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The tree is up in your house already and it sure is twinkly.

It’s colorful, too, and you love to lay next to it and just look at it. Wouldn’t that be a great place to take one of these wonderful holiday books?

Santa is here. He’s there. He’s at the mall and on Christmas cards and on TV. When a young Santa fan notices all the Clauses, he wonders which one is the guy who brings presents? In “The Real Santa” by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Random House), the truth is exactly what he’d hoped...

Everybody knows that Santa comes down the chimney, right? But what if you don’t have a chimney? In “Santa in the City” by Tiffany D. Jackson, illustrated by Reggie Brown (Dial Books), there are just two weeks to go before Christmas and Deja is concerned that Santa won’t be able to find her. Everybody has a different answer to her questions — so how does Santa know what to do?

How do you find just the right gift? In “The Perfect Gift” by Lyn Sisson-Talbert and David L. Talbert ( Razorbill), inventors Journey, Jessica, and Jeronicus create their best invention yet: it’s a robot they call Buddy 3000. So what do you give a robot on Christmas Day? Inspired by the Netflix show, look for this book before turning on your television.

Bah. Jim Panzee is not impressed. The entire jungle is lit up for Christmas, but Jim hates it all and in “Grumpy Monkey: Oh, No, Christmas!” by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang, (Random House) it’s up to the other animals to change his mind. Is there any good way to bring jingle to the jungle?

For the kid who longs for a white Christmas — a really white one — “We Want Snow! A Wintry Chant” by Jamie A. Swenson, illustrated by Emilie Boon (Sleeping Bear Press) helps call in the snowflakes before it’s time to snuggle under blankets.

Clausie always was unique. His grandmother said that was OK, that he’s special. Not until it’s almost Christmas does Clausie find out just how special he is, and in “Just Be Claus: A Christmas Story” by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Kim Barnes (Sleeping Bear Press), you should be very glad that’s so!

Tradition is important at every holiday, so treat your child to the wonder of “Jan Brett’s The Nutcracker” (Putnam). This lush picture book updates a classic story with Marie and her brother, Fritz, and a gift that takes her on an adventure, that’s perfect for tradition-making in your house.

And finally, “Good Dogs in Bad Sweaters” by Rachel Wenitsky & David Sidorov, illustrated by Tor Freeman (Putnam) is about a doggy day-care and Hanukkah and Christmas and a visit from Santadoodle. What 8-to-12-year-old kid could resist?

None. That’s it. No kid could resist these great holiday books, and if you need more titles, then check with your librarian or bookseller. They’ll have lots of ideas to put beneath your tree!

Season’s Readings!

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Contact book reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer at or at


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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