Luara Dean Bennett\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nReading together can forge an enduring bond between parent and child, especially during this festive time of year- it\u2019s a wonderful way for young and old alike to get into the Christmas spirit. \r\n\r\nAs they do all year, books spark the imagination and open the door to adventure, magic and excitement.\r\n\r\nMany families enjoy a Christmas tradition of gathering around the fireplace and listening while a designated family member reads the time-honored poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, or as it\u2019s more commonly known these days, Twas the Night Before Christmas. \r\n\r\nI always found that reading to children as they nestle all snug in their beds is the sweetest way to end the day and makes another great family tradition.\r\n\r\nSettle your children down for some long winter\u2019s naps with these lovely Christmastime stories.\r\n\r\nThese books aren\u2019t all new, and they aren\u2019t all about West Virginia, but they are all guaranteed to keep a child\u2019s interest, touch both your hearts, and be worthy of passing along to the next generation. \r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/Jonathan-Toomey.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="366" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63471" \/>\r\n\r\nThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey\r\nWritten by Susan Wojciechowski \r\nIllustrated by P.J.Lynch\r\n\r\nThe Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey has been known as a Christmas classic for many years. \r\n\r\nWhen a little boy loses the precious nativity set that links him to his father who has passed away, he\u2019s brokenhearted.\r\n\r\nHis mother persuades the best wood carver in the valley to make another nativity set like it. \r\n\r\nBut the man is an ill-tempered recluse \u2013 who\u2019s actually misunderstood.\r\n\r\nUnbeknownst to his neighbors, he has been grieving the tragic loss of his family.\r\n\r\nGlorious illustrations lend a realism to this poignant story of love, loss, hope and redemption. \r\n\r\nThe book inspired a motion picture starring Tom Berenger in 2007.\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/M-is-for-MState.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="287" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63472" \/>\r\n\r\nM is For Mountain State: A West Virginia Alphabet\r\nWritten by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle and\r\nIllustrated by Laura J. Bryant\r\n\r\nWest Virginia is called \u201cMountain State\u201d because of it\u2019s majestic mountain ranges which offer spectacular views, abundant wildlife and recreational opportunities beyond compare.\r\n\r\nBut there\u2019s more to us than that.\r\n\r\nThis book\u2019s gorgeous illustrations help to give young readers a visual and alphabetic tour around the state of West Virginia.\r\n\r\nFrom glass-making to farming; the golden dome of the capitol in Charleston to the wild Allegheny Mountains; the historical town of Harper\u2019s Ferry to the annual Native American Pow Wow; White Sulphur Springs to Lost World Caverns \u2013 it\u2019s all in there. \r\n\r\nAnd there are even references to famous West Virginians like Chuck Yeager and Olympian MaryLou Retton, too.\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll spark an interest in learning more about our unique state while enjoying the clever words of Riehle and the gorgeous illustrations by Bryant.\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/John-Denver.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="452" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63470" \/>\r\n\r\nJohn Denver\u2019s Take Me Home, Country Roads \r\n\r\nFrom the John Denver and Kids Series, the hardback version of this book comes with a CD of Denver singing his most famous song. \r\n\r\nWest Virginia\u2019s most popular anthem, \u201cTake Me Home, Country Roads,\u201d comes to life through the beautiful illustrations by Christopher Canyon who portrays the story as if it were sewn into a quilt. \r\n\r\nWe follow the journey of a diverse group of relatives who all come to their grandparents\u2019 country home \u2013 by way of car, pickup truck and motorcycle \u2013 for a family reunion.\r\n\r\nThe story is all about family and the love of our country roots. \r\n\r\nIt\u2019s sure to become one of your family\u2019s favorites \u2013 at Christmastime and all year, too.\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/Jingle-Bells.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="508" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63469" \/>\r\n\r\nJingle Bells (Horse Diaries #11)\r\nWritten by Catherine Hapka and illustrated by \r\nRuth Sanderson \r\n\r\nIf there\u2019s a horse-crazy young lady in your home who\u2019s in the pre-teen years, you may want to share this chapter book with her. \r\n\r\nAnd then get ready to help her search out all the other sweet stories in Hapka\u2019s paperback Horse Diaries series, of which there are at least 16.\r\n\r\nJingle Bells is set in 1915 on a Wisconsin farm where a Clydesdale named Jingle Bells faithfully pulls the hay wagon in summer and the sleigh in winter. \r\n\r\nThe family\u2019s little girl, Kari, loves Jingle Bells and worries what will happen to him when her big brother comes home for Christmas with a new Model-T Ford. \r\n\r\nWhat will happen to Jingle Bells if the family doesn\u2019t need the Clydesdale anymore in the motorized age?\r\n\r\nThis book will captivate horse lovers and those who enjoy history and make for excellent holiday reading.\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/Santas-Sleigh.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="323" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63474" \/>\r\n\r\nSanta\u2019s Sleigh Is on Its Way to West Virginia: A Christmas Adventure\r\nWritten by Eric James and illustrated by Robert Dunn\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s lots of mountain magic in the air on Christmas Eve, as all the children in our town are sleeping. Well, all the children except you! \r\n\r\nBut, sleeping on Christmas Eve \u2013 with so much excitement all around \u2013 is so hard!\r\n\r\nHow can you fall asleep when you know that Santa Claus and his sleigh might be landing on the roof any minute?\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/Christmas-Reindeer.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="401" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63458" \/>\r\n\r\nThe Wild Christmas Reindeer \r\nWritten and Illustrated by Jan Brett\r\n\r\nFor slightly older children, this is a humorous version of the training required for the reindeer who pull Santa\u2019s sleigh.\r\n\r\nIt will hold your child\u2019s attention with its humor, its memorable characters and Jan Brett\u2019s intricate Swedish folk art-style drawings.\r\n\r\nA smart little girl named Teeka is charged with getting Santa\u2019s reindeer ready for their most important flight \u2013 taking Santa and his sleigh on their Christmas Eve trek.\r\n\r\nAnd she takes her job very seriously.\r\n\r\nTeeka mistakenly thinks she must be firm with the animals. \r\n\r\nBut her bossiness only serves to get the reindeers\u2019 antlers tangled up.\r\n\r\nFinally, Teeks realizes that there\u2019s a better way to win the difficult reindeers\u2019 cooperation.\r\n\r\nThe importance of patience, gentleness and teamwork comes through as the lesson behind the this charming, magical story.\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/Farmhouse.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="517" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63467" \/>\r\n\r\nThe Little Farmhouse in West Virginia \r\nWritten by Ginny Yurich \r\n\r\nFor children, growing up on a farm is like paradise.\r\n\r\nYou could go to the barn to play with the kittens, go fishing in the pond or head down to the creek and hunt for craw-dads. \r\nClimb trees, explore in the woods or relax on the front porch swing.\r\n\r\nIn the evenings, grab a jar to catch fireflies or roast hotdogs and s\u2019mores over a fire in the back yard.\r\n\r\nThis book invites children to revel in the natural world all around them out in the wild wonderful countryside of West Virginia.\r\n\r\nThe Christmas Camel \r\nWritten by Anne Bancroft Fowler\r\n\r\nThis is an unusual retelling of the journey of the Three Kings. \r\n\r\nNot for babies or little ones, this is an adventure story filled with suspense, danger and lessons about friendship and courage.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s told from the perspective of Basel \u2013 a 12 year old boy, whose best friend is Omarr, a stubborn, old camel.\r\n\r\nThe two travel the desert, carrying water from the oasis to the marketplace, making just barely enough money to survive. \r\n\r\nAfter tangling with some thugs, they meet the Three Wise Men and the boy makes a foolish decision and sells his old friend, to one of them. \r\n\r\nOmarr enters a world of deceit and intrigue and so does Basel.\r\n\r\nAfter a series of adventures, Omarr and Basel end up at the stable with Mary and Joseph and Omarr the camel heroically saves the Baby Jesus.\r\n\r\nThis paperback book might take several nights to finish as it\u2019s 84 pages, but this tale about what\u2019s really important in life will captivate both listener and reader alike.\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/I-saw-santa.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="510" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63468" \/>\r\n\r\nI Saw Santa in West Virginia \r\nWritten by JD Green and \r\nIllustrated by Nadja Sarell and Srimalie Bassani \r\n\r\nSanta and Mrs. Claus would love to go on a vacation but how can someone as famous as Santa have any privacy and get any rest?\r\n\r\nMrs. Claus suggests that they go to West Virginia.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou always say it\u2019s your favorite place. \r\n\r\n\u201cBut remember, the children should not see your face.\u201d\r\n\r\nThis fun and festive story offers search-and-find artwork that will have children looking for Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their reindeer amongst West Virginia\u2019s most iconic locales.\r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/Wapos-bay.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="572" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63475" \/>\r\n\r\nChristmas at Wapos Bay\r\nBy Jordan Wheeler and Dennis Jackson\r\n\r\nThis 152 page paper back chapter book would be perfect young readers ages 8-9 or for reading to youngsters in elementary school, but maybe not for very young children, as it has a few harrowing elements.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s nearly Christmas when three Cree children go on a journey to visit their grandfather at his cabin in the wilds of Northern Saskatchewan.\r\n\r\nTalon, Raven and T-Bear are there to learn the traditional ways of hunting, trapping and fishing and to prepare for Christmas.\r\n\r\nBut game is scarce this year and their Moshum (grandfather) is worried that Christmas may have to be cancelled. \r\nThe kids want to help by going on a hunt of their own. \r\n\r\nTheir adventure takes an ominous turn when they get lost and Moshum comes searching for them but collapses and can\u2019t make it back to the cabin.\r\n\r\nThe kids come to realize that the lessons they learned in school combined with the traditional lessons of their elders have taught them what they need to know to safely bring themselves and their Moshum home. \r\n\r\nAnd Christmas doesn\u2019t need to be cancelled after all \u2013 in fact, it\u2019s a glorious feast of food, family and music. \r\n\r\n<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2019\/12\/room-for-a-little-one.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="506" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-63473" \/>\r\n\r\nRoom for a Little One: A Christmas Tale \r\nWritten by Martin Waddell and illustrated by \r\nJason Cockcroft \r\n\r\nWhat a gorgeous creation!\r\n\r\nThis book would be perfect for babies up to second grade or so.\r\n\r\nIts realistic paintings practically come alive as this very special book tells an endearing story of the Nativity. \r\n\r\nAnimals come to the stable, one after another, and as each one arrives, the kind ox invites them to come in and share the warmth of his shelter. \r\n\r\nLittle ones love this kind of repetition and they feel empowered by knowing what is going to happen next \u2013 another animal will come to the door \u2013 what animal will it be? \r\n\r\nI love that animals that are usually predator and prey call a truce for their mutual benefit of having a warm, safe place.\r\n \r\nAnd I also love the lesson of kindness and sharing in this book. \r\n\r\nFinally, the donkey who is carrying Mary comes to the door. \r\n\r\nRather than being on the outside with Mary and Joseph, as it goes in most nativity stories, we\u2019re safe and warm inside the stable with Mary and Joseph on the outside.\r\n\r\nChildren may not understand taxes, but they understand needing to be safe and warm.\r\n\r\nA sweet, beautiful book with a beautiful story and message.\r\n\r\nThis story is sure to lull your little ones to sleep on a cold winter\u2019s night as Jesus\u2019 family makes its way to Bethlehem and Christmas.