Holiday Book Picks

by Carrie Anne

The days are busy, full of learning and fun. I love winding down with my kids by enjoying a book together. Here are a few holiday books and new books you might be interested in adding to your personal library.

 My Little Stocking
by Sara Gillingham
Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
Board book
12 pages

If you celebrate the holidays with stockings full of treats for your little one, you might enjoy My Little Stocking. This layered board book explores the question in a child’s mind when it comes to a full stocking Christmas morning: what could be in here. Each layer you turn in the book reveals colourful possibilities made out of felt and posing more questions. All the while, a little Elf peeks out, the head being a finger puppet you can move around as you read the story. The finger puppet concept is very similar to the Paul Frank Colors book reviewed last month .

Snow Baby Finger Puppet Book

Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
Chunky board book
12 pages

Baby’s first exposure to snow can be full of wonder and surprise for both baby and parents. Snow Baby takes you through baby’s experience in the snow, falling from the sky, landing on her face. The book is small and chunky for little hands and little ones will love the velvety soft baby face finger puppet that appears on each page, bring baby to life. The puppet hole is big enough for little fingers to probe too.

Michael Hague’s Treasury of Christmas Carols

by Michael Hague and Kathleen Hague
Sterling Children’s Books
Age 3-8
48 pages

Singing Christmas carols is a favourite pastime for our family during December. We sing along to the radio, music on the iPod, even just singing out of the blue.Michael Hague’s Treasury of Christmas Carols is a wonderful small collection holiday favourites that are easy for children to learn with their repetitive choruses: Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls,, Oh Christmas Tree, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Kids may know the tunes to these songs but not the words. This treasury includes a mix of large type words (without musical score to avoid confusion) and delightful Christmas illustrations of bunnies and cats and ducks enjoying the season.

Bitsy

by Paola Opal
Simply Read Books/Raincoast Books
Board book
24 pages

I’m always drawn to the look of a book first and I love the format for this board book, a tall rectangle versus a standard square board book. Bitsy is part of a new series of board books using simple illustrations with a limited colour palate. I love the story, a beaver family working together to build a damn. Mom and dad are able to cut the wood but Bitsy is not big enough yet to cut down the big pieces needed. A small hole in the damn needs the help of a small Beaver and Bitsy proves that all family members play an important role, each offering their own unique skills that make the family complete. What a wonderful message to give kids. I’m looking forward to reading some of the other books by Paola Opal.

 Animal Baths

by Bob Barner
Chronicle Books/Raincoast Books
age 3-8
32 pages

Bath time can be something kids either enjoy or avoid. Animal Baths is a great way to encourage kids to get soapy and preen like a duck, scrub like a bear and other animals. The colourful pages with collage-like illustrations take kids through the cleaning routines of some common (and perhaps not so common) animals. Then it invites kids to get clean, asking which animal they will be in the tub. The last two pages take the animal attributes talked about in the earlier pages, incorporating them into your child’s bath routine. A fun story for reluctant bathers and bath lovers alike.

 The Crown On Your Head

by Nancy Tillman
Feiwel and FriendsRaincoast Books
age 5-8
32 pages
Most books I come across are stories designed with kids in mind; stories we read for our children’s enjoyment. The Crown on Your Head is a story just as much for mom and dad and for kids (though I think it might even be a little more for the parents). We know as parents how special our kids are and that we see them destined for great things. This story tries to explain this feeling to kids, by talking about their invisible crown of magnificence. Unlike a traditional crown, like in the monarchy, that makes someone better than everyone else, this crown exists on everyone’s head, their special soul or ora. My 5-year old enjoyed the story but I took it more to heart I think, making me a little teary as a read it. I also love the note at the end of the book about how kids can reaffirm to themselves that their crown is indeed there, even if they can’t see it. A wonderful bedtime story or great for those growing and transition stages your kids go through.

I want to thank Katie from Sterling Children’s Books and Crystal from Raincoast Books for my review copies.
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Carrie Anne is a contributing writer on No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , and is the Managing Partner and Editor-in-Chief at EverythingMom.com.

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