Christmas time is upon us – a time for family, friends and food. So, why not stop in and pick up a Christmas book or two to share with the kids this Christmas – they won’t be due back until next year! Below is a just a small sampling of our Christmas collection – I picked out a few of the favorites I have run across over the past years. Each would make a perfect bedtime story on Christmas Eve, or anytime in between then and now!
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs (creator of The Snowman): Meet Father Christmas – a very human gift-giver with a tough job to do. You’ll find out that he sometimes gets a little grumpy living at the icy North Pole and squeezing down chimneys, but he more than makes up for it in heart and humor. Raymond Briggs brings this endearing character to life in over 100 wonderfully illustrated vignettes that follow the adventures of Father Christmas on his big night of the year.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Berry:
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree
Came by special delivery.
Full and fresh and glistening green–
The biggest tree he’d ever seen.
That was the trouble. The tree was so tall, it couldn’t stand up straight in his parlor. Mr. Willowby asked his butler to chop off the top of the tree. What happens to the treetop? Where will it be for Christmas? Snuggle up with this story and follow along through a forest full of friendly creatures who get to share in a bit of Christmas joy.
The Magical Christmas Horse by Mary Higgins Clark with paintings by Wendell Minor: Johnny’s Christmas wish has come true! The family will be together for Christmas at his grandparents’ home in Connecticut. He can’t wait to give his little brother, Liam, the wooden horse he rode when he was Liam’s age. When the family arrives at his grandparents’, everything is just as Johnny remembers it – except the wooden horse, which is broken, seemingly beyond repair. How can Johnny make this the Christmas he hoped for?
Bear Noel by Olivier Dunrea: As Christmas approaches, the animals of the north woods tremble with excitement. Bear Noel is coming! He strides toward them with his gift-laden sack, while they roll and romp in the snow, waiting. It is Christmas Eve, the one night of the year when a hare and a wolf, a fox and a boar, a hedgehog and a possum, an owl and a mole can gather peacefully, in the spirit of the happy holiday. Olivier Dunrea’s gentle story about the advent of Christmas and his exquisite, snow-filled pictures evoke all the warmth and wonder of a magical time.
Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer: Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure dad sets up the tree, wait for Santa, watch mom make the Christmas dinner, wait for Santa, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Do you see how hard it is to be so helpful during the holidays?
Santa Claus: the world’s number one toy expert by Marla Frazee: How does Santa know how to match the exact right toy with the exact right kid every December? He knows because he’s the world’s number one kid and toy and gift expert, and he works long, long hours the whole year through, taking notes, compiling his research, thinking and testing and changing his mind. Then, at last, he gets it all figured out, and on Christmas morning, he makes magic happen.
Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star by Petr Horacek: It’s Christmas Eve, and Suzy Goose and her friends are admiring their beautifully decorated tree. It’s perfect except for one thing: a star for the top. But Suzy sees just the right one, high in the sky, and no one can stop her from trying every possible way to get it! Bold, expressive illustrations follow the charmingly single-minded goose in a new adventure, a tale of seasonal magic found in surprising places.
Santa’s Twin by Dean Koontz: One of my very very favorite Christmas stories! In a delightful twist on the traditional Christmas tale, Charlotte and Emily, two courageous young sisters, set out to save Santa from his devilish twin, Bob Claus, who has absconded with Santa’s sleigh and has filled his toy bag with all sorts of disgusting “presents.” Each beautiful illustration features a hidden snowman that children will love looking for!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May: In 1939 Robert L. May, a copywriter working at Chicago’s Montgomery Ward & Co., wrote a holiday story at the request of his employer. Almost two and a half million copies of the little tale about a reindeer with a shiny red nose were given away to all the children who visited Montgomery Ward stores that year. The rest is history.
Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson: At Christmastime, Fletcher the fox and the other forest animals lay a trail of sticks to help Santa find the rabbits’ new burrow. I had to include this story because Fletcher has to be the cutest and most inquisitive fox ever written into existence.
Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Siebald: Olive looks a lot like a dog but…she thinks that she is a reindeer. Knowing that it is the time of year when all reindeer help Santa Claus she decides to hop on a bus to the North Pole. Santa has a feeling that Olive is just what his sleigh pulling team needs. And he is right! Olive saves the night with her unusual ‘reindeer’ abilities; Olive is good at fetching sticks, smelling trouble and being sweet.
Christmas with the Mousekins by Maggie Smith: All the highlights of a great December are here. The Mousekins pick out and decorate a tree. Make paper snowflakes with Nana Mousekin. Bake cookies for friends and neighbors. Write letters to Santa Mouse. Welcome carolers. Sled and skate and make a snowmouse. Share family stories of Christmases past. And find secret corners of the house to work on surprise presents for each other. You can celebrate along with the Mousekins – this book includes recipes for cookies, instructions for paper and felt crafts, and stories and poems to share with your family.
The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman: Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents. But the best gift of all – the most magical gift of the season – is when we spend Christmas with those we love.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: Since its publication in 1985, Chris Van Allsburg’s holiday classic has sold millions of copies and has come to signify the essential spirit of Christmas for countless readers. Readers young and old are sure to treasure this inspiring book, which brings to life the magic of Christmas for all who believe.
The Beautiful Christmas Tree by Charlotte Zolotow: In this timeless story Mr. Crockett teaches his snobbish neighbors that “beauty is as beauty does,” when he rescues a scrawny tree. With years of loving care, the little pine grows strong, bringing songbirds and new friends to a lonely old man. The vibrant color palette and fresh compositions of Yan Nascimbene lend a modern look to a holiday staple.
Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas by Russell Hoban: Both Ma Otter and her son, Emmet, hope to win the $50 talent show prize and surprise each other with a special Christmas present.