Season’s Greetings, Bookworms!
We spent Thanksgiving at home, just the three of us. I mean, it’s not the holiday we’d have liked to have, but on the upside, we were able to put up our Christmas decorations in a leisurely fashion. Plus we had a bunch of leftovers. I bought more Redi-Whip than anyone could possibly use with a single pumpkin pie, so I’ve been enjoying whipped cream on my morning coffee. Living my best pandemic life and all that. Along with our cheery decorations, I’ve rotated Sammy’s books to bring out his collection of Christmas books. I figured I’d share some of his current favorites, in case you’ve got a little one on your shopping list. (I wrote a similar list last year, in case you want more ideas.)
If You Ever Want to Bring a Pirate to Meet Santa, Don’t! by Elise Parsley- This is the reigning champion of Sammy’s favorite Christmas books. A little girl goes to the mall with her family to meet Santa. Initially, she mistakes a pirate for Santa, but once her Dad clarifies the situation, the little girl decides it’s her mission to get that pirate off the “naughty list” by the time they get through the line to meet Santa. She’s got an uphill climb, as this is one scallywag of a pirate. He’s not good at sharing, pillages candy canes, and chases off half the line with a swordfish. Things hit their breaking point when the pirate has Santa walk the plank into the mall fountain. But, as with all good redemptive Christmas stories, the pirate does eventually learn his lesson. Kind of. It’s super funny and charming, and Sam absolutely guffaws while reading it. Sometimes we spontaneously break into a rousing rendition of “A Merry Hog-Eye Christmas” while hanging around the house (which is all the time because we’re still trying to be responsible and avoid the COVID.)
Cookiesaurus Christmas by Amy Fellner Dominy & Nate Evans, Illustrated by AG Ford- This gem was Sammy’s favorite book last year (he got it for Christmas so we read it A LOT in January) and it’s still pretty high on the list (if it weren’t for that dastardly pirate it would still be #1.) A dinosaur shaped cookie desperately wants to be the cookie left on Santa’s plate, but he keeps getting passed over in favor of more traditional cookie shapes. Cookiesarus’s attempts to deal with the matter himself end in a literal and figurative mess. At one point, Cookiesaurus laments, “is there a dino on every Christmas tree? NO!” Which, OK, fair, but I will have you know that our Christmas tree has at least 5 dinosaur ornaments proudly displayed. All of which were purchased prior to Samuel’s arrival, thank you very much. But I digress. This story is cute and funny and has a satisfying Christmas-y ending. It’s an excellent addition to any kiddo’s holiday library.
Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly and James Dean- We’re a big Pete the Cat household. Granted, Sam isn’t QUITE as obsessed with Pete as he was when he was newly 2, but we’ve still got a lot of love for this cool cat. We received our first copy of this book last year, but then I had to return it because it was (weirdly) missing a page. Publisher misprint I guess? Anyway, I found a copy on super sale this year and snapped it up because Pete is always a solid investment. Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas won’t land you a partridge in a pear tree, but you will end up with a road trip to the sea. Groovy. The illustrations are fun and silly- it’s everything we love about Pete. Just, you know, extra jolly.
The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher by Robert Kraus, Illustrated by Virgil Franklin Partch- My MIL is the queen of Christmas cookies. It’s an undisputed fact. So it’s no surprise that she has a particular soft spot for children’s books involving cookies and baking (she definitely supplied us with our copy of Cookiesaurus Christmas as well.) This book is an older title, one that she liked reading to her classes early in her teaching career. The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher was published in the 60s, so it is, admittedly a little bit dated. If you’re frustrated by the idea that only mothers bake Christmas cookies, feel free to substitute “parents” or “grown ups” in your read aloud. Is it weird that a half human-half turkey villain flies around stealing every decorative sprinkle in an entire village? Definitely. Is it also somehow very charming? Yup. It’s a fun rhyming read aloud.
Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illustrated by AG Ford- Sam is very fond of trucks and construction equipment. I think most kids are pretty fascinated by large machinery. We have a few of the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site books, and they’re all really cute. This one just happens to have a holiday twist. After the work on the important new project is completed on Christmas Eve, each machine receives an unexpected gift. (New tires, a new cement mixing drum, that sort of thing.) It’s a cute book, it rhymes, and it’s a great choice for that bed time wind down period. I save this one for after the giggle fest of some of the other books on this list (pirates and dinosaur cookies can be counter productive to the whole “getting your child to actually sleep” thing.)
Sam is a huge fan of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, too, but that seemed a little obvious to go putting on this list. Still, if you want to hear a 3 year old shout “pooh-pooh to the Whos!” at unpredictable intervals, you’re welcome to come over. Wait, Pandemic. Scratch that. I’ll see if I can catch it on video. Tell me, Bookworms, did you have any favorite holiday reads as a child?
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