Book and Gift Pairings for the Holidays

Books make great gifts any time of year. But what's even better? Books paired with a items meant to extend the enjoyment of the story! This Read, Discuss, Do! Gift Guide pairs some of our favorite books with other gifts meant to help extend the fun of the story beyond the last page and maybe even encourage some new experiences. We hope you find some good ideas for readers and doers in your life on this list. For Babies and Toddlers Hey, Bruce! by Ryan T. Higgins. Pair this super fun (and funny) interactive picture book with a black bear plush, such as this First and Main 10-inch Bear .  Stomp, Wiggle, Clap, and Tap: My First Book of Dance  by Rachel Burk and illustrated by Alyssa De Asis, a book that encourages imaginative play. Pair this book with a musical gift such as a music box or instrument. Or maybe a dance costume! More books for active babies and toddlers For Little Makers The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty and illustrated by Kristyna Litten will be a sure hit with lit


Review by Rebecca J. Gomez

Happy Birthday, Christmas Child!, a new board book by Laura Sassi and illustrated by Gabi Murphy, is a sweet and simple counting nativity story. The story begins with Mary and Joseph entering a stable with a sense of peace and anticipation, and ends with a joyful celebration of the birth of God's son, Jesus. The book follows the Biblical account of the nativity, while simplifying the language and taking obvious creative liberties to make the story engaging for the youngest audience. This book is a great way to share the story of the first Christmas with the youngest kiddos, and it can also be a great spring-board into a deeper discussion about the meaning of Christmas for the older ones! It would make a wonderful addition to anyone's Christmas book collection.

Because this is a counting book, a list of ten discussion starters seemed the perfect thing. I hope these questions will help foster deeper discussions for you and your children. 

1. Where did Mary and Joseph have to stay? Why?

2. Imagine spending the night in a stable with the animals. What would it be like? What kinds of smells and sounds might you notice?

3. Why do you think Mary and Joseph were feeling happy and blessed?

4. What was special about the baby in Mary's belly? What does the word "savior" mean?

5. How many different kinds of animals appear in the book?

6. What were the shepherds doing out in the hills at night?

7. What special message did the angels have for the shepherds?

8. How do you think the shepherds felt when they got such special news?

9. At the end of the book, everyone praises the baby Jesus. Why is that?

10. How can you honor Jesus when celebrating his birth and all year long?

Want some activity ideas to pair with Happy Birthday, Christmas Child? Check these out!

Printable activity kit

Easy Paper Mouse Craft (video)