Book Corner: Share in the Wonder of the Holiday Through Books

There is something extra special about the magic children experience when celebrating holidays. Adults can be reminded of that magic by sharing the wonder of a delightful book with a child. 

The Animals Speak: A Christmas Eve Legend, opens a new window by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Brittany Baugus
Moving from a traditional Nativity to contemporary images of children and animals around the world, Bauer retells the legend of animals speaking at midnight on Christmas Eve.

How to Catch Santa Claus, opens a new window by Alice Walstead and Andy Elkerton
At each stop on his Christmas Eve travels, Santa encounters traps set by children who catch him at his work. The man in the red suit is too smart for these shenanigans, though. He expertly evades every trap, while still delivering presents to all the children. How does he do it? It must be Santa’s special magic!

It's Navidad, El Cucuy!, opens a new window by Donna Barba Higuera
El Cucuy is Ramón’s imaginary monster friend. El Cucuy likes the dark and finds all the lights and festivities of Navidad scary. Ramón gently reassures his friend by showing him all the wonderful things about Navidad, and eventually El Cucuy comes to appreciate the holiday, especially the time he gets to share with Ramón.

The Perfect Tree, opens a new window by Corinne Demas, illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan
When Bunny goes in search of the perfect Christmas tree, she finds her friends have many opinions on what makes a tree perfect: it must be just her size, it should be bushy, have a point at the top for a star, be the greenest green, and smell like Christmas. Bunny searches high and low until she finally finds the perfect tree. As she brings out her saw she realizes the tree is so beautiful she can’t bear to cut it down. Instead, she brings all her friends to the tree and they decorate it right where it is. 

Red & Green, opens a new window by Lois Ehlert
Ehlert’s unique and vivid art make this update of “A Visit From St. Nicholas” an engrossing visual and tactile experience. Toddlers and preschoolers will love turning each page to discover what is revealed in the cutaways and what lies behind the die cut pages. Strong saturated colors and simplified language presented in large font add to the appealing presentation of this classic. 

Season of Light, opens a new window by Jess Redman, illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki
Rhyming, lyrical text capture the joy and wonder of children’s holiday experiences as they watch snow fall, welcome family, and spread cheer though singing and helping those in need. Though holiday seasons don’t last forever, this book reminds the reader that the spirit of the holidays can be carried all year long.

Through the North Pole Snow, opens a new window by Polly Faber, illustrated by Richard Jones
A small white fox hunts in the cold of winter, pouncing time after time trying to break through the snow and to find something to eat. On one pounce, he breaks through and finds himself in the cozy home of a kind old man with a big white beard. The old man takes the fox in and cares for him all year. During that time, the fox sees the old man make toys and receive a lot of letters. One night, the fox sees a sleigh outside the old man’s house and suddenly he understands. The fox hops in the sleigh with Santa and accompanies him while he delivers the toys. This sweet, dreamy story is a unique take on the holiday.

We're Going on A Present Hunt, opens a new window by Goldie Hawk, illustrated by Angela Rozelaar
Three children are on a hunt for presents but first they must make their way through Christmas trees, reindeer, carol singers, and a toy store. The familiar tune of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” rhyming words of this Christmas version, and bright illustrations will all make this especially appealing to the toddler and preschool crowd.

Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.