The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

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December 6, 2013

7 great holiday stories for season's readings

Holiday-themed movies and TV shows get the most attention during this time of year.

But there are just as many, if not more, beloved books that contain cherished Christmas stories -- some of which get shared across generations. With an impending winter storm on the horizon, this may be the best time to find the Christmas spirit between the covers of a good book. These are some of our favorites that are easily found at a bookstore or library.

'The Night Before Christmas'

This poem is a classic in every sense of the word. First written anonymously in 1823, Clement Clarke Moore eventually claimed authorship of the story that talks about a visit from the legendary St. Nick. Some argue that the poem is responsible for some of Santa's iconic wardrobe and stature.

But our favorite part of the tale is how many times it has been told and illustrated. The Joplin Public Library had two versions in stock on Tuesday, and both featured dramatically different illustrations.

The tale is timeless and a perfect story for sharing the magic of Santa and Christmas morning with kids.

'The Polar Express'

The movie adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's "The Polar Express" is legendary for some of the creepiest computer animation to ever be featured in a movie -- all the more reason to share this tale with kids.

While kids will appreciate the story's exciting trip to the North Pole to witness Santa's departure, parents will get a bit nostalgic near the book's ending, which deals with how Christmas changes as we grow up.

'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!'

Unlike "The Polar Express," the 1966 animated adaptation by Chuck Jones has become just as beloved as the book. The Jim Carrey movie of 2000? Not so much.

But the book is where the magic of this tale starts. Dr. Seuss' catchy poetry and creatively written rhymes make this story a joy to read out loud. The story talks about what means the most during the holidays -- and it has nothing to do with presents.

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