Christmas Books: New and Old Favourites
Can we just take a moment to admire my Christmas library mice? I’m rather chuffed with them and I also rather enjoyed making teeny books for them to hold! I find cutting and glueing so terribly therapeutic…
And so we come to Christmas 2018 and all.those.books! My lists of recommendations for books for different reading ages, stages and interests will start coming out next week so keep an eye out for those. Today however? It’s all about the Christmas-themed books and I’m doing this earlier than I usually do due to so many requests from all you readers! If you are doing a Christmas Book Advent Calendar, then this is the list for you as you’ll find more than enough titles here to unwrap one a day. If you are just looking to plug holes in your own collection of Christmas books I hope you find some that you love in this list. My favourite will always remain ‘Great Joy’ by Kate DiCamillo. The beautiful and wonderful Beth Green gifted this book to PudStar for her first Christmas so it will always be extra special, as books are when they are gifted with love by someone you adore. We read this one every Christmas and I toast Beth with a glass of something nice before I read the first page (she would insist she be toasted in this way!).
Christmas Books: New and Old Favourites
Click on title links or cover images to purchase.
First up?A few board books for our littlest people! The ones below are gorgeous and highly recommended – still loved in our house and the girls are 7 and 10! Ha!
I don’t know about your household, but in this one, I have one extremely Where’s Wally obsessed small person. Hours can be spent with her magnifying glass and the pages of those books. So this was her FAV present last year – well her fav bookish present anyway! Join Wally and his friends in this sensational Santa themed sticker activity book. It has 24 pages of wintry sticker-based activities (spot the differences, games, mazes, searches and much more) and six sticker sheets bursting with hundreds of stickers to complete them. Full of new art from Martin Handford throughout and a gatefold page on the inside back cover featuring a fantastic “Create Your Own Where s Wally?” scene. Featuring new refreshed bold blue cover and perforated pages for easy tear-away convenience and portability. Hours of festive fun!
I love that this classic Christmas book has been re-released for it’s 10th anniversary, both my girls have been being read this one since birth and I can recite most it; Each year Santa likes to have some fun, a chance to get some rest and sun. He needs to find somewhere to go. He spins his globe. Ho, ho, ho! A big smile spreads across his face…Australia is the perfect place! This charming Christmas story answers the question, What does Santa do when he isn’t getting ready for Christmas?. He takes a well-deserved holiday! Join Santa and his new Aussie mates as they travel around Australia, from the Great Barrier Reef to Rottnest Island.
Hopping around the Christmas tree, At the Christmas party hop. Pouches full everywhere you see All the joeys dance and bop! Flapping around the Christmas tree, Let the Christmas bells sway. Later well have some worm mince pie And well look for Santas sleigh! All the Aussie animals are coming for the big Christmas shindig. They’re bringing decorations for the tree and yummy food to share. Sing along to this all-new Australian version of the classic song, ‘Rockin Around the Christmas Tree’ with the BONUS SONG performed by Colin Buchanan!
In this beautiful picture book, Australia’s most-loved children’s illustrators have chosen their favourite Nativity scene to illustrate. Featuring the work of Gaye Chapman, Bettina Guthridge, Wayne Harris, Sally Heinrich, Ann James, Stephen Michael King, Caroline Magerl, Beth Norling, Cheryl Orsini, Sally Rippin, Gregory Rogers, Judith Rossell and Anna Walker.
This classic seasonal tale of self-discovery has become one of Charles Dickens’s most famous and best-loved works. This timeless Charles Dickens classic has been a family favourite ever since it was first published in 1843. It is retold here in abridged form to allow confident young readers to enjoy it. It is also perfect for reading aloud. As a bedtime story, Dickens’ uplifting, magical tale of Christmas spirits transforming the life of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is wonderfully illustrated by award-winning artist Robert Ingpen.Christmas is here! Christmas is Macca’s favourite time of year. He loves thinking up amazing presents for his friends. But when he looks in his piggy bank, he finds he has no money! Macca and his best friend Al have to come up with a plan to make the best Christmas surprise for all their friends, and in doing so, discover the true spirit of giving.
There’s nothing not to love about these classic Australian hippo books by Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland and this new Christmas one is ace; There’s a hippopotamus on our roof getting ready for Christmas. And he’s excited just like me! I just love a good series and this new title has the same favourite characters from the best-selling picture book series, ‘There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake’.
Dottie is waiting for the Christmas feeling to arrive – that fizzy, excited feeling, where everything is a bit magical. But this year, Dottie, her brother, Jem, and their dog, Shortbread, are staying with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma and Grandpa are trying hard, but Christmas just isn’t the same…
A gorgeous, heart-warming story about misplacing the Christmas spirit, and finding it again. One of my must-haves for this Christmas.
This one for me epitomises everything that Christmas should be about and is just so beautifully Australian. Highly recommended for young readers from three years+ and the grown ups in their life. ‘All I Want for Christmas is Rain’ is about Christmas, the feeling of drought and the joy of giving. Told in verse, the story is of Jane, a young girl who lives on a farm badly affected by drought. She knows there is only one thing to ask for this Christmas…rain. The illustrations are sublime and Cori Brooke and Megan Forward have really just created something beautiful together. This is a must have Christmas book. I prefer it in hardback (here) but it is now available in softcover (here).
It’s Christmas Eve and Theo – left at home with a babysitter – sees an odd-looking star out of his window and decides to make a wish. He wishes that he had some friends to keep him company. Moments later the Christmas decorations begin to disentangle themselves from the tree behind him, ready to wreak a little havoc …
Written with generous helpings of warmth and humour, this is a story about treasuring the people and values that really matter at this time of year from master storyteller and bestselling children’s author Katherine Rundell. Emily Sutton’s breathtaking illustrations perfectly capture the magic of Christmas in stunning detail. Have you ever wondered where Father Christmas came from? And how he ended up with a factory at the North Pole full of elves to help him make toys? A beautifully illustrated and timeless story about how a toy-maker and his wife became Mother and Father Christmas for children all over the world. Gorgeous silver embossing on the cover makes this a keepsake book.
From the wombat who creates a beautiful tree to the pony who finds a new home, from a bear with a delicious recipe to Santa’s unexpected helper and many more: meet the special animals who feature in these sparkling new stories for young readers, from both established and emerging authors, in a collection of entertaining illustrated tales for young readers, spiced with a touch of Christmas magic.
Edited by Beattie Alvarez, ‘A Christmas Menagerie’ features original stories by popular authors Gabrielle Wang, Sherryl Clark, Michael Pryor, Janeen Brian and Sophie Masson, as well as several new and emerging writers, and is beautifully illustrated in full colour by David Allan, Kathy Creamer, Fiona McDonald, Ingrid Kallick, and Yvonne Low.
Oh my glory is this book funny. Aaron Blabey just cannot put a foot wrong it seems – I still can’t read it to a class without cracking up and having to stop!
From Alan’s Big, Scary Teeth creator, Jarvis, and author Patricia Toht, comes a beautiful, irresistible Christmas gift book that all begins with … picking a pine tree! Brimming over with the excitement of being with family at the festive season, a gorgeously rhythmical, read-aloud narrative accompanied by warm, joyful art celebrates all the familiar rituals of decorating the tree – from digging out jam-packed boxes of trimmings, stringing tinsel, to, at last, turning on those twinkly fairy lights.
A very Australian take on the sleigh ride with a decorated trailer, an ice filled esky and a trip to the beach…much more what Australian children experience at Christmas!I want a hippopotamus for Christmas Only a hippopotamus will do… This cute little kitten has just one wish for Christmas-she REALLY wants a hippopotamus! How will Santa get this present under the Christmas tree? He’s going to need a bigger sleigh! I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas was originally released in 1953 by 10-year-old Gayla Peevey, and was an instant hit.
This one will is a favourite in our school library. Read more about Matt here…and be prepared for LOTS of fart-laughing if you purchase this one.
The twelve days of Christmas have never looked so fun! Turn page after page of this innovative picture book based on the classic carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and watch as twelve days of gifts appear through clever peek-through holes on each page! Young children will especially love anticipating all the presents and seeing them arrive as if by magic.
‘What Do You Wish For?’ has become one of my all-time favourite Christmas books. It’s a Jane Godwin and Anna Walker creation so it was always going to be a winner really.
All the children in the street are writing down a special Christmas wish. But what is Ruby’s wish? What does she wish for at Christmas time? Ruby thinks of all the things that make Christmas special …From this much-loved creative partnership comes a sparkling and beautiful story, full of the wonder of Christmas, the magic of wishing, and the timeless dreams of a child.
Pud is particularly fond of this first one, ‘The Nights Before Christmas’ as it is one story a night for the month of December…it’s sort of a book and advent calendar rolled into one! Fully illustrated in colour throughout, The Nights Before Christmas contains 24 classic tales, songs and stories to read throughout Advent, or to keep as a family Christmas anthology. Includes festive extracts from much-loved books including A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and The Wind in the WIllows by Kenneth Grahame; yuletide poems such as ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’; carols such as ‘Good King Wenceslas’; and traditional tales from Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm. This gorgeous Christmas book is the ultimate gift for young readers.
One of my all time fav Christmas tales…the nativity told from the perspective of the animals. It’s available in board book form too….which makes it a perfect small book for the top of a book advent tree! In the stable next to an inn, Kind Ox is just settling in for the night when Old Dog comes into the stable. Kind Ox makes room for Old Dog, who in turn makes room for Stray Cat, who then makes room for Small Mouse–and each time, the larger animal says to the small, “There’s always room for a little one here.”
PudStar is loving ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ at the moment and spends every spare minute with her head in it, so she’s going to lose her mind when she sees this big tome from Enid Blyton! From Santa Claus and his helpers to a family putting up their tree, the characters in these stories embrace the Christmas spirit. There is mystery and magic, laughter and mischief, the joy of shared times and plenty of delicious food – many of the ingredients which have been delighting Enid Blyton’s readers for more than seventy years.
I miss Beth (see intro) so much but seriously, trust her to have found the perfect book to encapsulate all that Christmas stands for. I love that she inscribed this one – I get teary seeing her handwriting. It is just before Christmas when an organ grinder and monkey appear on the street corner outside Frances’s apartment. Frances can see them from her window and, sometimes, when it’s quiet, she can hear their music. In fact, Frances can’t stop thinking about them, especially after she sees the man and his monkey sleeping outside on the cold street at midnight. When the day of the Christmas pageant arrives, and it’s Frances’s turn to speak, everyone waits silently. But all Frances can think about is the organ grinder’s sad eyes — until, just in time, she finds the perfect words to
This very cool papercraft title is packed with fun festive things to make and do, from Christmas decorations, to mini-crackers. Every page can be used as the basis of an activity, craft, or game, and all you need is a pair of scissors, some colouring pencils and the odd dab of glue. Illustrated with artist and paper engineer Lydia Crooks delightful artwork, it is a perfect present to keep kids entertained over the holiday period.
Jane Jolly and Robert Ingpen…perfect combination of picture book creators. Main character, Kathleen eagerly awaits the Christmas Tea and Sugar train. Will she meet Father Christmas? Will she receive a Christmas gift from him? A delightful, heart-warming story from the National Library of Australia that will intrigue, captivate and introduce readers to a slice of the past. Wonderful sensitive illustrations, including a beautiful double fold-out image showing the shops inside all the carriages.
This one is read by our children in Kindy every year without fail, as they prepare for their own Nativity Play. I adore this book! ‘The Nativity Play’ is a celebration of the event and a tribute to all those who perform miracles with wire coathangers and stripy towels!
Using text from the King James Bible and with illustrations that are enchanting and unexpected, Julie Vivas reveals the human side to Mary’s story, beautifully imagining the Angel Gabriel delivering the news to her, the exhausting journey with Joseph to Bethlehem, and at last the deliverance of the baby Jesus.
It’s Christmas time in Australia, and Reindeer has great fun giving presents to his friends Cat, Dog and Guinea Pig. But even when it’s warm and sunny outside, it’s hard to be far from home and family on Christmas Eve. Luckily, Christmas is a time for exciting surprises, and this year Reindeer might just get one of his very own.
I do so love a Peter Carnavas (here) creation and this one is no exception. Mr Darcy loves Christmas. A roaring fire, falling snow, friends, hot chocolate. But what happens when Mr Collins drops by unexpectedly?
Nine unabridged Little Golden Book Christmas stories come together in a deluxe volume, brimming with stories about the joys and wonders of the holiday: Jingle Bells; The Nutcracker; The Twelve Days of Christmas; The Little Christmas Elf; The Christmas Story; The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas; Baby’s Christmas; The Night Before Christmas; and The Christmas ABC.
Tis the night before Christmas, and deep in his burrow,
Wombat is busy getting ready for tomorrow.
The stockings are hung by the campfire with care,
In hopes the Bush Santa soon will be there.
Read ‘The Perfect Present’ and hang the perfect Christmas stocking with this beautiful Billie B Brown Christmas pack. Perfect for little ones just starting out on their chapter book journey.
Ella can’t wait to have Christmas at Moonlight Gardens Caravan Park, right on the beach, with her best friend Zoe and her ‘SUMMER BEST FRIENDS FOREVER’ Jessi and Ana. But when Ella’s SBFFs go missing, she’s dragged off to Krafty Kids Klass (bleuchhh!) and a HORRIFICALLY HORRIBLE thing happens, turning her perfect holiday into CHAOS!
One of Pud’s favourites from last year! The Bell family are preparing for the best Christmas ever. There are presents to wrap, yummy food to cook and costumes to sew.
But Lulu’s friends Olivia and Jo are too sad to sing in the school concert because their little cat Bonnie is missing. Can Lulu cheer them up and help find Bonnie before Christmas Eve? Maybe a special letter to Santa will help.
From bestselling author Matt Haig comes these fabulously wicked Christmas tales for readers 7+. Small chapter books with lots of illustrations by the talented Chris Mould and lots of wry humour from Haig. Must haves!
A charming and nostalgic Christmas story about a much loved Little Dog who finds his way home for Christmas. Little Dog and Jonathan are best friends. They do everything together. But on Christmas Eve Little Dog finds himself lost and alone in a busy city. How will he find his way home? Can Christmas wishes come true?
‘The First Noel – A Christmas Carousel’ – Home decor and art and book – I’ve loved this ‘book’ since I was a child and may or may not have stolen my childhood copy of it.
Have purchased this one for some babies that are hopefully going to make their entrance just before Christmas!
If you’re keen to start planning Christmas holiday activities here are some ideas from the past few years!