5 Picture Books That Should Be Under Your Tree This Christmas

Giving a good book as a gift is one of my favorite things to do. I give my kids at least one book for almost every occasion and am always looking for new ones. If you’re one of the people trying to stick to the four Christmas gift rule or are just in search of some new ideas, these are five picture books that should be under your tree this Christmas.

The Great Kapok Tree
by Lynne Cherry

As a child of the 80s and 90s, the tv show Reading Rainbow was probably one of my all-time favorites. This book was featured on the show and its story is still very relevant in today’s world. It takes place in the Amazon rainforest. A man is trying to chop down a Kapok tree. When he stops his work to rest, many of the rainforest’s creatures come to tell him why this tree is so important. Even a young native boy comes to him with a message. The author/illustrator went to the Amazon to research prior to creating the book. This is evident in every aspect of this powerful tale.

A Bad Case of Stripes
by David Shannon

Camilla Cream is the girl at the center of this story. She loves lima beans but doesn’t want her friends to know this because it makes her different. She ends up getting sick with a “case of the stripes”. No one can figure out what’s wrong. In the end, it turns out that Camilla’s desire to fit in and be just like her friends was really the root of this bizarre ailment. It goes to show that most often the only person hurt by not being yourself is YOU.

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
by Jamie Deenihan

True to the old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” this book shows you just that! The main character has a long list of things she’d like for her birthday. A lemon tree is certainly not one of them! When her grandma gives her just that, she thinks of ways she might be able to get rid of it. When those things don’t pan out, she ends up caring for it and liking it! Many important lessons are exhibited thru this story. It was also featured as a Sunshine State Young Readers Award Book for 2020-21.

I’m Happy-Sad Today
by Lory Britain

Adults often have mixed feelings, but how can we explain this complex concept to our kids? This book is a great way to share that it’s normal to feel more than one emotion at once. You may feel excited about trying something new, but also nervous. Or you might be proud to have a new sibling, but also jealous that he/she is getting a lot of attention. In the end, it has a great guide for adults to talk about feelings with their kids.

The Wolves Are Back
by Jean Craighead George

This is one of the coolest picture books I’ve shared with my kids. It centers around the fact that the wolves were removed from Yellowstone National Park in the 1920s. Thru the AMAZING illustrations and carefully chosen words, the reader learns all of the terrible ecosystem repercussions from this one act. Just as swiftly, it also details the wonderful benefits to the park once the wolves were reintroduced many years later.

What books do you plan on gifting this year? Please leave a comment and let me know! You can also check out some additional suggestions here.

Emily Draper
Emily grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She graduated from The University of Arizona with a degree in Business Administration, where her love affair with all-things desert began. She originally moved to Tampa in 2009 to be closer to her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Kyle. Together, they have two amazing (and amazingly strong-willed!) kids. Since starting a family, Emily has also lived in South Carolina and Metro Detroit, before returning to the Tampa area in 2017. Emily is a REALTOR® and in her spare time, she enjoys fitness, essential oils, reading, country music, and anything crafty.

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