The Top 5… Picture Books for the Holidays

Today I thought I would share The Top 5 Christmas books that you should read this holiday season to your children.

I have to send out a huge thank you to the librarian at my son’s school for this list. This is actually her 5 favorite books.

A moving retelling of the Christmas story as seen through the eyes of one little cat “Everything was silent. It was as if all the animals held their breath. We looked at the baby, and the baby looked at us.” A long time ago in a faraway land, a cat lived in a barn. He had to share it with the other animals: cows and goats, chickens and . . . mice! But that was all right; he was a good mouser. Then one wintry night the door flew open and in came a man and a woman to take shelter from the snow. Soon the cat heard the cry of a new baby. Visitors came to kneel before the family. In the crowded barn, every face was turned to the tiny infant. Through the eyes of one small cat, award-winning author/illustrator Michael Foreman retells the wondrous story of the first Christmas.

This is the first time I have heard of this book and it was a beautiful retelling of the Christmas story. The story is told in the point of view of the barn cat. I think kids will truly appreciate the story so they know how important animals are in this. The illustrations are very pretty.

From two extraordinary talents, a beautifully crafted picture book for the Christmas season. The three wise men, or the three kings, are familiar figures in the Christmas tradition. Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park has taken the brief biblical references to the three as the starting point for a new story. In it we meet a boy who is learning his father’s trade; a man who gathers resin from certain trees; a merchant in the marketplace; and three strangers in brightly colored robes who are shopping for a gift for a baby. Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline with exquisite paintings, this simple, moving tale of ordinary people involved in an extraordinary event brings new resonance to the well-known gift list of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Includes an author’s note.

This is another new book for me but one I happy that the librarian shared with me. The illustrations are beautiful. At one point they looked like real pictures. The story begins with a boy going out with his father who collects and sells resin myrrh (which is referred to as tears) for a living. If you remember the myrrh is the third gift given. So this story is about that third gift.

A kindhearted king plays a bigger role in the Nativity than he realizes in this ode to unsung heroes everywhere. Once upon a time, three kings came out of a distant land and followed a star across the desert. You may know them as the Wise Men, or perhaps the magi-bearers of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for a newborn child. What few know is that another king set out on the long and difficult journey, a king named Mazzel who, unlike the well-sung trio, arrived too late and empty-handed. First there was the frightened nomad girl who needed rescuing from a sandstorm, then the lost merchant caravan in need of a guide, and more crises along the route. What was Mazzel to do? Based on the short story “The Other Wise Man” by Henry Van Dyke, this enchanting fable from artist Ted Sieger is a heartening, universal tale that reminds us all of the meaning of Christmas.

I think this had to be one of our favorites out of the five books.

Wombat loves everything about Christmas, but he especially loves the Nativity play. He’s wanted to be in it for as long as he can remember. At last, he’s old enough to try out. But at the auditions, the first part goes to someone else. So does the next. And the next…. Will there be a part left for Wombat? Sure to find a place alongside the most beloved classics of the holiday season, this tender Christmas story will have readers applauding for Wombat from the moment they meet him.

This is such a cute story that I am sure kids will love. I feel in love with Wombat and was so happy that even though he was to big or to small from some parts he got the best one of all.

A hilarious cast of distinctively Canadian characters populate these Twelve Days of Christmas! Christmas, as only Canadians can celebrate! Where else do Mounties frolic, squirrels enjoy a fine game of curling, and hockey players mark the season as lords-a-leaping? This hilarious, tongue-in-cheek re-setting of the popular Christmas carol is the perfect gift for Canadians new and old, young and young-at-heart.

I saw this book last year in the school library and instantly feel in love with it. This is one of my favorite Christmas books. This is the Canadian spin on the 12 Days of Christmas. Gotta love that. Its filled with all kinds of Canadian magic and all things Canadian such as the mounties, the Stanley cup, the Toronto Maple Leafs (even though I am not a fan) and so many more. This one is on my definite list of books you should purchase.

What are some of your favorite picture books to read this holiday season?

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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