Thursday, December 13, 2012

29 Children's Christmas and Chanukah Read- Alouds

Christmas is the perfect time to snuggle up with a soft blanket and a good book.  Reading aloud is not only great for your child's literacy development, but it's a perfect bonding activity for a cod, dark, winter evening.  Think beyond bedtime, a basket of these books will look so cozy next to your Christmas tree or by a favorite reading chair.  Kids find enjoyment in having their books accessible and inviting, and they will gravitate towards that beautiful display and choose their favorite books to read. 

30 Children's Christmas and Chanukah Read- Alouds

30 Children's Christmas and Chanukah Read- Alouds

The front of our basket is filled with favorites that have been in the family for generations.  These have vintage illustrations and are small and easy for the kids to pick up and explore on a whim.
1. The Christmas Snowman

2. A Thousand Candy Santas

3.Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

4. The Night Before Christmas: A Visit From St. Nicholas

5. My First Picture Book of Christmas Carols

6. Curious Little Kitten's First Christmas

7. Santa's Toy Shop

8. The merry Christmas book: Christmas songs and stories

9. My Christmas Treasury

10. Richard Scarry's Christmas Mice

In my family, we try to celebrate some Jewish Holidays since they teach important lessons about God and the Bible.  We don't know all of the right ways to celebrate, but we try our best to honor God.  Plus, we enjoy some Chanukah favorites during our read-aloud times.

11. How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?- This one is my girls' favorite.  They search the basket for it, and we actually learned a lot of the basics about Chanukah from this book.   It reinforces the good behaviors that children should be practicing on this special holiday.

12. Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah- A cute version of the classic song.

13. All the Lights in the Night- This is a great one to read during Chanukah because it includes the actual story of the miracle that we celebrate.

We also have lots of favorite Christmas books:

14. Mary, Did You Know?- Another beautiful version of a song.  This song asks Mary if she knew the world wide impact that Jesus was soon to make.

15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas- Who can forget this classic.  With an amazing message, you can't go wrong to share this classic with your kids.  We even have a stuffed Grinch doll in our book basket.

16. Counting Christmas- Karen Katz is one of Ana's favorite authors, so when I saw this book, I knew she had to have it.  As expected, she loves counting all of the adorable Christmas items.

17. I Spy Christmas:  A Book of Picture Riddles- I Spy are amazing photographs on each page with riddles of things to find amidst the clutter. The scenes are amazingly intricate, and these are great books to snuggle down with on a cold winter's evening. 

18. An Orange for Frankie- Patricia Polacco is one of my favorite author illustrators, and if you want to know why, check out this book.  It details a Christmas story about her great-uncle.  If, like me, you can't get enough of sleighs and old-fashioned Christmas simplicity, this is definitely the book for you. My only warning, however, is that it is quite the tear-jerker. 

19. The Light of Christmas- Is it alright to list two books that made me tear up in a row?  This is a beautiful story of kindness and the true meaning of Christmas.  It reminds me almost of the story of the Good Samaritan. 

20. Olive, the Other Reindeer- A confused little doggy ends up being very useful to Santa and his team.  The kids really go in for this one even though I think the play on words is over their heads.

21.The Worst Person's Christmas- A modern-day scrooge discovers what Christmas is all about. 

22. The Wild Christmas Reindeer- The intricate illustrations bring the Arctic to life in a magical way.  The message is all about how it's never too late for a change of attitude, and that is a message that we love!

23. On Christmas Eve

24. The Berenstain Bears Save Christmas- Ana loves the Berenstain Bears, so she really was happy when I check this one out of the library.  In this sweet story, the Bear family goes back to a sweet and simple holiday much to Santa's delight.

25. Lighthouse Christmas- This story is a beautiful introduction to the Flying Santa organization which has been dropping gifts and essential supplies to New England lighthouse families since 1929.  The characters are real, and the plot is touching. 

26. The Special Gifts- The message behind this book is clear- use your talents to bless others.  How could you not love it?  The illustrations are magnificent.

27. Coal Country Christmas- This is a bittersweet story of visiting family in Pennsylvania Coal Country for Christmas.  I can't say a bad word about it, but maybe it just hits too close to home for me. 

28. The Polar Express- Can you hear Santa's sleigh bells?  This is a journey of belief for a young boy.  It is a Caldecott medal winner, and a true Christmas classic.

29. The Trees of the Dancing Goats This is the story of a Russian Jewish family who decides to bless several other families when they learn that they have scarlet fever on Christmas.  Partricia Pollacco is a master storyteller, and this book is no exception. 

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  1. What a great post! Love so many of these books. I would love for you to join our cozy book hop - you can link up this post! Whenever you want to stop by feel free


  2. Hi Becki-

    Are any of these books Santa free? I love the idea of a book a night wrapped for the month of December, but struggle to find Christmas books without any trace of the guy in the big red suit.

    1. Hi Erin,

      I hear ya. My kids are confused about Santa right now because we tell them He's pretend, but others say he's real... The books that are Santa free are: "The Christmas Snowman," "Mary, Did You Know," "My First Picture Book of Christmas Carols," and "An Orange for Frankie." "The Curious Little Kitten's First Christmas" and "Coal Country Christmas" don't have mentions of Santa, but one has a card in the background and it has a Santa on it, and "Coal Country Christmas" has a Santa ornament hanging on the tree in one illustration. The Jewish books also have no mention of Santa.

      I hope this helps. This makes me think that we need many more Christian Christmas books rather than secular ones. Gift idea, but too late since our shopping is done!

    2. Oh, and I forgot. "The Light of Christmas" has a man who looks like Santa, but he is called "The Keeper of the Flame." It's a beautiful story about a boy who goes to see the torch being lit in town, but instead of going to see it, he stops to find help for an old man. IT turns out that the old man is "The Keeper of the Flame" and he rewards the boy for bringing the best "gift."

    3. The man wears a gold robe, and a red cape. He has white hair and a beard.

    4. Sorry Last comment. Try the ones listed on this site! I definitely want to check out all three of them!

    5. Thank you SO much! This will be a much better place for us to start! I was so dismayed while trying to purchase them. And you're right, it won't keep the kids totally un-confused considering the presupposition of society is that we all do this, but at least we can try to keep a consistent message!

  3. Many of your books brougt a smile!

    We do Santa as a pretend fun character such as a fairy or Mickey Mouse. Our playschool parents do "santa is real" so we are always striving for a balance.

    1. We do the same thing, Santa is fun to read about, but he's just in books. Others tell them differently, but Ana will eventually understand. We have to tell her not to tell her friends though! LOL