SOS Home :: State Library :: Wolfner Library :: Recommended Readings

Winter Holidays

December 2011

 

To order any of these titles, contact the library by email, mail or phone. You may also request these titles online through our OPAC. Identification numbers for braille books begin with BR, large print books begin with LP and audiobooks begin with DB. All audiobooks listed are linked to the Braille and Audio Reading Download site (BARD) for downloading, but may also be ordered by contacting the library. Happy Reading!


Preschool to Grade 2

Biscuit's Pet and Play Christmas by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Warm up with a woolly sweater and cozy up to Santa's fluffy beard as you join Biscuit in this Christmas touch-and-feel. Print/braille. 2009. BR051995

Elmo's Christmas Colors
Lovable Elmo from Sesame Street teaches children about the colors of the Christmas season. Print/braille board book. BR050476

The Friendly Beasts: A Christmas Carol by Sharon McGinley-Nally
This is a version of the traditional Christmas carol "The Friendly Beasts," written by Robert Davis in 1920.  A  donkey, cow, sheep, camel, and dove talk about the gifts they bring for the baby Jesus. Includes music for the carol. Print/braille. 2000. BR013086

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel
Read by Ray Hagen. Reading time 19 minutes.
It is the first night of Hanukkah and although Hershel is tired and hungry he steps lightly. Soon he will reach the village where bright candles, merry songs, and platters of tasty potato latkes await him. But when he reaches the village, he does not see a single candle. The villagers explain that wicked goblins who hate Hanukkah haunt the synagogue. Hershel decides that he must help the villagers. Download Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, DB31281

Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
With everyone else sick in bed with a cold on Christmas eve, it is up to Madeline to run the school. However, she finds a remarkable helper in a rug-selling magician. Print/Braille. Uncontracted braille. 1956. BR053725

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear! by Don and Audrey Wood
It's Christmas and the little Mouse is looking forward to opening the presents around the tree. But what about the Big Hungry Bear who lives on top of the hill? The little Mouse's brave and generous spirit reminds us that Christmas is for everyone, not just ourselves. BR051570

Mouse's First Christmas by Lauren Thompson
While exploring the house on Christmas Eve, a little mouse discovers the tree, a candy cane, a stocking, a jingle bell, and Santa Claus. Print and braille with pictures. Illustrated by Buket Erdogan. 1999. BR051881

Santa's Christmas
Santa is coming! Hang up your stocking and join in the fun with this sparkling touch and feel book. Print/braille tactile board book. 2005. BR051742

Scratch and Sniff: Christmas
Asks young readers to smell all kinds of things associated with Christmas. Print/braille. Board book. 2001. BR053746

Kindergarten to Grade 3

The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll by Patricia C. McKissack
Read by Judith Ann Gantly. Reading time 20 minutes.
In a house where there is little money, the youngest sister Nella wants a Baby Betty doll. On Christmas Day, their father presents the longed-for doll to his three daughters. Nella fights for sole possession but soon realizes that sharing the doll is more fun. 2007. Download The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll, DB67038

Angelina's Christmas by Katharine Holabird
Read by Sylvia Grandmaison. Reading time 6 minutes.
Angelina, her cousin Henry, and the rest of the Mouseling family share Christmas cheer with a lonely, retired postman. BR006453, or Download Angelina's Christmas, DB23630

Arthur's Christmas Cookies by Lillian Hoban
When Arthur decides to bake cookies for Christmas presents, they turn out as hard as rocks, but Arthur cleverly turns them into the perfect Christmas surprise. Arthur the Chimpanzee series. LP001004

Carlos, Light the Farolito by Jean Ciavonne
Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time 18 minutes.
It is Christmas Eve, and tonight the peregrinos will come to Carlos's house as they search for shelter for Joseph and Mary. It is an honor to host the last night of Las Posadas, and Carlos can hardly wait. His grandfather always plays the role of the innkeeper, but Carlos's parents and grandfather have gone to town. So Carlos must fill in when the peregrinos arrive before his grandfather returns. Download Carlos, Light the Farolito, DB42692

Celebrate Hanukkah by Deborah Heiligman
Read by Gary Tipton. Reading time 30 minutes.
Explains the Jewish holiday called Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights. Discusses the menorah, prayers, traditional foods, and the game of spinning the dreidel. Includes instructions for lighting candles and playing dreidel, and a recipe for latkes, or potato pancakes. 2006. Download Celebrate Hanukkah, DB64912

A Confused Hanukkah: An Original Story of Chelm by Jon Koons
Read by Barbara Rappaport. Reading time 23 minutes.
When the rabbi is out of town as the time for celebrating Hanukkah approaches, the villagers of Chelm don't remember what to do. So Yossel travels down the road and returns with a new version of the Festival of Lights. 2004. Download A Confused Hanukkah: An Original Story of Chelm, DB60392

The Crunchy, Munchy Christmas Tree by Karen Gray Ruelle
Read by Geoffrey Centlivre. Reading time 10 minutes.
When a blizzard prevents Harry and Emily from taking the Christmas tree to their grandparents' house for the holidays, their parents arrange a special adventure. Beginning chapter book. 2003. Download The Crunchy, Munchy Christmas Tree: A Harry and Emily Adventure, DB59153

Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas by Michael J. Rosen
Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time 16 minutes.
Michael, a nine-year-old Jewish boy, spends long hours at the barbershop of Elijah, an elderly black man who is Christian and is a woodcarver. Michael loves Elijah's work. When Elijah gives Michael an angel on a day during Chanukah that is also Christmas Eve, Michael worries it is a "graven image"--until his father assures him it is a symbol of friendship, which is universal. Download Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas, DB38127

Grandfather's Christmas Camp by Marc McCutcheon
Read by Pam Ward. Reading time 10 minutes.
It is Christmas Eve, but Lizzie and Grandfather can't get ready for the holiday until they find Mr. Biggins--grandfather's three-legged dog who often wanders off to hunt deer. All bundled up, they set off up the mountain, carrying Grandfather's backpack along. Lizzie gets tired on the long trip, and they decide to spend the night in the woods. In the morning, there is a surprise waiting for Lizzie. Download Grandfather's Christmas Camp, DB42654

Gus and Grandpa and the Christmas Cookies by Claudia Mills
Read by Phil Regensdorf. Reading time 10 minutes.
Having baked six dozen Christmas cookies for themselves and been given many more from the neighbors, Gus and Grandpa find a rewarding solution to the problem of disposing of their extra holiday treats. Easy chapter book. 1997. Download Gus and Grandpa and the Christmas Cookies, DB50247

Henry Bear's Christmas by David McPhail
Read by Corrie James. Reading time 17 minutes.
Convinced that he will win, Henry Bear spends all his money on the church's Christmas tree raffle tickets, ignoring Stanley's plea to buy a sad little tree. Things don't work out the way Henry planned but he keeps his sense of humor. 2003. Download Henry Bear's Christmas, DB62185

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Read by Bob Askey. Reading time 13 minutes.
The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, tries to abolish Christmas by stealing all the presents from the people in the valley. BR 12020, or Download How the Grinch Stole Christmas, DB47536

It's a Miracle! A Hanukkah Storybook by Stephanie Spinner
Read by Suzanne Toren. Reading time 32 minutes.
This is Owen's first year to light the Hanukkah candles on the menorah. On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah his grandmother tells him a bedtime story. The last story makes him especially happy. Includes the Hanukkah legend and blessings and a glossary. 2003. Download It's a Miracle! A Hanukkah Storybook, DB60212

Kwanzaa by Deborah M. Chocolate
Read by Reginald Metcalf. Reading time 12 minutes.
"Every year, from the day after Christmas until the first day of the new year, our family celebrates Kwanzaa!" Thus begins the narrator's informative and delightful introduction to the celebration of Kwanzaa, the African-American holiday of the "first fruits." BR 008911, or Download Kwanzaa, DB33258

A Letter to Santa Claus by Brigitte Weninger
Read by Neil Berman. Reading time 10 minutes.
Oliver has never had a Christmas present, so he sends Santa Claus a wish list attached to a balloon. The message lands in a grumpy old man's yard and touches his heart. 2000. Download A Letter to Santa Claus, DB61726

Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krauss Melmed
Read by Barbara Caruso. Reading time 17 minutes.
Moishe the milkman is kind to everyone in his poor village of Wishniak. One winter he receives a magic frying pan that produces delicious Hanukkah latkes until his selfish wife meddles. 2000. Download Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story, DB62307

Grades 2 to 4

Christmas around the World, Volume 2 by Emily Kelley
Read by Catherine Byers. Reading time 16 minutes. This companion to Christmas around the World (DB 31285, BR 8233) describes holiday celebrations in eight countries--Mexico, Ethiopia, China, Germany, Lebanon, Sweden, Australia, and Russia--that mostly were not included in the earlier volume. Also contains jokes, tongue twisters, and a recipe. Beginning chapter book. 2004. BR015264, or Download Christmas around the World, Volume 2, DB57498

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Read by Roy Avers. Reading time 20 minutes.
Stingy Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who convince him to be kinder to people. Scrooge learns the meaning of Christmas and helps Tiny Tim and his family. A shorter version of the 1843 classic tale. 2009. BR018852, or Download A Christmas Carol, DB70685

A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time: Magic Tree House, Book 44 by Mary Pope Osborne
Read by Kate Kiley. Reading time 1 hour 41 minutes.
Jack and Annie travel back to Victorian London after Merlin asks them to use their magic to inspire Charles Dickens to write A Christmas Carol. 2010. BR019195, or Download A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time: Magic Tree House, Book 44, DB71857

Hark! A Christmas Sampler by Jane Yolen
Read by Andy Chappell. Reading time 1 hour 44 minutes.
A potpourri of holiday fare that includes excerpts from the Bible, songs, folktales, poems, stories, a play in verse, and informational pieces on gift giving, Christmas food, Christmas plants, Christmas animals, and the history of Christmas. Download Hark! A Christmas Sampler, DB36032

Horrible Harry and the Holidaze by Suzy Kline
Read by John Polk. Reading time 48 minutes.
Miss Mackle's third graders share December holiday traditions--Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings' Day, and Korean New Year--with one another and with Harry's great-grandfather who just moved into a nursing home. 2003. Download Horrible Harry and the Holidaze, DB58706

I, Amber Brown by Paula Danziger
Read by Madelyn Buzzard. Reading time 1 hour 45 minutes.
In this sequel to Amber Brown Sees Red, Amber prepares for Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations with her mother and her mother's fiance, Max. Meanwhile, Amber doesn't help the growing irritation between her mother and her father when she sneakily gets her ears pierced. 1999. Download I, Amber Brown, DB50501

Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday by Megan McDonald
Read by Victoria Gordon. Reading time 40 minutes.
While Judy Moody is writing her long wish list of Christmas presents, her brother Stink talks to the new mailman, Jack Frost, about the only thing he wants for Christmas: snow. 2007. Download Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Joliday, DB66314

Littlejim's Gift: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Gloria Houston
Read by Andy Chappell. Reading time 27 minutes.
Littlejim is almost eleven. He works hard helping his mother and father, and more than anything he wants his father to think of him as a man. Littlejim has been saving his dimes and hopes to buy a tool set he saw in the window of Mr. Burleson's store. But when his sister Nell falls in love with a doll in the window, Littlejim has some hard decisions to make. 1994. Download Littlejim's Gift: An Appalachian Christmas Story, DB40391

Mama Had to Work on Christmas by Carolyn Marsden
Read by Gabriella Cavallero. Reading time 1 hour 3 minutes.
Nine-year-old Gloria resents having to accompany her mother to work at a hotel on Christmas. But later when they cross the border to Mexico to visit her grandmother for Feliz Navidad her family's love helps her overcome her bad feelings. 2003. Download Mama Had to Work on Christmas, DB57516

Snowshoe Thompson by Nancy Smiler Levinson
Christmas is coming, and Danny's father is away digging for gold. So Danny writes him a letter: "Dear Pa, I wish you would come home for Christmas." But the snow is so deep no one wants to carry the mail-- no one except Snowshoe Thompson. Pictures by Joan Sandin. 1992. LP002104

The Twenty-Four Days before Christmas by Madeleine L'Engle
Read by Janet Kirker. Reading time 52 minutes.
For seven-year-old Vicky Austin December is the most exciting month of the year. This year she's going to be an angel in the Christmas pageant. And, best of all, there is something special to do each day in observance of Advent. But what if the new baby comes during Christmas and Mother has to go to the hospital? How will they have Christmas without Mother? 1984. BR009053, or Download The Twenty-Four Days before Christmas, DB35372

Grades 3 to 6

Candlelight for Rebecca: An American Girl, 1914; Book 3 by Jacqueline Dembar Greene
Read by Graci Ragsdale-Miller. Reading time 1 hour 23 minutes.
As Hanukkah approaches, Rebecca worries about taking home the Christmas centerpiece her teacher insists that each student make. But her grandmother praises Rebecca's handiwork, and Rebecca finds just the right person in her apartment building to give the Christmas decoration to. 2009. BR018669, or Download Candlelight for Rebecca: An American Girl, 1914; Book 3, DB71078

A Christmas Treasury: Very Merry Stories and Poems by Kevin Hawkes
Read by Connie Crawford. Reading time 38 minutes.
An anthology that includes a selection from Wind in the Willows depicting Mole's hospitality and Rat's resourcefulness; "Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn," a story featuring a dog who plays Santa Claus; two traditional carols; and Clement Moore's poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas." 2001. BR014121, or Download A Christmas Treasury: Very Merry Stories and Poems, DB56658

Kwanzaa Karamu: Cooking and Crafts for a Kwanzaa Feast by April A. Brady
Read by Shona Tucker. Reading time 1 hour 26 minutes.
Explains the meaning of this African American celebration. Provides recipes for children and adults to prepare together for the feast and instructions for making decorations and gifts. 1995. Download Kwanzaa Karamu: Cooking and Crafts for a Kwanzaa Feast, DB60693

Merry Christmas, Everywhere! by Arlene Erlbach
Read by Laura Giannarelli. Reading time 52 minutes.
Brief descriptions of Christmas traditions from twenty countries around the world. Presents regional forms of the Merry Christmas greeting, interesting facts about different holiday celebrations, and local crafts and recipes for family fun. 2002. Download Merry Christmas, Everywhere!, DB56279

A Newbery Christmas: Fourteen Stories of Christmas by Newbery Award-Winning Authors by Martin H. Greenberg
Read by Catherine Byers. Reading time 4 hours 33 minutes.
The American Library Association has presented the John Newbery Award annually since 1922 to the "most distinguished contribution" to children's literature. This collection includes Christmas stories by more than a dozen Newbery Award-winning authors.b BR051437, or Download A Newbery Christmas: Fourteen Stories of Christmas by Newbery Award-Winning Authors, DB35827

Nutcracker by Susanne Koppe
Read by Nicola Daval. Reading time 37 minutes.
Godfather Drosselmeier gives young Marie a nutcracker for Christmas. When Marie finds herself in a magical realm, she saves a boy from an evil curse. A retelling of the 1816 German story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. 2003. Download Nutcracker, DB59454

An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
Read by Constance Crawford. Reading time 27 minutes.
Frankie and his eight brothers and sisters learn lessons about giving, family, and tradition during a snowy Michigan Christmas long ago. 2004. Download An Orange for Frankie, DB59655

The Spotted Pony: A Collection of Hanukkah Stories by Eric A. Kimmel
Read by Robert Blumenfeld. Reading time 1 hour 24 minutes.
A collection of eight Jewish folktales, each preceded by a brief "shammes" story, to be read on the eight nights of Hanukkah. Includes "Leviathan and the Fox," "Did the Rabbi Have a Head?" and "The Caliph and the Cobbler." Download The Spotted Pony: A Collection of Hanukkah Stories, DB39534

The Stone Lamp: Eight Stories of Hanukkah through History by Karen Hesse
Read by Barbara Rappaport. Reading time 44 minutes.
An episode, seen through a child's eye, for each night of Hanukkah, following a chronicle of the Jewish people from twelfth-century England to twentieth-century Israel. Describes painful periods such as the Crusades, the Inquisition, and Kristallnacht. 2003. Download The Stone Lamp: Eight Stories of Hanukkah through History, DB58358

Grades 4 to 7

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Everyone agrees that the Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. When they hear about the free refreshments at Sunday School, the Herdmans not only show up, but also muscle their way into the lead roles of the annual Christmas pageant. For grades 4-7. BR016320, LP000979

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Read by Brian Hemmingsen. Reading time 1 hour 27 minutes.
The author's short version of the original Christmas Carol retains the tale of Tiny Tim, his meek father Bob Cratchit, and the old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. 1843. BR019173, or Download A Christmas Carol, DB71821

A Christmas Sonata by Gary Paulsen
Read by Andy Chappell. Reading time 54 minutes.
World War II. The narrator and his mother travel to rural Minnesota to spend Christmas with relatives, including his terminally ill cousin, Matthew. The narrator has many worries: his father's safety on the European front, Matthew's impending death, and, most of all, his recently shattered belief in Santa Claus. He confides in Matthew, who becomes as distressed as he, until their faith in the magic of Christmas is restored. Download A Christmas Sonata, DB36494

Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights: The Story of the Christmas Symbols by Barth Edna
Read by Ray DiZefalo. Reading time 1 hour 50 minutes.
Traces Christmas traditions and symbols back to Christian, mythological, and pagan sources. Covers the star, tree and its ornaments, the Yule log, Santa Claus, gift exchanging, food, and bells--all associated with this December holiday. 2000. BR013898, or Download Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights: The Story of the Christmas Symbols, DB53940

It's Kwanzaa Time! By Linda and Clay Goss
Read by Gail Nelson. Reading time 1 hour 59 minutes.
Collection of stories, songs, and poems celebrating the seven principles of Kwanzaa, an African American observance based on old African festivals and traditions. Also includes games and recipes. Download It's Kwanzaa Time!, DB42923

The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Read by Ray Hagen. Reading time 1 hour 45 minutes.
A collection of eight tales--one for each night of Hanukkah--by Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991). In "The Parakeet Named Dreidel" a pet lost in Brooklyn on the eighth night of Hanukkah eventually unites his former and current owners through love. 1980. Download The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah, DB71860

Grades 5 to 8

The Greek Who Stole Christmas: A Diamond Brothers Mystery, Book 5 by Anthony Horowitz
Read by Gary Tipton. Reading time 1 hour 45 minutes.
London, England. Fourteen-year-old Nick and his older brother Tim, an ineffectual private detective, investigate a death threat against the popular Greek singer Minerva, who is scheduled to open Santa's workshop at Harrods. 2007. Download The Greek Who Stole Christmas: A Diamond Brothers Mystery, Book 5, DB69699

A Midnight Clear: Stories for the Christmas Season by Katherine Paterson
A collection of stories that the author wrote for her pastor husband to tell his congregation on Christmas Eves. In the title story, a boy who is scared by recurring visions of nuclear mushroom clouds finds comfort in helping a homeless old woman. In "Amazing Grace," a woman stranded when the car runs out of gas gives birth in a humble cabin on Christmas Eve. BR010634

My Brother's Hero by Adrian Fogelin
Christmas vacation in the Florida Keys brings a welcome change for thirteen-and-a-half-year-old Ben Floyd. When he and his younger brother Cody first meet eleven-year-old Mica, Ben resents her know-it-all attitude. But she helps them explore the marine world, where Ben finds himself testing his courage. 2002. BR016998

Grades 6 to 9

Jingle Boy by Kieran Scott
Read by Erik Synnestvedt. Reading time 6 hours 26 minutes.
Sixteen-year-old Paul Nicholas and his family go all out to celebrate Christmas. Then Paul loses his first girlfriend, his father is nearly electrocuted, and his mother is fired. So Paul becomes a Scrooge and joins the "Anti-Christmas Underground," until Santa changes his mind. 2003. Download Jingle Boy, DB57539

Junior and Senior High

Starry Night: The Christy Miller Series by Robin Jones Gunn
Read by Kristin Allison. Reading time 3 hours 36 minutes.
Sixteen-year-old Christy Miller feels insecure with her friends--especially with the guys. She is annoyed with her parents' Christmas plans, until she finds peace with the Lord one beautiful evening. 1993. BR014433, or Download Starry Night: The Christy Miller Series, DB55019

What Child Is This? A Christmas Story by Caroline B. Cooney
Read by Kerry Cundiff. Reading time 3 hours 30 minutes.
Sixteen-year-old Matt and eight-year-old Katie have both had enough of foster homes. Matt, however, dreads facing Katie's disappointment when her Christmas wish of being adopted doesn't come true. Meanwhile his classmate Liz, who appears to have the perfect family, is dismayed by her parents' hypocrisy during the holidays. BR011516, or Download What Child Is This? A Christmas Story, DB47105

Senior High

The Beast by Walter Dean Myers
Read by Christopher Walker. Reading time 3 hours 19 minutes.
When sixteen-year-old "Spoon" receives a scholarship to a New England prep school, he leaves Harlem and his girlfriend Gabi behind. Returning home at Christmastime, he discovers Gabi is a drug addict and he no longer is in step with street life. Some strong language. 2003. BR015204, or Download The Beast, DB57388

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Classic nineteenth-century Christmas story set in England describes the conversion of grasping old miser Ebenezer Scrooge when he is visited by ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. BR017785, LP000640

The Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest by Dorothy Winbush Riley
Read by Camille McCurty Ali. Reading time 11 hours 56 minutes.
An anthology of essays, folktales, poems, personal profiles, and recipes on the African American festival of Kwanzaa. The selections serve to illuminate the seven principles of the event and to guide in its celebration. Download The Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest, DB42533

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green
Read by Jill Fox. Reading time 7 hours 31 minutes.
In three interconnected short stories set in a small southern town, six teens discover unexpected romance after a train is stranded by a blizzard. In "The Jubilee Express" Jubilee takes refuge in a Waffle House and meets local boy Stuart. 2008. Download Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, DB68582

Starry, Starry Night: Three Holiday Stories by Lurlene McDaniel
Read by Cyn Delafield. Reading time 4 hours 39 minutes.
Three short stories taking place at Christmas time. In "Christmas Child" a teenager confronts the death of her newborn sister. In "Last Dance" Brenda is confused by a cancer patient's love for her. In "Kathy's Life" Ellie learns to reject high school pettiness. Download Starry, Starry Night: Three Holiday Stories, DB47854


600 West Main Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Main Office: (573) 751-4936Driving Directions