Bookworm: Totally awesome holiday books for kids

Terri Schlichenmeyer
Kid’s Christmas books from various authors.

Kid’s Christmas books

  • By various authors and illustrators
  • c. 2022, various publishers
  • $17.99 - $18.99

The tree looks totally awesome. It’s fun to lay on the floor beneath it and watch the lights twinkle and look at the ornaments. But pretty soon, there won’t be room for you beneath the tree because there’ll be packages there. You should hope that there’s one of these great books beneath the tree, too ...

You’ve done a very good job decorating. You helped bake the cookies and you know there’s milk for Santa. But did you do too good a job this year? In “When Santa Came to Stay” by Billy Sharff, illustrated by Eda Kaban (Dial Books for Young Readers, $18.99), the jolly old elf really likes the cookies at one house. And so, he comes back again and again, and he brings everybody: Mrs. Claus, the Easter Bunny, a leprechaun and elves! Uh-oh! So how do you make Santa leave, while letting Christmas stay? The answer is sweetly hilarious.

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What happens when you take your two favorite Christmas traditions, and you make a mash-up? You have “The Night Before The Nutcracker” by John Robert Allman, illustrated by Julianna Swaney (Random House Children’s Books, $18.99), that’s what. How do American Ballet Theatre dancers prepare for the holidays and the greatest ballet of all? What part of the dance is the most magical and memorable? Read this book and find out, or prepare yourself to go to the ballet for the first time...

Sometimes, it’s hard to find the exact right gift to give, isn’t it? In “Miss Mary’s Christmas Mittens” by Trinka Hakes Noble, illustrated by Renee Adriani (Sleeping Bear Press, $17.99), a beloved teacher immediately sees what her children need for Christmas one snowy day, but how will she make it happen? All the yarn is gone from her local store, and there won’t be a shipment until after the holidays. That’s when Miss Mary looks around her home and figures it out. This is a warm, sweet book, and it teaches kids that Christmas isn’t all about getting, but it’s about giving, too. Hint: “Miss Mary’s Christmas Mittens” would make the exact-right gift to give to your favorite teacher this year.

And finally, in “The Snowman Waltz” by Karen Konnerth, illustrated by Emily Neilson (Sleeping Bear Press, $17.99), there’s going to be a dance and all the snowmen are coming, one-two-three, one-two-three, dancing is fun. But here comes a whole long line of penguins, “Step, two, three, four. Step, two, three, four.” Oops, a waltz and a stomp don’t go together at all – in fact, when you’re out of sync and your feet don’t move to the beat, it causes all kinds of chaos. This very simple book teaches kids the value in compromise and working together, and it’s one they’ll remember long after the tinsel is tucked away.

If these books aren’t enough to make your holiday magical, be sure to ask your favorite bookseller or librarian for more. They’ll know what will make your new Christmas-reading tradition twinkle. They’ll help you find more totally awesome holiday books.

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The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. She has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. Terri lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 books. Read past columns at marconews.com.