Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!

The Christmas season is in full swing!!  The decorations are hung in my classroom with care and the Christmas/Holiday books line the dry erase boards and FILL my "All-Star Books" crate.  Because there are SO MANY Christmas books to choose from (and more and more come out each year), there are certain standards I set for the Christmas books that I select for my classroom.  First and most importantly, the book MUST stir some sort of emotion from within me (other than boredom).  If I laugh out loud, have a connection to the character and WANT to keep reading, then I know that is a book I need to own.  The second...the illustrations.  If you've ready any of my previous posts, you know how important I believe the illustrations are to a book...maybe even more so are the illustrations in a Christmas book.  Kids have a mental image of Santa, the reindeer, his workshop and the elves...the illustrations are so very important in helping to continue to foster those thoughts and images! 

Here are a few of my favorite Christmas/Holiday books that I have in my classroom:

This is an author/illustrator that I have written about in earlier posts.  This is one of my favorite Christmas book and it is written and illustrated by David Shannon.  Each page of illustrations tell more and more about the story than just what is written in the words.  Great pictures.  Great story.  Great moral. 

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book.  A student gave this book to me several years ago and it has turned out to be one of my favorites.  This story features letters written back and forth between Santa and a little girl named Holly.  On the pages where Santa has written Holly a letter, you will find a small envelope with letters that you can take out and read.  Kids LOVE it!!!  One of my favorite things about this book is that the letters NEVER talk about what the little girl wants for Christmas.  She asks Santa about his reindeer, elves and talks about her brother.  Santa responds with letters, reindeer jokes and an ornament (all tucked inside tiny little envelopes).  I love reading this book as much as the kids do. 
 For my younger or struggling readers...Froggy's Best Christmas!!  You can never go wrong with a Froggy book!!

 He's back!!  My favorite illustrator...David Catrow!  One of Santa's elves knocks Santa out cold (with a toy he invented) on Christmas eve.  Now the elf has to find someone to take Santa's place and deliver the presents!  Enter Murry...owner of Murry K. Diner.  This book is written in rhyme and it makes me laugh right along with the kids.
This book is written by the same author (Mike Reiss) and illustrator (David Catrow).  Cute book about a make-believe place where it is Christmas every day, kids never go to school, the mail never gets delivered...except on the one day of the year - "Un-Christmas!"

 Junie B. Jones is is as funny and sassy as ever in her Christmas book.  It is laugh-out-loud funny!!
 I found this book while wandering through Barnes and Noble one day...and I immediately fell in love with it.  The first thing that caught my attention was the cover.  (This is one of those times when judging a book by it's cover paid off!!)  I loved everything about it...just from the cover.  The story, if it's possible, is even better than the pictures.  A little boy writes a letter to Santa and tells him that he wants a penguin for Christmas.  Santa gives the boy what he wants...but it turns out to be a lot more than he bargained for.  It is a sweet, sweet book that is beautifully written and equally beautiful illustrations. 
This book has been around a while (written in 1997), but I only recently bought it for my classroom.  Don't ask me what took so long to buy it...because I couldn't tell you.   Recently, this book was made into a make-for-TV movie.  It's not nearly good as the book.  Little Olive is a puppy who hears a song about her on the radio..."Olive the other reindeer..." She makes her way to the North Pole where she knows Santa is waiting for her to help lead the way on Christmas Eve to deliver gifts!

 Splat is one of my favorite Children's book series.  This book is no exception.  Splat and his pet mouse, Seymour, are funnier than ever in Merry Christmas, Splat!

Here he is favorite illustrator, David Catrow. (Is this the part where I confess that I have a small "illustrator" crush on him?!?!) This author/illustrator duo are back with HILARIOUS poetry written to the melodies of favorite Christmas songs. It is just as fun trying to sing the words to the melody as it is to read the poems!!
A really cute book about the eight nights of Hanukkah.
For younger kids, but still a great book to introduce Hanukkah.

 These two books are great for introducing and teaching kids about the meaning of Kwanzaa!
Merry Christmas and HAPPY READING!!!!

**All images are from