# Christmas Picture Book Rotation

Hi friends! Let me tell you about a fun holiday tradition that I started a couple of years ago at our elementary school: a Christmas picture book rotation!

## Why a Christmas Picture Book Rotation?

Our teachers are so busy at this time of year, and they have the best intentions of making happy holiday memories with their students. Knowing that they may not have spare moments to visit the library for themselves, I’ve found a way to get winter holiday picture books into every single classroom in our elementary school building.

## Gather the Picture Books

How many classroom teachers do you have in your building? Gather that many picture books, including all of the winter holidays, winter books, penguin books, snowman books, polar bear books. Gather that same number of large envelopes. I use the inter-office mail envelopes supplied by our district because they’re free.

## Here Comes the Math

If you’ve got 30 teachers in your building, you can run the picture book rotation for 5 days, with 6 envelopes. If you’ve got 40 teachers in your building, you can run your rotation for 5 days with 8 envelopes.

Your first envelope’s routing list looks like this:

Monday: Teacher A

Tuesday: Teacher B

Wednesday: Teacher C

Thursday: Teacher D

Friday: Teacher E

So Teacher A reads that book on Monday, then passes the book and envelope to Teacher B. Teacher B reads that book on Tuesday, then passes the book and envelope to Teacher C. And so on.

Your second envelope’s routing list looks like this:

Monday: Teacher B

Tuesday: Teacher C

Wednesday: Teacher D

Thursday: Teacher E

Friday: Teacher A

For this book, Teacher B reads the book on Monday, then passes the book and envelope to Teacher C. Teacher C reads that book on Tuesday, then passes the book and envelope to Teacher D.

If you have your number of teachers doesn’t quite work, just add yourself into the rotation for any open spaces. When the envelope lands in your box, either read the book that day or pass it along to the next teacher.

## The Christmas Picture Book Rotation Printable

Click here to get your editable routing page. The link will force you to make a copy, and then you can edit the copy however you’d like.

The logistics take a bit of time to set up, but once the rotation gets started, it runs smoothly. If someone doesn’t want to read the book they receive or if they run out of time, they can easily pass it on to the next person.

I check out all the books to myself for this project. Sometimes it takes a little while to round them all up again after the holiday break, but it’s worth the effort. Once the holiday picture book rotation begins, festive picture books “magically” appear in teacher mailboxes and in classrooms. It makes me feel like Buddy the Elf!

## Some Assembly Required

To put it all together, here’s what I do:

- gather the library books and check them out to myself
- gather the same number of clasp envelopes
- copy the printable routing slip, one per envelope
- write the teacher names on the routing slips, like the example above
- explain the rotation on morning announcements
- put a book in every envelope
- put the envelopes in teacher mailboxes, the afternoon before the rotation begins

## Add Gift Bags and Ribbon

My librarian friend Natalie puts the books in a gift bag instead of an envelope and adds colorful, curly ribbon. So pretty!

Happy holidays, my librarian friends! I’d love for you to share your favorite holiday picture book in a comment!

What a great way to share fun holiday literature in the whole school!

One of my favorite holiday picture books is Mary Engelbreit’s version of The Night Before Christmas!

Very cool. Thank you!

I love this idea! I have many favorites. I love The Christmas Cobwebs by Odds Bodkin (I know….great name, right?) and The Borrowed Hanukkah latkes.

Caroline, thanks for sharing your favorites! We have The Christmas Cobwebs, but I haven’t seen The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes. I’ll have to search for that one!

Cari

Twas the Night Before Christmas!

Tracy,

Yes, that’s a great one! Thanks for your comment!

Cari

A fun way to spread holiday cheer and help out stressed teachers! Thanks for sharing!

Tracie,

You’re welcome! Thanks for your comment!

Cari

I love the rotation so the teachers and students will each be exposed to a lot of new books!

Annie, yes, it’s a great way to get lots of new books into classrooms for our teachers and students!

Thanks for your comment!

Cari

My favorite is The Polar Express! 🙂 This looks so organized – however, it didn’t prompt me to make a copy. It told me to request access, so I did. Am I doing something wrong? Thank you so much for your help and support. Happy holidays! 🙂

Tara, I think I’ve fixed the “request access” issue. Give it another try!

I hope you can start this holiday tradition on your campus!

Cari

I love this idea! The routing sheet will make it so much easier to implement. Thank you for sharing!

Thanks for your comment, Eva! Yes, the routing sheet is key to the logistics of making the book distribution happen.

Cari

The polar express is fun.

Yes, Angela! The Polar Express is one of our favorites, too!

Cari

These are wonderful!!

One favorite is “Legend of the Candy Cane”.

Cute idea! I love reading gingerbread baby.

what a great idea! Wish we could read holiday books, not just winter ones at our school!

That makes me so sad to hear ☹️

Love this idea! Thinking about trying it out!

Awesome ideas!

How Santa Lost His Job by Stephen Krenskey.

For my older kids, I like Memoirs of an Elf and How Santa Got His Job.

Great idea! I could’ve used this for our Picture Book Week. Thank you for sharing all your awesome ideas!

Love this!!

Thanks for your comment, Cheryl!

Cari

What a cute idea!

The Christmas Hat by A J Wood is one I read to Kindergarteners every year!

Sarah, I haven’t read

The Christmas Hat. I need to look for that book!Cari

This is such a great idea. I’m going to try this with my teachers!

Thanks, Mandy! I hope this picture book rotation makes the holiday season even more festive at your school!

Cari

I have a Robert Sabuda pop-up of The Night Before Christmas that I love to read each year!

Amanda,

I bet your Robert Sabuda pop-up is gorgeous! What a treasure to share.

Cari

I love to read How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky. This is a wonderful idea. I already have my stack pulled before I left for Thanksgiving. Now I know what to do with it! Thank you!

Kim,

How Santa Got His Jobis a great one!Thanks for your comment!Cari

Great idea! Thanks!

You’re welcome, Maureen. Thanks for your comment!

Cari

Great idea! My students and teachers will love this.

Thanks, Tricia! I hope you and your school have lots of holiday fun with this picture book rotation!

Cari

I love this idea!! I’m getting so many great ideas for Christmas from you guys, thank you.

You’re welcome, Nikki! I’m glad we’re helping you with your Christmas plans!

Cari

What a neat way to share a variety of books!

Thanks! It is a great way to get a variety of books into teachers’ hands!

Cari

What a terrific way to share a variety of holiday books. Thanks for sharing!

You’re welcome, Gina! Thanks for your comment!

Cari

Oh this is such a time-saving idea for teachers. So helpful and perfect for the holiday/winter season. I can’t wait to try this. I think I will discover new books for my classroom because of my involvement. Thanks!

Thanks for your kind comment, Margo!

Cari

I love The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel. Kids get such a kick out of this!

What a fabulous idea for my teachers! Thank you!

Interesting idea. So helpful for a first-year library teacher. Thank you!

Awesome! Thanks!

I love Red Books for Christmas and The Pine Tree Parable.

How fun! This will be fun to do and students will really enjoy it.

Love this idea. Thanks for sharing!

fun

I love the Jolly Christmas Postman

My daughter loves the Jolly Christmas Postman

I love this idea and I’m putting it in my planning for spring. For when everyone is counting the days until Spring Break. Thanks for sharing all of the prepwork.

Great idea — I think I’ll put my name at the end of the list so that the books are returned to me.

Great idea! So fun!

What a clever way to share books! Thank you.

I just sent out the email about it with a Google doc for sign up with my teachers. Great way to spread the cheer throughout the building! My new favorite is Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

I love Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco followed closely by How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.