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Dr. Seuss

50+ Classic American And Multicultural World Christmas Books

Christmas is a magical time of year for both kids and adults alike.  The kids are out of school, the holiday cheer keeps everyone in high spirits, and spending time together as a family is at the top of everyone’s priority list.  One hallmark of the Christmas season is the wide variety of Christmas stories, both new and old, that you can tell your child. One way to really get into the Christmas spirit is to curl up by the fire with your kids, hot cocoa in hand, and read them one of these 10 popular Christmas stories:
  1. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – This story is actually a poem that was written in 1823 by Clement Clarke Moore.  The poem was the first of its kind to describe Santa and his sleigh, and contributed largely to how people picture Santa today.  Moore wrote this poem for his children, but it was later published in the newspaper and was so popular that it was reprinted year after year.
  2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! – Dr. Seuss is at it again, this time with a rather surly furry green character who hates Christmas.  The Grinch is sick of everyone being so cheerful at Christmastime that he decides he’s going to steal Christmas.  However, the kindness shown to him by one little girl melts his heart, and he ends up giving everything back while learning the true meaning of Christmas.
  3. A Christmas Carol – A classic story written by Charles Dickens, this Christmas tale talks about a crabby old man named Scrooge who is a penny-pinching, miserable man.  He is estranged from his own family and treats his workers terribly.  Scrooge is visited by three ghosts one night who show him what Christmas really means.  The story ends when he wakes up on Christmas morning, just in time to make amends.
  4. The Polar ExpressChris Van Allsburg writes a story about a boy who isn’t quite sure if Santa is real or not.  He boards a train that appears in his backyard one night and is swept away on the adventure of a lifetime to the North Pole.  While there, he meets elves and ghosts who convince him that Santa really does exist, and when ends up back at home it’s with a firm belief in Santa again.
  5. Christmas in the Big Woods – One of many Laura Ingalls Wilder books, this one tells the story of Laura’s life during Christmas in their home in the big woods of Wisconsin.  This book is an excellent choice for very young children.
  6. The Gift of the Magi – This story is about a couple who has very little money, but still want to give each other a Christmas gift.  The woman has long beautiful hair, and it’s the thing she is most proud of.  Her husband has a pocket watch that belonged to his grandfather, and he loves this family heirloom.  The wife decides to sell her hair to buy her husband a chain for his pocket watch and the husband sells his pocket watch to buy combs for his wife’s beautiful hair.  The story is compared to the magi that brought gifts to the newborn king.
  7. Christmas in Camelot A Magic Tree House book by Mary Pope Osborne.  Jack and Annie travel to Camelot in the magic tree house to find a cup, a key and a compass in order to save Camelot from the evil wizard Mordred.  The kids prove to the king that kids can be useful.
  8. Meet Santa Bear – As in most books by Stan and Jan Berenstain, there is a lesson to be learned in this book.  Although, in this book, the lesson is really more about getting answers to difficult questions, like “how does Santa get down a skinny chimney?” or “how does the sleigh land without snow on the ground?”  These questions, and others, are answered in this Berenstain Bear book.
  9. The Year Without a Santa Claus – The author, Phyllis McGinley, pens this story about the year Santa decides to take the year off because he doesn’t think anyone believes in him anymore.  He leaves two elves in charge and they make a mess of things.  Heat Miser and Cold Miser make their debut in this book and subsequent cartoon.  Santa comes to the rescue and realizes that there are some believers left and changes his mind.
  10. The Christmas SweaterGlenn Beck writes this story, which contains some autobiographical elements.  The main character is young Eddie, who wants a new bike for Christmas with all of his heart.  He knows his mom can’t afford it, but he wants it anyway.  Christmas day comes and he gets a sweater that his mom made herself and he is so bitter and disappointed that he throws the sweater in the corner and leaves it.  He goes through a rough patch and finally gets some mentoring from a neighbor named Russell who helps him understand what a great gift the sweater really is.

For some diversity:

Christmas Books for Kids All Around the World

Books About Christmas in Mexico

20 Multicultural Christmas Books for Children

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Swedish Christmas Books

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7 Fun Ways to Read To and With Your Baby

by Kathryn Brown Ramsperger

Do you love to read and want your child to fall in love with books, too? Do you want them to get the academic and emotional benefits literature offers?

Here are some tips that you can start now, while you’ve still got your baby in your tummy, which will help instill a love of reading, greater empathy for others, and better bonding with you, their one and only mommy:

Start reading to them early.Babies can hear us as early as the early second trimester. At first they hear the tone and cadence of your voice, which promotes bonding, a voice they’ll carry with them always. Yet babies also learn in the womb by the last trimester. Reading to your belly will not only make them long for books once they’re born, they’ll make you two closer to each other.

  1. Don’t worry about what you read to your belly. They love your voice. Read to reduce your own stress after a long day, and they’ll respond likewise. They hear vowels first, so rhyming books are best early on. Soon, they’ll be begging for you to read those books and others.
  2. Ask for books for your baby shower.As a writer, I always bring books to baby showers, one of my childhood favorites, and one of my own books that my own 20-somethings drew illustrations for when they were little. You can request that your shower guests bring their favorite children’s book, either as an additional gift, or the only one. I mean, who needs one more mint green organic onesie?
  3.   Incorporate books or book themes in the nursery. Make sure there’s a bookshelf in their room filled with books. You’ll need a place to put all your shower, gifts, right? Plus, if your bookshelf is DIY, it will be something they’ll treasure forever, if you keep copies of their favorite books within its shelves. Primary colors and a favorite saying from a book you read each night, or their initials, will attract even the most sporty toddler. Make sure your bookcase has one empty shelf for them to eventually choose their own books.
  4. Read them books that echo their experience and perspective. My daughter is adopted. My son had to have surgery at 10 months. The books I chose for my daughter were completely different than those I chose for my son. My son loved Dr. Seuss‘ “Mr. Brown Can Moo and Sendak’s “Where The Wild Things Areand a Sesame Street book about a hospital stay. My daughter’s two favorites were Eileen Spinelli‘s “When Mama Comes Home Tonight” and Rose Lewis‘ “ I Love You Like Crazy Cakes”a book about adoption.
  5. Read them a bedtime story every night. Consistency is key to help them learn language and reading skills, and what better way to say “sweet dreams” than some parent-child together time? Be happy if they make you read it over and over. That means they love being with you and that they’re learning words and a love of reading, too.

Bonus Tip: After you finish reading their bedtime story and kiss them tonight, pick up one for yourself. Children notice what you do even more than what you say. If you have a book in your hand as much as you check your Twitter feed, they’ll notice and will probably follow suit. My novel, The Shores of Our Souls, published by TouchPoint Press, is available on amazon.combarnesandnoble.comibooks.com, and kobo.com, or ask for it at a bookstore near you.

Kathy is a mom, novelist, blogger, life coach, and contributor to yourtango.comyahoo.com/parenting, and thoughtcatalog.com about relationships and family matters. She believes books can change your life and change the world, one page at a time. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. 

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35 Dr. Seuss Quotes for Adults! – Happy Belated Birthday, Doc!

Bellyitch Rewind

Monday was the anniversary of the birthday of that great children’s book author Dr. Seuss (real name Theodor Seuss Geisel) who was born on March 2, 1904. He wrote over 60 books before his death on September 24, 1991.

Many of the author’s quotes from his various stories are actually beneficial for adults as well.  Here are 35 of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes that I rely on to motivate me and get me through life and various bumps in the road. They uplift and inspire and great to know and share! Enjoy!

1. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss

2. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

3. “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ― Dr. Seuss

4. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ― Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You!

5. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

6. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”  ― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!

7. “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” ― Dr. Seuss

8. “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” ― Dr. Seuss

9. “Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” ― Dr. Seuss

10. “You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting,

So… get on your way!”  ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

11. “If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”― Dr. Seuss

12. “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”― Dr. Seuss

13. “So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

14. “Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.”― Dr. Seuss

15. “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” ― Dr. Seuss

16. “All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot!”

― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! and The Lorax

17. “Only you can control your future.” ― Dr. Seuss

18. “You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

19. “They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!” ― Dr. Seuss

20. “I’m glad we had the times together just to laugh and sing a song, seems like we just got started and then before you know it, the times we had together were gone.”

 ― Dr. Seuss

21. “You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.” ― Dr. Seuss

22. “Be awesome! Be a book nut!”― Dr. Seuss

23. “Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.” ― Dr. Seuss

24. “Think and wonder, wonder and think.” ― Dr. Seuss

25. “You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

26. “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” ― Dr. Seuss

27. “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom we, too, should have rights.” ― Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle and Gertrude McFuzz

28. “Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

29. “Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!” ― Dr. Seuss

30. “When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.” ― Dr. Seuss 

31. “You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?” – Dr. Seuss

32. “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.” ― Dr. Seuss

33. “Everything stinks till it’s finished.” ― Dr. Seuss

34. “It is better to know how to learn than to know.” ― Dr. Seuss 

35. “Sometimes you will never know the value of something,until it becomes a memory.” ― Dr. Seuss

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