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  • Kraig Brachman

2020 Holiday Reading Guide


There’s just something about this time of the year that brings out the excitement. Gifts, decorations, TV specials, snow (hopefully we will get some soon). More so during this challenging year it’s important to take time to celebrate and relax.

For this holiday season, we’ve gathered up another collection of books – classics and Canadian classics – that you might want to check out from the local library or give to that special someone as a holiday gift.


Baseball Bats For Christmas (1990)

Written by Michael Kusugak and illustrated by Vladyana Krykorka

The year is 1955 and Arvaarluk and his friends watch as Rocky Parsons lands his plane on the ice in Repulse Bay, a tiny community "smack dab on the Arctic Circle." Having never seen trees before, the children try to guess what the six green spindly things are that Rocky delivers. One of the boys has a brilliant idea: why not use them as baseball bats? —Annick Press

A Chanukah Noel (2010)

Written by Sharon Jennings and illustrated by Gillian Newland

Charlotte and her family have just moved to a small town in France. There is a lot to get used to - a new language, new friends, a new school. Even the milk tastes different. As Christmas draws near, Charlotte is amazed to see the town transform itself. The streets are decorated, the shops are full of presents, and the smells of cinnamon and chocolate fill the air. Charlotte, who is Jewish, longs to have a Christmas too. Can she find a way to celebrate the spirit of both Christmas and Chanukah? —Second Story Press

The Night Before Christmas (2013)

Written by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Barbara Reid

Barbara Reid recreates the famous poem, The Night Before Christmas with her stunning plasticine artwork featuring a sweet little mouse family in incredibly detailed illustrations. You may have heard the story many times before, but you’ve never seen it done quite this way. —CBC Kids

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957)

Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His "wonderful, awful" idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all. —Goodreads

Letters From Father Christmas (1976)

Written and illustrated by J. R. R. Tolkien

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas. They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining-room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house! —Harper Collins

A Christmas Carol (1843)

Written by Charles Dickens and illustrated by John Leech

A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 and illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man. —Wikipedia

The Polar Express (1985)

Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg

One Christmas Eve many years ago, a boy lies in bed, listening hard for the bells of Santa’s sleigh, which he has been told by a friend do not exist. Later that night he hears not bells but a very different sound. He looks out his window and is astounded to see a steam engine parked in front of his house! The conductor invites him to board the Polar Express, a train filled with children on their way to the North Pole. —

The Snowman (1978)

Written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs

Illustrated in full color, this is a wordless story. The pictures have "the hazy softness of air in snow." A little boy rushes out into the wintry day to build a snowman, which comes alive in his dreams that night. The boy invites him home and in return is taken on a flight high above the countryside. —Goodreads



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