Find The Best Holiday Books for Kids

Lower Merion librarian Gail McCowm shares some of her favorite holiday books for children.

Wondering what books are best for your kids on chilly days this December? Lower Merion children's librarian Gail McCowm shared with Patch some of her favorite holiday books for children, both to read and to gift.

  • The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola: An "incredibly beautiful and well-loved" book, which tells the story of an imaginary Italian character who flies across the sky on the 12th Night and leaves cakes and cookies for children.
  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski: A big picture book that children and adults alike can enjoy. "That's a big, big favorite," McCowm said.
  • Any children's version of The Nutcracker. "Every year, parents come in because they're taking their kids to see a performance of The Nutcracker. But the real book is just too long.  Any of the million versions of the Nutcracker for kids would be great."
  • A Great Miracle Happened Here by Karla Kuskin. Kuskin, who won an NCTE award for excellence in poetry in 1979, tells a "really classic Hannukah story."
  • A Child's Christmas In Wales by Dylan Thomas, for older children.

And for after the holidays:

  • Snow Day by Betsy Mastro
  • Anything in the I Spy collection: These books, written by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Walter Wick, are especially important the day after Christmas, McCowm said. "They're great whether the kids have colds or they're just grumpy. And the littlest kid has the same chance of finding something as the teenager. These books are the biggest peacemakers in the world."

Do you have any favorite holiday-themed children's books that aren't included? Tell us in the comments.

Allie December 10, 2012 at 04:06 PM
"Johanna's Gift" is also a heartwarming holiday story with gorgeous illustrations by Lower Merion resident Jeanne Marston Ector (of Nannygoat Antiques).
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