Holiday Books for Kids

By Shannon Gurnee
In Book Review
December 20, 2021

I received copies of these holiday books in partnership with Candlewick Press.

Seasonal Reads

Where Snow Angels Go

Where Snow Angels Go

Maggie O’Farrell

Illustrated by Daniuela Jaglenka Terrazzini

First chapter book – Ages 7-10

In a modern fairy tale told with humor and warmth, paired with Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini’s enchanting artwork, New York Times bestselling novelist Maggie O’Farrell weaves the story of a spirited girl who finds a way to bring magic into her own house—and enlist it to bring a sense of wonder to those she loves.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Illustrated by P.J. Lynch

Picture book – Ages 3-7

P.J. Lynch brings his rich and atmospheric art to the well-loved holiday poem. Children will pore over every cozy detail in these warm, sweeping watercolor illustrations—from snug mice to stockings hung by the chimney with care to toys in the bundle flung over merry St. Nicholas’s back. A glowing interpretation of a favorite read-aloud, this is a keepsake volume to cherish and return to year after year.



Matt Tavares

Don’t miss this New York Times holiday bestseller!

Picture book – Ages 4-8

Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.

Pick a Pine Tree

Pick a Pine Tree

Patricia Toht

Illustrated by Jarvis

Picture book – Ages 3-7

Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree. Joyously drawn and rhythmically written, this celebration of family, friends, and the holiday season is as merry as the tradition it depicts.

The Shortest Day book

The Shortest Day

Susan Cooper

Illustrated by Carson Ellis

Don’t miss this New York Times holiday bestseller!

Picture book – Ages 4-8

As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again. The Shortest Day captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before — and the hope for peace that we carry into the future.

Where's Waldo Santa Spotlight Search

Where’s Waldo? Santa Spotlight Search

Martin Handford

Novelty – Ages 5-9

These night-time scenes are bustling with Santas getting ready for Christmas Eve. Featuring super-challenging searches as well as puzzles and games, with the help of a magic slider to light up one spot at a time, Santa’s Spotlight Search promises many hours of merriment for seasoned Waldo fans and new followers alike.

Gift Books to Inspire and Entertain

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs Pop-up

Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs Pop-Up

Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart

Request this Candlewick classic for dinosaur lovers!

Novelty – Ages 5-9

From renowned pop-up masters Robert Sabuda and Matthew Reinhart comes an awe-inspiring tribute to the world’s most beloved extinct animals and their 180-million-year reign on our planet. Open this book and a massive T. Rex springs out, flashing a startling jawful of jagged teeth. Turn the next spread and a ravishing raptor unfurls and appears to fly off the edge of the page. With each of six spreads featuring one spectacular, large pop-up as well as booklets of smaller pop-ups and text, Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs is a magnificent display of paper engineering and creativity — an astonishing book that will be read, admired, and treasured forever.


What is your favorite holiday or inspirational title?

About Has 2151 Posts

Shannon Gurnee is the author of Redhead Mom formerly "The Mommy-Files", a national blog with a loyal following. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development with a Minor in Business Management. Shannon and her husband, Frank, have a large family with 6 awesome kids and love living on the Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, California, as well as traveling around the world. A full-time Social Media and Professional Blogger, Shannon also serves as a National Brand Ambassador for many well-known companies. Her blog focuses on motherhood, family fun activities, traveling, fashion, beauty, technology, wedding ideas and recipes while providing professional opinions on products, performances, restaurants, and a variety of businesses.

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