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Books for Christmas

Best Kids Christmas Books of 2011

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 6, 2011

Home for Christmas

By Jan Brett

A new holiday favorite about the importance of family and working together. Jan Brett’s clever storytelling begs to be read aloud while eyes devour her wonderfully detailed illustrations. More wintery, holiday favorites from Jane Brett: The Night Before Christmas and The Mitten. (Ages 3-5)

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree

By David Rubel; illustrated by Jim LaMarche

David Rubel, a children’s historian, captures the essence of giving and charity, showing the importance of compassion during the holidays. The colored-pencil illustrations by LaMarche are evocative of the 1930’s era, depression time, and warm the sol with their glow. (Ages 5-8)

A Bad Kitty Christmas

By Nick Bruel

Bad Kitty is a little on the greedy side; however, with the help of an old friend and  a new friend, he learns the true meaning of Christmas. Bruel’s alphabetical and lyrical format combine well with the busy and entertaining illustrations that fill the pages with a comical and epic Christmas journey. A Bad Kitty Christmas is for those that enjoy a good giggle. (Ages 4-8)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

By Barbara Robinson; illustrated by Laura Cornell

Based on her 1972 bestselling novel, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, popular author Barabra Robinson delivers an amusing picture book about the Herdmans family (“the worst kids in the history of the world”), who single-handedly capture the true meaning of Christmas with their candid interpretation. Bestselling illustrator Laura Cornell, who is well known for her artwork in actor/author Jamie Lee Curtis’s books, adds to the authenticity of the Herdmans candidness with her pictures that are purposefully unruly and farcical. This book is lots of fun. (ages 4-8)

The Story of Christmas

Illustrated by Pamela Dalton

Pamela Dalton has masterfully created intricate artwork using her paper-cutting scherenschnitte skills to bring the Nativity story from the King James Bible story alive. This is a great selection for those that are looking for a respectful, spiritual book. (Ages 4-8)

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Illustrated by Laurel Long

This is a splendid visual celebration of one of the most beloved Christmas carols, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Adults and children alike can get joyfully lost in the detailed oil painting illustrations as they search for hidden gifts from each of the previous verses. Destined to be a family favorite. (Ages 3+)

A Christmas Goodnight

By Nola Buck; illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright

Nola Buck has written a sweet, rhyming Christmas story that  doubles as a bedtime book for young readers. The illustrations are charming and offer a gentle visual introduction to the traditional Nativity story. (Ages 2+)

The Helpful Elves

By August Kopisch; illustrated by Beatrice Braun-Fock

The Helpful Elves is a classic German tale with a cautionary message that will discourage children from unnecessary investigation into the lives of elves. The retro illustrations are enhanced by ten die-cut elves, each with their own little personality, that are perched at the top of each page. This is quick read that lingers on the mind well after the last page has been turned. (Ages 3-7)

Here are a couple more suggestions for the youngest readers in your family: Santa’s New Idea by Nina Chen, What am I? Christmas by Anne Margaret Lewis, and Duck & Goose, It’s Time for Christmas by Tad Hills.

Add these books to your collection by clicking on the book cover images above.

Source of books: Some of these books were provided by the publishers. Submissions are evaluated based on the following particulars: literary value, illustrative quality, and over-all presentation. Our reviews are always positive because we only appraise those books with the strongest potential impact on the reader.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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