Remote learning has meant hours and hours of screen time. Give the kids’ eyes a break from the Zoomiverse with some good old fashioned hand held books. No Wi-Fi necessary! Here are a few of my all-time holiday favorites in no particular order. As a parent and teacher, I’ve never tired of reading these stories and the children continue to love them each year. Let me know if you feel I’m missing a title!
The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg: A young boy is invited to join a magical train ride to the North Pole. This Caldecott Medal Winner evokes the spirit of Christmas with wishes and sleigh bells. A must read prior to viewing the delightful movie version.
The Snowy Day, By Ezra Jack Keats: Peter bundles up in his snowsuit to enjoy the wonder and joy children experience when stepping into a snow covered world. Another Caldecott Medal Winner that continues to charm from one generation of readers to the next.
A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Charles M. Shulz: The Peanuts characters must help Charlie Brown discover the true meaning of Christmas. This is a holiday book that has it all: ice skating, a Christmas pageant, and a tree that needs a bit of help.
Jingle Bells, Homework Smells (Gilbert the Opossum), by Diane de Groat: Gilbert is a champion procrastinator. He puts off completing his weekend homework in favor of decorating Christmas cookies, choosing a tree, watching holiday specials, and playing with friends. When Monday morning rolls around, he has some explaining to do.
How Murray Saved Christmas, by Mike Reiss: A story that will have the kids laughing out loud! Santa is knocked out by a Jack-in-the-Box. Murray, a deli owner, fills in for him. He doesn’t smell like gingerbread or fit the suit, but with help from an elf and a little boy, he doesn’t disappoint.
Eight Wild Nights: A Family Hanukkah Tale, by Brian P. Cleary: A delightful, rhyming tale of a family celebrating the eight days of Hanukkah as friends and relatives visit.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss: A beloved tale of finding the true meaning of Christmas.
The Trees of the Dancing Goats, by Patricia Polacco: A young girl and her family find it challenging to enjoy their Hanukkah feast while their neighbors are plagued by scarlet fever. Her grandfather’s idea to deliver trees to their friends inspires Trisha to decorate them with the gifts he’d made for her and her brother. A beautiful story of giving and friendship.
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas, by Natasha Wing: A fun version of the classic “The Night Before Christmas”. On December 23rd, a family is scrambling to prepare for the holiday.
Snowmen at Night, by Caralyn Buehner: A charming story for every child who ever wondered what their snowman did at night. The illustrations vividly detail the fun of drinking cold cocoa, playing baseball with snowballs, sledding, and several other wintery activities.
Santa Paws, by Nicholas Edwards: A homeless puppy’s bravery leads him to his new family. This story pulls at the heartstrings and will warm readers’ hearts.
June B. First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May), by Barbara Park: Junie B. at her festive best! Laugh along as she finds a way to deal with Tattletale May while trying to enjoy the holiday fun in Room One.