Nicole Says…Read These Books to Your Kids

By Nicole McManus

The holiday season is upon us. Now’s the perfect time to gather loved ones and share our gratitude. ‘Tis the season to have hope and believe in a bit of magic; to celebrate traditions and make new ones. Holiday books were a big tradition in my house. I still have the tiny little pop-up Thanksgiving book that I read every year. Reading those books, officially marked the start of the holiday season for me. Here are four books that will get your children in the holiday spirit!

The Story of Thanksgiving By Nancy J. Skarmeas Illustrated By: Stacy Venturi-Pickett

The Pilgrims came to America to be able to worship their own religion. After a harsh winter, they were able to plant crops and, with the help of Squanto and the Native Americans, they were able to have a big harvest. Everyone gathered to celebrate for three days. We still gather to this day to give thanks and spend time with family. We even eat a lot of the same foods that were served at the first Thanksgiving.

This board book explains Thanksgiving in a short and simple manner to help toddlers and young children begin to learn the importance of Thanksgiving. The beautiful pictures are realistic and the small size makes it easy for young readers to hold.







Junie B. Jones: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and other Thankful Stuff) By Barbara Park


It can be hard to be thankful, when you are in first grade, especially when you don’t like Thanksgiving food, and May is always ready to get you in trouble. So when Junie B. and the rest of her classmates are told to make a list of everything they are thankful for, Junie B. worries their class will lose the contest. Determined to make sure they are the first, first grade class to win, she works hard to come up with a long list.

I have never read Junie B. before, but I will definitely be looking into the other books. This story was hilarious! I laughed out loud during certain points. Children will be able to relate to Junie B.’s struggles, while everyone will be able to appreciate several things she is grateful for, like toilet paper. This chapter book is a great read for the entire family!







A World of Cookies for Santa by M. E. Furman Illustrated By: Susan Gal

Take a trip with Santa as he travels the world, leaving gifts for children. Readers will learn different customs each country has for celebrating the holiday, as well as other names for Santa. This book also shares recipes for various treats left out for Santa.

This is a delightful book! Several countries are highlighted, from the very first stop on Santa’s trip, to the last stop before home. I enjoyed learning about fireworks and piñatas, as well as all the different treats. I love how the author stressed the idea of giving, not getting. The children give cookies to Santa (or carrots for the reindeer,) while Santa gives gifts to children. The pictures are stunning… they give off the feel of classic Christmas ornaments, while featuring each country’s culture. The fact that families can read this book, and then go bake the different cookies together, is incredible! This is a great book to learn about other customs, while preparing for Santa’s visit.




Judy Moody & Stink: The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald Illustrated By: Peter H. Reynolds

Judy Moody is excited that Christmas is around the corner. She is making a very, very, long list of everything she wants. While her brother, Stink, only wants one thing… snow on Christmas Day! Christmas Day snow is rare in Virginia, so it is unlikely that Stink will get his wish. However, when a mysterious mailman shows up, named Jack Frost, who likes the cold, random things happen. Throw in a Holiday Festival and things get a bit crazy. Will Stink’s wish come true?

This is a cute book for the Christmas season. Readers will chuckle at the crazy antics. As a fellow Virginia born child, I can tell you Christmas snow is very rare, indeed! I felt Stink’s pain, when it came to wishing for a white Christmas, and I truly appreciated the moral of the story. What would you do to make a loved one’s wish come true?

About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at

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