1 Christmas for Greta and Gracie by Yasmeen Ismail
Part of our personal holiday collection, the story of Greta, who never stops speaking, and Gracie, whose quiet presence is dominated by her sister, was wholly loved by my reticent daughter. As beautiful as it is funny, it’s read each year with joy and laughter.
2 Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton // Buy in Colorado
Our current, just-for-fun read-aloud. We loved Trafton’s previous book, and this one is proving just as charming but meant for a slightly younger reader. As Henry’s drawing of a dragon comes alive, the imaginative boy, already dressed as a knight, rallies to save his classmates, and the world, from his own handiwork.
3 Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins and Sara Palacios // Buy in Colorado
In trying to build awareness around what other families may struggle with here in the United States, I borrowed this from the library to read aloud. It inspired lengthy discussion, as I’d hoped. My children were shocked that a border exists between our country and Mexico, and we spent a lot of time on why this might be and who it serves. They felt super uncomfortable thinking that we keep people out to such an extent that families must see each other through fences only at the holiday.
4 Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Burning, Book 6, by Kathryn Lasky // Buy in Colorado
George is working through this series as Wilder’s bedtime read, depending on how quickly we can grab them from the library. We have spent time googling all the types of owls mentioned in the books to see what they look like, listen to their bird calls, and determine which live near us. We do have an owl that visits one of our pine trees and are trying desperately to spot it.
5 The Dragons The Giant The Women by Wayetu Moore // Buy in Colorado
Having read her novel, I grabbed this immediately and had high hopes for another breathtaking and tightly-woven story. Instead I find a gripping memoir of Moore’s childhood, of fleeing Monrovia as a 5-year-old, of making a life in the United States as a refugee, of an adulthood riddled with racism. She writes deftly and honestly, the seams between child and adult smoothly paved, the road pockmarked with tension. It reminds me that we bring everything with us, our whole existence, wherever we go.
6 Warriors: Power of Three, The Outcast, by Erin Hunter // Buy in Colorado
Rosetta and I have dipped into the Warriors world for her bedtime reading. Making our way through the extensive series has been a commitment, but she re-enacts the stories every day in her stuffy play. This series feels a little different as one of the main characters, Jaypaw, is blind and also curmudgeonly. I love the attitudes given to the cats, like their people, and Rosetta’s completely enamored. We’ll be reading these til the series dies….
The links provided show where to buy the work, no matter where you live. However, please consider supporting independent bookstores. If you live in Colorado, these stores are my favorites:
I also support buying used whenever possible. Online, try https://www.thriftbooks.com/