Caught in a holiday whirlwind? A friendly suggestion: whisk up some hot chocolate, pull on everyone’s coziest pajamas, snuggle close on the couch, and dive into a stack of holiday picture books. We’ve picked out a few of our favorites.
1: The Story of Holly and Ivy, by Rumor Godden and Barbara Cooney. I wish…I WISH…This is a story about a toyshop at Christmas time, a brave little girl named Ivy, a doll in a red dress named Holly, an ornery owl, and three wishes straight from the heart. Rich illustrations by Caldecott Medal Winner Barbara Cooney draw young readers into a wintry village glowing with holiday lights and a touch of magic.
2: Dream Snow, by Eric Carle. A solitary farmer settling in for a Christmas Eve nap; five animals sweetly named “One,” “Two,” “Three,” “Four,” and “Five”; an unfortunate lack of snow, until…! Eric Carle’s vibrant, collaged illustrations set this counting Christmas book apart (and little ones will love the musical surprise at the end).
3. The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin. The best of curl-up-by-the-tree family-read-alouds comes alive with masterful illustrations by Swiss-born Caldecott Winner Mr. Duvoisin (a favorite of Lorena’s). The extra-tall shape of the book reminds us of chimneys and stockings, and perhaps carrots for those reindeer?
4. The Night Before Christmas, with cut-outs by Robert Sabuda. As beautiful as a snowflake, Sabuda’s intricate pop-outs add an extra dash of wonder to the beloved text.
5. The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah, by Martha Seif Simpson and Durga Yael Berhard. Warmly lit watercolor illustrations and an engaging story gently remind readers of the beauty of small miracles.