Holiday books, from the sentimental to the silly, have something for everyone this season.

Authors and illustrators have found different ways to explore the holidays – from the simplicity of Kwanzaa to the birth of Jesus to the magic of Santa Claus. Share a book and create a holiday memory.

“Christmas Gifts,” by Susan Heyboer O’Keefe, with illustrations by Jennifer Emery (ages 2-5; Boyds Mills Press; $15.95). Simple, rhyming text with watercolor illustrations shows that Christmas preparations and family togetherness are gifts to be treasured.

“Christmas Morning,” by Cheryl Ryan, with illustrations by Jenny Mattheson (ages 3-6; Scholastic; $6.99). It’s a cumulative rhyme in the tradition of “The House That Jack Built,” using a Christmas backdrop. The repetition of the lines will appeal to youngsters who will say the words with you by the end of the book.

“Room for a Little One,” by Martin Waddell, with illustrations by Jason Cockcroft (ages 3-6; Margaret K. McElderry; $15.95). The expressive faces of the animals in this story actually seem to speak the simple words in the text. This story begs to be read with a hushed voice on a lap in front of the fireplace.

“Christmas in the Barn,” by Margaret Wise Brown, with illustrations by Diane Goode (ages 3-6; HarperCollins Children’s Books; $15.99). First written by the author of “Goodnight Moon” in 1952, this updated version of her rhyming story with simple text features a barn setting for the story of the baby’s birth.

“Bear Stays Up for Christmas,” by Karma Wilson, with illustrations by Jane Chapman (ages 3-7; Margaret K. McElderry Books; $16.95). The third Bear story in the series by this author/illustrator team finds sleepy Bear awakened by his friends to celebrate Christmas. The detailed acrylic paint illustrations and rhyming text present the refrain “Bear stays up,” which kids will delightedly repeat.

“Robert’s Snow,” written and illustrated by Grace Lin (ages 3-6; Viking; $15.99). Kids will enjoy this adventure about a little mouse that gets lost in the snow and is rescued by a fellow in a red suit who is never identified by name, but whose gift-giving traits give him away.

“Uncles and Antlers,” by Lisa Wheeler, with illustrations by Brian Floca (ages 3-7; Atheneum Books for Young Readers; $15.99) . Bouncy rhymes tell the story of seven reindeer uncles, each with a distinct personality, who gather with their favorite niece once a year to perform a special job.

“The Attic Christmas,” by B.G. Hennessy, with illustrations by Dan Andreasen (ages 4-8; G.P. Putnam; $15.99) . With a twist on the Christmas family story, this one is written from the ornaments’ point of view, as they are relegated to the attic and seemingly forgotten. The oil painting illustrations are the right touch for the care-worn ornaments that try to make their own Christmas in the attic.

“This Place in the Snow,” written and illustrated by Rebecca Bond (ages 5-8; Dutton; $15.99). Although not exactly a holiday book, this one is about a celebration – the celebration of a snow pile and all the delightful adventures to be enjoyed.

“Santa’s Stuck,” by Rhonda Gowler Greene, with illustrations by Henry Cole (ages 4-7; Dutton; $16.99) . This bouncy, rhyming book shows readers what happens when Santa eats too many Christmas cookies. It takes a group effort to get Santa un-stuck.

“How Many Miles to Bethlehem?” by Kevin Crossley-Holland, with illustrations by Peter Malone (ages 4-8; Arthur A. Levine Books; $16.95) . Written in the voices of the subjects who were involved with the birth of Jesus – Mary, the innkeeper, the animals, the shepherds, King Herod, the angels, the wise men – this classically illustrated story has a folktale feel to it.

“An Orange for Frankie,” by Patricia Polacco (ages 6-9; Philomel; $16.99). Polacco relies on her family history for this Christmas tale reminiscent of a Little House on the Prairie scene. It’s hard in this day and age to imagine oranges as a coveted Christmas gift, but the underlying story is about giving and sharing and family holidays full of love.

“Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner?” by Tomie dePaola (ages 5-9; G.P. Putnam’s Sons; $16.99). Anyone who hosts the family gathering at Christmas can relate to dePaola’s story of Santa’s relatives joining him and Mrs. C for Christmas dinner. Squabbles, unwanted kitchen helpers and complaints about the gifts he delivered would upset anyone other than cheery Santa. It all turns out fine in the end, except for the mess to clean up.



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