Happy Tuesday, kidlit friends! We always put up our Christmas tree and decorations the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I pull out all our Christmas children’s books then, too. My daughter has requested a real tree this year, which is problematic because I have lots of tree allergies! We might try a small one on the table and see if I break out in hives, lol. In the meantime, we have a perfectly serviceable fake tree she will have to settle for. I’m writing this from the future, but by the time you’re reading this, the tree should be up and decorated. This week I review my favorite new Christmas children’s books.
Merry & Bookish Holiday Card by annyamarttinen
This handmade bookish holiday card would be perfect for sending to friends and family (and enemies) this holiday season. $5
Knitting for Dogs by Laurel Molk (picture book)
Izzy is a builder, and building comes easily to her. When she decides to take up knitting, she thinks it will be just as easy as building, but she could not be more wrong. Everything she knits turns out all wrong. When she takes her pet dog, Max, to the dog park, however, she has a big idea about how to turn her mistakes into something useful. This is a lovely picture book about knitting, making mistakes, and the comfort of a beloved pet.
Who Is Ketanji Brown Jackson? by Shelia P. Moses, illustrated by Dede Putra (early chapter book)
This latest addition to the Who HQ Now Series gives a detailed biography of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the most recent Supreme Court justice and the first Black woman to be on the Supreme Court. From her childhood in Florida watching her father finish law school assignments to being on the high school debate team and her acceptance into Harvard Law School, this is an engagingly written biography about this history-making justice.
For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter!
I just cannot do Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I don’t know why, but I can only handle one holiday in my brain at a time, so now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to bring out the Christmas books! These are four of my favorites that have released this year.
It’s Christmas Everywhere: Celebrations from Around the World by Hannah Barnaby, illustrated by João Fazenda (board book)
Kids can explore global Christmas traditions in this tree-shaped board book that counts down the 10 days before Christmas. In Australia, for example, a child hangs a shell ornament on the tree while friends and family have fun on the beach. In the Andes Mountains in Peru, children carve gourds to hang on the tree, while in Ethiopia boys play Ye’gena Chewata. It’s a fascinating read for children and adults! And a great way to introduce some new traditions.
The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore, illustrated by Kitty Moss (picture book)
Speaking of traditions, this picture book is based on the Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve, known as Jolabokaflod. It’s a lyrical, cozy, and delightful read for book lovers of all ages. Back matter includes the author’s experiences with the holiday and how to make a book tree.
The Twelve Cats of Christmas by Feather Flores, illustrated by Carrie Liao (picture book)
This hilarious picture book rewrites “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to feature cats. On day four there are four cats laying on gifts; on day seven, cats shred wrapping paper; and on day 10, 10 cats help Santa. Soon, the Christmas tree has been demolished by 12 oh-so-helpful cats. But they’re still adorable! This is my daughter’s favorite Christmas read right now. We love the illustrations!
Murray Christmas by E.G. Keller (picture book)
If you’re more of a dog person, then you will love this delightful new picture book, which is just as mischievous as the previous book. Murray knows his job: to keep his family safe. So when Murray’s first Christmas arrives, he dutifully pees on the Christmas tree to mark his territory, snatches away ‘snakes’ (aka Christmas lights) from his humans, and howls at carolers. Then comes the worst offense: a stranger in a red suit in the house at night! But maybe Murray can be a helper instead of a menace this time.
Last weekend Marian dressed up as a firefighter on a walk in our neighborhood while also wearing a pink cat hat. It was pretty adorable. Here she is throwing sticks and leaves in a creek. She’s wearing three layers under the fire chief costume because it was well below freezing!
If you’d like to read more of my kidlit reviews, I’m on Instagram @BabyLibrarians, Twitter @AReaderlyMom, and blog irregularly at Baby Librarians. You can also read my Book Riot posts. If you’d like to drop me a line, my email is email@example.com.
Until next Tuesday!