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Ten Books for the Holiday Season

Warm your hearts with these holiday stories, from old favorites to new delights. These recommended books for kids ages 0-9 are about generosity, love, and friendship, and are perfect for the season, no matter what traditions you celebrate!

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Hanukkah: A Counting Book in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish

By: Emily Sper
Illustrated by: Emily Sper
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

The Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah, celebrates the rededication of the Jewish temple after a group of ancient heroes defended their right to worship as they wished. This handsome little counting book honors the most joyful of Jewish holidays, and teaches readers how to count from one to eight in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

By: Dr. Seuss
Illustrated by: Dr. Seuss
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The classic tale of the Grinch is now more than 50 years old. But that's just why it's a classic: Seuss' grumpy stealer of Christmas is as fresh today as it was when first published in the mid 20th century.

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

By: Robert Barry
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Mr. Willowby, the unwitting hero of this Christmas classic, looks quite a bit like the little mustachioed mascot from Monopoly. But as befits a Yuletide tale, this diminutive millionaire turns out to be a good bit more generous.

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

By: Andrea Pinkney, Brian Pinkney, Brian Pinkney
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Although Kwanzaa commemorates an ancient African harvest ritual, it is a relatively new holiday in North America. Seven Candles for Kwanzaa comfortably explains the origins, language, and daily themes of this warm and festive seven-day holiday.

The Gifts of Kwanzaa

By: Synthia James
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Habari gani? What news? Synthia Saint James presents the language and origins of Kwanzaa with enticing writing and bold pictures that honor the people and colors of Africa.

The Night Before Christmas

By: Clement Moore, Tasha Tudor
Illustrated by: Tasha Tudor
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

In 1822 Clement Clarke Moore wrote The Night before Christmas for his own children. Now, of course, his poem is read aloud to children around the world who are anticipating Santa's arrival.

The Polar Express

By: Chris Van Allsburg
Illustrated by: Chris Van Allsburg
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. This holiday classic earned a Caldecott Medal.

The Tomten

By: Astrid Lindgren, Harald Wiberg
Illustrated by: Harald Wiberg
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

From Swedish folklore comes the story of the tomten, a little gnome who watches over us while we sleep. Read this heartwarming version, from the author of Pippi Longstocking, and celebrate a time-honored tradition for the Winter Solstice.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats

By: Patricia Polacco
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Polacco has a warm, colorful illustrative style she applies to what at first seems the simple story of a Jewish girl, Trisha, and her Christian neighbors, whose bout with scarlet fever at Christmas threatens to ruin Trisha's Hanukkah. Trisha and her family respond with a loving gesture that is rewarded in kind.

Zigazak: A Magical Hanukkah Night

By: Eric Kimmel, Jon Goodell
Illustrated by: Jon Goodell, Eric Kimmel
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Is Hanukkah really all about dancing dreidels and high-flying latkes? Maybe not, but Eric Kimmel and Jon Goodell have put these devilish phenomena to good use in a lighthearted story that teaches Hanukkah traditions--from kazatzkas to gelt--along with a wise, timeless moral.

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