Celebrations, Everyday Life, Two Legged Fun

12 Kids Holiday Book Favorites

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We have begun our 2nd annual Christmas Book Countdown to Christmas and I wanted to share some of my favourites for those looking to build your own Christmas book collection.

When I decided to do the book countdown last year I had very few Christmas books.  I bought a handful at Costco, picked a few special ones at the bookstore and then rounded things out with Christmas books I picked up at the Dollar Store.  I will keep adding a couple each year as the kids outgrow the baby board books and I come across new books I know they might enjoy.

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For our countdown, my children will open one new book a night and then we will usually pick from the other previously unwrapped Christmas books as their second bedtime story.  Most of those on my list got re-read several times last Holiday season and I look forward to reading them all again over the next few weeks.

 

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1.  ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore and Illustrated by Jon Goodell

This is such a holiday classic that I think it should be a staple in any Christmas book collection.  I absolutely love this version because it has fun holographic images throughout the book for the kids.  It is beautifully illustrated and Clement Moore’s classic rhymes flow easily off the tongue.

 

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2.  How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

Another holiday classic, Dr. Suess’ Grinch has been delighting children for decades.  We have both the animated and live action movie versions, but there is something to be said for cuddling up and reading the book together.

 

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3.  Santa is Coming to Edmonton written by Steve Smallman & illustrated by Robert Dunn and Juan Calle

I wrote a post specifically about how much I liked this book when I purchased it last year.  I love that they have several different city specific versions with illustrations of recognizable landmarks in each city so the kids can relate to it.

 

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4.  Dear Santa Claus written by Alan Durant & illustrated by Vanessa Cabban

I lucked out when I found this neat little book at the Dollar Store.  It shows the correspondence between a young girl and Santa through envelopes filled with little letters on each page.  I love that this book is so interactive and kids love discovering what is in the envelopes on each page.

 

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5.  Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney

We have just recently discovered the Llama Llama series and it is easy to see why it is so popular with kids.  In this holiday version, poor Llama Llama is overwhelmed with the holiday season and the anticipation of waiting for Christmas to finally arrive.  It is a cute story and a good reminder to us parents to slow down and try to actually enjoy things with our kids amongst all the shopping, baking, wrapping and activities.

 

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6.  Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree by Jan & Mike Berenstain

I grew up with Berenstein Bears so I was happy to add this to our collection.  There are a few different Christmas themed Berenstein Bear tales available, but I liked this one for its interactivity.  My littlest still loves lift the flap books but she is starting to outgrow some of her baby board books.   This book allows her to still lift flaps, but has a story that is geared towards an older audience and will allow us to enjoy the book for many Christmases to come.

 

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7.  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

For those who know me, it should come as no surprise that this made my list.  The movie is my favorite at this time of year and the book about the recognizable misfits is equally charming.

 

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8.  Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean & Eric Litwin

Another fun series for kids, Pete the Cat is sure to delight in this cute holiday tale.  Learn how Pete the Cat helps Santa save Christmas and sing along to the free downloadable song version of the book.

 

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9.  How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague

This fun little tale is new to our collection this year and I chose it specifically for my 4 year old son.  It is a fun read and the illustrations are quite comical.  It is a good reminder of proper behaviour at this time of year without the kids even knowing what they are learning about.

 

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10.  If You Take A Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff & illustrated by Felicia Bond

The “If You Give A…” book series is another popular bedtime read in our house.  This book begins with Mouse wanting to string up his movie popcorn for the Christmas tree and takes him through various Christmas activities before winding him full circle back at the movies.

 

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11.  Merry Christmas Little Critter! By Mercer Mayer

I loved Little Critter when I was younger and I love them even more as a mom because they are short and easy to read when dealing with requests of “Just one more book, please?”.  I introduced my son to Critter this past year so I know he’ll be happy to unwrap one of his favorites character for our nightly Christmas story.  Like Berenstain Bears, there are several Christmas themed Critter books available and any one of them would be a good addition to your Christmas book collection.  In this one we get to see how the Critter family prepares for and spends Christmas day.

 

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12.  Finding Christmas written by Robert Munsch & illustrated by Michael Martchenko

I don’t think you can ever go wrong with Robert Munsch.  His quirky humour and the accompanying illustrations captivate the kids in this fun little tale about a girl trying to find where her parents have hidden her Christmas presents.

 

BONUS HOLIDAY READING

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This book is not wrapped up as part of our countdown, but over the past month we have really enjoyed making our way through all the stories in the Disney Christmas Storybook Collection.  We got our copy at Costco, but I have seen it in Chapters, Walmart and even our local grocery store.  My Frozen obsessed little one was excited it had Anna and Elsa in it, and I love that it helped introduce my kids to many different Disney and Pixar characters in preparation for our Disneyland trip in February.  Each story is also quite touching with a special message about being with your loved ones and the true meaning of the holiday season.

With 18 different stories in this one book  it easily covers the majority of bedtimes in December!

 

I hope you have enjoyed seeing what is in our book collection.  I am always looking to add new books, so please comment if you have a good suggestion!

 

 

Four Legged Fun, Gift Ideas

Friday Favorites: Santa is Coming to Edmonton Book

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It amazes me how quickly stores make the switch from Halloween into full  Christmas mode.  It is hard not to feel a slight bit of panic November 1st when the Christmas decorations fill the shelves, holiday music fills the air, and you realize Christmas is just around the corner.  I hate the crowds, but I love shopping this time of year and seeing all the Christmas themed clothing, toys, decorations, housewares and books.

This year I am hoping to start a new tradition with the kids.  One of the ideas I have seen floating around the internet is to wrap a stack of books for them to open in the night’s leading up to Christmas.  Books are already part of our bedtime routine so I thought this would be a great way to bring a bit more Christmas magic and excitement into our house.  I have seen it done as a 30 day advent calendar, but I think I will shorten it and have enough books wrapped  to read for the 12 days before Christmas.

We already have a few Christmas books that I will wrap, but I stopped at Cole’s bookstore yesterday to quickly browse and see if there was anything new that caught my eye.  I was immediately drawn to a stack of books titled Santa is Coming to Ottawa by Steve Smallman.  I picked it up, disappointed it wasn’t Santa is Coming to Edmonton and then was delighted to discover that exact title hidden beneath the Ottawa edition.  As I flipped through the pages and saw the references to neighbourhoods and landmarks in our city, I knew it was a perfect Christmas book to add to our growing collection.

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The illustrations in this book are beautiful and I love that they show the familiar landmarks like the High Level Bridge, Art Gallery, Muttart Conservatory and Rexall Place.  I am not sure my kids will be quite old enough to recognize and pick them out this year, but I see them getting excited over it in the upcoming years.  My three year old has just started asking about where we live and trying to figure the world around us, so I really love the relevancy of this book.

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This book is just one of many in the series.  Other major Canadian cities that Santa is Coming to include Calgary, Vancouver, Hull, Ottawa, Toronto or just Canada.  For my American friends, there is a wide variety of titles that cover states and major cities from across the country.  And, because he is a British author, there is a vast range of English and European titles such as London, Belfast, and Scotland.

And  if these still don’t work for you?  There is simply Santa is Coming to My House.

Visit the Chapters/Indigo/Coles website to find all the Santa is Coming to titles.