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Five fabulous holiday e-books for kids

Plus a few non-holiday titles, including the newly arrived Little Critter series. Lots of great stuff to read--or have read--to your little ones.

The other day I had to drag my kids along for some furniture shopping. Rather than endure whining and interruptions for half an hour, I handed over my iPhone--with the condition that the only apps they could use were e-books.

We didn't hear a peep from them the whole time.

As I said in Five amazing e-books for kids and again in Five more amazing e-books for kids, iOS devices are awesome e-book readers--especially for children's titles. So in honor of the season, I've rounded up another five excellent e-books for kids (six, actually)--all of them honed for the holidays.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" comes to iOS devices as a beautifully illustrated interactive e-book.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" comes to iOS devices as a beautifully illustrated interactive e-book. Oceanhouse Media

Oceanhouse Media just cranked out a host of new goodies, including the Thanksgiving-themed "The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks" and the classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"--the latter featuring artwork and sound effects from the beloved TV special.

They're both $2.99, and both universal, meaning they're compatible with iPhones and iPads alike. (While you're at it, check out OM's new Little Critter titles: "All By Myself," "Just Grandma and Me," and "I Just Forgot." They're not holiday-related, but they're just as fabulous--and only $1.99 apiece.)

Christmas Tale for iPad  Let's hear it for a rare e-book freebie. It's your basic toddler-oriented tale of Santa, the North Pole, and presents, with nicely illustrated pages and the obligatory interactive goodies hidden therein. The app also includes a few games and even a wish-list builder. It's free until December 15.

Flying Poodles - A Christmas Story This original tale, inspired by the poodles who ran in the Iditarod, features 28 pages of rhyming narration, original artwork, and "clickable audio surprises." (Wait a sec--poodles ran in the Iditarod? Who knew?) It's a universal app priced at $1.99.

Violet's The Night Before Christmas  Violet (aka Phantom Girl) has already starred in two e-books; this one puts her in the classic Christmas poem by Clement Moore, with original illustrations and lots of interactive elements on each page. It's too bad the bonus materials (including coloring pages and an interactive sketchpad) are on the seller's Web page and not in the app, but don't let that stop you from grabbing this nifty modern take on the beloved poem. (It's currently iPad-only, but an iPhone/iPod version is imminent.) Price: $2.99.

Stray Sheep: Poe's Christmas  Join beloved Japanese cartoon character Poe, who walks in his sleep, as he wakes in an unfamiliar town, walks the snowy streets, and helps the mysterious "Mr. Red" bring presents to children. The story features interactive elements, of course, and the app itself comes two games: "Spot the Difference" and "Sliding Puzzle." I like to see that kind of added value for my $6.99. For now, Poe's Christmas is strictly an iPad title, but iPhone and iPod Touch owners can check out the free lite version.

By the way, fellow Chosen People, I looked and looked for any Hanukkah-themed e-books, but came up empty. Come on, authors, where are the tales of runaway dreidels, dancing latkes, and magical menorahs? I'm giving you till 2011 to get something Festival of Lights-y into the App Store.

Have you found any other holiday-themed e-books worth sharing? If so, hit the comments and tell me which ones!