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The 12 Books of Christmas

December17

I love children’s books. As a kid, I was an avid reader, but it wasn’t until my 20’s that I truly began to appreciate the art and story that combine to make a great picture book. Maybe it’s because book stores weren’t as plentiful when I was a child. I remember well the excitement of getting my Scholastic book order from school and our bi-weekly trips to the library.

I started collecting children’s books long before I became a mother. Often times for the wonderful artwork and sometimes for the great storytelling ability of the author. Being a wordsmith myself, I am a sucker for a well-spun tale. And among the many, many picture books I’ve collected over the past 20 years, some of my all time favorites are my Christmas stories.

When I was about 9 or 10, my Grandma bought me a copy of The Night Before Christmas at TG&Y, a 5 and Dime store we frequented on the weekends we spent with her. I still remember the illustration on the front cover. I must have read it a lot because eventually I was able to recite it from memory  to my younger sister, while we lay in our bunk beds trying to fall asleep, despite our anticipation of Christmas morning.  So of course I have continued the tradition and read that story to my girls every Christmas Eve.

Every year I think I will read at least one story to my girls each night of December leading up to Christmas. Although I rarely achieve the 24 book  goal, we have come close.  So I thought I would share some of our favorite holiday titles, in no particular order, just in case you don’t already know about them.

1. Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson

2. Santa Calls by William Joyce

3. Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh

 

4. Angelina’s Christmas by Katharine Holabird

5. Merry Christmas Curious George’s by Margaret and H.A. Rey

 

 

6. The Sweet Smells of Christmas by Patricia Scarry

 

 

7. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

8. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

9. I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Holly Hobbie

10. Santa Mouse by Michael Brown

11. Santa Mouse Where Are You? by Michael Brown

12. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, Illustrated by Mary Engelbreit

Other favorites:

Shelia Rae’s Peppermint Stick by Kevin Henkes

The Gift of the Magi by O’Henry

Elfis by Alan Katz

Frosty the Snowman

The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen

The Nutcracker

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