Monday, August 3, 2015

Must Read Monday: Holiday Books

The theme this week for Must Read Monday is must read holiday books.  This was sort of a tricky post to do because there are so many holidays and loads of books to go with each one.  I chose a few major holidays that we celebrate in my home and classroom and picked my favorite books for each. This post has a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.

The Kindergarten Connection and I would love to know - what are your favorite book(s) to read at the holidays?  You can link up with us and/or leave us a comment down below!  Here are a few of my favorites!

I want to say that before I do any of my official "reviews" if you don't own any of these books - GO BUY THEM!  Ha!  But seriously, I think all of these are excellent choices.  Some can be read around a holiday, some can be read during the holiday season (or both).  But these are some fabulous books - favorites for sure!

Halloween Favorites:

Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi is a story about a little mummy who goes looking for his "mummy".  While it might have a few scary monsters, it is a cute story that plays on words (like playing "hide and shriek"), fun sound effects, and different creatures of the ghoulish night.  There are many questions and answers in this story which allow you to talk about punctuation and tone of voice.  But the moral of the story is that there is no place like home - with his mummy!

GO AWAY, BIG GREEN MONSTER! by Ed Emberley is a fun and short book to read.  The amazing feature of this di-cut book is that, as the pages are turned, the di-cuts slowly reveal the monster's different features. The book begins with round yellow eyes on an otherwise back page.  The monster slowly comes into focus as the story goes on and the monster is described.  Eventually, we see the entire monster!  Gradually, the monster starts to "go away" as its features disappear with each turn of the page.

A fun project to do after reading this story is a tear art project where you recreate the monster!  They turn out adorable!

Thanksgiving Favorites:

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey is definitely one of my all time favorite stories.  It is the day before Thanksgiving and children go on a school field trip to a farm.  The children meet some turkeys and are so happy to be around them - they become friends.  The children also meet Farmer Mack Nuggett who talks to them about how he is going to chop up the turkeys and turn them into Thanksgiving feasts.  The children freak - the teacher and farmer run to the well for water (because, doesn't water cure so many problems with our little ones!?!?) - and they calm the children down.  The children board the bus to go home (and look a little fatter).  Turns out, the children brought the turkeys home!  On Thanksgiving Day, the families dine on veggies, and the turkeys are guests.  This vegetarian loves a veggie filled Thanksgiving dinner!

This story follows the pattern of Twas the Night Before Christmas (rhyming!!!), has nods to many famous works of art, and is just as cute and kind as can be!

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is another Thanksgiving story (spoiler alert!) where the turkey lives!  Yeah!  Mr. Moose promises Mrs. Moose a turkey for Thanksgiving so he goes on the hunt for one.  Other animal friends join in the search.  They finally find the turkey hiding down by the river.  Turkey is petrified.  Mr. Moose makes him come home with him.  They want him for Thanksgiving and he promised Mrs. Moose a turkey.  What turkey doesn't know is that he is a guest, not the meal.  Phew!

Christmas Favorites:

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a magical little story about a boy who goes to the North Pole on the Polar Express train and meets Santa.  It is a story about believing, fun, and childhood/adulthood.  There is something about the end of the book that always makes me teary-eyed.  Maybe I am wrong,  but I assume most of you know this book.  It is a such a sweet story.  It is a little long, but my kinders sit through it.  And of course, I ring bells at the end of the story and ask the students if they are able to hear the ringing.

Valentine Favorites:

The Giant Hug by Sandra Horning is another one of my all time favorites!!!!!  This is just adorable! I LOVE reading this story and I always read it on Valentine's Day.  This isn't even a Valentine's book - it is actually focused on a birthday present, but it is all about love!  Owen wants to send a GIANT hug to his granny for her birthday through the mail.  He doesn't want to draw her a picture of a hug, he wants to send an ACTUAL hug.  Owen and his mom address an envelope and go down to the post office.  Owen gives the worker behind the counter a GIANT hug.  That worker gives a GIANT hug to the mail sorter, who in turns gives a GIANT hug to the driver, who then gives a GIANT hug to the driver who is delivering it to the airport...........and so on and so forth until a GIANT hug is actually given to Granny.  Along the way, people blush, others kick up their heels, a date is made, and this hug just makes people happy!  Guess what Granny wants to send back to her grandson?  Wait for it............a BIG Kiss!  The children go WILD at this and the story ends with a red lipstick smooch on Owen's cheek.

This is also a good opportunity to talk about the postal service and the process of mail traveling across town and country.  It shows many different components to mail delivery and it makes for a good conversation.

Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis is a very sweet book about an unlikely love between a mouse and a tall animal.  The mouse "Tiny Too-Little" is trying to get up high because he loves somebody and wants a kiss.  So he starts stacking things - a thimble, a matchbox, a candle, etc. so he can get up high.  The pile grows taller, and the pages become layered to illustrate the pile growing tall.  Eventually, there is a crash and "Topsy Too-Tall" has to bend down low for a kiss.  Topsy Too-Tall is actually a giraffe and the children discover this at the end and laugh so much!  It is great to predict who mouse is trying to reach.  There is also a little pop up feature of the giraffe's neck at the end of the book reaching her love.  Just plain ol' sweetness!

Saint Patrick's Day Favorites:

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute is a book that is just that - clever!  Tom Fitzpatrick is out for a walk one day and finds a leprechaun.  Tom captures the leprechaun and makes him reveal where the gold is buried.  Since a leprechaun must show where the gold is buried if caught, he complies.  He takes Tom on a journey, and shows Tom that it is under a particular bush.  The problem is, Tom doesn't have a shovel.  Tom ties a red ribbon around the plant so he can identify it when he returns, and before he leaves to get his shovel he makes the leprechaun promise not to remove the ribbon.  The leprechaun promises and since they stand by their word, Tom felt comfortable leaving to get his shovel.  When he gets back to the field, he noticed his red ribbon was not removed...............but, there happened to be a red ribbon tied around EVERY plant.  Oh, the tomfoolery!!!!!  Clever, indeed!

 For More Book Recommendations, please check out:


  1. I really need to get Where's My Mummy? and The Giant Hug - I don't have either of those. They sound great! I bet my kids would love them. I enjoyed reading your favorites and finding some new ones! :)

  2. Never Too Little To Love sounds adorable!!! I've never heard of it!! I shared A Turkey for Thanksgiving in my post too - it is one of my favorite Thanksgiving stories to read and the kids always love it!! I read it pretty much every year and I still think it's the cutest book! Thanks so much for sharing your favorites!

    ~Heather :)