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SALT LAKE CITY — Christmas is not complete without the giving and reading of some of the best Christmas stories out there. From brand new to fun and silly to enduring life lessons, these picture books make the holidays merry and bright for kids and adults.
1. “The Animal’s Santa” by Jan Brett
New from beloved author/illustrator Jan Brett comes a sweet story of the animals at Christmas. Is there a Santa just for them? Is it a moose? A polar bear? A wolf? This Christmas, Little Snow, a bunny, will discover the truth of the animals' Santa.
2. “Christmas in the Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown and Diane Goode
The classic is the Christmas story told simply and beautifully by the author of “Goodnight Moon,” Margaret Wise Brown. With sweet illustrations by Caldecott winning artist Diane Goode, it's a great addition to the holiday library.
3. “The Last Christmas Tree” by Stephen Krensky and Pascal Champion
New this holiday season, this touching story of a forgotten little tree is sure to become a Christmas classic. The pathetic tree waits on the tree lot, hoping for a family to take him home. But Christmas Eve comes and he’s left alone, the last tree. Will anyone give the tree a home?
4. “Santa Mouse” by Michael Brown and Elfrieda de Witt
A lovable classic, “Santa Mouse” is a short but great holiday read. Mouse is so excited for Christmas, and as he prepares, he wonders if anyone ever gives a gift to Santa.
5. “Good King Wenceslas” retold by Jane Seymour and illustrated by Omar Rayyan
This beautiful adaptation tells the original story behind the 150-year-old Christmas carol. A kind king and his page set out on a winter night to deliver food and comfort to a peasant family. An endearing story about the true meaning of the season.
6. “A Little Women Christmas” by Heather Vogel Frederick and Bargram Ibatoulline
It’s Christmas time in the March house. With their father away, Jo March is determined to make the holidays fun and festive, even if it means some sacrifice. A great new homage to the classic novel and a fun introduction to the story for young people.
7. “Blizzard” by Jon Rocco
New from Caldecott Honor artist/author Jon Rocco is an exciting winter story based on his own childhood experiences during the infamous blizzard of 1978 in Rhode Island. From the first snowflake to the chaos of homes buried in snow, young Jon learns to help others while admiring the beauty of a winter storm.
8. “Snowmen at Christmas” by Caralyn and Mark Buehner
At Christmas, the snowmen have magical, whimsical adventures. This fabulous book by a husband/wife team, local to Utah, is a fun favorite.
9. “Russell’s Christmas Magic” by Rob Scotton
When Santa’s sleigh breaks down on Christmas Eve, it’s up to everyone’s favorite sheep to save Christmas. Scotton’s vibrant illustrations and fun story make this picture book a holiday favorite.
10. “An Otis Christmas” by Loren Long
Another beloved children’s picture book character, everyone’s favorite tractor, Otis, is always ready to help. When the horse on his farm is ready to have her foal, Otis must get the farmer through the deep snow to the doctor and back in time for the arrival of a new friend.
What are some of your family's favorite holiday picture books? Share on the comment board.
Teri Harman, author and book enthusiast, writes a monthly column for KSL.com and contributes book-related segments to "Studio 5 with Brooke Walker. Her novels "Blood Moon" and "Black Moon" are now available in stores and online. Join in the magic at teriharman.com.*