Books About Caring, Stories Great for Sharing 11 Uplifting Titles for December Reading

Encourage tenacity and resiliency in your children with these spirited tales.

— by Conni L. Strittmatter/Baltimore County Public Library Youth & Family Engagement Manager

Board Books



by Yusuke Yonezu

Children will discover that sharing is much more pleasant than being greedy. Different animals reveal the frustration
of not sharing. Once the various treasured items are split equally, gleaming smiles reveal their happiness. This book provides multiple opportunities for identifying different foods and animals.



“Christmas Tree”

by David Martin, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

This delightful book presents Christmas ornaments as real objects and then shows them as tree ornaments. Infants will have fun naming the objects or learning new ones in this colorful holiday book.





“You’re My Little Latke”

illustrated by Natalie Marshall

Extending the fun tradition of the popular “You’re My Little …” series, “You’re My Little Latke” arrives for the holiday season. Fans of the series will appreciate the familiarity of the cheerful rhyming cadence. Caregivers seeking sensory experiences for their young readers will enjoy the tactile form of the book, replete with peek-a-boo cutouts and other touching-and-feeling elements in every spread of this wonderful holiday book.


Picture Books



“Kwanzaa Gets an A”

by Steven C. Thedford, illustrated by LaSquizzie Kern

A griot tells the origins of Kwanzaa to a small group of children in a manner that is easy to understand. Each colorful illustration sets the stage for parts of the griot’s story. At the end, he reveals why Kwanzaa has the letter “a” twice at the end of the word. Children will enjoy shouting “Ashe” throughout the book, which is often encouraged by the griot. A glossary of Kwanzaa words appears at the end of the book.


“I Am Enough”

by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

Children will enjoy the poetic verses that inspire them to shoot for the stars, believe in themselves and embrace their uniqueness. Beautiful illustrations of girls of many different faces will appeal to everyone.


Early Elementary

“The Kindness Club: Chloe on the Bright Side”

by Courtney Sheinmel

Unexpected complications can put a damper on the best-laid plans. The Kindness Club has organized an amazing birthday party for a schoolmate whose mother recently died. The friends suddenly discover what it means to grieve and how we all grieve differently. Other complications arise as well. They do not give up and instead make a beautiful gift that will remind their friend of her mother for a long time.



“Happy Narwhalidays” 

by Ben Clanton

What could possibly be better than the dynamic combination of peanut butter and jelly, you ask? With “Happy Narwhalidays,” a newer trio of Narwhal and Jelly tales are up for reading. Celebrate the magic of the Narwhalidays, anticipate the coming of the mysterious Merry Mermicorn and don’t forget to sample the waffle pudding while you’re at it. This delightful, accessible edition from Ben Clanton is perfect for fans of previous adventures of favorite
maritime friends Narwhal and Jelly and is an excellent next-step read for fans of Mo Willems’ “Elephant and Piggie” books who are ready to try a graphic novel series.


Middle Grade


“The Christmas Pig”
by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Field

Dur Pig has always been there for Jack, giving solace during his parents’ divorce and his mother’s remarriage. When Jack’s stepsister tosses Dur Pig unceremoniously into traffic, Jack’s talisman and friend seems lost forever. The new stuffed Christmas pig his stepsister offers in apology can’t hold a candle to Dur Pig … but it might be the key to Jack’s happiness, nevertheless.

In her first full-length chapter book for kids since the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling poses the question of how far a child might go for the love of a precious (albeit stuffed) friend and how much a new stuffed friend is willing to sacrifice for the happiness of that child.

With remarkably short chapters that tend to end on a cliffhanger, it can be difficult to put “The Christmas Pig” down, justifying just a couple more pages with every new chapter.


“A Drop of Hope”
by Keith Calabrese

Explore this book of hope, kindness and friendship as you read about the struggles and worries of those in a town losing their factories one by one. Ernest’s grandfather asks him to clean out his attic as his last dying wish. Ernest and his sixth-grade friends secretly take on the challenge, and mysteriously the town’s old wishing well begins granting wishes. In this heart-warming book with unforgettable characters, small and grand mysteries get solved.


Teen Books

by Megan Shull

Twelve-year-old Frannie isn’t brave. She isn’t popular, and she isn’t exactly loved beyond what her family considers reasonable. When Frannie discovers days before Christmas that her parents are going to Jamaica without her for the holiday, she wishes for another life intently—so intently that in an unexpected turn of events, she gets her wish!

Waking up on Christmas to discover herself as another person entirely in a loving and supportive family, Frannie can’t believe her good luck. The only catch is that each new day is Christmas again, but as a new person with another new family. So begins a series of “Groundhog Day” experiences that give Frannie a glimpse of what it’s like to experience robust, loving connections, emotional security and self-confidence.

Note: This story is currently being adapted for a film set to be released in 2022.



“The Growth Mindset Workbook for Teens”
by Jessica L. Schleider, Ph.D.; Michael C. Mullarkey, Ph.D.; and Mallory L. Dobias, BS

This is the year we have finally begun to open up about treating mental health the way we treat our physical health. “The Growth Mindset Workbook for Teens” can be a valuable tool for teens trying to cope in today’s world.

Part of the popular and timely “Instant Help Book for Teens” series, this workbook stands out from the crowd of teen self-help books. Stripped of the ponderous text prevalent in so many self-help books for teens, the content presents an accessible, easily digestible guide to what growth mindset is and how it can play a practical role in teens’ day-to-day lives. Full of a variety of stories, interactive scenarios and positive reframing techniques, this therapist-approved resource should be a go-to book for anyone beginning to explore growth mindset techniques for teens.

About Conni Strittmatter

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