Popular holiday children’s books from classics to modern

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2015/12/16/popular-holiday-childrens-books-from-classics-to-modern/

Trying to find another way to spend some quality time with your kids this holiday season?

Cozy up with them before bedtime with one of these classic Christmas or Hanukkah stories, which recount tales of how the magical season came to be. Instill the holiday spirit and watch them pore through the pictures or even have your kids read the stories aloud for all to enjoy.

The Christmas Story

“The Christmas Story”

The Christmas Story,” by Jane Werner Watson; illustrated by Eloise Wilkin; published in 1952.

Hailed as the No. 1 best seller among Bible stories for children and distributed by the youth-literature franchise Little Golden Books, it recounts the birth of Jesus Christ in a humble stable in Bethlehem. A hardcover version was released in 2000.

"The Story of the Three Wise Kings"

“The Story of the Three Wise Kings”

Story of the Three Wise Kings,” written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola; published in 1983.

Following the birth of Jesus, three wise men notice a bright new star, symbolizing the arrival of a future King. They journey to Bethlehem, presenting gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant born in a manger.

"The Legend of the Poinsettia"

“The Legend of the Poinsettia”


The Legend of the Poinsettia,” written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola; published in 1997.

In this book, dePaola relates how poinsettias, whose scarlet leaves are so often associated with Christmas, came to be, through a little girl’s unselfish gift to the Christ Child.

"The Night of Las Posadas"

“The Night of Las Posadas”

The Night of Las Posadas,” written and illustrated by Tomie de Paola; published in 2001.

Rich with color imagery and luminous paintings, dePaola retells the story and legend behind the procession of Las Posadas, the tradition in which Mary and Joseph seek refuge before the birth of Jesus, by knocking on door after door and being turned away on Christmas Eve. DePaola casts the story in a modern setting where a similar situation develops and produces a Christmas miracle.

"The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving"

“The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving”


The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving,” written by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey; published in 2014.

Mackall retells the story of a young man named Nicholas who has dedicated his life to help the poor and destitute, secretly delivering gifts on Christmas Eve. The author seeks to remind children that the true gift of Christmas was the birth of Jesus Christ, and tries to motivate young readers to follow in the footsteps of Nicholas to become givers themselves.

"The Miracle of Saint Nicholas"

“The Miracle of Saint Nicholas”

The Miracle of Saint Nicholas,” written by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Judith Brown; published in 1997.

Whelan sets her Christmas tale in a small Russian village during the 20th century, and tells the history of the holiday in a time before military forces took control of the land. This motivates Alexi to wonder, “Why can’t we celebrate Christmas tomorrow in St. Nicholas?” In a land dominated for 60 years by an authoritarian, godless government, Alexi is told, that would take a miracle. Her story reminds readers that faith can’t be suppressed by government authorities or the weight of history.

"Christmas Day in the Morning"

“Christmas Day in the Morning”

Christmas Day in the Morning,” written by Pearl S. Buck, illustrated by Mark Buehner; first published in 1955 and republished in illustrated form in 2002.

Rob wishes to get his father something special for Christmas, something that can really showcase how much he loves him. But time is running out and so are his funds. What on earth could he present as a gift? In the end, he comes up with the best present of all.

"The Gift of the Magi"

“The Gift of the Magi”

The Gift of the Magi,” written by O. Henry and first published in 1905; republished with illustrations by P.J. Lynch in 2008.

William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, is famous for his short stories with classic plot-twist endings. In this story, he ventures away from his usual industrial/urban settings to write one of the most beloved Christmas tales in literature. It centers on a young married couple, Jim and Della, who discover the real importance of Christmas gifts and the spirit of giving.

"The Story of Hanukkah"

“The Story of Hanukkah”

The Story of Hanukkah,” written by Amy Ehrlich, illustrated by Ori Sherman and published in 1994.

Ehrlich recounts the origins of Hanukkah, or the Hebrew festival of lights, and further describes the Jewish people’s struggles under the imperialism of an evil king and their fight for religious freedom.

"The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah"

“The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah”

The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah,” written by Isaac Bashevis Singer, illustrated by Irene Leiblich and published in 1980.

This collection of stories by Nobel laureate Singer evokes themes of wonder and celebration. In each tale, one for each night of the Jewish holiday, a symbolic subject features very human characteristics, such as a parakeet named Dreidle and a baby deer that brings a message of hope to a barren couple.