Get ready for the holiday break with some classic tales and new stories for all ages. Read together and most importantly, read for fun during this time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Books make great gifts all year, but they can be a special part of family holiday traditions that can be pulled out each season and enjoyed anew. 

Merry Christmas, Baby by Abigail Tabby, illustrated by Alice Wong (Little Simon, ages birth – 3) This board book, part of the New Books for Newborns series, had sweet text and beautiful illustrations that make for perfect bedtime holiday reading, even for the youngest babies. Send them off to sleep with warm wishes.

Angela’s Christmas by Frank McCourt, illustrated by Raúl Colón (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, ages 4 – 8) Previously published as “Angela and the Baby Jesus” and now an Emmy-nominated film streaming on Netflix, this richly illustrated story by Pulitzer Prize Frank McCourt (author of “Angela’s Ashes”) tells the story of his mother’s childhood Christmas and her overwhelming compassion for someone she thought was in need. It’s great for older kids, too. 

Santa Mouse by Michael Brown, illustrated by Elfrieda De Witt (Simon & Schuster, ages 4 – 8) The origin story of a caring, tiny mouse as a friend and helper to Santa is a great one to read by the tree. This is a classic that parents (and maybe grandparents) might remember and can now enjoy with their littles.

Bird Count by Susan Edwards Richmond, illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman (Peachtree, ages 4 – 8) Inspire kids to become citizen scientists as part of the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count with this very well done book. Learn about different types of birds, how to observe them and maybe start a new family tradition this winter. Learn how to participate at and set the stage (and build excitement) with this story before you head out to look to the sky. 

Mistletoe and Murder: A Wells & Wong Mystery by Robin Stevens (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, ages 10 and older) Let this Christmas season story of young detectives enchant your older elementary and middle grade readers while school is on break. 

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