Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles. – Unknown
Ronna Mandel share her notable picks for Christmastime books sure to bring a smile to your children’s faces this holiday season.
Quentin Blake’s A Christmas Carol
($16.99, Pavilion Children’s, an imprint of Anova, ages 7–9) by Charles Dickens with illustrations by Quentin Blake, made famous by his legendary illustrations for Roald Dahl. Blake’s inimitable artwork fills this large-bound volume of the classic Scrooge tale that never gets old.
Cold Snap by Eileen Spinelli with illustrations by Marjorie Priceman ($17.99, Alfred A. Knopf, ages 5 and up) – watch what ensues when a little village is engulfed in freezing cold weather and residents try to find ways to keep warm. A charming tale to read again and again in front of a toasty fire.
Julie Andrews’ Treasury For All Season: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year ($19.99, Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, ages 6-18) by Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton with illustrations by the incomparable Marjorie Priceman. A second marvelous anthology from a most beloved and consummate performer that is sure to keep the entire family entertained.
Penguin and Pinecone ($12.99, Walker & Co., ages 4-8) written and illustrated by the prolific and extremely talented Salina Yoon. Yoon is a multi-award winning author/illustrator who continues to delight with books that speak to children in most original ways. If your youngsters are into all things penguins, this heartwarming friendship story will make the perfect present.
Cecil The Pet Glacier ($17.99, Schwartz & Wade Books, ages 4-8) by Matthea Harvey with folky illustrations by Giselle Potter. Pet glacier? Don’t let the unusual title stop you from delving deeper inside because a treasure of tale lies within. I found myself enchanted by the persistence of Cecil to befriend young Ruby. Ruby, initially rejecting the glacier’s offer of friendship, yearns to be like all the other children learns, like I did, not to judge a book by its cover. The message of this uplifting picture book celebrating individuality is one to embrace and share.
Dinosaur vs. Santa, the latest in the series from author/illustrator Bob Shea ($15.99, Disney-Hyperion, ages 2-6) is sure to win over a lot of toddlers who just might picture themselves in place of this roaring red guy! Dinosaur writes a letter to Santa asking for a choo-choo, Dinosaur decorates the tree, Dinosaur makes a surprise for Mom and Dad. And, despite all his rip-roaring antics, including taking a peak when he hears Santa downstairs delivering goodies, Dinosaur wants to remain on Santa’s nice list so off to bed he goes. The bright, bold illustrations only add to this book’s appeal.
Need more ideas? We also recommend the following:
Cowboy Christmas ($10.99, Golden Books, ages 2 and up) by Rob Sanders with illustrations by John Manders.
Together at Christmas ($15.99, Albert Whitman and Company, ages 2 and up) by Eileen Spinelli with illustrations by Bin Lee.
Santa’s Hat ($16.95, Running Press Kids, ages 4 and up) written and illustrated by Linda Bleck.
Sad Santa ($14.95, Sterling, ages 4 and up) written and illustrated by Tad Carpenter.
A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas ($14.95, Sterling, ages 3 and up) by Philip Yates with illustrations by Sebastia Serra
Christmas at the Toy Museum ($15.99, Candlewick Press, ages 3 and up) written and illustrated by David Lucas.
Rabbit’s Snow Dance ($16.99, Dial Books for Young Readers, ages 3 and up) as told by James & Joseph Bruchac with illustrations by Jeff Newman.
Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List ($12.99, Candlewick Press, ages 2 and up) from the Nick Jr. TV show created by Neville Astley, Mark Baker and Phil Davies.
A Bit of Applause for Mrs. Claus ($15.99, Source Books, ages 4- 8) by Susie Schick-Pierce, Jeannie Schick-Jacobowitz and Muffin Drake-Policastro with illustrations by Wendy Wallin Malinow.
A Perfect Day ($16.99, Greenwillow Books, ages 4-8) written and illustrated by Carin Berger.