Winter 2023 / 2024


Stories from the Past to Read,
Share, and Treasure


Bear Stays Up for Christmas
written by Karma Wilson, illus. by Jane Chapman, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2004/2008), 40p, Ages 3-6

A Chick ‘’n’ Pug Christmas
written/illus. by Jennifer Sattler, (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2014), 32p, Ages 3-6

Crinkle Bells
written/illus. by Jay Fleck, (Chronicle Books, $8.99, October 2022), 10p, Ages 2+

Construction Site: Merry and Bright (A Christmas Lift-the-Flap Book)
written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by A. G. Ford, (Chronicle Books, Nov. 2021), 16p, Ages 2-4

Construction Site on Christmas Night
written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by A. G. Ford, (Chronicle Books, 2018), 40p, Ages 3-7

Harold at the North Pole
written & illus. by Crockett Johnson, (HarperCollins 1958), 48p, Ages 3-7

Merry Christmas Ollie!
written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin/Harcourt, 2008,), 32p, Ages 2-6

Valentine’s Day

Guess How Much I Love You
written by Sam McBratney, illus. by Anita Jeram, narrated by Dan Russell, (Candlewick Press, 1994/2004), 32p, Ages 3-7.

Little Blue Truck’s Valentine
written by Alice Schertle, illus. by John Joseph, (Clarion Books, 2020), 20p, Ages 3-5

Ollie’s Valentine
written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), 14p, Ages 3-6

AGES 4 – 8

Angelina’s Christmas
written by Katharine Holabird, illus. by Helen Craig, (Viking Children’s Books, 2006), 32p, Ages 4+

Catch That Cookie
written by Hallie Durand, illus. by David Small, (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014), 32p, Ages 4-7

The Christmas Eve Ghost
written/illus. by Shirley Hughes, (Candlewick Press, 2010), 32p, Ages 7+

Mary’s Little Donkey
written by Gunhild Sehlin, illus. by Hélène Muller, (Floris Books, 2016), 32p, Ages 6-8

Poetry selections by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illus. by Helen Cann (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2014), 34p, Ages 4-8

Cricket At the Manger
written by Edith Hope Fine, illus. by Winslow Pels, (Boyds Mills Press, 2005), 32p, Ages 6+

Captain Sky Blue
written/illus. by Richard Egielski, (Scholasltic Books, 2010), 32p, Ages 4-7

The Steadfast Tin Soldier
written by Hans Christian Andersen, retold by Tor Siedler, illus. by Fred Marcellino, (Michael di Capua Books, 1992, Atheneum Books, 2017), 32p, Ages 5-8

Uncles and Antlers
written by Lisa Wheeler, illus. by Brian Floca, Atheneum Books, 2004), 40p, Ages 4-8

The Little Bell that Wouldn’t Ring: A Christmas Story
written by Heike Conradi, illus. by Maja Dusiková, (NorthSouth Books, 2020), 32p, Ages 4-7

The Christmas Feast
written by Nathalie Dargent, illus. by Magali Le Huche, (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2020), 32p, Ages 5-8

Snowmen Live Forever
written/illus. by Thierry Dedieu, (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2019), 40p, Ages 4-7

AGES 4 – 8

Little Polar Bear and the Pandas
written/illus. by Hans de Beer, (NorthSouth Books, 2021), 32p, Ages 4-7

AGES 7 – 10

Chanukah In Chelm
written by David A. Adler, illus. by Kevin O’Malley, (Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1997), 32p., Ages 6-9

The Third Gift
written by Linda Sue Park, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline, (Clarion Books, 2011), 32p, Ages 6-9

The Story of Holly & Ivy
written by Rumer Godden, illus. by Barbara Cooney, (Viking Children’s Books, 2006), 32p, Ages 6+

The Peterkin’s Christmas
adapted by Elizabeth Spurr, illus. by Wendy Anderson Halperin, (Atheneum Books, 2004), 32p, Ages 7-10

An Orange for Frankie
written/illus. by Patricia Polacco, (Philomel Books, 2004), 48p, Ages 7+

A Confused Hanukkah
written by Jon Koons, illus. by S. D. Schindler, (Dutton Children’s Books, 2004), 40p,Age 5+

We Three Kings
Illus. by Gennady Spirin, (Atheneum Books, 2007), 32p, 7-10

Tumtum & Nutmeg:
The Rose Cottage

written/illus. by Emily Bearn, (Little, Brown & Co., 2010), 416p, Ages 6-9

AGES 8 – 12

Franklin and Winston:
A Christmas That Changed the World

written by Douglas Wood, illus. by Barry Moser, (Candlewick Press, 2011), 40p, Ages 8-12

Santa Puppy
written by Catherine Hapka, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 2019), 240p, Ages 8-11

When Santa Fell to Earth
written by Cornelia Funke, translated by Oliver G. Latsch, illus. by Paul Howard, (Chicken House, 2006), 192p, Ages 9-12

AGES 10 – 13

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
written by Karina Yan Glaser, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), 304p, Ages 9-13

The Toymaker’s Apprentice
written by Sherri L. Smith, illus. by Sarah Watts, (G. P. Putnam's Sons,. 2015), 400p, Ages 10-14

A Christmas Carol
written by Charles Dickens, illus. by P. J. Lynch, (1843, Candlewick Press, 2006), 160p, Ages 10+


More Stories from the Past to
Read, Share, and Treasure


The Adventures of Old Bo Bear
written by Alice Schertle, illus. by David Parkins, (Chronicle Books, 2006), 32p, Ages 3-7

Bobo the Sailor Man!
written by Eileen Rosenthal, illus. by Marc Rosenthal, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013), 40p, Ages 3-6

Cat & Mouse
written/illus. by Ian Schoenherr, (Greenwillow Books, 2008), 40p, Ages 2-4

Dinosaur Rescue!
written/illus. by Penny Dale, (Noisy Crow, 2013), 32p, Ages 3-6

Emily’s Balloon
written/illus. by Komako Sakai, (Chronicle Books, 2006), 44p, Ages 3-5

written/illus. by Salina Yoon, (Walker Books, 2014), 36p, Ages 3-6

Gossie Plays Hide and Seek
written/illus. by Olivier Dunrea, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010), 16p, Ages 3-6

Hopper and Wilson
written/illus. by Maria van Lieshout, (Philomel Books, 2011), 40p, Ages 3-5

Little Bittie Mousie
written by Jim Aylesworth, illus. by Michael Hague, (Walker Books, 2007), 32p, Ages 3-6

AGES 4 – 8

The Amazing Voyage of Jackie Grace
written/illus. by Matt Faulkner, (Scholastic Inc., 1987), 40p, Ages 5-8

Buford the Little Bighorn
written/illus. by Bill Peet, (Houghton Mifflin, 1967), 48p, Ages 5-8

Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent
written/illus. by Bill Peet, (Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Readers, 1982), 48p, Ages 5-8

Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter
written by Jamie Michalak, illus. by Kelly Murphy, (Candlewick Press, 2021), 32p, Ages 5+

Goggles: The Bear Who Dreamed of Flying
written by Jonathan Gunson, illus. by Richard Robinson, (Creative World Ltd. NZ, 2019), 32p, Ages 5-8

Henny, Penny, Lenny, Denny, and Mike
written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Mike Austin, (Beach Lane Books, 2017), 40p, Ages 4-8

Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure
written/illus. by Bill Peet, (Houghton Mifflin Co., 1959), 40p, Ages 5-8

written/illus. by Aaron Becker, (Candlewick Press, 2013), 40p, Ages 5-8

Little Polar Bear
written/illus. by Hans de Beer, (NorthSouth Books, 1987), 32p, Ages 5-8

AGES 7 – 10

The Adventures of Henry Whiskers
written by Gigi Priebe, illus. by Daniel Duncan, (Aladdin Books. 2017), 160p, Ages: 7-10

The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon

written/illus. by Torben Kuhlmann, (NorthSouth Books, 2016), 128p, Ages 8-11

Basil of Baker Street
(The Great Mouse Detective)

written by Eve Titus, illus. by Paul Galdone, (Aladdin Books, 2016/1958), 112p, Ages 7-9

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower:
Or John Howland's Good Fortune

written/illus. by P. J. Lynch, (Candlewick Press, 2015,), 64p, Ages 7-10

The Chicken Squad:
The First Misadventure

written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Kevin Cornell, (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014), 112p, Ages 7-10

Christopher Mouse:
The Tale of a Small Traveler

written by William Wise, illus. by Patrick Benson, (Bloomsbury, 2004), 154p, Ages 7-10

Gooseberry Park
written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Arthur Howard, (Harcourt Brace & Co., 1995), 144p, Ages 7-10

The Lighthouse Family: The Storm
written by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Preston McDaniels, (Simon & Schuster, 2002/2015), 80p, Ages 7-10

AGES 8 – 12

The Sherlock Files

written by Tracy Barrett, (Henry Holt & Co., 2008), 160p, Ages 8-12

The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy
written by Clive Cussler, (Philomel Books, 2010), 176p, Ages 8-11

The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon

written/illus. by Torben Kuhlmann, NorthSouth Books, 2016), 128p, Ages 8-11

Project Blastoff

written by Mark Kelly, Martha Freeman, (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster, 2015), 224p, Ages 10-13

The Battle for the Castle
written by Elizabeth Winthrop, (Yearling, 1993), 224p, Ages 9-12

Brighty of the Grand Canyon
written by Marguerite Henry, illus. by Wesley Dennis, (Rand McNally 2015), 256p, Ages 8-12

Chicken Feathers
written by Joy Cowley, illus. by David Elliot, (Philomel Books, 2008), 160p, Ages 9-12

The Dragon in the Sock Drawer
written by Kate Klimo, illus. by John Shroades, (Random House, 2008), 176p, Ages 8-12

Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure
written/illus. by Torben Kuhlmann, translated by David Henry Wilson, (North South Books, 2018), 112p, Ages 8-11

Escape From Baxter’s Barn
written/illus. by Rebecca Bond, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), 256p, Ages 8-11

AGES 10 – 13

The 7 Professors of the Far North
written/illus. by John Fardell, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005, ), 224p, Ages 10-12

Bongo Fishing
written/illus. by Thacher Hurd, (Henry Holt & Co., 2011), 240p, Ages 10+

Bringing Down the Mouse
written by Ben Mezrich, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), 336p, Ages 9-12

The Cheshire Cheese Cat:
A Dickens of a Tale

written by Carmen Agra Deedy/Randall Wright, illus. by Barry Moser, (Peachtree Publishers, 2011), 256p, Ages 10+

Children of the Lamp:
The Akhenaten Adventure

written by P. B. Kerr, (Orchard Books, 2004), 368p, Ages 10+

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, illus. by Joe Berger, (Candlewick Press 2012), 192p, Ages 10+

A T.O.A.S.T. Novel

written by James Ponti, (Aladdin, 2016), 304p, Ages 10+

AGES 12 – 15

Addison Cooke and The Treasure of the Incas
written by Jonathan W. Stokes, illus. by David Elliot, (Philomel Books, 2016), 336p, Ages 12+

The Blackthorn Key
written by Kevin Sands, (Aladdin Books, 2015), 385p, Ages 12-15

Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation
written by Stuart Gibbs, (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2019), 400p, Ages 12-15

The Detective’s Assistant
written by Kate Hannigan, (Little Brown & Co., 2015), 358p, Ages 11-14

The Explorers:
The Door in the Alley

written by Adrienne Kress, (Delacorte Press, 2017), 320p, Ages 11+

Knightly & Son
written by Gavin Rohan, (Bloomsbury, 2014), 272p, Ages 12-15

The Lightning Thief
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians)

written by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books, 2005), 384p, Ages 11+

Operation Red Jericho:
The Guild of Specialists

written by Joshua Mowll, illus. by Joshua Mowll, Julek Heller, Niroot Puttapipat, Benjamin Mowll, (Candlewick Press, 2005). 288p, Ages 13+

Three Times Lucky
(Mo and Dale Mysteries)

written by Sheila Turnage, (Kathy Dawson Books, 2012), 256p, Ages 11+

AGES 14 – 18

Also Known As
written by Robin Benway, (Walker Books, 2013), 336p), Ages 14-18

Cloak of the Light
(Wars of the Realm)

written by Chuck Black, (Multnomah Books, 2014), 320p, Ages 16+

(The Woodcutter Sisters)

written by Alethea Kontis, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015), 288p, Ages 14-18

Death Cloud:
Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins

written by Andrew Lane, (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011), 320p, Ages 14+

The Woodcutter Sisters

written by Alethea Kontis, (Graphia, 2013), 336p, Ages 14-18

Fallout (Lois Lane series)
written by Gwenda Bond, (Switch Press, 2015), 304p, Ages 14-18

The Great Turkey Walk
written by Kathleen Karr, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998), 208p, Ages 14+

Ruby Red:
The Ruby Red Trilogy

written by Kirsten Gier, translated by Anthea Bell, (Henry Holt & Co., 2011), 336p, Ages 14+

For more information on great children's literature for reading to children and by children, visit us at:

Bringing you
books that:

Touch the Heart,
Color the Imagination, and
Delight the Mind

Welcome to The Storytellers, a monthly newsletter of outstanding children’s literature to read and read aloud from preschoolers to teens.

The best children's books are filled with imagination and fun. Stories that take children into a world of delight and adventure present storytelling at its best. Children need stories for pleasure, laughter and fun; imaginative and nonsensical stories that may not have a scrap of useful information or lesson, but cheerful and delightful lunacy. Give as many as possible to your children, because imagination and fund are essential to life.

Winter is a great time for curling up with good storytelling books, whether for the holidays or any time of the year. The holidays represent a special time of the year not only for family, friends, tradition, and memories, but for reading and reading aloud great memorable stories.

For more information on reading to children and great books to read and read aloud, log on to our web site at Always remember.

Read to your children before they’re too old
to listen and love the stories you hold.
But after they’re grown, keep reading, no worries,
they’ll never grow tired of hearing great stories.
The Children’s Hour ©2021.

Preschool – Holidays & Winter

written by Christy Webster. (Random House, Sept. 2023, $7.99, Board Book, ISBN 978-0-593-56575-9), 22p, Ages 3+

Based on the Netflix and Cartoon Network “Thomas & Friends All Engines Go,” Thomas and his friends are excited to lead a Christmas tour. They pass by a lighthouse, which resembles a candy cane, and a farm where the cows wear bells around their necks that resemble Jingle bells and climb to the top of the mountain to put Bruno’s star on a Christmas tree. But no tree can be found. Thomas decides to use Lookout Mountain to resemble a tree. As they travel around the mountain Kana hangs long strings of lights and their huge star is placed at the top. When the lights are turned on, “The mountain looked like a giant Christmas tree.” Train-loving kids will enjoy Thomas and his friends working together to create a wonderful Christmas tree for the holidays in this delightful board book.
        Themes: Adventure, Friendship, Holidays


written by Brianna Caplan Sayres, illus. by Christian Slade, (Randon House, Sept 2023, $8.99, Board Book, ISBN 978-0-593-64670-0), 22p, Ages 3+

In this new addition to the series “Where Do Diggers…”, children are asked where diggers, cranes, mixers, armored trucks, tanker trucks, dump trucks, food trucks, and cherry pickers go to celebrate Hanukkah after digging rock and soil, lifting loads, protecting gold, pouring oil, dumping sand, serving meals, and lifting buckets. Children are then asked “Where do your trucks celebrate Hanukkah / for all eight days and nights? / With you and your menorah / For this Festival of Lights!” Truck-loving children will enjoy this clever rhyming board book for the Holidays.
        Themes: Holidays, Humor, Trucks
Other books in the Series: Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? | Where Do Diggers Celebrate Christmas? | Where Do Diggers Trick or Treat? | Where Do Diggers Take Vacation? | Where Do Diggers Say I Love You? | Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? | Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night? | Where Do Speedboats Sleep at Night?


written/illus. by Sandra Boynton, (Boynton Bookworks/Simon & Schuster, $6.99 Board Book, Sept. 2022, ISBN 978-1-6659-1435-2), 16p, Ages 3+

Join in the fun as Sandra Boynton’s animals prepare for Christmas. The cows decorate with streams of holly, the sheep sing carols, the jolly pigs dance, the ducks and dogs decorate the tree, and the cows line dance all to the tune of “Deck the Halls”.
“Deck the halls with cows and holly / while the little sheep sing / BAA, BAA, BAA! / ‘Tis the season to be jolly. / All the happy pigs go HA HA HA.” Outside the barn the snow begins to fall as bedtime nears, and the “Chickens gently whisper, “BOCK, BOCK, BOCK.” Little ones will love the antics of the animals as well as interact with them to the tune of a famous Christmas carol.
        Themes: Animals, Humor, Holidays

written by Michael Brown, ills. by Elfrieda De Witt, (Little Simon, 2019, ISBN 978-1-5344-33793-7), 32p, Ages 3-5

This charming holiday story, first published in 1966, tells of a lonely mouse, with no name, who resides in an empty old mansion on Christmas Eve. Deciding that Santa never receives presents, he wraps up a delicious piece of cheese that he saved all year, leaves it for Santa, and goes to bed. What a surprise Christmas morning to find a thankful Santa giving him a new name and a new job as Santa’s helper. “Then over all the rooftops, / on a journey with no end, / away they went together, / Santa with his tiny friend.” After listening to this delightful story of giving and receiving, don't be surprised if children leave a piece of cheese for Santa Mouse on Christmas Eve.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Series


written by Paul Stewart, illus. by Christ Riddell, (HarperCollins, 1999), 32p, Ages 3-5

Rabbit and Hedgehog are best friends, but with winter coming on, they realize they must part for a while, as Hedgehog must hibernate until spring. Realizing that he will miss the winter experience, Hedgehog asks Rabbit to please save him a little bit of winter. Rabbit agrees, but Hedgehog, knowing how forgetful Rabbit is, writes a message on a tree as a reminder. “Dear Rabbit, please save me a little bit of Winter for when I wake up, Love Hedgehog.” Winter brings snow and as Rabbit searches for food, he accidentally passes the tree with Hedgehog’s message, and he remembers his promise. Kids will love the hard, white, and cold thing that Rabbit wraps in leaves and saves for Hedgehog.
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Seasons


written by Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin E. Stead, (Roaring Brook Press, Board Book, 2019, 34p, Ages 3-6

“It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy. But first, Bear had a story to tell.” His friends Mouse, Duck, Frog, and Mole apologize for not listening to his story, but winter is coming and they’re busy preparing for hibernation and migration. Instead of a story, Bear helps Mouse gather seeds for his underground hole, checks the direction of the wind for Duck to fly south, digs a hole for frog and tucks him, says good night to Mole, who I already asleep in his hole, and the sleepy bear hibernates. Come spring, Bear welcomes his friends back, but has forgotten his story. Now it’s Mouse, Duck, Frog, and Mole’s turn to help him remember. Kids will love this big, furry, gentle, helpful, and lovable bear.
        Themes: Animals, Bears, Friendship, Seasons, Values


written by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin, (Atheneum Books, 2017), 40p, Ages 3-7

Valentine’s Day is approaching, and Farmer Brown is busy cleaning the pigpen, stocking hay for the donkey, and mending broken fences, while Little Duck is decorating the barn for the party. “Little Duck worked hard, too. She tied balloons to. . .everything. She strung sparkling lights between…everything. She made hearts out of anything she could find.”
When the party begins, Little Duck gives each animal guest a handmade valentine and they supply the food, except for the cows that went to the Divine Bovine Ball. When the music begins, everyone begins dancing, until an uninvited guest appears and the animals wonder if he will join them or eat them. Unafraid, Little Duck gives him her last valentine, and everyone dances until the cows literally come home. Kids will enjoy this fun filled celebration, especially the mice hustle.
        Themes: Animals, Holidays, Friendship, Series


written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by A. G. Ford, (Chronicle Books, 2021, ISBN 978-1-7972-0430-7), 16p, Ages 2-4

This clever and colorful board book for Valentine’s Day will have preschoolers following Excavator, Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Cement Mixer, Skid Steer, and Crane Truck as they each discover a valentine note dedicated to them.
Cleverly concealed behind flaps are messages and clues as to who sent the note, which is revealed on the next page. “Excavator digs, then turns around, and—whoa! There’s something on the ground!” Lifting the flap reveals a note: “You dig and lift and lead the way! You help the team so much each day. Thanks for keeping us in line . . . Now, GUESS WHO pushed this valentine!” Little ones will love the surprise valentine under the last lift-the-flap in this sweet, charming read-aloud.
        Themes: Holidays, Rhythm & Rhyme, Machines, Series

Ages 4-8
Notables, Winter, Holidays

written/illus. by Lita Judge, (Antheneum Books for Young Readers, Sept. 2023, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-6659-1676-9). 40p, Ages 4-7

Winter and snow are on the horizon and the barnyard animals are preparing for cold weather. However, Duckling has an excellent idea how to keep all the animals warm for the winter. Wuddles has plenty of fluffy wool and borrows some to make a hat for Rooster, earmuffs for Rabbit, legwarmers for Goat, a sweater-vest for Duck, don’t forget dog who can use some slippers, and the new piggies must have Onesies. When the animals realize that poor Wuddles has no more wool left, the animals come up with a sweet plan to keep him warm through the winter — “Group hug!”
        Themes: Animals, Friendship, Concept, Humor, Seasons


written by Jonathan Graziano, illus. by Dan Tavis, (Margaret K. McElderry Books, Nov. 2023, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-6659-4167-9), 32p, Ages 4-7

Noodle the pug has a nice, cozy donut shaped bed in the bedroom he shares with his human pal, Jonathan. Deciding that he needs another place to get comfy, he tries his travel bag and kitchen snacks, but when he spies “Comfy Mountain” he knew its squishy cushions, great view, and the smelliest of smells were for him. However, his small legs don’t allow him to climb the mountain. “He had always been able to get into his bag or walk to the kitchen or hop in his bed all by himself. Why couldn’t he climb Comfy Mountain, too?” Help finally comes when Noodles squawks for Jonathan, who places him on the highest part of Comfy Mountain. There, he realizes that it’s ok to ask for a little help. Kids will love this cute, wide-eyed little pug and the tiny spider that slips into the story.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Friendship, Humor


A WINTER’S TALE (The World of Peter Rabbit)
written/illus. by Beatrix Potter, (F. Warne & Co., Oct. 2022, $9.99, ISBN 9778-0-241-57236-8), 32p, Ages 5+

Based on Beatrix Potter’s “Tale of Mr. Tod”, Peter Rabbit leaves his home to collect firewood one snowy afternoon and is joined by his friend Benjamin. Little do they realize an exciting adventure waits for both when they ignore their parents’ advice to beware of the fox, Mr. Tod.
Along the way to collect firewood, they meet Mr. Brock who carries a sack with something desperately moving inside. When they meet Mrs. Tittlemouse, they discover that her babies are missing and realize who has them. As they follow Tommy Brock, they are unaware of Mr. Tod, who is following them. Find out how the two enemies are bested, Peter and Benjamiin rescue the babies, and return home to have cups of chamomile tea and plum cake. Kids will love this delightful tale of friendship, heroes, and will love the Christmas Tree pop-up.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Heroes


written/illus. by Sebastian Meschenmoser, (Kane Miller, 2009), 56p, Ages 4-7yrs

“Squirrel hasn’t seen it snow. He usually stays inside in winter. But not his year!” Delaying hibernation, Squirrel waits for the first snowflake, but waiting proves difficult. Exercise helps but the noise awakens Hedgehog, and together they sing sea shanties to stay awake, which disturbs Bear. As the three search for the first snowflake, Hedgehog discovers a toothbrush, Squirrel finds a tin can, and Bear locates an old smelly sock, which they mistakenly believe to be a snowflake. When the first snowflakes fall, they realize the soft white fluff was worth the wait. Imagine two woodsmen’s surprise when they come upon a snowman dressed with a tin can hat, a sock nose, and a toothbrush mouth. This delightfully humorous tale and marvelous illustrations are sure to please young ones, especially at bedtime.
        Themes: Animals, Humor, Seasons


THE FOURTH KING: The Story of the Other Wise Man
written/illus. by Ted Sieger, (Candlewick Press, 2006), 48p, Ages 4-8

This enchanting holiday fable reminds us of the importance of helping those in need. Few people are aware that behind the Wise Men another king and his trusty camel, Chamberlain, decide to visit the newborn King. However, along the way, King Mazzel stops to rescue a small nomad girl from a sandstorm, guides a lost merchant caravan, gives a small thirsty plant his last drop of water, frees children from slavery, and deters soldiers from pursuing a family fleeing from Bethlehem. Although King Mazzel fails to meet the child, his Christ-like generosity reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
        Themes: Adventure, Heroes, Holidays


written by Margie Palatini, illus. by Richard Egielski, (Hyperion Books, 2005), 36p, Ages 6-9

Mailed to M. Philippe Renard, these hens end up in the unclaimed mail depot in New York City. Checking the phone directory, they are sure that Phil Fox of the Bronx is the intended recipient. Unlucky Mr. Fox thinks they are “better than takeout.” Colette, Poulette, and Fifi quickly take charge and turn his life around, and in the process work a little Christmas magic.
        Themes: Animals, Holidays, Humor


written by Wendi Silvano, illus. by Lee Harper, (Two Lions, 17.99, Dec. 2022), 40p, Ages 4-7

“It was Valentine’s Day, and all the animals on Farmer Jake’s farm were exchanging cards and treats.” Turkey especially liked his card from Otter that said, “DEAR TURKEY, YOU ARE LIKE NO OTTER!” Deciding to make clever cards for all his friends, Turkey delivers them in disguise (almost) from a secret admirer. However, Rooster isn’t fooled by Turkey’s cat costume and suggests a card for the next animal. No matter the costumes or clever messages, the animals are never fooled by Turkey’s disguises. Returning home, he begins to read his own valentines and devises a brilliant, creative, and delicious idea for the Valentine Dance. Kids will love the puns, the wacky disguises, and the surprise party with the banner: “I Love You All to Pizzas! From a Secret Admirer”.
        Themes: Adventure, Animals, Food, Holidays, Humor Series
Other Books in the Series: Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter | Turkey Claus | Turkey Trouble | Turkey’s Trick or Treat | Turkey Goes to School


written by Deborah Underwood, illus. by Caludia Rueda, (Dial Books, 2016, ISBN 978-0-525-42915-9), 88p, Ages 4-7

This fourth book in the non-speaking, placard-carrying Cat series finds Cat grumbling about Valentine's Day. Other than his stuffed squid, Cat has no friends and flatly refuses to send a valentine to the irritating, bone-throwing Dog next door. When a ball flies over the fence and hits Cat in the head, it's time for revenge, and he begins to build a rocket ship to send Dog to the moon. Construction is interrupted when a valentine from Dog flutters over the fence, and Cat has a change of heart. Deciding that his awful neighbor might be lonely and in need of a friend, Cat composes a valentine: “Roses are Red / Violets are Blue / Dogs are Annoying / except for you.” As always, Cat is humorous and charming, as he delivers a timely moral about being quick to judge.
        Themes: Animals, Holidays, Humor, Pets, Series
Other Books in the Series: Here Comes the Teacher Cat | Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat | Here Comes the Easter Cat | Here Comes the Santa Cat

Ages 7-10
Notables & Holidays

written by Ursula K. Le Guin, illus. by S. D. Schindler, (Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 1988, Oct. 2023, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-6659-3660-6), 48p, Ages 7-10

In an alley, behind a dumpster, Mrs. Jane Tabby gives birth to four unusual kittens with wings. According to Mrs. Tabby, “Maybe they have wings because I dreamed, before they were born, that I could fly away from this neighborhood.” Once Roger, James, Harriet, and Thelma learn to fly, Mrs. Tabby realizes that her lovely kittens are unsafe in the dangerous and unsafe neighborhood and sends them off into the world. As they fly off into the country, they learn to get along with the birds, James has an unfortunate encounter with an owl, and they find a home in a tree trunk where they hunt by day and hide by night from the owl. Find out how they find their forever home with two country children in this charming tale of four alley kittens who were born with wings.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Friendship, Series
Other books in the Series: Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings | Catwings Return | Jane On Her Own


THE BAKER’S DOZEN: A Saint Nicholas Tale
written by Aaron Shepard, illus. by Wendy Edelson, (Antheneum Books, 1995, ISBN 0-689-80298-6), 32p, Ages 7+

Full of generosity and honesty, this holiday tale tells how thirteen became a “baker’s dozen.” In colonial America, “there lived a baker, Van Amsterdam, who was as honest as he could be. Each morning he checked and balanced his scales, and he took great care to give his customers exactly what they paid for—not more and not less.”

On December 6, in celebration of Saint Nicholas Day, his bakery was crowded with customers waiting for the delicious Saint Nicholas cookies. When an old woman demands an extra cookie in her dozen, the baker refuses. Leaving her cookies behind, the woman departs with the words, “Fall again, mount again, learn how to count again!”

Poverty follows the baker until he learns a lesson in generosity. When he realizes how to count again, he is rewarded with an abundance of business, and the custom spread from town to town and through the other colonies. This beloved legend is as true today as it was in the colonial days of Albany, New York.
         Themes: Food, Heroes, Holidays, Humor


written by John M. Neale, illus. by Tim Ladwig, (Eerdmans Books, 2005), 32p, Ages 6-11

Based on actual events that occurred around the 10th century and told through the words of a famous Christmas carol, this lovely story surrounds kind-hearted King Wenceslas and his page as they set out on foot during winter to bring food to a poor man and his family. The endpapers contain a historical note on the Bohemian King Wenceslas.
         Themes: Adventure, Classics, Historical Fiction, Holidays


written by Richard Paul Evans, illus. by Jacob Collins, (Simon & Schuster 1998, Aladdin, 2006), 32p, Ages .7-9

On Christmas Eve a selfish young man purchases a magical candle and becomes more charitable to those less fortunate. When Thomas purchases a candle for his lantern from a mysterious old chandler, the shopkeeper warns him he may find it costly. On his way home, the young man encounters an old beggar woman, a sick man in the gutter, and a cold little girl. Thinking that they are his relatives, he helps each one; but he realizes that the candle tricked him, and they were strangers. Cold and penniless, he arrives home realizing that he is richer in the knowledge that we are all part of one family.
         Themes: Families, Holidays, Values


CHRISTMAS COOKIES: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Jane Dyer, (HarperCollins Books, 2008), 40p, Ages 5-10

Wisdom for the holidays comes together with appealing illustrations in a delightful sequel to Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons. Basic concepts and feelings are incorporated into a clever sort of dictionary surrounding Christmas. From “Anticipation” (thinking about making cookies), “Appreciation” (thanking the baker), and “Moderation” (eating just enough cookies) to “Frustrated” (burned cookies), “Perseverance” (trying again), “Thoughtful” (sharing with a neighbor), and “Gratitude” (thankful for cookies and family), 23 holiday lessons are presented for children’s enjoyment and education. Endpapers reveal a Christmas sugar cookie recipe.
         Themes: Concept, Food, Holidays, Values


written by Richard Simon/Tanya Simon, illus. By Mark Siegel, (Roaring Brook Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1-59643-949-8), 40p, Ages 7-10

“Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings.” With this reminder from his father, in 1938 on Christmas Eve and the seventh day of Hanukkah, a young Jewish refugee arrives by ship from Nazi Europe with a photograph and address of an unknown aunt. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan (100 blocks), he encounters kind New Yorkers, who bless him with gifts of food, mittens, music, and even the very first Superman comic.

Each small act of kindness welcomes Oskar into a new life in a country where miracles happen, especially during the holidays. Endpapers feature a map of Manhattan and Oskar's route from the Battery, past Union Square, Herald Square, Carnegie Hall, and Central Park to Aunt Ester's home. The engaging illustrations bring this story of kindness and generosity to life during a dark period in world history.
         Themes: Historical Fiction, Holidays, Friendship

Ages 8-12
Holidays & Notables

written by Wendelin Van Draamen, illus. by Laura Catatán, (Alfred A. Knopf, Oct. 2023, ISBN 978-0-593-64430-0), 208p, Ages 9-12

“I smelled trouble. It came driftin’ in off a fella on the sidewalk outside and tickled up my schnoz clear down to my paws.”
Mr. Whiskers, a loveable, nosy, pun-loving, streetwise dog, is a friend to two young girls, Misty and Zelda Nanigan, whom he calls the Shenanigan Sisters. They and their professor father live in a rundown San Francisco boardinghouse owned by the Aunties Tiana and Jada, and they slip Mr. Whiskers treats on the sly as the house rules say, “No Dogs Allowed”.
When their father is whisked away by a suspicious-looking man claiming to be FBI, alleging his involvement in stolen coins, Mr. Whiskers and the girls leap into action. Based on their father’s departing words, they soon discover secret rooms, hidden passageways, and old pirate treasure coins in the house. Following Mr. Whiskers in a wild bicycle ride through town, they locate the professor’s office and meet the kidnappers. Will they be able to rescue their dad in time? Find out in this light-hearted, fast-paced mystery with two daring kids and their endearing canine who just loves to take a bite out of crime.
Kids will love this adventurous, pun-loving canine, his doggy friends, wild bicycle rides, corn on the cob, and look forward to more adventures with Mr. Whiskers.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Heroes, Mysteries, Pets


written by Gerry Swallow/Peter Gaulke, illus. by Marta Kissi, (HarperCollins, Sept. 2023, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-06-321475-0), 208p, Ages 8-11

When Santa’s two mischievous elves borrow his sleigh to search for thin crust pizza, Santa’s red bag flips out of the sleigh and falls on top of 10-year-old Max Fernsby. He quickly discovers that the bag produces any toy he wishes for. Living with his stingy and cheap foster parents, the Plimptons, after his mother’s death, his lean allowance buys very few things including a puppy that he desperately wants.
Along with two friends, he decides to use the bag to support themselves and conjure up toys and sell to other kids, which comes to the attention of a greedy businessman, who watches Max sell toys at lower prices and plots to steal the bag. As Christmas is rapidly approaching, the two elves, Eldor and Skhiff, also work to retrieve the bag.
Kids will enjoy this delightful and hilarious race to save Christmas with a bag that changes lives and brings happiness to many kids. With chapter headings such as “Pants on a Moose”, “Runaway Bedpan”, and “The Downside of Upshooting”, kids will be laughing their way through this Christmas treasure. Most readers will be surprised when the narrator is discovered, and Max’s destiny is revealed.
         Themes: Adventure, Animals, Families, Fantasy, Holidays, Humor, Toys


written by Susan Wojciechowski, illus. By P. J. Lunch, (Candlewick Press, 1985/1995/2015), 40p, Ages 9-12

“Jonathan Toomey seldom smiled and never laughed. He went about mumbling and grumbling, muttering and sputtering, grumping and griping. He complained that the church bells rang too often, that the birds sang too shrilly, that the children played too loudly.” A woodcarver by trade, Jonathan was lonely and mourning the loss of his wife and child.
Before Christmas a widow requests a manger scene and asks that her son, an aspiring woodcarver, watch the process. Gradually over the next few visits the boy offers suggestions, and the widow brings small gifts of food. Slowly Jonathan changes from a sad, lonely woodcarver into a caring and joyful human being, transformed by the miracle of love and hope at Christmastime. This simple and heartwarming story has been enjoyed as a Christmas classic for years since written in 1985.
         Themes: Classics, Families, Holidays


Festive Holiday Stories

written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illus. by Garth Williams, (HarperCollins, 2005), 144p, Ages 8-12

Nine unabridged Christmas stories from the Little House books are presented in this holiday anthology. They describe the experiences of a pioneer girl and her family during various Christmases in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, on the prairie in Indian Territory, and on the banks of Plum Creek.
         Themes: Classics, Families, Holidays, Seasons, Series

Ages 10-13
Notables & Holidays

written by Stuart Gibbs, (Simon & Schuster, Oct. 2023, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-5344-7943-2), 352p, Ages 10-13

Stuart Gibbs’ latest fast-paced Spy School adventure finds Ben Ripley and his friends in Alaska on a training assignment when Erica’s grandfather, Cyrus Hale is kidnapped by his Russian nemesis, Ivan Ivanovich Shumovsky. A rescue mission is mounted, including Ivan’s granddaughter, Svetlana. Matters quickly escalate into a doomsday plot over the ownership of Alaska. Alert: The author of this great series decided unnecessarily to include lesbian content in this book.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Heroes, Humor, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in Series: Spy School | Spy Camp | Evil Spy School | Spy Ski School | Spy School Secret Service | Spy School Goes South | Spy School British Invasion | Spy School Revolution | Spy School at Sea


written by Karina Yan Glaser, (Clarion Books, $19.99, Sept. 2023, ISBN 978-0-35-843458-0), 416p, Ages 9-13

This last installment in the Vanderbeeker series finds the family preparing for a wedding of their two favorite people, Auntie and Mr. B. However, plans are suddenly interrupted with their biggest challenge yet--the discovery of cancer in one of the children. As always, the kids come together to help with encouragement, love, and humor. At the hospital they meet another critically ill young patient who badly needs friends, help recruit more therapy dogs for the patients, and train others at the hospital to make wedding decorations.
This is a heartwarming end to a great series surrounding a special family who share friendship, hope, and love with each other and all those that they meet. They will be greatly missed.
         Themes: Adventure, Families, Friendship, Heroes, Humor, Series
Other Books in Series: The Vanderbeeker of 141st Street #1 | The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden #2 | The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue #3 | The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found #4 | The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish #5 | The Vanderbeekers on the Road #6 | The Vanderbeekers Ever After #7


written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, (Aladdin Books, Dec. 2022, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-6659-3163-2), 528p, Ages 9+

Originally written in 1915, Frances Hodgson Burneett’s classic tale surrounds a young boy and his father as they search for the lost prince of Samavia. Twelve-year-old Marco Loristan, his father Stefan, and their faithful servant/ex-soldier Lazarus are in exile from Samavia due to its history of political turmoil when the king was overthrown 500 years ago. Legend states that the true king was never killed but escaped. His descendant, Prince Ivor, became known as the Lost Prince, who passed the secret of his royal claim down from father to son. and is waiting to reclaim the throne. No one knows who the Lost Prince is, but he will be trained by his father and prepared to assume the throne when Samavia calls.
Currently living in a poor area of London, Marco’s father has been training him for years to live by the oath: "The sword in my hand -- for Samavia! The heart in my breast -- for Samavia! The swiftness of my sight, the thought of my brain, the life of my life -- for Samavia. Here grows a man for Samavia. God be thanked."
When Marco makes friends with crippled boy, The Rat, who also desires to fight for Samavia, he becomes Marco’s “aide-de-camp”. Stefan decides to send them across Europe as messengers to the members of a secret society of patriots that “The Lamp is Lighted” which becomes a signal that the Lost Prince, the rightful heir, is about to fight for Samavia and reclaim the throne. Kids as well as adults will love this marvelous tale of adventure, friendship, and patriotism.
        Adventure, Classics, Families, Friendship, Heroes, Values


written by Daphne Benedis-Grab, (Scholastic Press, 2015, ISBN 978-0-545-83951-8), 256p, Ages 10-13

Three sixth graders come together at Christmas and discover friendship, compassion, and generosity. Josie and her dog, Clementine, volunteer in the pediatric ward at Frost Ridge hospital, where she dresses in silly costumes, performs, and sings favorite carols for the kids. Oscar, a troubled student, is sent by the principal to work at the hospital after school as punishment for bad behavior. Gabby, a popular student with a secret, finds herself in the hospital as a patient.
After the hospital's annual Christmas Festival is canceled, the three decide to work together and find a way to save the holiday festivities. When Clementine goes missing, friendships are tested, lessons are learned, attitudes are changed, and fears are overcome. Kids will enjoy this touching and heartwarming story of friendship and an unwavering love for a very special dog.
         Themes: Friendship, Holidays, Pets


written by Kate Milford, illus. by Jaime Zollars, (Clarion Books, 2014, ISBN 978-0-544-05270-3), 376p, Ages 10-14

What should have been a relaxing Christmas break for adopted twelve-year-old Milo Pine and his parents, owners of the legendary smugglers inn, Greenglass House, quickly becomes complicated and dangerous when five unexpected guests arrive seeking treasure in the old house. When their belongings begin to disappear, Milo and the cook’s daughter, Meddy, begin a role-laying game. Whereas Milo is meek with anxiety and insecurity issues, his character is brave and bold with a sense of observation and creative detective skills, which helps him to locate the stolen objects, piece together clues of the house’s mysterious past, and solve its connection to a legendary pirate. With its amazing stained glass windows, an attic of antiques, and original home to the famous pirate, Doc Holiday, Greenglass House contains multiple treasures and mysteries on every floor. Smugglers, custom agents, ghost stories, love stories, and stories within stories tell of love, trust, greed, and generosity. This enchanting and charming read, seasoned with fantasy, mystery, and danger, makes for a great holiday choice for middle grade readers.
         Themes: Fantasy, Holidays, Mysteries, Series
Other Books in Series: The Ghosts of Greenglass House #2 | Bluecrowne #3 | The Thief Knot #4 | The Raconteur’s Commonplace Book #5


written by Dean Pitchford, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013, ISBN 978-0-399-25465-9), 272p, Ages 11+

An embittered and troubled eleven-year-old encounters a reclusive neighbor, who changes his circumstances, alters his future, and saves his family and town at Christmas. With a history of larceny, Sam is well known by the police and in danger of being removed from his struggling single dad’s care. Fleeing from the police one evening, he encounters the mysterious Mr. Wells, a reclusive, wealthy neighbor, who anonymously distributes $100 bills at Christmas to Nickel Bay residents, thereby raising their spirits and the town’s economy.
Unable to participate this year due to a broken leg, Mr. Wells obtains a list of Sam’s crimes, blackmails him into becoming the secret Santa, and trains him in skills of a spy, pickpocket, and cat burglar. What results is a well-written, humorous, exciting, and fast-paced tale of rescue, redemption, and second chances. A surprise ending reveals Mr. Wells’ motives for becoming involved in Sam’s life. Kids will find themselves rooting for this kid every step of the way.
         Themes: Friendship, Heroes, Holidays

Ages 12-15
Notables & Holidays

written by Richard Peck, illus. by Brandon Dorman, (Dial Books, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8037-3082-3), 176p, Ages 12+

The year is 1958, and eccentric, fearless, and independent Grandma Dowdel from A Year Down Yonder (Dial, 2000) and A Long Way from Chicago (Dial, 1998) returns in a heartwarming Christmas story of generosity and courage.
The tale is told from the perspective of twelve-year-old Bob Batnhart, whose family moves into a small Illinois town next door to Mrs. Dowdel. Pushing 90 years, toting a gun, taking down neighborhood hoodlums, and raising funds to provide new windows for a rundown church, Mrs. Dowdel becomes a role model for six-year-old Ruth Ann, a teacher of courage to Bob, a friend to mom, and an obstacle to Phyllis’s high school antics.
Little does the Barnhart family realize that their encounter with Mrs. Dowdel will make their Christmas unforgettable. “She was no church woman, and she didn’t neighbor, and Christmas was just another day to her. But she didn’t wait for Christmas to give out her gifts. She gave too many. They wouldn’t have fit under the tree, not even the tallest blue spruce from the Dempsey’s backyard.” As always, Richard Peck’s characters are strikingly memorable and larger than life.
         Themes: Families, Friendship, Heroes, Holidays


written by O. Henry, illus. by P. J. Lynch, (Candlewick Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-7636-3530-5), 40p, Ages 12+

First published in 1903, O. Henry’s tale of love and sacrifice at Christmastime comes alive again with the beautiful illustrations of P. J. Lynch. A young and poor couple in New York scrape by on a meager income, which leaves only pennies for holiday spending. With only $1.87 to buy a present for her husband, Della sells her long hair to purchase a platinum chain for his watch. Jim, in turn, sells his watch to buy Della combs for her hair. On Christmas Eve, they discover what each has sacrificed for the other, and realize that their love and devotion are far more lasting than material things. O’Henry, a master at humor and plot twists, has entertained readers and listeners for generations.
         Themes: Classic, Families, Holidays, Values

Ages 14-18
Notables & Holidays

written by Mike Lupica, (Philomel Books, 2006, ISBN 978-0-1424-0942-8), 288p, Ages 15+

Josh Cameron, superstar point guard to the Boston Celtics, has fame and fortune. When confronted by an unknown 12-year-old daughter, Josh is reluctant to assume fatherhood, but upbeat Molly Parker wants a father badly. As their relationship grows, Josh realizes that maybe he needs a daughter after all.
Eventually they both come to understand that love and forgiveness can break down barriers of selfishness and doubt. A host of wonderful supporting characters—a plucky and warmhearted housekeeper, loyal friends, and a greedy agent—round out this beautifully written story of friendship, family, and unconditional love at Christmas.
         Themes: Families, Holidays, Sports

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