Christmas and children’s books go together like, well, cookies and milk. Just ask Santa! Oak Bay library staff offer their picks to keep your young readers turning the pages this winter break.
For preschool readers
Joy recommends the wordless, award-winning picture book Sidewalk Flowers, by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Sydney Smith, depicting a world in which love is created through giving flowers found growing in sidewalk cracks.
Fun, simple picture books include Tupera Tupera’s Polar Bear’s Underwear and School’s First Day of School, by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson.
Marianne recommends the audio version of How to Train Your Dragon, with a hilarious narration by David Tennant. You can also purchase the series by Cressida Crowell in book form for readers age eight to about 11.
From Jessica comes a recommendation for The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton, suitable for about a five-year-old child.
Kim recommends the picture book Joone by Emily Kate Moon. Five-year-old Joone, who likes ice cream sandwiches and the colours orange and purple, lives in a yurt with her grandfather and pet turtle, Dr. Chin.
For beginning readers
You can’t go wrong with an assortment of Elephant and Piggie books by Moe Willems.
For children of school age
For a child of about five who likes books about real things, Emily Krieger’s National Geographic’s Real or Fake? featuring far-out fibs, fishy facts, and phony photos to test for the truth, is a good choice.
For ages nine and older, try The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands. Following a series of murders, an apothecary’s apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this suspenseful debut novel.
Harry Potter, Narnia and books by Diana Wynne Jones are always good choices for readers eight and older who like fantasy.
With Christmas in mind, board book suggestions include Five Little Elves by Dan Yaccarino, Itsy Bitsy Reindeer by Jeffrey Burton and Seeking a Santa by Angela DiTerliz. These are great little board books, would make wonderful Christmas gifts for any little ones in your life.
Picture book recommendations include Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol by Helaine Becker (a companion to A Porcupine in a Pine Tree), Fox and Squirrel: The Best Christmas Ever by Ruth Ohi, whose picture books are always a treat, and Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett.
From Jennifer Holm comes Little Babymouse and the Christmas Cupcakes while Salina Yoon brings young readers Penguin’s Christmas Wish. Lisa Wheeler’s The Christmas Boot is a lovely Christmas classic, in a new version illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, while The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus is a fun twist on the Christmas conundrum, from the author of the delightful Buddy and Earl.
Finally, try The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story, a sweet tale by Vancouver author Kallie George.
Joy Hubert is a public services librarian at the Oak Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library. She writes here twice a month on book picks for children and adults.