Off the Beaten Snowy Path: Great Holiday Books You’ve Probably Never Heard of

This time of year it is almost rare to see a copy of The Polar Express or The Nutcracker on the shelves. Many families have their favorite holiday classics that they just have to read together or the holiday isn’t complete. We think that is great. My kids have probably heard my mother read them Olive the Other Reindeer at least a hundred times during Christmases past…it just doesn’t get old.

Just like¬† Christmas cookies or potato latkes, there is always room for one more good read. Here are some gems that you probably have never heard of…

The Night Tree by Eve Bunting
A family makes its annual pilgrimage to decorate an evergreen tree with food for the forest animals at Christmastime.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Pollacco
During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle.

Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Shelf Medearis
When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa. Includes information on Kwanzaa, West African cloth weaving, and instructions for making a belt.

Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky
During the Revolutionary War, a Jewish soldier from Poland lights the menorah on the first night of Hanukkah and tells General George Washington the story of the Maccabees and the miracle that Hanukkah celebrates. Based on factual events.

The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer
Describes how and why daylight grows shorter as winter approaches, the effect of shorter days on animals and people, and how the winter solstice has been celebrated throughout history. Includes activities.

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
This is the history of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations.  Based on a true story!

Here’s wishing you a happy and well-read holiday!


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