Favourite Christmas Books For Kids
It's getting colder and my thoughts are straying to visions of decorated trees, mulled cider, holiday baking, and snuggling up on the couch with my kids and a pile of Christmas books. Here are a few of my favourites:
This is one of my favourite books from my own childhood. It's a lovely little story about a young bear getting ready for Christmas and all the smells he encounters along the way. It is scratch and sniff, and the illustrations have lots of little details to discover. My own copy was so very-much loved that I bought a new one for my eldest child for his first Christmas 15 years ago, and I admit I look forward to reading it every year.
It just isn't Christmas without the Grinch. This book has been a classic for generations and is enjoyed by everyone at our house. We often follow up a reading of the story with the classic animated movie or a viewing of the Jim Carrey live-action version. This is a wonderful, secular story about the spirit of giving and the meaning behind the holiday.
I adore Barbara Reid clay illustrations and we own many of her books. This is a lovely retelling of the classic Clement Moore poem with a little mouse family. My kids and I enjoy play "I Spy" on every page, looking for Canadianisms -- there are quite a few! The detail in the illustrations is amazing and the colours are rich and vibrant. This book is a feast for both the eyes and the heart.
Remember Harold and his purple crayon? In this book, Harold travels to the North Pole, rescues Santa, and saves Christmas -- all with the help of his handy purple crayon. The illustrations in this book are very simple, but my children have always found them inspiring (though it has often involved washing some crayon from my walls).
Jan Brett is another favourite author/illustrator of ours. Her richly detailed illustrations are engaging and it is fun to get a taste of what is coming next through her intricate teasers on the edge of the pages. Her stories are often retellings of old folk tales, though this particular one (to the best of my knowledge) is not. We have many of her holiday/winter books, and it is hard to pick just one favourite -- I enjoyed this story about how a polar bear and a boy save the Christmas feast.
The Little Critter books were always a favourite of mine as a child, and I picked this one up to share with my kids. They love watching Little Critter put his heart and soul into helping, but never getting it quite right. They also have fun searching for his friends, the grasshopper and spider, with each turn of the page.
This was another one of my childhood favourites. What could possibly go wrong when the meanest, dirtiest, sneakiest kids in town get the lead roles in the church Christmas pageant? As a small chapter book, this is particularly good for the 8-10yr age range, and I look forward to my 7yr old tackling it on his own this year.
I must be honest -- I don't own this one yet, but my teens and I have enjoyed Stuart McLean's storytelling every year at the holidays. Every year we giggle about the Christmas ferret, the Turlington's candles, and every year we cry laugh our way through his reading of "Dave Cooks The Turkey". This book will be going under our tree this year with my name on it, and will become another family favourite.
Does your family have books that are pulled out year after year? What are your family favourites for the holidays?