Holiday Book Recommendations

The holiday season is an opportunity for families to get together, uphold traditions, and enjoy spending some extra quality time together. During this festive period, we can also reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas beyond the decorations and gifts.

We know that reading is a great way to unwind, spark the imagination, and find balance in life. It can be an integral part of the holiday season, helping parents and children relax, which, in turn, provides opportunities to bond, creating a seasonal family tradition. 

So, we asked our expert library staff for some reading recommendations for students to sit back and enjoy over the festive break. Ms Tania Jordan, YCIS Pudong Teacher Librarian, shares her top choices in ECE and Primary. Meanwhile, Mr Jack Chan, Secondary Head of Library and Ms Inah Choi, Primary Teacher Librarian—both from YCIS Puxi—recommend some titles for our older Primary and Secondary students.  

   

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ECE

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?

Author: Jane Yolen

The 'How do Dinosaurs..?' series combines the superb talent of author Jane Yolen and illustrator Mark Teague. Young readers will love the perfect pairing of dinosaurs and Christmas! 


I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Author: Holly Hobbie 

Two delightful pigs, Toot and Puddle, are best friends and the main characters in the picture books series by author-illustrator Holly Hobbies. This heartwarming story depicts friendship during the holiday season


Wombat Divine

Author: Mem Fox

Nativity plays are a timeless feature of the festive season. In this picture book by award-winning Australian author Mem Fox, the main character is a little wombat who dreams of participating in the Christmas play, encountering some disappointment but, ultimately, joy along the way. 


Bear Stays up for Christmas?

Author: Karma Wilson 

The 'Bear' picture book series by Karma Wilson is well-loved by children and parents alike. This Christmas edition is no different, sparking the opportunity to talk about the real meaning of the Christmas spirit. 

 

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Primary

Tree of Cranes

Author:Allen Say

In his books, Allen Say exemplifies the craftmanship possible by a master author-illustrator. In this particular story, a young Japanese boy encounters the Western Christmas tree tradition for the first time. He also discovers the childhood memories of his Japanese mother spending Christmas in California. 

Too Many Tamales

Author: Gary Soto 

A Christmas family gathering is not complete without a crisis of some sort! Christmas lunch features traditional Mexican tamales in this picture book about cultural traditions and family bonds. Young protagonist Maria disregards her mother's words and tries on her wedding ring while helping to prepare the festive feast. What could possibly go wrong?  

Merry Christmas, Geronimo!

Author: Geronimo Stilton

This is one of several Christmas themed Geronimo Stilton books. A perennial favourite of children, these books are action-packed mysteries. Best of all for parents, they feature expressive language that helps to enrich the vocabulary of children, making reading even more fun!  

A Newbery Christmas: Fourteen Stories of Christmas

Author: Newbery Award-Winning Authors

This selection of quality Christmas short stories by Newbery award-winning authors, including E.L. Kongsburg and Madeleine L'Engle, stands out due to the excellence of its writers.

Do Frogs Drink Hot Chocolate? How Animals Keep Warm

Author: Etta Kaner

While being informative and educational, this book is cute, silly, and fun at the same time. Perfect for early learners wondering about nature during this chilly season. Even grown-ups will be fascinated by some new animal facts! 

On This Day

Author: DK

Our trivia lovers at YCIS will adore this book! Travel back in time with this colourful history book and discover what happened in the world on each day of the year, from January 1st to December 31st. This book uses historical photographs and fun illustrations to help readers visualise the events from the past. How about celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve by reading what happened on December 25th and 31st in history?

Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself 

Author:Matthew Gray Gubler 

This book is hard to classify – it can be a picture book to share with young readers, a short chapter book (three chapters) for older children, or even a graphic novel with unique illustrations and handwritten texts. Whatever the case, this sweet story of the mythical character Rumple Buttercup will warm the hearts of its readers with a positive message about individuality and accepting differences.  

 

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Secondary

The Pig That Wants to be Eaten: and ninety-nine other thought experiments

Author: Julian Baggini  

This book is full of philosophical questions and their appearance in daily life, encouraging the reader to think about these as unknown and ways to apply them to moral, social, and personal dilemmas. 

YUANYUANTANG Essays

Author: Feng Zikai

Author Feng Zikai is a household name in China, and much of his work covers his life, ideas, and reflections. 

Guards! Guards! 

Author:Terry Pratchett

This book is a fantastic introduction to the 'Discworld' series. Full of adventures and comedy, the story follows a newly-transferred police officer who must quickly adapt to his new job, all while discovering that his heritage is not what it might seem. 

Dune

Author:Frank Herbert

Though first published in 1965, this book influenced many others since its release and is still highly praised by people who love fantasy or sci-fi genres. It tells the tale of a young man who must quickly adapt to the changing world around him and overcome the challenges that have beset him.  

 

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We wish all YCIS Shanghai families a happy holiday season and hope everyone has plenty of time to enjoy some reading over the festive period! 

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