What the Kids are Reading (in December 2015)

December 2015 Picture Books

We did read more Christmas books than those listed below; these are just the new-to-us ones I tried from the library. One of these days I should make a complete listing of the Christmas books, instead of having them scattered across various posts from different years. Maybe that’ll happen for 2016. ๐Ÿ˜‰

A Tale of Two BeastsA Tale of Two Beasts by Fiona Roberton

Probably my favorite from the month – I loved the double perspective this one provides, as the story is told twice, once from the viewpoint of the little girl, and once from the animal’s point of view. The way the illustrations are also adjusted for each recounting is really clever too. The kids liked it as well, and have asked for it repeatedly.

AnimallyAnimally by Lynn Parrish Sutton

Very sweet story, with lots of fun adverbs plus of course all the great animals. I can see why this one was recommended to me so highly.

There's a Mouse about the HouseThere’s a Mouse about the House by R. Fowler

I got this one because of a relative raving about how much her children loved it when they were growing up. Initially, I was skeptical about how much my kids would like it, but I didn’t need to be – my kids are OBSESSED with putting the little mouse through each page’s slot. The one drawback is that the mouse is easy to lose, even with the little pocket on the front cover (ask me how I know this.) At least the back cover has a template for making your own replacement mouse. ๐Ÿ™‚

Old AbeOld Abe, Eagle Hero: The Civil War’s Most Famous Mascot by Anne Lee

Good as an older picture book, as it’s got more text on each page. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for material about the Civil War that doesn’t get into graphic detail, but just touches on the time period, or if you’ve got animal lovers. Otherwise, it’s not a must read or one that I’d suggest for younger readers, as it likely won’t hold their interest. My 6 year old thought it was ok,; my 4 year old didn’t stick around for more than a page or two. I’ll try it again with them in another year or two.

Blue Whale BluesBlue Whale Blues by Peter Carnavas

Cute story, and the kids were amused at the “wrong” names and uses for various items they easily recognized (the upside down shopping cart that the Whale calls his bike, etc.). They also thought it was hilarious when Whale is sad that his “bike” is “all wet.”

Johnny Appleseed the Story of a LegendJohnny Appleseed: The Story of a LegendJohnny Appleseed: The Story of a Legend by Will Moses by Will Moses

A school book for G, and he liked it, and he liked telling daddy about what he’d learned about Johnny Appleseed. Nice illustrations too, but it’s not a toddler or preschooler-targeted picture book: it’s very text-heavy, and is unlikely to keep their interest. As a readaloud for a first grader, it’s excellent.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan ToomeyThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch

New to us all this year, and what a wonderful book! Both the story and illustrations are lovely, and I want to buy a copy to add to our regular advent reading rotation. The 4 year old wasn’t that interested in it, but I think by next year she’ll like it.

Christmas OrangesChristmas OrangesChristmas Oranges by Linda Bethers, illustrated by Ben Sowards by Linda Bethers, illustrated by Ben Sowards

Gorgeously illustrated, but I wasn’t expecting to get choked up by the story. It’s another picture book that’s better for 6 & up at least, both because of the amount of text, and because of the themes discussed.

Click Clack Ho Ho HoClick, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin

I adore Click Clack Moo and others by Cronin and Lewin, but this one wasn’t one of my favorites of theirs. I’m also not a big fan of Santa-focused books though, so that plays a huge role in my feelings. Try it from the library (most medium to larger ones should have a copy) and see if it’s a good fit for your family before buying it.

Llama Llama Holiday DramaLlama Llama Holiday DramaLlama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney by Anna Dewdney

My first Llama Llama book, and maybe I shouldn’t have picked this one as my introduction to the series? I was unimpressed with it. Thinking I should give Llama Llama another try, because I know they’re hugely popular, and maybe this was just not representative of what they’re usually like.

Disclosure: Several of these are Usborne books, and I’m an independent consultant for them (i.e., I sell them). I’m still going to give you my honest opinion on their books though, because every book isn’t right for every reader. If you buy from my link I’ll receive a commission, which goes to support the blog and my homeschooling adventure. Non-Usborne titles are linked to Amazon, and those are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!


  1. Oh. I am so intrigued by A Tale of Two Beasts. I reserved it from the library. Christopher got Llama Llama Holiday from his teacher for Christmas. We need to read it.

  2. It thought that Llama Llama book was cuter than the others! I could relate it to my 3 yr old quite well.
    I haven’t actually seen Tale of Two Beasts ๐Ÿ™ But Mouse was a HUGE hit with BabY Girl….until the dog ate the mouse!

    • I could not believe how quickly we lost the mouse. And that it still hasn’t turned up – I was so hoping it was behind the couch and it’d turn up after Christmas when we would have space to shift things and look for it. (The tree kept me from checking earlier). No dice.

      Now I’m wondering if the toddler threw it in the trash – I’ve seen her putting other things in there, and I usually try and check for non-trash items whenever I open it, but no guarantees it didn’t happen. I remember the other two going through that stage too – hope it’s a short one with her.

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