Good Reads: December 2012

Book Recommendations for Your Keiki—from Preschool Through Eighth Grade, Plus a Little Something for Mom and Dad.


What Am I? Christmas

by Anne Margaret Lewis

Children will enjoy answering questions and saying the refrain, “That’s me!” in this lift-the-flap Christmas book.


Dinosaur vs. Santa

by Bob Shea

Dinosaur is getting ready for Santa. He tackles his “Dear Santa” letter, decorating and present making, but can he avoid Santa’s naughty list and stay out of trouble?

First to Second Grade

Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas

by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel wants to help other “scaredies” avoid the pitfalls of Christmas by listing the necessary equipment to survive holiday terrors, such as shopping traffic, stress, runaway toboggans and more.

Third to Fourth Grade

The Money We’ll Save

by Brock Cole

A family tries to save money by raising a turkey for Christmas in a tiny, old apartment, but the turkey and neighbors have other ideas.

Fifth to Sixth Grade

Who Could That Be at This Hour

by Lemony Snicket

In this first book of the All the Wrong Questions series of four, readers are introduced to a young Lemony Snicket who begins his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. Once again Snicket confounds and amuses young readers with this tale that should not be told.

Seventh to Eighth Grade

Smells Like Treasure

by Suzanne Selfors

Homer Pudding and his treasure-sniffing best friend, Dog, embark on a dangerous quest. The one who solves the clues and reaches the treasure first will be given membership in the Society of Legends Objects, Secrets and Treasures. 


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

by Susan Cain

Find insights on introversion and introspection as a sign of character, as well as tips on parenting an introverted child and how to make an introvert/extrovert relationship work. This examination of the human psyche will benefit both introverts and extroverts. 

Ethnic and Cultural Reads

Looking to incorporate a little ethnic and cultural education this holiday season? Here are some recommendations the whole family will enjoy:

Chinese New Year: Preschool and Older

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

A joyful story of a Chinese-American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. Fireworks, lion dancers, lanterns and a great, long dragon parade help to usher in the Lunar New Year.

Korean New Year: Preschool and Older

New Clothes for New Year’s Day

by Hyun-joo Bae

A young girl dresses for the New Year. She has trouble with unfamiliar accessories and elaborate wrapping an typing but her excitement and anticipation is undeniable. 

Japanese Girl’s Day: Preschool to First Grade

Yoko’s Show and Tell

by Rosemary Wells

Yoko is given a special doll and told to wait for Girl’s Day, but she sneaks it to school, with disastrous results. Customs are shared and lessons are learned.

African Kwanzaa: Preschool to Second Grade

My First Kwanzaa

by Karen Katz

A clear and enjoyable explanation of this special holiday that celebrates the importance of family, friends and community. Bright, whimsical illustrations depict the days and ways of the holiday.

Jewish Hanukkah: First to Second Grade

Hannukkah Mice

by Steven Kroll

A mouse family watches as the Silman family observes Hanukkah, starting with the exchange of gifts. A dollhouse turns out to be the perfect home for the mice. Both families enjoy the symbols and rituals.

These books and many others for all ages are available at your public library or you can place a request for titles. You can borrow “all you can carry” for a three-week loan period with your public-library card. Please check the Hawaii State Public Library System website for a list of library locations, hours and free, family-friendly programs at a library near you at

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