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Holiday Books: Doctor-Recommended Titles for Every Time of Year

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It’s always a good day to read aloud to your children!

But, holidays and seasonal events provide you with an opportunity to choose special books to share with your children.

These holiday books have a dual purpose — they help teach your children about what we’re celebrating, and help you create wonderful family memories. They can become part of special family traditions, which can help parents convey cultural values to children and create a unique family identity.

In addition, holiday-related books about a variety of religions and countries can broaden a child’s cultural perspective.

Around the winter holidays — when life is hectic with shopping, parties, and family gatherings — reading aloud can be a centering activity for families. It allows parents and children to spend bonding time together, and can be an opportunity to talk about the true meaning of the holidays, beyond the gift giving. Some families have a special box of holiday books they save for the season, which also gives children something to look forward to year after year.

As red hearts and chocolates fill drugstore aisles in February, holiday books can help teach your children about Valentine’s Day — and more importantly, the message of love. As the days get longer and the flowers begin to bloom, you can read together about spring. Books about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can help illustrate parent-child bonds, and the importance of family.

Come summer, books about Memorial Day and the Fourth of July help introduce children to important aspects of American history. And of course, Halloween books provide a way to highlight the holiday beyond candy and costumes.

Regardless of the occasion, the nurturing and one-on-one attention from parents during reading aloud encourages children to form a positive association with books and reading later in life.

Here are some recommended holiday books for your child:

  • Clifford’s First Valentine’s Day by Norman Bridwell (Cartwheel, 1997)

  • Red, White, and Blue: The Story of the American Flag by John Herman (Grosset & Dunlap, 1998)

  • Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 1992)

  • My First Thanksgiving by Tomie dePaola (Grosset & Dunlap, 2008)

  • Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland (Sandpiper, 2004)

  • Merry Christmas, Curious George! by Margret and H.A. Rey (HMH Books, 2006)

  • My First Kwanzaa Book by Deborah Chocolate (Scholastic Paperbacks, 1999)


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