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
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
This parody of GoodnightMoon 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
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
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 PigChristmas Carol.
'The Crayons' Christmas' by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
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.
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