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31 Christmas Books Every Child Should Read
It’s officially December which means I can well and truly start getting excited about Christmas now. As you all know I am a huge fan of books and love sharing that love with my children. We haven’t quite held off on reading the Christmas books before December and they have already been pulled off the bookshelf with much excitement. There are so many awesome Christmas books out there, I decided to ask a collection of parenting bloggers which Christmas story they love to read with their children and why.
So here are the 31 books they chose.
1. The Night Before Christmas
This is my favourite Christmas books and one my husband and I have read without fail to our children every Christmas Eve. It was also a book both of our parents read to us too. It is a wonderful traditional book that every child should own.
2. Father Christmas Needs a Wee by Nicholas Allan
My boys love the combination of two of their favourite things… Christmas and toilet humour!
3. The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
I love reading this to my children as it was one I read with my mum when I was little. The letters to open on each page are just so exciting.
4. Dear Santa by Rod Campbell
As it combines the awesome Dear Zoo (which is one of my daughter’s favourite books) with Christmas.
5. King John’s Christmas by A A Milne
Mine are older now, but they loved hearing King John’s Christmas. Not a book in itself, but a poem by A A Milne. I don’t know why, but they always loved hearing about the King’s worry that he won’t get anything, because he’s been awful and then finding it out it was ok in the end. Maybe it resonates with them somewhere!
6. Father Christmas Goes on Holiday by Raymond Briggs
We have a whole bookshelf full of Christmas books, so it’s hard to choose just one. I’m hoping my son will be more into the comic style books of Father Christmas, Father Christmas Goes on Holiday, and The Snowman by Raymond Brings this year though, as he’s never really bothered with them before but they’re my favourite!
7. The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher
We read a little bit every night for the whole of December. Last year was our first read but we’ll do it again this year. During our first read I’d often read more than planned as I wanted to know what would happen as much as my son did! It’s such a fun, exciting book.
8. One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth
We actually have a box of Christmas books which we get out each year and even though my children are a little older now they still gravitate towards this one. We love the little bit of tension when there are strange noises, the laughter when it’s revealed to be the little mole and then the joy when everyone finds a snug place to sleep. The audio CD which comes with it is fantastic as well.
9. The Christmas Bear by Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler
We love reading The Christmas Bear. It’s interactive by lifting the flaps, it’s hilariously funny and always produces lots of giggles and fun before bed with its funny scenes and silly rhymes. We love it.
10. Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
You can’t beat Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. We read them as kids and I remember them so well so it’s nice to do it with my kids.
11. The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis and Emma Cobb
It’s about siblings and love, and my boys adore hearing it.
12. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
We read The Polar Express at bedtime on Christmas Eve. My two adore the book as much as the film.
13. Peter and Lotta’s Christmas by Elsa Beskow
I just bought n Elsa Beskow book called Peter and Lotta’s Christmas. We love her other books and as we blend a Scandi Christmas into our celebrations as my sister in law is Finnish, I love that it includes the Christmas Goat (who we have visit on Christmas Eve delivering books & pyjamas).
14. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Snow Globe Edition
We’re going on a bear hunt is one of those classics that doesn’t seem to get old. My children love to read along with us, their imaginations really come alive when we talk through each part of the story and act out the pages. I love how they’ve created an interactive cover with the new snow globe winter edition, the boys will love playing with it
15. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson
Stickman is our firm favourite! It makes me cry! We have it Christmas Eve eve – it makes me all tingly and reminds kids Christmas is about family (I hope!).
16. Mucky Pups Christmas by Ken Brown
We love the beautiful illustrations.
17. The First Christmas by Lois Rock and Alex Ayliffe
I make sure to read ‘The First Christmas’ by Lois Rock to mine a few times leading up to and through the festive season just to remind them what Christmas is really about!
18. Nuddy Ned’s Christmas by Kes Grey and Gary Parrsons
It’s quite a unique story to tell at Christmas about a boy who runs down the street in the nud! It’s very cheeky (literally!) and my young son finds it hilarious!
19. That’s Not My Santa
Other than The Night Before Christmas, we’ll be reading That’s Not My Santa. My daughter loved it last year as a 3-month-old, but I just know she’ll love it, even more, this Christmas at 15 months. We’re big fans of the illustrations and textures!
20. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
The tale of three trees – it was given to us by my grandfather who passed away quite a few years ago now. It’s a beautiful story that my Mum used to read to us and now I’ll be doing the same with my little boys.
21. Cops and Robbers by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
We love this – I used to read it as a child and came across it a few years ago – it’s about robbers who try to steal as many toys as possible on Christmas eve and brave Officer Pugh who puts Christmas back to rights – it’s very funny
22. The Best Christmas Present in the World by Michael Morpurgo
I find this book a moving way of making children understand just a little of what it must have been like for these young men, these boys, who gave up their lives for us. So many of the men featured in this story would never have made it home.
The letter tells of the now famous football match that the soldiers shared on this magical Christmas Day. The end of this book is so moving. The letter long lost and forgotten is returned to its rightful recipient. The now very old lady who was the young soldier’s girlfriend. A heartbreaking story yet one of hope. One of peace and goodwill among men.
23. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How The Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my favourites. It helps teach children that Christmas isn’t about presents and fuss. ‘Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!’
24. The Nutcracker by Jane Ray
I love reading The Nutcracker to my children. There’s something so magical about the story and we have a beautifully illustrated version that brings the magic to life. I also think there’s something lovely about how the presents are homemade by the toy maker.
25. Coming Home by Michael Morpurgo
We love Coming Home by Michael Morpurgo. It is such a beautiful long poem about a Robin journeying home for Christmas. It is the perfect wintery tale.
26. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer by Robert L. May
I found this beauty in a charity shop and I just love it. My son has Downs Syndrome and we always say be proud of your differences. At Christmas, we say be like Rudolph!
27. Diary of a Christmas Wombat by Jackie French
We were given Diary of a Christmas Wombat a few years ago and because it’s so sweet and funny it’s become a favourite of ours – ‘who knew there were so many carrots in the world’.
28. How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace
How to catch an Elf by Adam Wallace. It’s set during Christmas Eve so I read it to my kids then, and it gets them very excited for the big day.
29. 24 Stories for Advent by Bridgette Weninger
I’ve just ordered 24 stories for advent by Brigitte Weninger. I’m looking forward to the countdown!
30. Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr
To this day one of my favourite Christmas books is Mog’s Christmas! I still have the book which my Auntie bought me for my 3rd Birthday. I can’t wait to read it to Rory this year.
31. Lucy and Tom at Christmas by Shirley Hughes
A beautifully simple tale of a brother and sister getting ready for Christmas. They gather little gifts for their family and help choose and decorate their Christmas tree. They end up opening their stockings very early on Christmas day, and Tom gets over excited and needs to go for a long walk with his grandpa. Perfection.
If you are looking for even more inspiration, Hello Lovely has also written a fab post on Stories for Christmas. Have you got any books you would like to add to the list?