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Favorite Books Build Traditions

December 14, 2015
By Lee Ann Cleary , OVParent

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... for books! Whether it's curling up every evening for special family time with a holiday favorite or purchasing books for your little (or not so little) reader, December is Book Time!

All of us have our favorites, so here are a few of mine:

"The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson

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I can still remember reading this one aloud to my class of fourth-graders and needing to take a break because we were laughing so hard no one could hear the story! You may have seen the movie, but I encourage families to read this one aloud this holiday season. It is the story of a family of rough and tumble kids who decide they want to take part in the local church's Christmas pageant. Lots of laughs lead to a telling of the Christmas story in a most unusual way. It really is a beautiful and incredibly funny story that I think you will enjoy.

"'Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Moore

OK, I admit that this is probably an obvious pick, but that's because it's a lovely story that screams tradition. I am always on the lookout for copies of this story with incredible illustrations. There are so many choices when it comes to illustrations that each family can select something that fits their individual taste.

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr. Seuss

Again, an obvious choice, but so much fun to read! And an added bonus - kids love this story! Channel your inner Boris Karloff and add this one to your list of holiday favorites. And it's always a good way to remind everyone, "maybe Christmas - perhaps - doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas - perhaps - means a little bit more!"

"Bear Stays Up for Christmas" by Karma Wilson

If you know me, you know that I adore Karma Wilson's books. They are sweet and wonderful and always very well illustrated. This is true of this story as well. Bear and his friends are the focus of several of Wilson's stories, and after reading all of them aloud in Story Times throughout the years, I can tell you that kids love them. In this story, Bear's friends decide he must stay up to experience Christmas, and they pull out all the stops to help.

So this holiday season, make some cocoa, curl up on the couch, gather your family and friends, and share a wonderful holiday story as part of your holiday traditions.

Lee Ann Cleary is the children's program director at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling.



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