Great Christmas reads from Menlo Park’s children librarian

by Linda Hubbard on December 11, 2010

We grateful to Michelle Barrese Burnham, head of Youth Services at the Menlo Park Library, for this great list of Christmas-themed books. Happy family reading!

We Were There: A Nativity Story by Eve Bunting. (ages 4-8)
A snake, scorpion, toad, bat, cockroach, spider, and rat tell how they witnessed the birth of the Christ Child.

Merry Christmas, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola (ages 4-8)
Strega Nona returns with her bumbling assistant, Big Anthony, and Bambolona, the baker’s daughter, in time for the big Christmas Eve feast.

An Angel Just Like Me by Mary Hoffman (ages 4-8)
An African-American boy wonders why all Christmas tree angels look alike and sets out to find an angel that looks just like him.

The True Gift: A Christmas Story by Patricia MacLaughlin (ages 6-10)
While spending Christmas at their grandparents’ farm, Lily becomes convinced that her younger brother Liam is right about White Cow being lonely and helps him seek a companion for her, leaving little time for Christmas preparations or reading.

Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor (ages 4-8)
Fancy Nancy is devastated, which is even worse than heart-broken, when her fancy Christmas tree topper breaks, threatening to ruin Christmas.

Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera (ages 4-8)
When her eccentric Auntie Claus leaves for her annual business trip, Sophie stows away in her luggage, travels with her to the North Pole, and discovers that her aunt is really Santa’s sister and helper.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (ages 8-12)
The Herdman children, who enjoy terrorizing their classmates, volunteer to play the main characters in the Sunday school Christmas pageant.

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto (ages 4-8)
Maria tries on her mother’s wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get together, but panic ensues when hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.

The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell (ages 4-8)
An earth-sick little angel newly arrived in the celestial kingdom finds his recent transition from boy to cherub a difficult one.

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson (ages 4-8)
Unhappy in his cramped, cold hole, Mortimer Mouse moves into a nativity scene thinking it is the perfect home for him, until he discovers who truly belongs there.


Lauren John December 11, 2010 at 8:48 am

Michelle is the best Christmas gift a library could have!
It is wonderful to see a librarian who connects so well with kids–and who cares about the community
Also think these are great selections–especially Too Many Tamales.

Kristi Breisch December 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

I agree with Lauren John – Michelle is an excellent librarian and a wonderful person! The Children’s programming is excellent!

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