Recently I was having a little trawl through Instagram and one of my favourite Instamums was admiring someone’s Book Advent Calendar. The person was trying to do her book advent calendar entirely with festive stories and the Instamum commented that she didn’t think there would be enough stories.
Well let me tell you…
When it comes to children’s literature and Christmas there is a treasure trove of festive books for all ages and I thought I’d share some of our favourites with you. A mix of traditional and more modern stories and well loved classics and more obscure tales!
I have photographed our copies of these books to show you that they are well loved and have been read repeatedly!
I’ve split my book choices into three categories – chapter books, picture books and board books so you can easily find something for you and your family.
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher You know as soon as you see the author, Tom Fletcher, that this is going to be a fantastic book and it absolutely does not disappoint. The story focuses on William Trundle, a boy in a wheelchair, and the struggles he faces when a new kid starts at school and begins to bully him. In parallel to this, we also have the story of how the Christmasaurus came to live at the North Pole. The two narratives come together when William asks Santa for a dinosaur and he makes him a toy Christmasaurus. The real Christmasaurus ends up making its way to William by mistake and so the adventure really begins!
I’m trying my best to whet your appetite without spoiling the story. This one does come with a health warning if you have a sensitive child like mine. The baddie in the story is a hunter who is trying to capture the Christmasaurus. We read the story together as a family the first time so we could help our little man through these bits but for an older child I wouldn’t imagine they’d not be too phased by it!
Tom Fletcher has made this into a musical and you can buy the musical edition which comes with the music from the show. This has become the soundtrack to our Christmas too!
What’s A Christmas by Hayley Down and Clare Fennell
This is the story of an elf called Ed who accidentally falls out of Santa’s sleigh and ends up in the South Pole. He meets a group of penguins who have no idea what Christmas is and so he teaches them how to celebrate Christmas.
This is a wonderful book with a rhyming story and gorgeous pictures. It also has the most amazing / annoying Christmas catchphrase (depending on how many times your children say it over Christmas) – Oh Bloomin’ Baubles!
The Mouse That Cancelled Christmas by Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy
This is the story of a mouse who is crazy about health and safety and cancels Christmas because it is too dangerous. Thankfully the other animals help him to see Christmas in a new light. The clever part of this book is the robin at the top who has her own micro story which builds into the main story near the end!
Sproutzilla Vs Christmas by Tom Jamieson and Mike Byrne
Jack does not like sprouts and he vows never to eat them. He can’t imagine anything worse until Sproutzilla comes to town and starts eating people! Jack and his sister Ruby realise they have to do something when it looks like he’s going to eat Santa. If you’d like to encourage your children to eat sprouts through an amusing story then this is the book for you!
The Nutcracker by Miles Kelly
We have several versions of the Nutcracker story, and we’ve seen different versions of the ballet too. The reason I’ve included this one, as well as it being a classic and a great story, is that it great to read different versions of the same story and then chat and compare the different versions.
Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
We really love reading this as a family on Christmas Eve. We are also possibly quite sad and on long car journeys at Christmas time, like to see how much of this we can recite from memory. Essentially it’s a Christmas classic and a lovely traditional part of Christmas!
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allen Ahlberg
This was one of my favourite Christmas books when I was a child and I’m delighted it’s still in print to share with my boys. The Jolly Postman is travelling through Fairytale Land on his bike meeting some familiar characters and delivering Christmas post, which YOU can open. It’s such an enchanting book!
The Christmas Treasure Hunt by Ag Jatkowska
If you’re after a book with the WOW factor then this is book for you. The story is about a group of woodland creatures who are on a treasure hunt through the snow. You lift the flaps to see what presents each animal has got and then the final page is an enormous pop up Christmas tree with all the animals caroling in front of it. We read this at least a thousand times every Christmas!BOARD BOOKS
Pop Up Peekaboo Christmas by Dawn Sirett
This is a winner with little ones. The pictures are big, simple and eye catching and underneath each flap is a character or characters which pop up. It features very baby friendly versions of the main characters of Christmas such as a snowman, reindeer, fairy and of course Santa.
Spot’s First Christmas by Eric Hill
What I really like about Spot’s First Christmas is that it introduces the traditions of Christmas to little ones in a really accessible way. Plus it has lift the flaps so you know it’ll be a popular read! (If you like this one, you can also get Spot’s First Easter when Spring comes around!)
Jingle Bells by David Ellwand
This one may drive you bananas by the time it reaches Christmas but little fingers love pressing buttons and this button plays the tune to Jingle Bells. This book has very sweet pictures of teddies dashing through the snow on their one horse open sleigh too.These are just a few of our family’s favourite books. I’d love to hear what you like to read at Christmas in your homes. Do let me know in the comments.