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Peace, Compassion & Community: 7 New Classic Christmas Books for Kids

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There’s a new generation of Christmas picture books shining a light on Christmas values. These thoughtful stories remind us that neighbors and strangers are worth caring about, diversity is worth celebrating, and gifts are for giving. They’re the new classics, and they fit perfectly alongside the classic Christmas stories in everyone’s collection, as well as with more religious Christmas books.

The seven selections below, covering an age range of 4 to 12, make beautiful Christmas gifts for children, and would be enjoyed by the whole family.

A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas

In this festive, Latino twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," you’ll find piñatas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all in vivid colors. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations provided right in the pictures.

Ages 4 to 7.

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Walk this World at Christmas Time

(Pictured above.)

Encourage your children to discover how different cultures celebrate Christmas, as every page brings new countries to explore. Lift-the-flap surprises give the book an element of Advent calendar fun.

Ages 5 to 7.

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The Christmas Eve Tree

A shopkeeper is about to throw away an ugly little fir tree, when a homeless boy asks if he can have it. Through the boy’s kindness and care, the tree gets a second chance. Be sure to look carefully at the illustrations, or you’ll miss part of the story’s uplifting message.

Ages 5 to 7.

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Christmas Makes Me Think

The young narrator is thrilled with the holiday's prospects: the presents he's wishing for, the big tree he's hoping to get, the cake he'll bake with his grandmother. But he begins to wonder... What about the people who don't get presents, or don't even have a place to live? He soon realizes that he can make a difference.

Ages 5 and up.

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The Carpenter's Gift

Created in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, this is the story of Henry, who as a child in Depression-Era New York City, gets his wish for a warm home to replace his family’s drafty shack. As an old man, Henry finds a way to help another family in need.

Ages 5 to 9.

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Amazing Peace

The poem that Maya Angelou first read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony celebrates the promise of peace in the holiday season. A family joins with their community—rich and poor, black and white, Christian, Muslim, and Jew—to celebrate the holidays.

Ages 6 and up.

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Babushka

In this retelling of a traditional Russian folk tale, Babushka is busy tidying her house when three unexpected guests arrive. They tell her that they are looking for a baby, a new born king. When, the next morning, Babushka sets out to follow the men, the snow has already covered their tracks. But she keeps on searching, and as she goes she gives a gift from her basket to every child she passes who is hungry, or cold, or has no toys.

Ages 9 to 12.

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What is your family reading this Christmas? Please help inspire other readers by sharing your comments below. Thanks!


Cover image from Walk This World at Christmas Time by Debbie Powell.

Katie is a reader, editor and note taker who works as a Content Writer at Bookwitty. Originally from Wisconsin, she's at home in Dublin.

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