Picture books to help celebrate the holidays

Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 2:00 p.m. MST

Christmas is a great time for not only giving books, but reading some new holiday favorites. Here is a selection of holiday picture books for young readers.

THE CHRISTMAS QUIET BOOK,” by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Liwska, Houghton Mifflin, $12.99 (ages 4-8)

There is no mistaking the sounds of Christmas, but don't forget the quiet times: snow-angels quiet, listening-for-sleigh-bells quiet, breathing-clouds-in-cold-air quiet and writing-a-note-to-Santa quiet. Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska (“The Quiet Book” and “The Loud Book”) have defined many obvious “quiets” that may be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations. With its simple text and muted drawings, “The Christmas Quiet Book” is just right for a cold cuddle-up-and-read time.

"THE MISSING CHRISTMAS TREASURE," by Gale Sears, illustrated by Meredith Johnson, Covenant Communications, $15.99 (ages 3 and up)

A young boy looks through all of the family's Christmas decorations — including the attic, yard, kitchen and tree — in search for his favorite one, the nativity set. As he finds it, he and his sisters look at each piece as they display it.

Utah author Gale Sears helps share each aspect of the Nativity as seen through the eyes of children. Meredith Johnson's illustrations are light and fun as he is looking through each place.

GOOD KING WINCESLAS,” retold by Jane Seymour, illustrated by Omar Rayyan, Deseret Book, $21 (all ages)

The beloved Christmas carol tells of a king and his faithful servant who provide supplies to a poor peasant family, setting a tradition for my generations to follow. Actress Jane Seymour relates this story with beautifully matched art depicting medieval settings. A DVD accompanies this rendition with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir music as background.

"C IS FOR CHRISTMAS," by Tonya Skousen Arenaz, Covenant Communications, $14.99 (ages 3 and up)

From "A is for Angels" to "Z is for ZZZZZs," Tonya Skousen Arenaz shares a holiday-related word, from the spiritual to celebratory. Artwork from a variety of artists is paired with the alphabet letters.

HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS?” and "HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY HAPPY CHANUKAH," by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague, Scholastic/Blue Sky, $16.99 (ages 3-5)

The writing/illustrating team that has entertained us with eight previous dinosaur antics (like “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?”) revisits them again with an exuberant celebration of holiday festivities. While speculation is that the a dinosaur might taste the candy canes or deplete the tree of its baubles, “No — a dinosaur doesn’t. He carols with care; he helps trim the tree so no branches are bare.” And so, the festivities go off without a hitch.

Jane Yolen’s cleverly-paced rhymes set on Mark Teague’s colorful two-page spreads are begging to be read and chanted time and time again.

Published simultaneously is “How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?” with new pranks in mind, like hoarding the dreidels so no one else can play or blowing out the candles in the menorah. However, this mischief maker “eat(s) up his latkes, helps clear away dishes, gives Bubbie and Zaida big Chanukah wishes.”

THE CHRISTMAS TUGBOAT: How the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came to New York City,” by George Matteson and Adele Ursone, illustrated by James E. Ransome, Clarion, $17.99 (ages 4-8)

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