15 December 2010

Really Really Good Books to Read and to Give

'Tis the season for giving, sharing, 
for cozy time and storybook reading. 

So we thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite holiday books and to suggest some books in case you are looking for books to give (or read) this holiday season. 
When you are done reading our suggestions, 
click comment and tell us yours!

Top Five Christmas Books from The Four of Us:
I'll be Home for Christmas 
by Hollie Hobby

Jingle the Christmas Clown
by Tomie DePaola
(visit his website for inspiration!)

Great Joy

by Kate DiCamillo
illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner?

by Tomie DePaola

Bear Stays Up for Christmas
by Karma Wilson
illustrated by Jane Chapman
We had to add Number 6
All for the Newborn Baby
by Phyllis Root
illustrated by Nicola Bayley
(The Four of Us agreed to list 5 books, but The Little Sister insisted we add just one more... and so we did! The Bean gave this to The Big Sister for her 1st Christmas. The dust jacket is long gone, there are a few torn pages, the Sisters adore the illustrations and simply sweet message.)
The Latest (and Greatest): 
The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan
by Susan Collins Thoms
illustrated by Deb Pilutti 
The Teacher sent The Sisters The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan and what fun it is! Both girls LOVE it. Say's Big Sister, "it is FULL of great stuff about Michigan." Notice in the photo: neither of them can take their eyes off of the book!

Giving Suggestions from The Big Sister:

The Shoes Series
by Noel Streatfield

The Whale Song

by Dyan Sheldon

Pasqual and the Kitchen Angel

by Tomie DePaola

The Gingerbread Baby 

by Jan Brett

The Illustrated Book of Ballet Stories

by Barbara Newman
Oh, and two more from Big Sis...
The Redwall Cookbook and  
A Redwall Winters Tale
by Brian Jaques
illustrated by Christopher Denise
(We all love these books, including The Dad! We also wanted to suggest Brambley Hedge but it is out of print.)

Suggestions from The Four of Us:
by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
The Sisters bought this book at the Traverse City Children's Book Festival. Another winner by Kate DiCamillo, author of Because of Winn Dixie and Tales of Desperaux.

by Lane Smith
This book is just plain fun.

Suggestions from The Bean:
All Saints 
by Robert Ellsberg
I’ll Be Home for Christmas 
by Hollie Hobby
Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner? 
by Tomie Depaolo
Old Turtle 
by Douglas Wood 
The Three Questions 
by Jon J. Muth

Complete set of Chronicles of Narnia 
by C.S. Lewis

Complete set of Lord of the Rings 
by J.R.R. Tolkien
While you are here, don't forget to read our wonderful interview with author Susan Messer we HIGHLY suggest her book to read and give too!

Okay, now it is your turn. What are your favorite holiday books? Do you have a suggestion for a great book to give for the holidays? How about a holiday tradition that involves books... 


  1. Since we already covered Christmas books here are a couple of my favorite read aloud books... we got both of them as gifts:

    Fox in Sox
    by Doctor Seuss

    I will never ever ever get tired of reading this, I may have it memorized...

    Cinder-Eyed Cats
    by Eric Rohmann

    The Mom got this for The Big Sister and I when the Big Sis was really little. Every time we read this book we escape into the book, every TIME!

  2. i just read a LOVELY book, hundred foot journey. but i think i already told you all this. let's see...i love the ones you have shown us - and found a few new ones to read!

    we ALWAYS give and get books for christmas. i love getting cookbooks, esp. :) YUM!

  3. I would give (except I already have) Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama. At our family Thanksgiving celebration, I brought a copy for each family and distributed them just before we were ready to sit down for dinner. Then, with my two grandnephews (ages 9 and 10) seated on the floor with the book in their laps, and my grandson (age 6) next to me, sharing his family's copy, we read it aloud. It's a memorable experience ending with, "Have I told you that I love you?" I plan to send it to my 45 year old daughter, who couldn't be with us, as a Valentine.

  4. This Christmas I'm giving to those I love a book "...to have and to hold from this day forward..." I't's To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue. John O'Donohue was a philosopher, a poet, and an Irishman. The combination is evident in this wonderful book of blessings. The Irish have a special gift for blessing and "...O'Donohue explains "blessing" as a way of life, as a lens through which the whole world is transformed." It certainly works for me! Through these blessings, the space between us becomes palpable.

  5. For the past few days I've been haunted by the fact that among these contributions, including my own, there is almost no reference to a book that should be in every reader's library. Is it because we all take it for granted? Or is there someone in this community who doesn't cherish a copy of The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery? Do you remember the first time you read it or had it read to you? Do you remember reading it as an adult and being overcome with ??? Do you know someone who has never held it in his/her hands and heart and would probably love it as a Christmas gift?

    Just asking. Lynn

  6. Thank you (again and again!)Lynn! I bought this for the girls for Christmas a few years ago and would you believe it is on our shelf but we have not read it? Thanks to you they will read it this January... is it a good read aloud?

  7. To the Mom, et al

    It's a good read any way! But it has levels, so if you're an adult encountering it for the first time, read it to yourself first.


  8. I love reading books ever since I was a little kid. Now that I am a father myself, I encourage my kids to read good books. There are a lot of good books to read like the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter or those which are written by Stephen King.