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5 Must Read Books to Introduce to Your Child

We present a quintet of some of the best Christmas read alouds available.

By McKenzie JonesPublished 2 years ago 3 min read

If you are looking to bring something truly joyous to a little one this holiday season, there are a few suggestions less worthy than the gift of a book. To that end, we present a quintet of some of the best Christmas read alouds available.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore

This poem has been an iconic piece of Christmas-themed literature for nearly two centuries and is a recounting of one father's observations of Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. Certain versions, like the one by Matt Tavares, not only keep to the original text, like how Santa's reindeer used to include the names Dunder and Blixen (instead of Donner and Blitzen), but also provide a history of the poem. This book is perfect for any child with no more than an upper elementary education.

December by Eve Bunting

This is a modern tale of a mother and son who have no proper home, only making do with a cardboard box. Despite dealing with homelessness, the family keeps a quaint little tree festooned with all sorts of knick-knacks and stops at an angel's picture on their one wall. When Christmas Eve comes around, a stranger, a woman, comes by the family's cardboard box and asks to be let in. The two agree to give her comfort and share what little they have to offer her. When the family wakes the next day, they discover that the woman has vanished yet things seem to have improved to the point that the mother and son find their next Christmas in a proper apartment. This can make for an excellent story for teaching about traumatic living or illustrating the miraculous nature of Christmas.

The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow

This is a wonderful retelling of 1982's "The Nutcracker" but is reshaped by the culture and setting of the Harlem Renaissance. Plenty of prominent individuals connected to that era's jazz scene make appearances and the tale is illustrated by Ransome. For those unfamiliar with the Harlem Renaissance, McMorrow included an explanation at the end of the tale.

The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola

While your child might be familiar with Christmas traditions in the United States, they may not be so familiar with Christmas stories from other parts of the world. This particular story is about Old Befana, a soot-covered crone who originates from Italian folklore and is said to visit children on the night of the Epiphany (January 6th). In addition to sweeping a home to indicate her presence, Old Befana will fill children's socks with candy if they are good or present them with coal or sticks if they are bad. Rather than favoring milk and cookies like with Santa Claus, families usually leave a small glass of wine and some local treats for her.

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

After the snowfall stops on a cold winter day, a young boy uses the opportunity to shape himself into a friendly snowman. Eventually, the boy needs to head indoors before nightfall and once the moon rises and the stars can glitter and gleam, magic permeates the area and gives life and mobility to that boy's friend. The boy happens to see that his snowman has awakened and the two chums endeavor upon a magical trip through the skies into the early morning. All great times must come to an end and the boy is brought home before the sun can rise to melt away the animating magic. This book gets a mention because it is not only a classic that gained new attention from a somber animated short but because it is also a good piece of young literature for children who are either blind or have limited vision.

The Final Chapter

So there you have five solid examples of books to give to young children. Each of them is unique in its way, be they iconic, teach about a culture that the child may not have known of, or even be a viable gift for differently abled children. We hope that at least one of these books has garnered your gifting interest.

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    MJWritten by McKenzie Jones

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