Children’s Christmas Books for 2013

It’s a little messed up unorthodox, I’ll admit, posting my annual children’s Christmas books list on Christmas day. The story of why is a tale no one with any ambitions in life would ever want to hear, so I’ll just cut to the list. This year’s list is short and sweet; four books have caught my eye amid distractions of research papers, exams, and yes, extensive discussions on the fact that Taylor Swift will play Rosemary in the upcoming movie version of The Giver. (My seventh graders just finished the novel, and I feel my life is now complete.)

IMG_6543Many of you may have heard stories of the letters Tolkien wrote his own children when they were young, letters signed by “Father Christmas.” I’d long forgotten this tidbit of information when I stumbled across this title at my local library earlier this month and saw this book The Father Christmas Letters. In truth, parents may enjoy this one even more than the children.

IMG_6541The credit for The Gift of the Magi goes to Kirsten over at Comfortably Domestic; after my first children’s Christmas books post, she mentioned O’Henry’s short story as a favorite. I’d only ever seen it in anthologies I’d taught, but on a whim I searched my local bookstore, where I found a picture book version of the story. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s classic O’Henry style with a heartwarming twist at the end. I’d recommend it for older children who will be able to appreciate the full significance of the “gifts.”

IMG_6534And finally, I present two books in a series of books about various states in the United States: The Twelve Days of Christmas in North Carolina and The Twelve Days of Christmas in South Carolina. The premise behind each book is that a child goes to visit relatives in one of the Carolinas, and the relatives (clearly and conveniently blessed with extensive vacation time and lots of hotel points) take the child to a different part of the state each day for twelve days to show off their home state. The child writes a letter home each day, describing the sights of the day. Honestly, it’s not the most riveting prose ever, but the books are fun and very informative, and the small people learned many things about the region we call home. If you are interested, there are many other states available in the series as well.

If any of you have any favorites to share, I’d love to hear from you. Next Christmas is only a year away, so perhaps I should start compiling the 2014 list now! 😉

Merry Christmas y’all, and enjoy your holiday season!

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