So just what are the most popular Christmas books these days?
• “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore — First written in 1823, this beloved verse gave us iconic lines like “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,” and the image of Santa’s belly shaking like a bowl full of jelly. It’s also how we know the names of Santa’s airborne reindeer.
“It’s a wonderful book that has been around for generations and generations,” said Sexton. “You have to hear that during the Christmas season.”
• “Dream Snow” by Eric Carle — This 2000 book features a Santa-like farmer who settles in for a Christmas Eve nap, and has a fantastic festive dream.
“All of Carle’s books are interactive, and usually they do something amazing,” said Sexton. “At the end of the book, it makes beautiful music. It’s a wonderful book because it repeats numbers 1-5 for small children, and has animals they recognize, so it’s a very sweet story for younger people.”
• “Pete the Cat Saves Christmas” by Eric Litwin — It only came out this year, but this groovy cool cat from a popular series of books who helps out Santa when he gets sick has already made his presence felt at the local library.
“This is his fourth book and he’s hugely popular,” said Sexton. “We do a shadow puppet play of this book too. It’s a lot of fun.”
• “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” — Released in 1971, this one (known as “The Worst Kids in the World” in some other countries) has been turned into a play and TV special, and is well-remembered by many of today’s parents. It tells of a ragtag group of delinquent kids who put their own spin on the Sunday School Christmas play.
“For chapter book readers, it’s a wonderful, very funny, very typical, can-happen-in-real-life story,” said Sexton. “We probably have 20-something copies of this, and at least half of them are out right now.”