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Books are great Christmas gift for young readers


You already know the story about Santa.

You know about his reindeer and his sleigh and the toys. You know about Frosty, and Rudolph, and the elves. But what about fairies, tubas, or construction equipment at Christmastime?  With these great picture books, you’ll learn fast…

Everyone in Ava’s family played some sort of musical instrument and so when it was time for Ava to decide what she wanted to play, she knew immediately that she wanted a tuba because nobody else was playing one. But in “The Christmas Tuba” by Helen L. Wilbur, illustrated by Mary Reaves Uhles (2018, Sleeping Bear Press), Ava learns that big instruments come with big problems and she almost quits – until her music teacher, Rodney, makes a big announcement.

In a few days, it’ll be Christmas everywhere. In “Construction Site on Christmas Night” by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ag Ford (2018, Chronicle Kids), dump trucks, mixers, bulldozers, excavators, and other equipment toil on a project that must be done by the end of the year. Each machine does its job perfectly and at the end of the night, there’s a reward: each finds a special holiday thank-you for their hard work.

Of all the kids at Mary Fitzgerald Orphanage, Plum was the smallest and the other kids never let her forget it. One night, she was sent to bed early for something she didn’t do, but Plum decided not to let her troubles spoil Christmas. After making presents for all the kids in the orphanage, she discovered a mysteriously wrapped gift with her name on the tag. In “Plum: How the Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings” by Sean Hayes & Scott Icenogle, illustrated by Robin Thompson (2018, Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers), that led to a sweet surprise.

If read-aloud time is important in your house, wouldn’t it be great to have a holiday theme for the next few days?  Of course it would, and one of these fun books might be just the thing to ho-ho-have.

With its Christmas concert theme, “A Tuba Christmas” is perfect for 4-to-7-year-olds who love music and performing. Be sure you’ve got your sound-effects voice warmed up, because this book will be doubly fun if you play along.

Because just about every 2-to-5-year-old likes big machines, “Construction Site on Christmas Night” takes the “Construction Site” books to a natural holiday level with a tale of hard work and giving. Here’s a hint: if your child is on Christmas overload and can’t sleep, this book makes a great bedtime story.

And finally, “Plum” is a just-right book for slightly older children (5-to-7 years old) who still crave holiday tradition in a read-aloud. It’s a cute story that, from an adult’s perspective, is perhaps a bit too contrived; to kids, though, it’s as fanciful and lovable as its ballet namesake.

For the child who wants a Christmas story but the same old tales need new sparkle, grab any of these three books. With their holiday themes and cute illustrations (but not a word about The Jolly Old Elf), you absolutely know your child will love them.