So I planned to include this list in my discussion of holiday books (including a fun gift idea). But with all the good Christmas books out there, I already had a long post and hadn’t even finished the Kwanzaa and Hanukkah list. Another gift idea for a kid’s holiday book basket or crate is a multi-holiday basket of books. Or, you can fill a basket or crate with some favorite books that you loved from your childhood or ones that your children love. Include in the crate a comfy throw, some pajamas, hot cocoa mix, or a birthday crown and you have one thoughtful and useful gift. Most parents, especially new ones, would welcome expanding their kid’s book collection. This gift would make a wonderful baby shower or holiday present.
Holiday Series: We bought this series a set but the books can be bought individually. The series uses The Night Before Christmas rhyme scheme to describe the activities that occur as families get ready to celebrate the holidays. The set includes The Night Before The Night Before Christmas, The Night Before Thanksgiving, and The Night Before New Year’s. Sometimes the rhymes are a bit forced or don’t flow and the illustrations are fine but not great, but I like that the series focuses on under-represented holidays, such as Saint Patrick’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. It also includes books on preschool, the tooth fairy, and summer camp, among others. They might not be accurate representations of the holidays and some have a heavy emphasis on candy, but the books give a nice sneak peek at holiday traditions, and it’s a great opener for a discussion of your own family traditions.
Goodnight Goon: This is a great book! It has more detailed and humorous illustrations than the original tale. I personally like it much better than the original.
Room on the Broom: Here’s another great one. Plus, there’s a film that expands the original tale quite nicely.
The Monster at the End of This Book: What a fun classic! It’s a nice one to read around Halloween when young children often find monsters scary. The twist at the end is fantastic! Quit Calling Me a Monster is another tale that addresses stereotypes and “monsters.”
Turkey Trouble: A hilarious book about a turkey who tries to disguise himself as various other animals during the Thanksgiving season.
Bear Says Thanks: The Bear series has charming illustrations and heartwarming messages. I want to snuggle up in the bear den, it looks so inviting. Bear Stays Up for Christmas and Bear Wants More are other good ones for a holiday collection. Bear Snores On is another cute one.
Birthday Monsters!: I love Sandra Boynton’s books. The books usually have catchy phrases and silly pictures. They make me laugh, even on the millionth read. At the moment, we have But Not the Hippopotamus and Blue Hat, Green Hat on repeat. This birthday book has an extremely catchy, sing-song text, perfect for reading out loud. Snuggle Puppy is another one to include for a holiday basket. A basket of her books would be a good baby shower gift.
This list is by no means exhaustive (and here’s another list), but below are some books we’re currently reading and enjoying:
The Family Book: Todd Parr’s books are so inviting and colorful. The simple stick figure illustrations appeal to children and the inclusive messages appeal to adults. He has several books (The Thankful Book and The I Love You Book) that would make nice additions to a holiday collection.
Quiet Loud: My firstborn loved this book when she was a baby and now my second child constantly wants me to read it. We own several others by the author. The simple words and bright pictures appeal to children. Toot and Potty are others we enjoy. Be forewarned that you may regret teaching your child the loud concept.
The Mitten: Jan Brett’s books are beautifully illustrated and capture the winter wonderland perfectly. She has several books- Home for Christmas, The Wild Christmas Reindeer and Gingerbread Christmas, among others- that would fit nicely in a holiday basket collection.
Press Here: What a fun book! The book is interactive in a non-flap way and is truly unique. The Book with No Pictures and The Day the Crayons Quit are also wonderfully innovative tales. All three in a gift basket would make for some seriously fun reading.
If I Were a Puppy: We received this as a gift alongside a Jellycat stuffed dog. Jellycat stuffed animals are incredibly soft and make perfect gifts. This touch and feel book uses the same wonderfully soft material that’s used to make the stuffed animals.
Snowy Day: Here’s a childhood favorite that my children now enjoy, and it’s a great one to read during the winter months. The character’s imaginative play, his multicultural appearance, and the “city life” all appeal.
The Giving Tree: What a tearjerker of a classic? My toddler loves the illustrations and is just starting to understand the message. It’s a beautiful one to read around the holidays. She also loves Where the Sidewalk Ends, another great pick.
Mustache Baby: This tongue-and-cheek tale has lots of cute imaginative play pictures. It’s a nice baby shower gift, especially for a mustached daddy.
No Roses for Harry!: Here’s another childhood favorite that’s finding a new audience with my children. It’s a good one to read for broaching the subject of receiving gifts we don’t like (and, I suppose, the pleasure of re-gifting).
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