St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School Blog

Holiday 2018 Book Recommendations for Children

Like many people at this time of the year, a familiar tune rings in my ears and I can picture Tony Bennett crooning. However, I often change the lyrics:

It's the most wonderful time of the year.
There will be great books for reading
And minds will be growing
As the new year nears
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

The holidays provide an opportunity to share and give the gift of reading. Books transport children to special places where they can explore familiar terrains, experience new adventures, and discover unknown treasures. The long winter break offers the perfect time for readers to cuddle up with a reading buddy, grab a cup of cocoa, and crack open a new book (#saintsread picture worthy). One of the best parts of my job as the Lower School Librarian at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School is getting to know our children and connecting with them over books. Here are some choices that are sure to please this holiday season. 

Tickles saved Pickles book

For Animal Lovers

  • How Tickles Saved Pickles: A True Story by Maddie Johnson. Readers will fall in love with Pickles, an adorable pig who met with adversity only to find a home and friendship along the way.

  • A Home in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. This classic and timeless tale is brought to life by award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney.

  • An Anthology of Intriguing Animals by Ben Hoare. Our youngest Saints love animals, and this book is a compendium of 100 animals, some familiar and others unique.

For Makers and Bakers

  • Genius Lego Book

    Star Wars Maker Lab: 20 Science and Craft Projects by Liz Heinecke and Cole Horton is the perfect gift for children who love Star Wars and tinkering.

  • Genius LEGO Inventions with Bricks You Already Have: 40+ New Robots, Vehicles, Contraptions, Gadgets, Games and Other Fun STEM Creations by Sarah Dees for builders and inventors.

  • The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen for budding chefs and experienced bakers. Winter break is the perfect time to try a new recipe.

Power Forward bookFor Sports Fans

  • The United States of Sports: An Atlas of Teams, Stats, Stars, and Facts for Every State in America by Sports Illustrated Kids. Sports and geography are a winning combination.

  • Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier.

  • Power Forward by Hena Khan: Meet Zayd Saleem, a fourth-grader intent on pursuing his basketball dreams.

Thank You Omu book

For Sharing

  • You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith shares a story of compassion and support.

  • Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera, chasing your dreams by the former U.S. Poet Laureate.

  • Thank You, Omu! by Oge Moru: making connections, forging friendship, and sharing food.

  • The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Ekua Holmes is a poetic and artistic invitation readers to consider the beginning of the universe.

polar bear bookFor Adventurers

  • Polar Bear Explorers’ Club by Alex Bell: A junior explorer, polar bears, snowy Icelands, unicorns, and quest? What more could a reader ask for?

  • The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is an epic adventure and a Newbery contender.

  • Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi draws readers into the world of Indian mythology.

  • Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams is for fans of far-fetched humor and Roald Dahl.

Hopefully these recommendations will encourage families to visit a local library, support a local bookstore such as Hooray for Books in Old Town Alexandria, and use those giftcards to grow their minds and hearts.   Additionally, you can share the gift of reading beyond your family by considering a donation to All Ages Read Together, which is a local, non-profit literacy organization that prepares at-risk children for school.  Happy holidays and happy reading! Tweet us your reading photos @SSSASsaints #SaintsRead .

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