At least one of these three books will make someone on your holiday gift list smile.
And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl: The Jewish Past as Told by the Records We Have Loved and Lost (Crown) by Roger Bennett and Josh Kun is a witty and affectionate look at everything from cantors to comedians, mambo to hip-hop, Al Jolson to Bob Dylan.
Holiday Princess: A Princess Diaries Book (Harper Teen) by Meg Cabot, illustrated by Chesley McLaren, brings Princess Mia's young fans her stylish etiquette advice and hip history for Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year's and the Chinese New Year.
The Lump of Coal (HarperCollins Children) by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist, is just the sardonic sort of holiday tale you'd expect from the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books: A lump of coal comes to life and pursues an artistic career.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor