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Christmas books for little ones

Need a last-minute stocking stuffer? Just hoping for something to occupy kids (or wear them out) while waiting for Santa to show tonight? Here are some cute choices for sharing with little ones.

jones_santa shimmyAuthor Christianne Jones and illustrator Emma Randall’s board book Santa Shimmy (Picture Window, August 2015) stars a Bink-lookalike demonstrating the “Santa shimmy”: “Jump jump jump / Santa comes tonight! / Puff out your belly. / Stomp your feet. / Spin spin spin / and then repeat.” Her dance partner? The jolly old elf himself! Candy-colored illustrations full of movement accompany the rhyming, rhythmic instructions for this energetic dance.

hearn_christmas at lastChristmas at Last! by Sam Hearn, illustrated by Penny Dann (Scholastic, October 2015), features a family of friendly bears. Delving into their Christmas stockings, each bear discovers a perfectly suited gift — until Baby Bear discovers a carrot in his stocking. Not to worry: the bears head outside to build a snowman, with the carrot as the finishing touch. Soothing rhymed couplets, sturdy stocking-shaped pages, and a blue-based palette (with just a hint of snowy glitter) make for a sleepy Christmas Eve bedtime story for very small listeners.

grinch set 2Dr. Seuss’s classic Christmas tale How the Grinch Stole Christmas is now available in a three-piece gift set (Random House, September 2015). The set includes a hardcover copy of the book, a 14″-tall stuffed Grinch sporting a Santa hat, and a “Good Deeds Journal.” I’m not sure how the Grinch would feel about the journal (it’s probably as likely to make his eyes roll as to make his heart grow three sizes) but hey, Christmas is a great time to talk about the importance of doing good for others.

For more Christmas-y reading recommendations, see our annual Holiday High Notes lists.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.

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