You can still read and gift
The Polar Express, but maybe Dasher will be your new favorite, one of the many holiday-themed children's books out this year that put a stripy-stockingsed twist on stories you know, or fix the age-old problem in kids' lit of "not enough guinea pigs ."
If you've relied heavily on
Happy Hannukah, Curious George, you might find Goodnight Bubbala, a Yiddish parody, freshens up one of the eight nights of Hannukah. If you want to explain Yule to your tot, or why it's dark when you pick them up from daycare, there is The Shortest Day. Whether you celebrate Hannukah, or Christmas, or the Solstice, or you just like making a good snowman, there are snowy days, parties, traditions, and hijinks galore in these new titles. So light the menorah, deck the halls, and snuggle in for some magical wintery reading.
(Disclaimer: Your child does not know they are seasonal books, so you may well be reading
The Nutcracker into July. You have been warned!) The Nutcracker (Penguin Bedtime Classics) based on the book by E.T.A. Hoffmann, illustrated by Carly Gledhill Board Book Edition The Nutcracker: ($7.99, IndieBound)
The simplest retelling of Clara and her pals for the youngest readers. It's a perfect intro to this classic story, and this new edition is even simpler. Pairs delightfully with some egg nog the music from the ballet.
'One Snowy Morning' by Kevin Tseng, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte by Kevin Tseng ($16.99, One Snowy Morning IndieBound)
Small woodland creatures come upon a pile of snow that holds some interesting odds and ends. They riddle out the purposes of the sticks and the mittens.
'Maisy's Christmas Party: With 6 Festive Letters And Secret Surprises' by Lucy Cousins ($14.99, Maisy's Christmas Party IndieBound)
Little readers, along with Maisy, can enjoy opening letters and finding surprises. Maisy is getting ready for a Christmas party and teensy readers get to join in the fun.
'Goodnight Bubbala: A Joyful Parody' by Sheryl Haft, illustrated by Jill Weber by Sheryl Haft ($17.99, Goodnight Bubbala IndieBound)
This parody of
Goodnight Moon is full of Hannukah goodness and Yiddish galore. The story focuses on a family's celebration, but this book also includes a phonetic glossary of the Yiddish and a latke recipe from Ina Garten! 'The Great Santa Stakeout' by Betsy Bird, illustrated by Dan Santat by Betsy Bird ($17.99, The Great Santa Stakeout IndieBound)
Freddy has a solid plan for catching Santa Claus in his gift-delivery act. His secret plans involve baking cookies, and surveillance methods in order to snag a photo with the jolly man himself.
'The Shortest Day' by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis by Susan Cooper ($17.99, The Shortest Day IndieBound)
Susan Cooper's poem about the comfort in gathering and celebrating the winter solstice beautifully illustrated. Marking the darkest, longest night with celebration and light helps bring cheer. You can read more about these gorgeous illustrations
here. 'Baby's First Nativity' illustrated by Nomar Perez illustrated by Nomar Perez ($6.99 from Baby's First Nativity Little Bee Books)
Simple and sweet, this depiction of the Nativity introduces tots to the Christmas basics, with a nicely swaddled Jesus at the middle of goings on.
'A Guinea Pig Nutcracker (Guinea Pig Classics)' by Alex Goodwin ($14.00, A Guinea Pig Nutcracker IndieBound)
The classic story of Clara and the Mouse King and the Sugarplum Fairy, now made even cuter by the substitution of guinea pigs in all the roles. And if this is your thing, there are many other books in the Guinea Pig Classics series, including
A Guinea Pig Christmas Carol. 'The Crayons' Christmas' by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers by Drew Dawalt ($19.99, The Crayons' Christmas IndieBound)
Just when you thought there was no way these crayons could possibly have any more adventures, they find a way to celebrate the holidays. If you have a kid who's delighted by opening packages and books that pop up, they'll love this one.
'Dasher' by Matt Tavares by Matt Tavares ($17.99, Dasher IndieBound)
Brave reindeer Dasher knows she's destined for
something, and when she meets Santa, her wishes begin to come true. The illustrations are lush and classic and will keep readers dreaming of snowy nights and jingle bells. 'The Bear And The Star' by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Bethanne Andersen by Lola M. Schaefer ($17.99, The Bear And The Star IndieBound)
A sweet story of hosting gatherings and welcoming the seasons. Bear sees a new star in the sky and searches for the perfect tree under which to hold a gathering of creatures big and small.