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37 Christmas Read Aloud Chapter Books

Christmas Read Aloud Chapter Books are an excellent way to connect with your children at bedtime throughout the holiday season. 

While I never thought that this would be my life... my kids love books. Especially Kyle who can be found reading anywhere from 30-60 chapter books per week. That's not a typo. With Christmas coming up I wanted to compile a good list of Christmas read aloud chapter books that we could read together as a family, and that Kyle could read to himself before bed. If you're in the market for some Christmas chapter books for kids, here are 38 titles we've either already read, or are excited to read this holiday season. 

37 Christmas Read Aloud Chapter Books:

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Happy Narwhalidays: We actually haven't dived into this series yet, but this book is broken up into three holiday themed stories, including on about the arrival of Merry-Mermicorn, a Christmas themed unicorn/mermaid who comes to celebrate!

Dragon’s Merry Christmas: I love this Dragon book series and the Halloween one was a favorite for me growing up. We haven't read the Christmas version, but it's a collection of Dragon themed short stories that are perfect for young readers. You could easily read a chapter or short story per night, and have the book read in a week. This one is particularly great for younger audiences.

The Girl Who Saved Christmas: This book and author are new to me. This book is about a girl who believed in Santa enough that she got the very first Christmas gift from Santa. However, when her mother gets ill her Christmas spirit falls and the morale and holiday spirit goes down around the world. Santa goes on a quest to find Amelia, boost her spirits, and save Christmas for everyone. 

A Boy Called Christmas: Written by the same author as The Girl Who Saved Christmas. In this story Nikolas has to travel to the North Pole to save his father, when he gets there he realizes Christmas Spirit is low, and that he needs to try and save Christmas, but he can't do it without finding his father first. 

My Weird School: Miss Holly is Too Jolly: Kyle loves the My Weird School series! This book is about a Spanish teacher who goes wild and starts hanging mistletoe everywhere. See how the students get out of the conundrum in this cute story. 

My Weird School: Deck The Halls, We’re Off the Walls: Another My Weird School book, AJ and his friends need to save the day when a concert at the mall where Santa Claus is at makes things go a little haywire. The friends from Ella Mentary School need to calm things down. 

Amelia Bedelia Wraps it Up: Amelia Bedelia and her family celebrate and prepare for Christmas while honoring the true spirit of the holiday.

Magic Tree House Merlin Missions Christmas in Camelot: This is the first Merlin Mission book in the Magic Tree House Series. Merlin Mission books are for more advance readers as opposed to the traditional Magic Tree House series. In this book Jack and Annie travel to Camelot to go on a special quest and save Christmas in the process.

Magic Tree House Merlin Missions A Ghost Tale for Christmas: This story is a spin on A Christmas Carol. Jack and Annie travel back in time to help Charles Dickens who has been thrown in Jail! I love that these books combine historical fiction and fun in these creative tales. 

The True Gift: All year long Liam and Lilly look forward to Christmas on their grandparents farm, but this year a white cow changes everything and they have to learn the meaning behind this special gift. 

Nate The Great and The Crunchy Christmas: In this Nate the Great book Annie's dog is unhappy when his Christmas mail goes missing. Nate the Great takes the case to find the missing mail so Annie's dog can have a Christmas treat. 

The Christmasaurus: Santa accidentally finds a dinosaur egg at the bottom of the ocean and sits on the egg to hatch it. Things get precarious when Santa accidentally gives the real dinosaur to a boy instead of a stuffed dinosaur, and then the boy needs to protect the dinosaur from a local hunter. 

Rainbow Magic: Holly the Christmas Fairy: Jack Frost has stolen Santa's sleigh with three important gifts on board. Without them Christmas could be ruined forever. Rachel and Kristy look to save Christmas with help from Holly the Christmas Fairy. 

Flat Stanley: Stanley’s Christmas Adventure: I recently purchased this book for Kyle and he gives it two thumbs up. Santa doesn't think that there are anymore good children in the world, so his Daughter Sarah calls Stanley's family for help. It's Stanley's job to convince Santa that kids are still good and tries to restore Santa's faith in Christmas. 

Heidi Heckelbeck and the Christmas Surprise: Heidi loves Christmas, but took and lost her mother's special charm bracelet. By the time she finds it, the bracelet has been crushed by a snowplow, and when Heidi tries to fix it, she makes it worse. Can Heidi tell her mom about the bracelet and still have Christmas magic in her life? You'll have to read and find out! 

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A to Z Mysteries: White House White-Out: I think at this point Kyle has read every single book ever written by Ron Roy. This one is fun because it combines the characters from his Capital Mysteries books with the characters from A to Z Mysteries. Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose meet KC and Marshall at the White House, but everything goes crazy when the President's dog goes missing among all the people decorating the White House for Christmas. 

Calendar Mysteries: December Dog: Calendar Mysteries is another series by Ron Roy. Brian, Bradley, Nate, and Lucy find a lost puppy on Christmas Eve who is supposed to be someone's Christmas gift. They need to find out who the puppy belongs to, and get it back to it's home in time for Christmas morning!

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas: Emmet and his Ma are having hard times, but Emmet dreams of buying his mom the piano she's always wanted, and Ma dreams of buying Emmet a guitar. When they hear about a town talent show, they both imagine their dreams coming true, and find the true spirt of love and hope in the process.

Judy Moody and Stink: The Holly Holiday: Stink wants nothing more than to see snow in Virginia for the first time in 100 years, although it seems unlikely. Their new mailman happens to be Jack Frost, who knows a lot about weather patterns, and loves the snow... can he make Stink's wish come true?

The Critter Club: Amy’s Very Merry Christmas: This is a series that I'm excited to start reading with Kinsley. Amy wants to do something special for Ms Sullivan who is going to be alone on Christmas. When the Critter Club has some guinea pigs that need to be adopted, Amy has a trick up her sleeve to send some cheer Ms Sullivan's way. 

Ballpark Mysteries: Christmas in Cooperstown: This series is new to me and I haven't read any of the books, but as someone who is from NY and has visited Cooperstown, I feel deeply invested in reading this book. Mike and Kate are wrapping presents for a charity and get to spend the night in the baseball hall of fame. When they're snooping around the museum at night, they realize one of the cards are fake. They have to find the real card, catch a bad guy, and wrap a bunch of presents in time for Christmas! Can they pull it off? 

Ready Freddy: The Perfect Present: Freddy is so excited about Christmas and all the toys he's going to get until he realizes that not all kids are as lucky as him. He goes on a quest to find out if giving gifts is as much fun as getting them. 

Horse Diaries: Jingle Bells: This book takes place in 1915 about a horse named Jingle Bells. He takes the family everywhere they need to go until their brother comes home with a Model T Ford. Jingle Bells worries the family won't need him anymore in this heartwarming Christmas tale. 

Geronimo Stilton: The Christmas Toy Factory: As you can tell with the next six titles on this list, this appears to be a very expansive book series, with seven total books that are just about Christmas. This series alone has 70 books, but 281 books all together with multiple spinoff series. In this book Geronimo acts as Santa Clause for everyone in New Mouse City for his grandfather who is trying to write a book. 

Geronimo Stilton: A Very Merry Christmas: Geronimo is trying to get home for Christmas when his luggage gets swapped with someone else's' and he has to go all around The Big Apple to find his luggage, gifts, and get home in time for Christmas. 

Geronimo Stilton: Christmas Catastrophe: Geronimo tries to go skiing but ends up injured in the hospital and worries that it's going to be the worst Christmas ever, until his family does something special to cheer him up!

Geronimo Stilton: A Christmas Carol: A mousely early chapter book version of A Christmas Carol, told my a mouse. 

Geronimo Stilton: Merry Christmas Geronimo: Disaster strikes on Christmas when Geronimo slips on his tail, and his mouse hole catches fire. Can things turn themselves around to save Christmas? 

Geronimo Stilton: A Christmas Tale: Geronimo is super excited for Christmas until he finds out his entire family is going out of town and he's going to be alone. Is this going to be the worst and loneliness Christmas ever? You'll have to read and find out!

Horrible Harry and the Holidaze: Everyone in class 3B is getting super excited for the holidays and learning about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and all the other celebrations, except for Harry. Something is clearly bothering him, but can we figure out what it is? 

EllRay Jakes Rocks the Holiday: This entire EllRay series does a great job speaking about race for young audiences. In this book everyone is getting excited for the holiday season until EllRay accidentally says something mean to the only other boy in class with brown skin and makes him feel bad. Can EllRay turn things around for Christmas, rekindle his friendship, and honor his African American Roots?

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Princess Posey and the Christmas Magic: Princess Posey wants nothing more than a real magic wand for Christmas, but she knows she's done something to upset her mom. Can she turn things around in time for Christmas in this witty story?

The Kingdom of Christmas: The Guardian of the Mountains: Princess Sarah and Prince Michael have to save Santa Claus and The Spirit of Christmas who have been taken captive in a scary ice castle. Can they finish their mission in time to save Christmas? 

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch: Deluxe Junior Novelization: This novel was written in 2018 to go alongside the new animated Grinch movie. It would be super fun to read with your child throughout the month and watch the movie together as a family. 

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa: Sophie Washington finds out she has a Secret Santa who is delivering presents to her house. There isn't a Secret Santa happening at school, and all her friends think it might be a couple boys in her class who have liked her in the past. After she uncovers the clues she finds out the surprise is bigger than anything she could have ever imagined. 

Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy: Ronaldo wants to win the endurance test to become Santa's Chief Reindeer in time for Christmas but it becomes more difficult than he could ever imagine. Ronaldo needs to discover self-belief and courage to be able to reach his goals!

Are there any chapter books you love to read this time of year? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

If you liked this post, 37 Christmas Read Aloud Chapter Books, you might also like:

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15 Christmas Kid's Books

Is there anything better than celebrating the holiday season with some Christmas kids books? These 15 picks will help you celebrate the season!

With Christmas a little over a month away, now is a great time to add a few new Christmas kid's books to your holiday collection, or to start placing those holds at the library so you can get your hands on some new read-aloud-books with your kids. Books are my favorite way to celebrate any holiday, and you can't go wrong with any fo the Christmas Kid's Books on this list.  

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Christmas Kid's Books:

A Creature Was Stirring: The story of a little boy who couldn't fall asleep on Christmas night and found himself awake when Santa got there!

Room for a Little One: A short cute story about the birth of Jesus. I love how it's written so young readers really know whats going on. 

Mooseltoe: One papa Moose will do all he can to make sure his family has a great Christmas. Find out what he does when they find themselves without a Christmas tree the night before Santa gets there.

Ten on a Sled: A fun story about a reindeer going on a sleigh ride with his favorite animal friends.

The Christmas Story: A Little Golden Book story about the Birth of Christ. This one goes a lot more in depth than the Room for a Little One, and it's incredibly affordable if you can't find it at your library.

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas: You know me and my love for Natasha Wing books. This one was a no brainer for the list.

Christmas Farm: This story is beautifully written and one of my favorites. It's about an older woman that has a sunflower farm and decides to switch things up with Christmas trees. It's a really great story with beautiful illustrations.

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree: Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree is too big for his house. So he cuts off the top and the story tells how the little top of his tree provided Christmas cheer for all the animals near and far. 

Olive, The Other Reindeer: Olive the dog here's the song "all of the other reindeer...", and thinks they're saying "Olive", read all about her fun adventures as she tries to help Santa and his team.

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!: We're huge fans of Click Clack Moo and have loved getting the other books in the series. This one has been welcomed addition.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas: I personally love the Grinch and find that it's not Christmas without reading the book and watching the movies. It's a holiday classic and there is something great about someone who softens their heart and gives back to others. 

The Polar Express: Another holiday must! We admittedly have never read the book and have only watched the movie, but I think this is the year we need to add it to our collection and make it a part of our traditions. 

Little Red Sleigh: This book is a new release for 2020 and is about a little red sleigh that has dreams of becoming Santa's real sleigh one day. I hear this is really heartwarming and a great story to read, and I can't wait to read it this year. 

Pick a Pine Tree: This fun book takes you through the process of picking out a Christmas tree and getting it ready for the holiday season! Maybe it's because we don't have our tree up yet, but this is one that I'm excited to read with the kids soon!

5 Sleeps Til Christmas: Another new release for 2020 from Jimmy Fallon! He has some really wonderful children's books, and I can't wait for this sweet book about a child counting down the days until Christmas morning. 

What are some of your favorite books to read during the holidays? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

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20+ Thanksgiving Children's Books

Thanksgiving children's books can reach a wide range of topics from historical and serious to light and fluffy. This list includes Thanksgiving Children's Books for a variety of Thanksgiving themes. 

Thanksgiving Children's books can be a complicated space to navigate. There's the classic light and fluffy ones that talk about turkeys dodging farmers. There are serious books that open up conversations about what it was really like to be a native person at that time. Then there are the books that talk about the beauty of gathering with family and the magic of fall. 

I personally think that all of these types of Thanksgiving Children's Books have their time and space, and that they can all be a great way to talk about and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm the type of parent that really likes to teach my children about the truth and meaning behind the traditions we celebrate, while also enjoying the fun that comes along with holidays as well. 

If you're in the market for Thanksgiving Children's Books that hit all the different nuances of Thanksgiving day, I've broken this list up into a variety of categories to help you find your favorite titles.

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Thanksgiving Children's Books

Historically Based Pilgrims/Native American Books

The Very First Americans: I think it's so important to teach our kids about who really lived in this land first. This book tells about the native tribes from coast to coast and what their lives were like before we got here. 

Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving: This book tells of Squanto who first greeted the pilgrims when they got to America. It does a really good job of accurately telling what this moment was like, and will lead to deep conversations about this time with your children. 

The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Story: This fun picture book takes you through the preparations that the Indians and Pilgrims went through to prepare the first Thanksgiving feast. It has a warm message of working together and loving your neighbor despite differences. 

The First Thanksgiving Day: This fun counting book tells the story of the first Thanksgiving for young readers in a fun a fast paced story. This is one we started reading with the kids years ago and it's still a favorite. 

The Story of the Pilgrims: This book tells about the journey of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and their first harsh winter in America and the help they received from the Native people. 

The First Thanksgiving: A Lift The Flap Book: This super simple board book is a great and colorful way to talk about Thanksgiving with your smallest children. 

Sarah Gives Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became A National Holiday: This book tells the story of Sarah Hale and the work she did to get Thanksgiving recognized as a national holiday. 

The Littlest Pilgrim: This cute book talks about a little pilgrim who finds herself unable to help with many of the chores because she is too small. But she's never to small to make a special friend. 

If You Were at The First Thanksgiving: This book tells the tale of the first Thanksgiving written from the perspective of a child. I love the way it tells the story of this time, and it has some serisouly beautiful illustrations. 

Thanksgiving Children's Books About Family Feasts

Over the River and Through the Wood: This picture book has beautiful illustrations to the poem we all know, and sung as a child. Although I was shocked to see that the book said, "to grandfather's house we go...", I could have sworn it was grandmother's my entire life. 

One is a Feast for Mouse: Mouse peeks out of his hole after Thanksgiving dinner and sees one little pea on the kitchen table... along with a ton of other leftovers. Can he get them all back to his hole without getting caught? 

Thanksgiving in the Woods: This story is about a family who takes a journey into the woods each year t eat Thanksgiving in nature, just like how the original holiday started.

Thanksgiving Children's Books About Turkeys:

Run, Turkey, Run!: It's almost Thanksgiving and everyone on the farm is getting ready and excited for the big day... everyone except for Turkey that is. Can he escape the Farmer in time, or will he become dinner?

Turkey Trouble: This book is about a turkey that comes up with a lot of different disguises so that he doesn't become Thanksgiving dinner. The end result is quite funny and one the kids will love. 

The Plump and Perky Turkey: The townspeople try to lure the birds to their homes by hosting an arts and crafts show just for turkeys. They get the turkeys to come, but the turkeys outsmart them as the last minute. 

10 Fat Turkeys: This fun story teaches kids to count backwards from 10 while having a fun rhyming rhythm about fun turkey antics and a grumpy farmer.

The Great Turkey Race: All the turkeys want to be the Thanksgiving turkey, but only one can be it, so they hold a race. You'll have to pick up a copy to see how this tale gobbles out. 

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey: My kids have adored this series for years, but we've never read the Thanksgiving version. This is one we'll have to add to the library this year. 

More Thanksgiving Titles:

Balloons Over Broadway: Being from New York I loved this book that told the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (which I knew none of until I read this). The pictures are beautiful, the historical events are told in simple ways for young readers, and I even welled up a few tears as I was reading this to Jay. There aren't any sad parts... I think it was just "I miss New York in the fall".

Arthur's Thanksgiving: Arthur is assigned to be the director of the school's Thanksgiving play, but what is he to do when no one wants to play the most important role of the Thanksgiving turkey?

The Night Before Thanksgiving: You guys all knew this book from Natasha Wing was going to be on here right? The only book I purchased this month and it found it's home next to the rest of the collection on our bookshelf.

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17 Halloween Books For Kids

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we have more picture books for Halloween than we do for any other holiday. There is just something about Halloween books for kids that are so fun and delightful. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays to celebrate with our own children, and bringing fun books into our home has always been one of my favorite ways to prolong any holiday season.

I've had a few booklists for Halloween books for kids that I've shared over here in the past, but in an effort to clean up my blog and make things more organized, I've compiled them all into one post, and have added some new favorites that we've picked up this year as well. 

So if you're in the market for some halloween books for kids, then I've got you covered with 17 of our very favorites. 

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Where's My Mummy: This is a book I recently found this year while scouring books for this post. It's the story of a sweet little mummy wanting one more game of "hide and shriek" before bed! This book is probably the most adorable of them all!

Click Clack Boo: This is the Halloween tale of one of our all time favorites, Click Clack Moo. When I found out this book existed, I knew it was definitely going to be on the top of this list!

Room On The Broom: A witch is going for a ride on her broom when she loses her hat and other things too. Luckily their are some cute forest animals to help her find her things in exchange for a ride on her broom!

Joey the Jack-o-Lantern: Last week I texted my mom and said, "What was that Halloween book we had about a Jack-o-Lantern?" totally vague and not descriptive at all, but my mom totally knew which one I was talking about! This is a super fun story about a Jack-o-Lantern who wants to be scary but doesn't think his face fits the bill until he gets a little help on Halloween night!

The Night Before Halloween: We're ridiculously big fans of every book Natasha Wing has written in this series and this one is no different! "Twas the night before Halloween when all through the house, all the creatures were stirring except for the mouse!" I really love this series!

Clifford's Halloween: This is a nostalgic one for me because I'm pretty sure my mom had every holiday Clifford book and this one definitely made it's way to our family coffee table each fall. I'm excited to be able to share this one with my kids this year!

Arthur's Halloween: Like the Clifford books, I'm pretty sure my mom had all the Arthur ones too! I think my favorite part about this book is that they go into a creepy old lady's house and get some donuts because.... donuts.

The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat: Upon researching books for this post I realized that there were approximately a million different Halloween Berenstain Bears books, but this is the one  I remembered most about brother and sister bear going trick-or-treating on their own for the first time. 

The 12 Days Of Halloween: A fun spoof off of the 12 Days of Christmas, made just for your little ghost or goblin that you have in your home. 

How to Catch a Monster: Everything you and your kids will ever need to know about monsters and how to catch them. The perfect resource for all the spooky scenes we're sure to see as Halloween approaches. 

Vampirina Ballerina: We added this to our collection a few years ago and love it. A vampire who wants to be a ballerina but has a lot of obstacles to get her there. She can't see herself in the mirror, has to find a class at night... find out how she makes her ballerina dreams a reality.

At The Old Haunted House: We added this book to our collection a few years ago and it's a really fun read. It takes you through the various rooms of a haunted house before dropping you off at the ultimate Halloween bash!

The Littlest Mummy: All Mae wants to do is boogie with her family at the Halloween bash, but everyone keeps telling her she's too little. Will she overcome her challenges and party with her family? You'll have to crack this one open to find out. 

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything: This book wams gifted to us at some point and is a super fun read about a little old lady who goes on a spooky walk home. She claims she's not afraid of anything until...

Dragon's Halloween: This was a book I loved growing up. It's a collection of short stories about a dragon and his Halloween adventures. It would be fun to break it up and read one short story before bed each night, or let your child plow through the entire thing in an afternoon. 

Pinkalicious: Pink or Treat: Kinsley is mega obsessed with Pinkalicious right now, so this Pink or Treat Halloween story has been a welcomed addition to our home library. When the mayor cancels Halloween because of a power outage, Pinkalicious saves the day. 

I Spy Halloween: Because every kid loves a good I spy book right? 

Do you have some Halloween books for kids that you love that didn't make my list? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below! 

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13 Easter Books For Toddlers

Easter picture books or Easter books for toddlers are one of our favorite ways to celebrate. Here are 13 Easter books for toddlers to help you celebrate!

Easter is two weeks out, so I'm trying to prepare and wrap my mind around things since shipping times may take longer, and I also want to give you all enough time to plan the things you want to do with your family as well. Picture books are one of my favorite ways to celebrate any major holiday, so today I rounded up 13 of my favorite Easter books for toddlers that you can purchase on Amazon, and will hopefully ship in time for Easter! Some of these are as little as $2, so hopefully you'll be able to add a couple to your library or Easter baskets!

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13 Easter Books for Toddlers:

God Gave Us Easter: I love fun holiday books, and also books that talk about the true meaning of the holiday. This book is a great balance of both and is a great resource for talking to young readers about Easter.

The Good Egg Presents: The Great Eggscape: This Easter The Good Egg and his friends try to have some fun around the grocery store. This looks super cute and I'm totally grabbing a copy for my kids!

How to Catch The Easter Bunny: If you need to know how to catch an Easter Bunny, I'd assume you'd need this book.

Ten Little Eggs: This is a sweet story about ten eggs hatching in their mother's nest. It looks super darling, and something I'd love to add to our home library!

Jesus Rose For Me: This book was a new release in March 2020, and I'm excited to add it to our home. It's a board book that does a great job at telling the story of Jesus and His death for young readers. If you want a great biblical book to share with your family, definitely check this one out. 

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Chick: Kyle loves this series and I think we almost have every holiday one they've written.

The Berenstain Bears and The Real Easter Eggs: Brother and Sister Bear go on an Easter egg hunt and discover the real meaning of Easter in the process.

The Biggest Easter Basket Ever: Two mice try to get ready for Easter by making the biggest basket ever, and learn a lesson about cooperation in the process.

Peppa's Easter Egg Hunt: Kinsley is a major fan of all things Peppa Pig... This might be finding it's way into her Easter Basket this year.

Clifford's Happy Easter: I'm a huge lover of all things Clifford and have since I was very little. We actually don't have this Easter story, but I want to add it to our home library. It's a fun read about a big dog trying to color lots of little eggs!

Peppa's Easter Surprise: Kinsley has this board book and we read it all year round. It's super cute and talks about Peppa and her friends going on an egg hunt and discovering baby chicks at the end.

The Night Before Easter: You should all know by now that I'm obsessed with "The Night Before..." series by Natasha Wing, and her books make it onto all of my holiday lists. This one is a super fun read about the Easter Bunny coming to your house the night before Easter, and is super fun!

The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story: The Bear Cubs are obsessed about all things Easter and candy, but their Sunday School class teach them that Jesus' Resurrection is much sweeter than candy!

Are there any Easter classics that you love in your home? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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Five Books I Read in February 2020

February was a slow reading month for me. Granted, it is two days shorter than any other month, but I don't think those two days would have helped me much. I found myself super distracted with work, switching Kyle's school situation, and Kinsley starting OT that was four days a week for a hot second, that reading just slipped away from me for a bit. I did manage to read five books though, and I'm excited to share what I thought. 

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1) I'm Here to Win: This book is about a triathlete who spends years and years trying to win Ironman Kona (the sport's world champion event each year). It was an okay book, and I really appreciated how the author, Chris McCormack, raised a lot of money for breast cancer through his foundation after his mother's early death, but this wasn't my favorite sports book I ever read. 

2) Educated: This book was SO GOOD. Tara Westover is from a small city in Idaho where her parents were super strict, homeschooled, and thought the world was going to end and that the government was out to get their family. Tara followed her older siblings footsteps and left their small town, got a degree from BYU, and eventually a PhD from Cambridge. I felt like I could relate to her story in a lot of ways, and in even more ways, my heart broke for all the things she had to endure as a young girl, and even to this day with her family strains. 

3) The Read Aloud Family: I'm a huge believer in reading aloud to our kids, so this book was a must read for me. Some basic principals that I got from it was that reading with your kids can grow a closer parental bond with your children, can increase them to more sophisticated vocabulary than they could read on their own, and provides opportunities for you to have deep though provoking conversations with your children about books. She also gives great and extensive lists for books to read aloud with your own kids, which I really appreciated! 

4) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Not much needs to be said about this book, but Kyle read it without me in January and so I read it again with him last month. I think we might read the third one together in March, but then I think we're going to put a long pause before I let him read the fourth one. 

5) The Extra Mile: A book about ultramarathon runner Pam Reed, and the races she won and her childhood, and how she became one the more famous ultrarunners of our day. I love this book and have read it about once a year for the last 10 years. Some tidbits I love is when she says that when she runs 100 miles, she doesn't think of it as running a huge chunk of 100 miles. She runs 1 mile 100 times. I use that same mentality a lot on my training runs now, and I find it really helpful in terms of staying focused and not letting myself get stressed out about all the miles that are still ahead. 

What did you read in February? I'd love to know in the comments below!

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Best St Patrick's Day Books

This list has some of the Best St Patrick's Day books for your younger readers who love picture books and older kids who love chapter books!

Happy Day 3 of our St Patrick's Day week! I love a good holiday themed book as much as the next parent, and over the years I've collected a few great gems for St Patrick's Day. I think our great collection of St Patty's Day books is why Kyle keeps going around the house saying this is his favorite holiday. Books are such an easy way to celebrate almost any occasion, which is why I make them a part of every holiday in our home. If you're looking for The Best St Patrick's Day Books, consider adding a couple of these to your collection.

Best St Patrick's Day Picture Books:

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1. The Story of St Patrick: I love a good, fun, silly book, but I also love to have at least one book that talks about what each holiday is actually about. This book does a great job of telling the story of who St Patrick was, and why we celebrate this day in a great way for young audiences.

2. St Patrick's Day in the Morning: This story is about a boy named Jamie who will do whatever it takes to march in the St. Patrick's Parade. This is a flagship book from my own childhood.

3. The Luckiest St Patrick's Day Ever: This is a fun quick read that we got at the library. It takes you through a town's St Patrick's celebration and parade!

4. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover: Kyle is a huge fan of the, "There Was an Old Lady..." series. We bought this one last year and it's a repeat this time of year!

5. The Night Before St Patrick's Day: I love every holiday book in this series and this one is just as good as the rest! The kids try to make a leprechaun trap, but do they actually get him?

6. How to Catch a Leprechaun: Another fun and lively book about catching leprechauns. My kids love this one, and it's a super fun and quick read.

Best St. Patrick's Day Chapter Books:

These St Patrick's day chapter books are perfect if you're in the market for a St Patrick's Day read-aloud that you can share with your entire family. These chapter books are super fun and have a mix of something that will appeal to all audiences!
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1. St. Patrick's Day from the Black Lagoon: This is number 19 in The Black Lagoon series and is a super great read for any 2nd-5th grader in your life. If you have kids that love The Black Lagoon series like Kyle does, this will be a no brainer to grab at your next library day!

2. Calendar Mysteries #3: March Mischief: Kyle loves anything and everything by Ron Roy. He's read both the Capital Mysteries and A to Z Mysteries so far, and we're excited to start this series next. Luckily they have a book just in time for St Patrick's!

3. Leprechaun's Don't Play Basketball: The basketball team is convinced their coach is a leprechaun, but is he really? I guess you'll have to read this to find out ;)

4. Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: This is a Fact Checker book from the Magic Treehouse series. These are fun books that give more non-fiction details into what the other books in the series talk about. We haven't read any of these yet, but it will be super fun to grab a copy of this to read with Kyle next month!

5. Merlin Missions: Leprechaun in Late Winter: Merlin Missions are the more advanced readers of The Magic Treehouse Series. Kyle has read all of these, and this one is one of his very favorites! If you have Jack and Annie lovers in your house, you'll definitely want to snag a copy of this to read soon!

6. Green Gravy (Cul-de-Sac Kids Series): This story is about a girl named Carly who becomes student of the week and makes the entire class do St Patty's traditions against their will because she's Irish. Her adopted twin brother from Korea doesn't want to join in on the fun though which causes a bit of sibling rivalry which eventually gets resolved.

Do you have books you love reading with your kid's for St Patrick's? I'd love to hear in the comments below!

If you liked this post, Best St Patrick's Day Books, you might also like:

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Five Books I read in January 2020

One of my goals this year was to read more books. I read almost zero books for leisure in 2019, and it was something that I really missed. I hit the ground running in January and finished five books. Not as many as I thought I would when I wrote my post about ways I was reading more in 2020, but five is still more than I read in all of 2019, so I'm on a good trajectory regardless. 

I read mostly non-fiction, with the exception of Harry Potter that we started with Kyle. I also found myself listening to a bunch of books that I purchased on Audible years ago, that I'd never gotten around to. It was a good way to get through things I already owned, and read more in the process. 

The Collapse of Parenting: When we brought Kyle to the pediatrician at the end of last year for his anxiety, the doctor recommended I read this book. It sounded super familiar, but when I looked it up on Amazon, it had a different cover than what I thought, so I bought it to read. I got a chapter into it before realizing I already had it on Audible. I gave the new hardcopy to Derek to read and I re-listened to the audio. 

I love this book for many reasons but mostly because I feel like Leonard Sax and I are really on the same page with parenting. Encouraging kids to work hard, letting them fail and learning from their mistakes, making them eat vegetables, limiting screen time, etc... I'm not a perfect parent, but this book reminds me that there are way worse mistakes I could be making, and that while Derek and I have room to grow, we're not doomed. 

168 Hours: This book gave me so many thoughts on things I can change in my own life as a mother, business owner, and as an overall human being. I love that it really challenged me to focus on where I spend my time, to be honest with myself about my time, and then to adjust myself as needed. You can read my full review here.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: This book does not need an introduction. We started reading the series with Kyle this month and he cannot get enough. We read this one with him each night before bed, but he quickly read to the end without us and then started on book two. He might be a little young though and I worry about the future books getting too dark for him. We're wondering where we draw the line for a seven year old.

A Life Without Limits: I bought this almost two years ago on Audible and never listened to it. I finally turned it on while I was running on my treadmill and was instantly hooked. Chrissie Wellington speaks on how she once struggled with anorexia and body dysmorphia, and eventually channeled that focus into racing Ironman races and eventually became the top in the sport. It's a super inspiring story, and reminds me that nothing is out of reach. 

The Ultra Mindset: This was another old Audible purchase that I finally decided to listened through. It's about Travis Macy, a boy who grew up watching his father compete in ultra marathon races, went on to compete in adventure races and ultras himself, and would eventually be among the top in the sport while also raising a young family and teaching high school English. I appreciated his story, and his mantra, "it's all good mental training", but I really didn't LOVE this book, and felt like I was listening to it just to keep myself busy on the treadmill. 

If you're interested in what I'm currently working through:
I'm Here to Win by Chris McCormack
Educated by Tara Westover

Are you currently reading anything, or read anything in the month of January? I'd love to know in the comments below! 

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168 Hours Book Review

January always feels like a good month to read a book about productivity to help fast track you to where you want to go within the next year. My friend Janssen is doing an online bookclub this year, and January's book was 168 Hours: You have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. The premise of the book is that you have a 168 hours, which is a lot more time than you think, and that you can get a lot more done in that timeframe if you're honest with your time, prioritize correctly, and make room for things that matter most to you.

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This book has nine chapters, that are divided into four parts. Each part gave me so many amazing thoughts, and I'm going to try share my book review, by breaking it into each section.

Your 168 Hours:
The book started off by saying how we're all a lot more busier than we appear to be. There are many people who report working 50-60 hour weeks, when in reality, they only work about 45 of those hours. I found myself resonating with this. As a blogger, and social media manager who works from home, it feels like I'm working every second of the day. It feels like I'm working 80 hours some weeks. The reality is, it feels that way because my mind is constantly thinking about my long list of to-dos. In actuality, I'm only really working maybe 30 hours a week. This helped me realize that work would feel a lot shorter if I was more streamlined in my work processes, and checked email and instagram less. Checking these things constantly feels like I'm working, but the reality is, unless I'm typing an email or posting to instagram, that's not work, and I can be spending that time focusing on other things.

The other part of this section talked about our core competencies and how we make time for the things that are important to us. For me, I want to be present with my kids, have a good marriage, blog and provide income for our family, and have time to read and run. If there are things that get in the way of me giving my all to these five things, I have to be honest and decide if that's worth my time, and if it's not, be okay with either not doing it, or outsourcing it to someone who can.

She recommends creating a time log where you keep track of what you're doing for an entire week, so that you can see where you may waste time, and how many hours per week you spend on various tasks. This was eye opening for me to see the number of hours I waste doing certain things, and how there really is plenty of time for me to do the things I love.

Part two was all about work, and particularly how to know if you're in the right job. One part I really loved is when it talked about some people's current jobs may reflect things that they did as a child. I remember I used to write fake magazines on our family computer growing up, and make these powerpoint presentations that chronologically chronologically dictated the less than fascinating moments in my life. It's funny to see now how I basically do that same thing on a much larger scale. Turns out, I love what I do, and I'm in the right job.

This section of the book also talked about how if there is a part of your job that you don't like, or that takes time away from you doing parts of your work that you enjoy, you should outsource it. A lot of bloggers hire virtual assistants, photographers, social media managers, etc... up until recently, my blog has been just Derek and I. I write all the blog posts, take 90% of the pictures (Derek takes them when I need to be in the pictures, this is his only role here), do all my own social media, keep up on emails, negotiate deals with brands, etc... One thing I needed to beef up this year was search engine optimization. I felt I didn't have time for this, and that I didn't want to be the one going through all my old 1200 posts and making them rank hire on google, so I tried hiring it out. Turns out I don't think the guy I hired to do it did a very good job, so now it's back on my list of things to-do. But it was a good exercise in me trying to outsource something, even if it only lasted a week.

The third section of the book was our homes and making them efficient for ourselves, and again, if there are things that need to be done that you either don't have time for, cut into something you'd rather do, or you just don't want to do it, you shouldn't feel guilty about outsourcing.

I actually really love cleaning my home, folding laundry, and cooking meals for my family. It is a really therapeutic activity, and I don't mind doing it. These things truly bring me joy. That being said I don't love grocery shopping, and even doing Walmart grocery pickup was becoming more of a hassle, so we now have all of our groceries delivered.

The back story is this- When we moved over the summer, the closest Walmart to us became seven miles and two towns away. I could have done grocery pickup at another store, but didn't want to pay the $5 fee, so kept doing grocery pickup at Walmart. The drive was a huge time waster, and then I'd have to bring the groceries up a flight of stairs into our home, and lug Kinsley up and down the stairs to get her in and out of the car. It was a process.

Then a few months ago we bought a new car with not-so-great gas mileage. I calculated the money I would spend in gas versus the $12 monthly fee for Walmart to deliver to my home unlimited amounts of time to my house, and it would cost me more than $12 in gas to drive to the store once a week, than it would be for Walmart to deliver my groceries whenever I wanted. It was a no-brainer, and we've been getting the groceries delivered ever since. Zero guilty.

168 Hours Day By Day:
This last section of the book mostly summarized the earlier sections, and then talked about individuals who applied these principals in their lives. This allowed them to do more of the things they prefer. It was amazing to see how small changes for these individuals had a huge impact on their lives. This provided a huge opportunity for me to evaluate my own life and see where I can make changes as well.

Have you had a chance to read this book? I'm giving away my copy on Instagram today, so keep your eyes out on my feed for a chance to win!

Be sure to stay up-to-date on all of the latest things in our lives by following along in instagram @thehappyflammily!

How to Read More 2020

I used to be very close minded with the way that I looked at reading in the past. I used to think that I could only read one book at a time, and that I couldn't listen to another audiobook, or touch another physical copy until I'd gotten through whatever it was that I was reading.

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How to Read More

In 2020 I decided that I wanted to read more, and as I've gotten older I've become a lot more relaxed with things than I have in the past. I have found myself reading more books overall, reading several books at one time, and fitting more reading into more corners of my day than ever before. Now I just need to join a book club and my reading life will be complete.

Reading One Chapter Before Bed

I've made a new habit of reading one chapter in a physical book each night before bed. This not only helps me with my goal of reading more, but helps me sleep better since the last thing I'm looking at is not a screen. It also means that in a given month, I can likely get through at least two books, since most books are likely less than 15 chapters. The key is finding time that is going to work.

Listening To A Book While Exercising:

A few years ago I bought a bunch of books on Audible that were about professional endurance athletes, and I never listened to them. A few weeks ago I found myself really bored listening to the same songs on the treadmill, so I started listening to these books I'd purchased years ago. I was surprised by how much I could listen to in just a 30 minute run session, and how much more inspired I was to run faster when listening to these stories told by professional athletes.

Reading Aloud With Kyle Before Bed:

I started reading Harry Potter with Kyle before bed this year and it's been so fun. We've been reading one chapter each night, which means in a month we'll easily get through at least two books, but likely more. I've learned that I'm much more excited to read to my kids when it's a book I already know I love.

Setting A Reading Goal:

Setting reading challenges for myself really motivates me to pick up a book, read a lot more, and make a reading habit part of my everyday routine. Making reading lists of books I want to read helps me to actually finish a book, since I know there are more good books on my list waiting for me once I finish. I want to try and read 72 books in 2020, and my finding a small amount of time in my day here and there, I find I enjoy reading more, and it doesn't take me hours a day.

Monthly Books Totals:

Previously when I was only reading/listening to one book at a time, I was only reading/listening after the kids went to bed. This is such a small timeframe in my life that if I really pushed it, I could get through four books a month, maybe five. By incorporating reading into many smaller parts of my life, I've actually made it so that I can get through more books in the same one month period.

I can likely read at least two books a month if I read one chapter a night before bed. I can likely listen to at least two audiobooks a month if I listen to them the four times a week that I workout, and on my way to school pickup when kids aren't in the car. I can also get through two chapter books a month with Kyle, if not more, if I'm reading a chapter a day before bed each night.

That means that I'm getting through at least six books a month, at the minimum, when before I felt like I was super stretched for time to read, and could maybe get through four. Two extra books a month might not seem like a huge deal, but over the course of an entire year, thats 24 books that I otherwise wouldn't have read.

How are you making time for reading in your life? Are there any books you're really loving right now? I'd love to know in the comments below!

If you liked this post, How to Read More 2020, you might also like:

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