer jammies hears bells “jingle, jingle, jingle” on Christmas Eve, and follows the sound to take a magical journey. Expect it to be a bedtime favorite!
The 12 Sleighs of Christmas
The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Jake Parker
Kids who are obsessed anything on wheels will especially enjoy this rhyming tale about teams of elves who design new sleighs to replace Santa’s broken one. Some of our favorite lines from the elves who build a “Dragster” sleigh: “How’s this for high-speed Christmas cheer? The reindeer thing is so last year. Just pop this baby into gear.”
Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Teagan White
If ice skating is on your list of holiday activities, read this sweet story about a field mouse who knitted her friends hats so they’d be warm enough to play (and skate) outside.
Merry Christmas from The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Merry Christmas from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The perfect size for a child’s stocking, this book expresses important holiday lessons, like “We give gifts with love, and receive them with joy.” Kids will like searching for the caterpillar in the illustrations.
Christmas At the Zoo
Christmas At the Zoo: 10th Anniversary Edition by George White, illustrated by Jason O’Malley and engineered by Bruce Foster
This pop-up book is a clever twist on ’Twas The Night Before Christmas. “Bright stockings were hung in igloos with care. And polar bears were getting ready for Santa to be there,” writes White.
The 12 Days of Christmas
The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli
Pizzoli’s illustrations depicting this famous Christmas carol will have your whole family roaring with laughter. After you compose yourself, use the illustrations in the last half of the book to practice counting with your child.
Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas
Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
In this sweet story of a multi-cultural family (Mom is Indian, Dad is Jewish) who celebrates Hanukkah with dosas instead of latkes, your kids will feel like they went on a culinary adventure. Plus, there’s an important message about the older bro-younger sib relationship.
When the Snow Falls
Seven Spools of Thread
Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Shelf Medearis, illustrated by Daniel Minter
When their father dies, seven brothers must put aside their disagreements and band together to accomplish the near-impossible. The story uses the seven principals of Kwanzaa to show how family members are stronger when they work together.
The Shortest Day
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis
Based on Newberry Medalist Susan Cooper's poem, The Shortest Day depicts the enchanting rituals northern Europeans once used to celebrate and observe the winter solstice.
Bringing In the New Year
Bringing In the New Year by Grace Lin
Written and illustrated by Newbery Honoree Grace Lin, this vibrant picture book observes a Chinese American family as they clean, decorate and cook for the Lunar New Year. It all culminates with a spectacular show of lanterns, fireworks and a dragon parade.
Latke, the Lucky Dog
Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer, illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
This sweet holiday story takes on the perspective of a puppy who comes home with his new family on the first night of Hanukkah. Latke, named for his potato pancake coloring, experiences a learning curve as he learns which food and presents are (and aren't!) for him.