It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . to curl up with your child and read a holiday or winter book. Whether you tell the story of a Grinch, a lucky dog or what snowmen do at night, the greatest gift you can give to your child is to share a story. Here are some of our favorite books of the season and some suggestions for talking with your child about the stories.
Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner. This book reveals the secret life of snowmen. While we’re asleep, snowmen are hard at work. There are lots of silly details to discover in the pictures. Ask your child, “If you were a snowman, what job would you have?”
Latke the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer. Adopted from an animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah, Latke the puppy finds a new home just in time to celebrate the holiday. Although he is one lucky dog, he has some trouble learning the house rules. He causes trouble during each holiday tradition (eating the fried donuts, tearing open presents, chewing up candles, and drooling on the Hanukkah gelt). Talk with your child about the different holiday traditions you had growing up.
The Sounds of Kwanzaa by Dimitrea Tokunbo. “Come close, gather round. Listen to the sound of Kwanzaa,” is how each page of this colorful book begins. Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa or are looking for a simple explanation of what Kwanzaa is, this book explains the meaning of each of the seven candles which represent the seven guiding principles that Kwanzaa celebrates. Have your child follow along and make the sounds in the book, “Beating drums and singing voices.”
The Mitten by Jan Brett. Nicki, a young Ukrainian boy, asks his grandmother to knit him some white mittens. She warns him that if he loses them, they will be difficult to find in the snow. He ends up losing one and the creatures of the forest make their home in his mitten. Talk with your child about all the animals that climb into the mitten. Ask how many animals can possibly fit in a mitten. And what will happen after a big sneeze.
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. While making tamales with her mother for Christmas dinner, Maria tries on and then loses his mother’s diamond ring. Could the ring be lost in the tamales she made? She and her cousins will have to eat them to find out. Talk to your child about the foods you like to eat during the holiday season.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” The famous villain tried to cancel Christmas but by the end he learns the true spirit of the holiday. Thanks to his clever rhyming, Dr. Seuss’ books area great to read aloud.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Winner of the 1963 Caldecott Medal, The Snowy Day is the simple story of a boy, Peter, who wakes up to discover that snow has covered the city during the night. He goes out exploring and discovers all the fun that he can have in the snow. As you read aloud to your child, you can talk about some of the things you love to do in the snow.
To learn more about the importance of reading to children at an early age, feel free to explore our website.