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10 Fresh, Modern Family Holiday Books

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We’re a family that likes to read. (Well, our one-year-old is juuust getting interested in books, but we’ve read to her brother since he was two weeks old, so it’s old hat to him. I’m a librarian but I give all the credit to my husband – he’s the one who reads most of the time.) In particular, we like to rotate our favorite book titles around through the year. My husband and I get just as excited as our son when a new season or holiday is around the corner to share some new stories. While the old familiar classics are awesome favorites – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, the Grinch, The Polar Express – we’ve got a new list developing with some more modern tales. So, just in case you’d like to try something new with your family, I’m sharing a handful of fun, fresh story ideas, just in time for the holidays.

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  Here Comes Santa Cat – A cat who doesn’t speak (and has a slightly negative attitude)? How does THAT make a special holiday story? Trust me. Not only is it hilarious, it’s touching. An instant fave. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas – If you have a fan of princesses and sparkles in your house, this book is perfect. Dream Snow - Be sure to get the one with audio on the back page – it’s downright magical! That’s all I’m saying. ;-) Curious George: Christmas Countdown – George counts down the days to the big event, just like many of our little ones do! Lil Rabbit’s Kwanzaa – A cute, fun way to introduce this special holiday to any child. Olivia Helps with Christmas – Olivia is like many kids these days – she knows her mind and does things in her own, outgoing way. See how this works out when she helps with Christmas festivities. Snowmen at Christmas – Along with its popular partner title, Snowmen at Night, it poses the question, “What do snowmen do when our backs are turned?” This time, throw Christmas in the mix and it’s a fun story any kid will love. Olive the Other Reindeer – I actually just had a teacher use this book for a cute compare/contrast. Pet dog Olive hears the beloved song and decides she simply MUST be a reindeer, much to the surprise of Santa. Absolutely adorable. A Couple for the Older Kids and Adults – I couldn’t leave these ones out. The first became a family favorite years ago when we stumbled upon it and had a read aloud at a Christmas party. The second, well, I used to read this at my last school and while it’s super verbose (read: lots of big words) and goes over the head of even the wisest 6th grader, the last page always has them scratching their heads and shouting, “Wait a minute!! Is this real?!” Judge for yourselves! How Murray Saved Christmas - A hilarious story (with equally humorous illustrations) about a guy who doesn't get the whole Santa gift giving thing (presumably because he's Jewish) who is forced to take over for the big guy after an elf-induced accident. Written by an award-winning writer for The Simpsons. Red Ranger Came Calling - At points, you want to give the kid in this story a good long time out. At others, you realize what a lonely life he must have and are thisclose to feeling badly for him. Regardless, watching his redemption by telling a white lie (yes, you read that correctly) mimics an older child's attempts at grasping at the last straws of belief and Christmas spirit. What's your family's favorite holiday book? We'd love to read your faves with our families.
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