Reading holiday books a great tradition to start with children

Mandy Brouse of Wordsworth Books in Waterloo offers several suggestions of new holiday books to get your children into the spirit of reading.

Mandy Brouse of Wordsworth Books in Waterloo offers several suggestions of new holiday books

Reading to your children is a great holiday tradition, writes Mandy Brouse of Wordsworth Books in Waterloo. (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

Every year, we unpack our favourite winter holiday stories to share with our families. 

Maybe they are beloved books from our own childhood passed on to the next generation, or maybe they were found thanks to the recommendation of a trusted librarian or local bookseller.

Here are some new books you may want to add to your collection.

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold

By Maureen Fergus

Illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Ages 5-8

Santa keeps hearing about the existence of a boy named Harold, but he's never seen him in real life, so how can he be real? Hilariously told as a reversal on the age-old question: Is Santa real? This tale may make kids – and adults – believe for just one more year.

Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol

By Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmermann

Ages 4-8

Canadians finally have their own Christmas carol – even if it's taken from the classic song Deck the Halls. Helaine Becker's version includes our native wildlife – such as cariboo, puffins and beavers – and, in place of boughs of holly, leaping hockey players.

A Boy Called Christmas

By Matt Haig

Illustrated by Chris Mould

Ages 8-11

Hilariously well-written junior novels about Christmas are few and far between. (Perhaps The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was one of your favourites growing up). In this tale, Nikolas is searching for his missing father and thinks he may be at the North Pole, so he follows his instincts and takes all the help he can get on his journey. A Boy Called Christmas is a funny adventure of a young Santa Claus finding himself and the meaning of Christmas.

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

By Richard Simon and Tanya Simon

Illustrated by Mark Siegel

Ages 7-11

This is a National Jewish Book Awards winner and a beautiful story about the simple blessings Oskar receives as he travels to meet an aunt he has never met before. The lovely illustrations carry the story along as Oskar encounters acts of kindness and the importance of family. An essential modern classic.

Hanukkah Lullaby

By Ruth Abrams

Illustrated by Tia Mushka

Ages 0-5

This is a gorgeous poem celebrating one family's Hanukkah, with heartwarming illustrations to keep you warm all winter. Awarded the Best Book for Kids and Teens by the Canadian Children's Book Centre this year, Hanukkah Lullaby will prove to be a classic.

My First Kwanzaa

By Karen Katz

Ages 0-3

This simple introduction to the celebration of Kwanzaa is perfect for new babies and toddlers. The sweet and vibrant illustrations will keep them engaged, while the story inside is delightfully informative for a board book. This is definitely one to keep.

Want more suggestions? Head over to CBC Books for a number of lists for the readers on your list, including:


Mandy Brouse, the co-owner of Words Worth Books in Waterloo, is an occasional contributer to CBC KW's The Morning Edition and is writing a series of columns this summer with book suggestions to keep children and teens reading.


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