Reading: Best Books for the Holiday Season

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The holidays are here and with it comes many books to enjoy with your children. As a children’s picture book author, I am a sucker for great illustrations and, of course, a fun story. The following is a list of holiday books that include classic and new tales I think your family can enjoy throughout the season. All the books can be found at major online retailers, like Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

A little boy readin with his grandma

Pull-back Busy Santa Book by Usbourne and written by Fiona Watt and Illustrated by Simona Sanfilippo. One of the things I like about this book is that it is both a toy and a book. The Pull-Back Busy Santa Book is designed with tracks that allow you to drive Santa's sleigh as he makes his deliveries on Christmas Eve. Just pull back his sleigh, place it on the tracks, and the fun can begin.  Best for ages 3-6 years of age.


Merry Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing and Illustrated by Isidre Mones. Find out what happens when a boy mails his mother’s grocery list to Santa instead of his Christmas list and the family is marooned by a snowstorm. Offered as an eBook through Pixel Mouse House and found in iTunes:



The Nutcracker: A Magic Theater Book by Geraldine McCaughrean and Illustrated by Kristina Swarmer, published by Chronicle Books. If you are a fan of The Nutcracker, you will love this beautifully illustrated pop-up book. Beloved characters from the classic ballet come to life in a classic story retold by award-winning author Geralinde McCaughrean.


The Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing and Illustrated by Mike Lester. Oh, no! It’s the day before Christmas Eve, and it seems like everything is going wrong! Will this family pull it together before Christmas? Natasha Wing is the best-selling author of The Night Before series and this book doesn’t disappoint!



Dream Snow by Eric Carle. If you are a fan of Eric Carle and his The Hungry Caterpillar book, you will love this timeless classic Dream Snow. It's December 24th, and the old farmer settles down for a winter's nap, wondering how Christmas can come when there is no snow! It is in his dream that he imagines a snowstorm coming and covering him and his animals—named One, Two, Three, Four, and Five—in a snowy blanket. Perfect for ages 2 and up, you will find this a gorgeous book to be a favorite.  

Olive, The Other Reindeer written and illustrated by J. otto Seibold, and Vivian Walsh, published by Chronicle Books. This is a cute tale of Olive, who thinks she is a reindeer and proceeds to head aboard the polar express to the North Pole to help Santa and his reindeers. Though Santa and the other reindeer are a bit surprised, they are happy to have Olive on their team as she shows off her unusual reindeer skills.

Hanukkah Haiku by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Karla Gudeon by Blue Apple Books and distributed by Chronicle Books. It is a cultural crossover where we find a traditionally Japanese poetic form used to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah. There's one haiku for each night, and stepped pages add one candle to the menorah every time the page is turned. The simple story is enhanced by the wonderful illustrations by Karla Gudeon. Perfect for ages 2 on up.

Light the Lights! A story About Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman and published by Scholastic BK Services. This book touches on a subject that some families experience—celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas! A fun story about how Emma and her family celebrate two special holidays every December. First comes Hanukkah, with dreidel games and lighting the menorah. Then comes Christmas, with carols, bright lights on the tree, and presents for everyone!

This is the perfect time to create wonderful memories by reading some holiday books with your children, snuggling by the fireplace, and drinking some hot cocoa. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

What are your favorite holiday books to read with your family?

Melissa Northway, M.S. is a children's picture book author and her award-winning storybook app and book Penelope the Purple Pirate was inspired by her little tomboy.  Penelope is a modern-day Pippi Longstocking who loves the color purple and adventures. You can read more at and at Melissa's new lifestyle site dandelion moms  Check both sites as we are hosting a 4 iPad Mini Giveaway through the holidays!  Ho Ho Ho!

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.

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