This time of year the phrase “Silver and Gold” might conjure up a little snowman singing the Johnny Marks song (“Silver and Gold”) as in the holiday classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”. Holidays bring excitement and perhaps overstimulation to the child in all of us. Remedy: snuggle with a good book in a comfy chair to de-stress your child from the holiday bustle. Book choices during the holidays can be likened to the friendship poem “Silver and Gold” by Joseph Parry. Paraphrased, consider: Read new books, but keep the old; those are silver, these are gold. Here is a look at some of our new (silver) holiday picture books for children followed by some old classics (gold).
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Christmas 1 2 3 by Eric Carle. Join the Very Hungry Caterpillar for some Christmas counting fun in this delightfully festive board book. The pages are filled with Eric Carle’s distinctive artwork, from 1 jolly Santa Claus to 10 beautifully wrapped presents. And children will love to spot the Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance with every number in this perfect Christmas gift!
The Christmas Fox by Anik McGrory. A Christmas tale for young children that celebrates the true meaning of the season “Come!” drummed a woodpecker one cold, wintry day. “A baby is coming. There’s work to be done!” One by one, from field and forest, the animals make their way to a barn. The cow has sweet-smelling hay to offer the baby. The bluebird has the gift of song. And a lamb has soft, cozy wool. But the shy little fox has nothing to offer . . . or so he thinks. With its gentle text and warm, expressive illustrations, this irresistible take on the Nativity story invites even the youngest child to discover the truest gifts of the Christmas season: the ones that come from the heart.
Stowaway in a Sleigh by C. Roger Mader. The cat’s out of the bag and holiday adventure awaits! When Slipper finds Mr. Furry Boots in her house, she does what any cat would do and investigates. But curiosity gets the best of her when she finds herself on a trip she hadn’t planned on taking . . . Join Slipper as she discovers that there’s no place like home–especially for Christmas.
The Biggest Smallest Christmas by Harriet Muncaster. ” The Night Before Christmas meets Thumbelina in a toy-filled tale that celebrates the excitement and magic of the holiday season. Clementine is a teeny-tiny girl who lives with her average-sized family. It’s mostly fun being the smallest, but Christmas can be tricky. Santa brings beautiful toys, but they are too big for this little girl. Every year, Clementine tries to tell Santa she’s small. But the cookies she ices with a message to Santa are eaten, and the words she stamps out on the roof are covered by fresh snow. It’ll take a whole lot of Christmas spirit for Clementine to find the right way to reach Santa-and when she does, she just might get the toy of her dreams! Harriet Muncaster’s whimsical illustrations shine in this celebration of creativity, gratitude, and the magic of Christmas.”
Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree by Lori Nichols. “Lori Nichols’s delightful book celebrates the bond of two nature-loving sisters, and their ability to find fantastic kid-powered solutions to any problem-and it will give allergy sufferers an extra reason to celebrate. Maple and Willow love trees-and now they are getting their first real Christmas tree. It is going to be the best Christmas ever! After a snowy expedition to pick out the perfect tree, it’s time to decorate. But whenever Maple gets near the tree, she starts sniffling and sneezing. Could she really be allergic to the perfect Christmas tree? And if so, how will the girls find a way to make this the best Christmas after all?”
The Lost Gift by Kallie George. In this charming Christmas-themed picture book that feels like a classic, four animals deliver a lost package for Santa. It’s Christmas Eve, and Bird, Rabbit, Deer, and Squirrel are eagerly waiting for Santa to fly overhead. When he does, a gift tumbles out of his sleigh, landing in the woods. The friends find the gift and read the tag: “For the new baby at the farm. Love, Santa.” And so, in spite of Squirrel’s grumbling–“It’s not our baby”–they set off on a long journey to deliver it. Sweet, poignant, and starring a cast of truly adorable characters, this is a story sure to be shared year after year at Christmastime.
Clark the Shark Loves Christmas by Bruce Hale. Clark the Shark loves Christmas more than anyone! When Clark’s class organizes a Secret Santa exchange, Clark decides to find out who will be giving him a present . . . and forgets to get a present for his Secret Santa! What will happen on the day of the gift exchange? Will Clark learn about Christmas giving? Featuring bright, colorful artwork from Guy Francis and hilarious read-aloud text from Bruce Hale, this Clark the Shark picture book is the perfect story for Christmas reading fun.
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus. Santa has a problem. This kid? Harold? Santa doesn’t think he’s real. He WANTS to believe in Harold–after all, Harold is one of the most magical parts of Christmas. Getting Harold’s letters, eating the cookies he leaves out, feeding his carrots to the reindeer… what would Christmas be without that? But Santa’s just not sure. Some of his friends are telling him they think Harold’s not real. And the Harold that sat on his knee last Christmas looked AWFULLY different. Santa comes up with a plan to find out once and for all if Harold really exists… with hilarious consequences.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. “Every Who down in Who -ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who -ville, did NOT!” Not since “‘Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. No holiday season is complete without the Grinch, Max, Cindy-Lou, and all the residents of Who -ville, in this heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit on even the smallest and coldest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. For millions of readers worldwide, this mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic.
The Little Drummer Boy by Kristina Rodanas. For many who grew up with “The Little Drummer Boy,” this classic story of the encounter between a poor boy and the baby Jesus embodies the true spirit of Christmas. Now, to enchant a new generation, Kristina Rodanas has illustrated the beloved song. Her rich paintings cast an exotic, magical glow over the familiar words, bringing a unique vision to this timeless celebration of the joy of giving. The complete words and music appear on the last page so that readers can sing along.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
The internationally acclaimed illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger spent over two years creating the illustrations for her interpretation of this beloved story. She lends her signature wit, charm, and insightful clarity to pictures that add new dimension and depth to Dickens’s tale of the redemption of parsimonious Ebenezer Scrooge by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. The result is a splendid new edition that’s sure to be cherished by generations to come.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May. Every year at Christmastime, young and old alike fall under the finger-snapping, joy-inspiring spell of this song. Now fans of the most famous reindeer of them all can become acquainted with the original story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, written in verse by his creator, Robert L. May, in 1939. Sumptuously re-illustrated with the vibrant and magical art of David Wenzel, this beautiful edition of an American holiday classic is a book to treasure and to share, year after year.