A Mighty Girl's favorite Christmas books, from beloved classics to new releases -- all starring Mighty Girls!
With December fast approaching, the Christmas season is almost here! And what better activity is there to prepare for the holidays than curling up and reading a beloved Christmas story together? For many families, reading holiday stories — whether old favorites or new finds — is a treasured part of the season. And, what better way to get in the holiday spirit than with a Mighty Girl Christmas story!
If you’re looking for Christmas stories to add to your family's library, we’ve put together a selection of our favorite girl-empowering books celebrating this special holiday. The Mighty Girls in these books enjoy Christmas traditions, share special time with family, and learn the true importance of giving — both to the people they love and to people in need. We hope that you find the perfect book to become part of your family’s Christmas tradition!
You can also learn about our favorite books celebrating Hanukkah in our blog post, The Festival of Lights: 18 Favorite Mighty Girl Hanukkah Books.
Christmas books Starring Mighty Girls
Maisy's Christmas Tree
Maisy and her friends are decorating the Christmas tree together! First the lights have to go up, then they have to hang the ornaments, set out the candy canes, and, of course, put a special topper on. Then presents get wrapped (no peeking!) and all the friends gather around the tree to sing Christmas carols. This fun board book starring beloved character Maisy is perfect for the littlest children at Christmastime.
The Elf on the Shelf
If you're thinking about starting this tradition with your family this year, why not make your elf a Mighty Girl? The mystery of how Santa knows who's naughty and who's nice has been solved: he gets some help from elves who watch girls and boys around the world. This edition of The Elf on the Shelf box set includes an elf with a couture skirt and a special version of the storybook that features more female characters in the illustrations.
Peppa's Christmas Wish
You can enjoy two Peppa Pig stories in one book with this Christmas title! On Christmas Eve, Peppa is wishing for one very special gift from Santa Claus; will her dreams come true? Then, Peppa and George work together to build the biggest snowman that they possibly can. With two charming stories and a sheet of stickers, this title is perfect for young Peppa fans! You can find more products featuring this popular character in our Peppa Pig Collection.
Cordelia and her Cretaceous friends from Tea Rex are back and ready to celebrate the holidays! They'll hang wreaths, make popcorn chains, decorate the tree... and while all of that is a bit challenging with her oversized friend, Cordelia can't wait for Santa Rex to come to town. Dinosaur-loving children will be particularly thrilled with this Christmas story, but all kids will love seeing a simple seasonal story told with such wacky illustrations.
A Very McStuffins Christmas
When the toys sneak downstairs to put Doc's present under the tree, they accidentally startle Tobias the elf — who drops Donny's toy robot and breaks it! Now, Doc and the gang will have to make a special trip to the North Pole to repair the robot in time for Christmas morning. Fortunately, between Santa's toy workshop and Doc's medical skills, they know they'll be able to make things right. This sweet story featuring popular TV character Doc McStuffins also comes with sparkly stickers for extra holiday fun.
Naughty Claudine's Christmas
To Claudine, Santa seems rude (denying you presents for bad behavior) and downright creepy (breaking into your house with presents?!) So Claudine decides that the perfect solution is to get on the naughty list — even if her sister argues that Santa will still be coming with her presents. On Christmas morning, the sisters are delighted and horrified accordingly when there are no presents under the tree... and then they discover that Santa has thoughtfully left them outside, since he knows that Claudine is a good kid at heart. Kids will giggle at Claudine's efforts to be naughty and delight at Santa's clever solution.
Maple and Willow's Christmas Tree
The nature-loving sisters of Maple and Maple and Willow Together are back — and who better to pick out the perfect Christmas tree! After a winter expedition, they find just the right one but once they get it home, Maple starts sneezing every time she gets near it. Maple can't be allergic to the perfect Christmas tree... can she? And if she is, how are they going to make this the perfect Christmas of their dreams? Kids will love watching Maple and Willow problem-solve this tricky situation, and still celebrate the season!
The Little Reindeer
Little Ollie clearly loves reindeer, with her reindeer pajamas (complete with antlers) and her stuffed reindeer toy. When she wakes in the middle of the night to the sound of bells, she sets out to find them — and deep in the woods, she finds one of Santa's reindeer, lost and alone. Together, Ollie and the reindeer enjoy a magical flight, before saying goodbye so that Ollie can go to sleep and the reindeer can set off for Christmas Eve. But under the tree, there is one special present that will remind Ollie of her reindeer friend... Soft, calm, and quietly magical, this book includes stunning illustrations that feature clever die-cut windows that allow peeks of the following page.
River Rose and the Magical Christmas
Author and Grammy Award-winning singer Kelly Clarkson's fictionalized daughter River Rose returns in this imaginative Christmas adventure! River Rose loves Christmas Eve, and she has an extra special letter for Santa this year — one so special she wants to deliver it by hand. But when she dozes off, she and her dog Joplin are whisked off to the North Pole, where Mrs. Claus and the elves introduce her to special treats (like flavored snowballs and life-sized gingerbread houses) while she waits for Santa to return. A tiny red envelope reveals River Rose's special message: Thank you! This breezy, cheerful holiday story includes a link to listen to a brand-new Christmas song written and performed by Clarkson herself.
The Christmas Wish
Long ago, a little Norwegian girl named Anja decided she wanted to join Santa’s elves. After helping her elderly neighbor get ready for the holiday, she leaves a note for her parents, puts on her skis, and heads out into the snow. With the help of winter animals like a red bird, a polar bear, and a reindeer, can Anja make it all the way in time to help Santa? With photographs full of references to Norwegian culture, tradition, and folk tales, this stunning book will become a treasured part of your own Christmas traditions. Fans of this volume will also want to check out the sequel The Reindeer Wish.
Mouse, Squirrel, and Hare are friends who are preparing for a lovely Christmas together, complete with a few gifts tucked away! But when Mouse is out looking for the perfect gift for Hare, she finds Swallow sick in the snow. Together, the three friends bring Swallow back to their warm house, and even give up the gifts they do have — coneflower blossoms for tea and a knitted hat — to help Swallow recover. In giving away their gifts, though, they receive the true spirit of Christmas... and it's not long before four friends are celebrating a special Christmas. This gentle and sweet story is a tribute to friendship and the importance of helping those in need.
The Little Christmas Elf
Nina is the littlest elf in Santa’s workshop, and no matter how hard she works, she can’t manage to get the teddy bear she’s making ready before Santa has to leave on Christmas Eve! She’s discouraged, and contemplates giving up, but Santa himself urges her to keep working. Long into the night, she stuffs and sews and when a baby is born in the middle of the night, Santa comes to pick up the bear — and Nina — to make sure every child, even the newest one, has a present on Christmas morning. This story about determination and the value that even the littlest person can bring to a project is sweet and gentle, just right for the littlest kids at Christmas.
Santa, Please Bring Me A Gnome
There is one and only one thing that Tess wants this year: a gnome. A real live gnome, who can play with her and go with her everywhere. She doesn't want any toys, just a gnome friend! As Christmas approaches and her anticipation builds, Tess' grandparents help her prepare: Grandpa makes some tiny furniture, Grandma makes a little blanket. On Christmas day, Tess is surprised to see a clear glass box full of sawdust... and a note from Santa, saying that Gerard the Gnome was looking forward to coming, but gave up his space for Flannel the hamster, who needed a good home and a caring friend. Funny and sweet, this book will speak to every parent who's dealt with single-minded wishes... and will remind kids that sometimes the present you didn't ask for is the one you didn't know you wanted.
Christmas in Noisy Village
In this 1930s Swedish community, three neighboring houses contain so many children that everyone else calls the street Noisy Village! And when Christmas comes, the children all want to celebrate together. As a group, they make ginger snaps, find and decorate Christmas trees, sing carols, and wrap presents. It's busy, bustling, loving — and yes, very noisy! — Christmas. Lindren, the beloved author of Pippi Longstocking, depicts a Swedish Christmas of long ago with a vivid voice that will captivate young readers.
Olivia Helps With Christmas
With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparations, is it any surprise that busy Olivia is right in the thick of things? As Olivia’s family gets the tree, decorates the house, and makes delicious treats, Olivia does her best to chip in — and stay patient as she waits for the big day. Kids will giggle at Olivia’s antics, while parents will smile in recognition of all the exasperation and fun of celebrating the holidays with an excited little one. This story, with a text full of quips and Falconer’s distinctive drawing style, is sure to be a Christmas favorite.
The Wild Christmas Reindeer
Teeka is excited, but nervous: this year, it’s her job to round up Santa’s reindeer for his Christmas flight! They’ve been roaming wild on the tundra since last Christmas Eve, and to get them ready for work, Teeka has to catch and train them — and do it all in time for the gifts to get to everyone. Hard-working Teeka struggles at first, frustrated with the reindeer and their lack of cooperation. But when she realizes that a little kindness makes a teacher all the more effective, she’s quickly able to present a tip-top reindeer team! This 20th anniversary edition of Brett’s classic Christmas book is the perfect way to introduce new fans to this beloved story. For fans of Brett's work, we also recommend Christmas Trolls.
Eloise Decorates For Christmas
There's plenty of excitement at the Plaza! Decorators are decking the halls with trees and tinsel, deliveries of special surprises are coming every day — and Eloise wants to be a part of all of it. She decides to help trim the tree, but what she really wants to do is put the star at the very top... This Level 1 book from the Ready to Read series uses a classic character to excite emerging readers about the joys of reading. It's a marvelous addition to a Christmas library!
The Nutcracker in Harlem
It's the midst of the Harlem Renaissance, and Marie's family party is full of energy, fun, and most importantly, music! But while her Uncle Cab encourages her to sing, Marie is too shy... that is, until she falls asleep under the Christmas tree and travels to an imaginary world where the new nutcracker, a drummer boy, joins her on a daring adventure — in which Marie saves the day by scaring away the mouse army with her drumming! The next morning, Marie not only discovers her own drum under the tree, she also realizes that she's found her voice. Inspired by the first act of The Nutcracker and by the history of the Harlem Renaissance, this book is full of vibrant color and bursting with life.
The Christmas Boot
Lonely Hannah is delighted to discover a warm black boot as she gathers kindling in the forest; the poor woman doesn't have proper shoes on her cold feet. "Glory be! I only wish I had your mate," she says to the boot, and the next morning, to her great surprise, there is not just one boot but two sitting by her bed! More wishes bring even better gifts, including a big, fancy house that's somehow not as comfortable as the home she had before. Then a visitor arrives at her door -- a man with a big white beard, wearing a red suit, but no boots. And when Hannah willingly gives back the boots, Santa ensures that she has the best gift of all: her old, comfortable house -- and a new puppy to keep her company. This reimagining of a folktale has a sweeter ending than the original, one that emphasizes honesty and appreciation for what you have.
Katie's London Christmas
Beloved picture book character Katie explores the magic of London at Christmastime in this beautiful picture book! When Katie and Jack are woken on Christmas Eve but a loud sneeze, they discover a midnight visitor: Santa Claus! Soon the kids are flying above the city in Santa's sleigh, seeing the sights and helping deliver all the gifts to London children. But can they get every present delivered... and still be back in time for Christmas morning? Fans of Katie In London will love getting to see Katie's beloved city during this special holiday.
Sophie is desperately curious about her mysterious Auntie Claus, who lives in Penthouse 25C of the Bing Cherry Hotel, serves Christmas cookies all year round, and takes a “business trip” right before the holidays every year. So spoiled Sophie stows away in a large box and finds herself magically transported to the North Pole where she is mistaken for an elf! At first, Sophie disdains the hard work, but when she discovers that her little brother might go without a gift this Christmas, Sophie unexpectedly learns that giving is much more important than getting. Fans of the intriguing Auntie Claus will also enjoy checking out the sequels Auntie Claus: Home for the Holidays and Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas.
Christmas for Greta and Gracie
Greta and Gracie are sisters: Gracie is quiet while Greta is all chatter, chatter, chatter. And when it comes to Christmas, Greta always knows best, whether they're ice-skating, decorating, or shopping for presents. But sometimes being quiet is an advantage, and when Gracie silently investigates a strange noise on Christmas Eve, she finally discovers something that will leave Greta speechless. Yasmeen Ismail's vibrant watercolors beautifully capture a very different, yet loving pair of sisters.
Clara is heartbroken when her brother Fritz breaks the beautiful nutcracker, painted like a soldier, that her godfather gives her for Christmas. But late that night, when she sneaks down to check on the broken soldier, something magical occurs... Soon, the nutcracker — now transformed into a handsome prince — is taking her on a fantastic journey. Tchaikovsky's ballet has been a beloved Christmas tradition for decades, and now young readers can learn the story in this simple picture book. It's the perfect way to prepare for a first viewing of the ballet or for a new fan to enjoy the story again and again.
Too Many Tamales
Maria is feeling very grown up as she helps her mother make the Christmas tamales: she’s wearing her mother’s apron, a hint of perfume, and even a tiny brush of lipstick. And when her mother takes off her diamond ring so it doesn’t get covered in the sticky masa, Maria surreptitiously slips it on her own finger. But when all the tamales are cooking, Maria suddenly realizes the ring is missing, cooked into one of the tamales! The only solution? Maria and her cousins must eat their way through 24 tamales, searching for the missing ring... before the adults realize what’s happened. This playful story with messages about forgiveness and family togetherness is sure to elicit laughs from the whole family. For another book about this special Christmas cooking tradition, check out Growing Up With Tamales / Los tamales de Ana for ages 3 to 8.
Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel
Christmas at Tante's is everyone's favorite: a beautiful tree and presents for everyone who comes to visit, from children visiting from a nearby village to shy forest animals. But there's one creature Tante overlooks: instead of welcoming the little spiders, she sweeps them out in her preparations. At midnight on Christmas, a surprise visitor lets the spiders in to see Tante's home and, in return, they spin her a little bit of Christmas magic! This beautiful picture book, based on a folk tale about the origin of tinsel, is sure to delight. For another version of this traditional tale, check out A Christmas Spider's Miracle for ages 6 to 10.
The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll
Christmas always comes to Nella's house, but presents don't always come with it: in the midst of the Depression, with money extra tight, gifts aren't always possible. This year, Nella and her sisters are hoping the budget will stretch to a Baby Betty doll, which all three of them want more than anything. But when Baby Betty arrives as planned — and Nella claims her all to herself — will the extra-special doll be fun on its own? Nella soon she discovers that Baby Betty isn’t nearly as much fun as her sisters. This charming story conveys an important message about the importance of people over material things.
The old house in Paris covered with vines is decked out for Christmastime — but almost all of its residents, including Miss Clavel, are sick in bed! Only little Madeline is left to care for them, so when a rug merchant comes to the door, Madeline figures that's the perfect solution: 12 little rugs to keep their feet warm. But when the merchant returns after realizing that he himself is too cold without the carpets, he offers a unique trade: a magical journey for all the girls to see their homes and families! Looks like this sad Christmas is turning into an adventurous one instead... This charming Christmas story starring Bemelmans' classic character Madeline offers a fun tale of Christmas magic.
Sometimes kids forget to think about where their Christmas tree comes from! Wilma has decided that her garden needs a new beginning, so she gathers string, scissors, seedlings — and her 5-year-old neighbor, Peter. Year after year, Peter and Wilma work together to nurture the trees, keeping track of how many they plant and how many they lose, until finally, when Peter is 10, they sell their first batch of 566 Christmas trees. And what else would they do with their proceeds but buy more seedlings! This charming story of an intergenerational friendship and business partnership emphasizes the patience and care that goes into growing our Christmas trees.
The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood
On Virginia’s Sioux reservation, all the children wait for deliveries of clothing sent from congregations in the East — but Virginia is particularly eager, since her winter coat is far too small and lets in all the cold of the South Dakota winter. Virginia’s mother has always taught her to wait until last to claim items from the boxes, reminding her that there are others whose need is greater. When the boxes finally arrive, Virginia is thrilled to see a grey rabbit fur coat, just her size — and heartbroken when another child claims it. A Christmas Eve surprise, though, reminds Virginia of the true joy of Christmas. This rare depiction of contemporary life on a reservation is also charming story of gratitude and generosity.
The Christmas Crocodile
When Alice Jayne finds a crocodile under the tree on Christmas Eve, the whole family is gobsmacked! The Christmas Crocodile doesn't mean to be bad, not really, but it's not long before almost everyone is fed up with him eating the dinner roast, the stove-top burner, and even the Christmas tree — and they start suggesting sending him away to an orphanage or zoo! Only Alice Jayne pleads his case, and sets her sights on the most important thing: finding the Christmas Crocodile a new home. Clever and funny, this book's apologetic refrain about not meaning to be bad is sure to resonate with kids.
Outside Frances’ apartment, an organ grinder and his pet monkey sleep on the cold street. Little Frances can’t stop thinking about the poor, cold man and his friend, even as she, her family, and their friends enjoy the warmth and plenty of the holidays. She invites the stranger to come to her church’s Christmas pageant, where she struggles to find the courage to speak in her role as an angel until she sees him enter the church’s warmth, and finally cries out, “I bring you tidings of Great Joy!” This touching story of compassion and kindness to the people that many don’t even notice is also a great way to talk about how even the youngest children can help change their communities for the better.
A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas
In this English-Spanish picture book, the partridge has been swapped for a piñata! For twelve days, this little girl receives special gifts from a secret amiga, from a piñata to burritos bailando (dancing donkeys) and lunitas cantando (singing moons). The excitement builds until the final day, when she gets to meet her amiga — a new baby sister. The colorful illustrations incorporate both Spanish words and pronunciations, as well as providing plenty of other details to discover — including the preparations for the new baby that are going on in the background the whole time. This fun adaptation of the carol also provides a great introduction to Latino holiday traditions.
Merry Christmas, Strega Nona
Strega Nona, the "grandma witch," and her assistant Big Anthony are back! At Christmas, Strega Nona sets aside her potions and spells to make a wonderful Christmas feast — by hand — to share. But when she sends Big Anthony to town with a shopping list, he promptly forgets it! For once, Strega Nona thinks, she will end up being all alone on Christmas day... until Big Anthony shows up with all of the townspeople, carrying the feast they made for her. Joyful and sweet, this is a story that will make kids smile. Fans of dePaola's work will also want to check out his picture book retelling of The Legend of Old Befana, also for ages 4 - 8.
For a ballerina, the word “Christmas” goes hand-in-hand with The Nutcracker. Tallulah desperately wants to dance in this classic ballet, and when she gets a part in a professional production — even if it’s just as a mouse — she’s dreaming of glory! But on the night of the show, a misstep by Tallulah makes everything in her scene go wrong. When she flees backstage, though, Tallulah learns some surprising things about the professional dancers surrounding her. This book about the importance of perseverance and resiliency will have her dreaming of dancing sugarplums long after you’re done reading.
The Legend of the Poinsettia
With his signature bright-colored illustrations, dePaola retells the Mexican story of the origin of the poinsettia. Lucida’s mother is supposed to weave the blanket that the baby Jesus will wear in her church’s Christmas procession. When her mother falls ill, Lucida tries to complete the blanket, only to leave it tangled and ruined. But a mysterious old woman tells Lucida, “Any gift is beautiful because it is given. Whatever you give, the Baby Jesus will love because it comes from you.” And when Lucida nervously walks in with an arm full of weeds, each bursts into bloom with a beautiful red star. This lovely version of the folktale includes an author’s note about the origin and deep significance of the story.
Olive, the Other Reindeer
Olive the dog mishears a chorus of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and figures she must be a reindeer, too — the song does say “Olive the other reindeer”, after all. So she sets out on a journey to the North Pole to take her rightful place pulling Santa’s sled. Kids will giggle at the spectacle of Olive trying her best to be a reindeer like the others and cheer when Olive’s doggy abilities still contribute to Christmas! This story has been tremendously popular since it released in 1997; now, it’s available in a new, larger edition, complete with flaps to lift, scratch and sniff, and a pop-up ending for extra pizzazz.
The Princess and the Christmas Rescue
Princess Eliza loves to tinker, building incredible toys out of whatever she has at hand... but she has to admit that she's a little lonely in the snow palace. Her parents, meanwhile, believe that inventing isn't an appropriate activity for a princess — and anyway, how will she make friends if all she does is sit at home? But when Eliza does venture out, she discovers that Santa's elves are in a crunch: Santa is sick, the presents have to be made and wrapped, and their Christmas deadline is getting closer by the minute! Fortunately, Eliza's clever inventions help everything get done in time... and Santa and her new elf friends are more than happy to help show her parents just how wonderful Eliza's special talents are! Fun text and detailed drawings of Eliza's amazing contraptions will make this STEM-themed Christmas story a favorite.
Lidia's Christmas Kitchen: Nonna, Tell Me A Story
Beloved Italian-American cook Lidia Bastianich tells the story of her childhood Christmases to her grandchildren — and her many fans! — in this picture book. At her own grandparents' house, Lidia learns to cook at Nonna Rosa's side, tending to the smokehouse and delicious goodies in the kitchen. Later, she and her brother set out to find the perfect juniper bush to decorate, hanging it with nuts, berries, and herbs. When the story is done, there are 16 delicious recipes to try, along with instructions for making some of Lidia's favorite traditional Christmas decorations. Foodies young and old will love hearing how Lidia and her family celebrate the holidays.
Star Bright: A Christmas Story
The angels of heaven are dashing about, excitedly chattering about a baby who’s about to be born. The littlest angel knows this baby must be special, and she wants to give a gift too, but she doesn’t have anything nearly as special as the gifts the other angels are giving. When she peeks down from above and spots a caravan of kings, lost in the dark, she realizes that she does have a gift she can give, one that the whole world will enjoy! This lovely take on the traditional nativity story is spare and beautiful, showing through both text and illustrations how the simplest of things can be the most wonderful.
For Angelina, it's impossible to enjoy Christmas when she realizes that old Mr. Bell, the retired postman, will be spending it alone. She sets herself the task of making Mr. Bell's Christmas a little brighter by bringing cookies and cake. Angelina recruits her cousin Henry to help, but he's too busy waiting to meet Santa Claus to be bothered with the joy lighting an old man's eyes. When Henry is heartbroken to discover that he'll be asleep when Santa comes, Mr. Bell is quick to reassure him that there is a place he can meet Santa — at the school Christmas show. Perhaps when Henry meets Santa at the show, he'll recognize the joyful pair of eyes peeking out from behind the beard and hat... This story provides an excellent reminder of the power of including everyone in the Christmas fun.
Daddy Christmas and Hannukah Mama
Many families celebrate more than one winter holiday! Holidays at Sadie’s house mean Hanukkah gelt coins under a Christmas tree, latkes by the fireplace for Santa, and other mixes of Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations. The book avoids discussing the religious meaning of the two holidays, instead focusing on celebrating how diverse families can make sure that everyone gets to enjoy cherished traditions. The book includes a recipe for a cranberry kugel dressing, and a timeline of Christian, Jewish, and secular holidays throughout the year. Sadie’s story is a great celebration of diverse families and their holidays.
Christmas in the Big Woods
For young Laura Ingalls, Christmas in a log cabin in Wisconsin is full of treats, surprises, and special times with family! This book, part of the My First Little House Books series, adapts a section of Little House In The Big Woods into a picture book format for young readers. Children will be enthralled by the stories of the hard work the whole family does to prepare their house for winter and for a lovely Christmas celebration, and the excitement Mary and Laura feel at their Christmas gifts of mittens and a few pieces of candy will remind them how grateful they should be for the pleasures we enjoy at Christmas today.
Gifts of the Heart
Richie and Trisha don’t have enough money to buy everyone in the family a gift for Christmas. How can they show their love without a gift? Enter the family’s new housekeeper, Kay Lamity, a forceful personality with a powerful lesson to teach: a gift that requires a full wallet isn’t nearly as special as a gift that comes from a full heart. So she gets Trisha and Richie thinking: how can they make a special Christmas with their own two hands? Thanks to Kay, this Christmas will be something really wonderful! Polacco’s story about the true significance of giving a gift is sure to become a family favorite.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
It’s 1918, and Armistice, an end to the Great War that took Ruthie’s father away from home, has finally been declared — but there’s still no sign of his return. In the spring, Ruthie and her father went into the mountain to select the perfect tree for that year’s Christmas tree at the church; now, the task of cutting it down and bringing it home falls to Ruthie and her mother. But without her father home, can Ruthie’s Christmas be everything that she dreams? This heartwarming story of determination, love, and joy is told with gentle sentiment, perfectly accompanied by subtle illustrations.
Apple Tree Christmas
Katrina's favorite spot is the special branch of the old apple tree where she sits when she draws; nestled among its leaves, she pretends that she's a real artist, working in a proper studio. But just before Christmas, a brutal ice storm hits, and when it's over, the apple tree has fallen. Katrina is heartbroken, and can't believe that her father is cheerfully sawing away at the tree's branches to cut them up for firewood — even on Christmas eve. But when she wakes up the next morning, she realizes that her father has found a very special way to make sure that the apple tree — and Katrina's dreams of being an artist — will be part of the family's traditions for years to come. This book features a truly heartwarming father-daughter relationship.
Brigid’s Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story
When Brigid is born, the slave daughter of a warrior prince, a Druid visits and proclaims that she will be “mother to the new Ireland that is to come,” leaving her with a rich blue cloak. Ten years later, Brigid is magically transported to a stable, where a man, woman, and infant boy are bedded down for the night. Brigid lends her cloak to the mother and blesses the newborn child — and finds herself back home, her blue cloak now speckled with stars. This story of the fifth century Irish saint combines the appeal of a folk tale with a sense of religious awe, and includes an author’s note with details about Brigid and her cloak.
The Story of Holly and Ivy
This Christmas story is full of wishes: Mr. and Mrs. Jones imagine a son or daughter to share their holidays, while Holly the doll hopes for a best friend who can bring her to life. And Ivy, a young orphan, dreams of finding a grandmother she’s never met, in hopes of finally having a home. With a few twists of fate — and a little Christmas magic — all three wishes can be fulfilled. This touching story, beautifully accented by Cooney’s illustrations, has been a Christmas favorite since it was first published in the Ladies’ Home Journal in the 1950s; we’re sure your family will love it too.
What do you do when you get that dreaded question: "Are you Santa?" This sentimental new book provides one possible answer. Every year, Lucy writes to Santa, and every year, Santa writes back. But as the years go on, the letters begin to ask questions...until finally, when she's eight, Lucy writes the letter to her mom instead. The letter her mother writes back tells Lucy that Santa is bigger than any one person: Santa is about magic, joy, and the excitement of giving something special to the people you care about — and that now Lucy is old enough to join Santa's "team" and be part of the magic. It's a heartfelt book that's perfect for sharing with kids who are ready to be let in on the true secret of Santa.
The Fairy Doll
Elizabeth is the youngest in her family, ignored by her older siblings and always struggling to do things right — but one thing always makes Christmas bright: the beautiful Fairy Doll at the top of their Christmas tree, with a white beaded dress and tiny silver shoes that Elizabeth is sure were sewn by fairy mice. Then, one year, Great-Grandma gives Fairy Doll to Elizabeth — when it's not even Christmas — and suddenly, a little "ting!" lets Elizabeth know what she should do in any situation. Is Fairy Doll magic? This classic 1956 story is now available in a new edition, perfect for introducing a new generation to Fairy Doll.
The Nutcracker Mice
Beneath the famed Mariinsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, there is a world of mouse ballet fans! Esmeralda is a rising star in the Russian Mouse Ballet Company who struggles to control her tail, and she is thrilled to be cast as Clara in a ballet that's premiering that Christmas: Tchaikovsky's new ballet The Nutcracker. But there are two big problems: Esmeralda's sure her audience will hate a show where the mice are the villains — and the humans want the mice exterminated! Fortunately, one little girl, Irina, realizes that the mice are dancers, too. Perhaps she can save the mice and ensure the Russian Mouse Ballet Company's future. This charming dual story really shines when following Esmeralda, whose courage, resourcefulness, and determination will delight young readers.
Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story
To the audience, The Nutcracker ballet is a fantastical and magical experience, but for the dancers involved, it's also hard work! This book follows real-life 13-year-old dancer Fiona as she prepares to play Clara with the Boston Ballet's production. Full-color, behind-the-scenes photographs bring readers into Fiona's world, both the bad — sore feet, tired muscles, and missing out on time with friends — and the good — the excitement of performing with a professional dance company. For Fiona, it's an unforgettable experience, and thanks to this beautiful book, middle readers can enjoy it alongside her.
Nancy and Plum
Nancy and her sister Pamela, nicknamed Plum, don’t have a happy Christmas to look forward to: after being orphaned years before, they’ve spent their time in a boarding school under the oversight of cruel Mrs. Monday. But when they discover that Mrs. Monday and her annoying niece have been confiscating the mail — and presents — that they’ve been receiving from their uncle, Nancy and Plum form a plan: this will be the last year they’ll spend alone at Christmastime! With fun characters, entertaining adventure, and a hearty helping of comeuppance for those who deserve it, you’re sure to cheer for this story!
When 12-year-old Bettina's parent have to help her grandmother, who's had a bad fall, the Danish family forgets a very important Danish Christmas tradition: a bowl of rice pudding for the nisse spirits who look after the house and livestock. They're not worried, though; surely the nisse are just a legend! But when baby Pia goes missing during a nap, Bettina will have to venture into the nisse's magical world and negotiate with these helpful but mischievous folk. This charming adventure story is sure to have readers wondering if there may be world besides their own that they just don't see.
The Girl Who Saved Christmas
Amelia Wishart's Christmas spirit made her the first child ever to receive a Christmas present from Santa: her dreams gave Santa that extra touch of magical power he needed. But now, things are different. Amelia's mother is sick, she's been sent to a workhouse under the cruel Mr. Creeper, and after a year's diet of gruel, without a whiff of kindness, her hopes have faded away... and with them, the magic levels at the North Pole plummet. Santa — with the help of his reindeer, one curious cat, and Charles Dickens — has mere days to find Amelia and figure out how to make her believe again. Inventive, heartwarming, and fun, this Christmas story will delight middle grade readers and remind them of the transformative power of kindness. For another tale by this author, check out A Boy Called Christmas.
Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932
11-year-old Minnie is living through one of the hardest times of American history: the Great Depression. Her father's hours of work have been getting shorter and shorter, and he's spending more and more of his time typing in his attic room instead of bringing money home to the family. As money gets short, belts get tightened, literally, by smaller and less filling meals. How can they have a proper Christmas in times like these? Then Minnie's orphaned cousin, a refugee from Texas' Dust Bowl, gets sent to live with the family. Fortunately, while Willie may not know about indoor plumbing and regular lessons at school, she does know how to keep hopes high and how to make a special Christmas, no matter how little money you have.