It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . .
To get cozy on the couch with your kids and read some holiday books!
This is a list of some re-reads and new books to us. All were enjoyed, all were read by the fire while drinking hot chocolate (or more likely at the breakfast table where I do most of our reading) and all got us in the spirit for Christmas.
So here you go: Kids Christmas Books 2019
by Mark Sperring with illustrations by Lucy Fleming
This is a deliciously illustrated and sweet story starring a little girl named Esme (who looks like my daughter!) and Bear at Christmas.
There is one last present under the tree but it doesn’t belong to Esme or Bear. In the jumble tumble of Christmas, Santa delivered Little Bunny Boo-Boo’s gift to the wrong house. The duo set out to deliver the the present and must go down a treacherous path, a howling gale and incredible deep snow banks to get there.
When Little Bunny Boo-Boo opens her present, there is nothing in the box! Except a note that says Santa has given her exactly what she asked for: friends!
by Maudie Powell-Tuck
I absolutely love this one for the simply gorgeous illustrations as well as the story of long-distance love.
Mia wants to send her Grandpa a Christmas card – but he lives far away and it won’t get to him in time. She is very upset when she discovers a magical door into the Reindeer Express. Here she finds a reindeer that flies her across the world to her Grandpa and she is able to hand-deliver her card.
When it’s time to leave, Mia looks into the sky and sees other reindeer flying in the sky. She realizes that there are many families that can’t be together at Christmas. It doesn’t mean they don’t love each other or have forgotten about each other. No matter how far apart you are from those you love, you are still a family.
My family is spread across the country so this one is perfect for us.
by Amy Young
This is the third is a series about a unicorn named Sparkle.
In this Christmas book, Lucy is teaching Sparkle all about Christmas. Lucy tells Sparkle they must give each other a gift – Lucy has even made a list to make it easy for her unicorn.
Sparkle is a bit distracted when it comes to Christmas shopping and perhaps doesn’t get anything for Lucy. On Christmas morning, Sparkle doesn’t behave in a particularly Christmas way. He eats the tree and then the stockings. He has RUINED Christmas.
When he realizes how upset Lucy is, he begins to cry and this makes Lucy upset. She forgives Sparkle and then finds a magical present under the tree. This is very cute if you have a unicorn loving kid in your family.
by Anne Booth with pictures by Rosalind Beardshaw
Clara is a little fairy who dreams of being a proper Christmas fairy on the Christmas tree at the Christmas show. The only problem is that this job means being perfectly still and Clara is anything but still.
She is so sad that she can’t be good like the other fairies and won’t make it on the tree. That is until Santa calls on her to help. The clown penguins all fell on the ice and hurt themselves – there will be NO show. Santa needs Clara to entertain and cheer up the crowd. Thus she becomes a Christmas fairy.
This is a rhyming book – which is not my favourite – but I love the illustrations and the sentiment.
by Annie Silvestro with pictures by Paola Zakimi
Do you have a train-loving child in your house? If so, this book is perfect for them. And even if they aren’t train crazy – this is still a great book!
A pine tree grows at the far corner of a tree farm next to the train tracks. She loves the train roaring past and rippling her branches. One day, a boy and his dad pick her to take home for Christmas.
In their home, she is lonely and sad. She can’t hear the train. Even decorated and surrounded by a family she misses her trains. Until Christmas morning when she wakes up to find a toy train track underneath her branches.
With the boy and the train, she is the happiest she’s ever been. But what will happen after Christmas? They take her back to the tree farm and replant her! And now her life is even better than before because the boy comes to visit her as the big trains roar past.
What I love is that they can replant the tree and come get it the following Christmas. I believe some tree farms are starting to do that in the UK and I hope they follow suit here in Toronto!
by Jane Chapman
We all know this familiar line from our kids: “is it Christmas yet?”.
This is the story of Teddy and Big Bear is this sweet book by Jane Chapman (whose illustrations we all know from the Bear and Friends series).
As Big Bear is prepping for Christmas, Teddy is zipping around excitedly (getting in the way) continuously asking: “is it Christmas yet?”. To get him to calm down and stop asking the same question over and over again, Big Bear takes Teddy out to get a tree.
Teddy chooses a gigantic one that is hard to get home and hard to get inside the den door – in fact it breaks into two sending Teddy into a fit of despair (aka an overtired temper tantrum). Big Bear assures him they can fix the problem and soon the tree is decorated beautifully.
Just as he falls asleep, Teddy asks “is it Christmas yet?” and finally the answer is yes.
It’s a lovely book about a dad and his son. And a book that will resonate with all cranky parents during the holiday season.
by Molly Idle
This is the fourth book in the Tea Rex series.
Like the others, it reads like an etiquette book of how to prepare for Christmas. And as usual, the guests are a rowdy bunch of dinosaurs. The text is very simple and I absolutely adore her illustrations (she is also the hand behind the Flora series).
Even though the dinosaurs basically wreck all the Christmas decorations and eat all the cookies – the meaning of Christmas is being together. Very sweet and cute. Especially for dinosaur lovers!
by David Melling
Who doesn’t love Hugless Douglas?
He’s a big, goofy, hug-loving bear. If you haven’t read his other books – you should!
In the Christmas one, Douglas is busy hugging everything in sight and playing with his friends. They find a magical reindeer named Rudi in the woods who got lost. He helps them bring home a giant tree (using Christmas magic!) and shows them how to make the perfect tree. Rudi remembers that he has to help a special friend and rushes off. Douglas and his group wonder if they will ever see Rudi again. He tells them that he will wave when he flies above them – and every Christmas after.
I love this one! Especially because the last two pages give your readers fun things to do at Christmas and interactions for making a Hug Advent Jar.
by Michael Brown with pictures by Elfrieda de Witt
Firstly, I love the illustrations in this book. It’s very vintage feeling and reminds me of books my grandma had.
Secondly, the story is lovely and adorable and perfect for Christmas.
** Fun Fact – in researching this book I discovered that it was first published in 1966. Therefore in all likelihood my grandma had this book and that’s why it brings back a nostalgic feeling!
Mouse lives in a gigantic house all alone. He doesn’t even have a name. Poor mouse. He daydreams about playmates but for him they don’t exist. This Christmas he has saved up for one piece of cheese he plans to have on Christmas Day. Just as he is preparing to go to sleep on Christmas Eve, it dawns on him that no one ever gives a gift to Santa. He decides to give Santa his cheese.
He wakes up to find Santa holding him and thanking him for the gift. When Santa asks his name – little mouse replies he doesn’t have a name. So Santa calls him ‘Santa Mouse’, and gives him a red suit complete with a beard. He takes Santa Mouse in his sleigh and our little mouse is no longer lonely.
The lesson here? Leave some cheese out with those cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa Mouse!
by Susan Cooper with pictures by Carson Ellis
This one is spectacular. It is about how the things we do and celebrate during Yuletide evolved over centuries and centuries (and began long before the arrival of Christianity).
The illustrations are truly beautiful as we first find our ancestors from long, long ago when time for humans was just beginning. On the shortest day, everywhere down the centuries in cold, dark countries people came dancing and singing to drive the dark away.
These ancient people brought evergreen inside the house and lit candles in the winter trees. They sang through the night and if we listen still – we can hear their echoes in our own rituals we perform today during the Yuletide.
I love all things history so this is a great one to teach my kids about why we do the things we do at Christmas. I also love that one of the final scenes includes a Menorah.
The book includes a short history of how this season evolved as well as the original poem Cooper wrote.