Top 30 Christmas Books
…and Christmas Book Advent Tree
We are again doing a Christmas Book Advent Tree (full image at end of post) and you can see last years tree here. The idea is that you open and read a book a day for the 25 days of December. I first saw this idea on the wonderful My Little Bookcase – Jackie has a whole host of literary themed Christmas ideas here. Last year I collected about ten Christmas themed books, and this year I’ve added a few more and some cheap and cheerful activity books. Being a teacher librarian who likes a SYSTEM, I put away all our Christmas books in January as I can’t bear books about Santa being read in May! Of course you do not have to construct your book tree entirely from Christmas book.
Below are my Top Thirty Christmas Books for 2013. Some are activity based, some are for shared or independent reading, some are religious and some are Santa based. They span the ages from early childhood to middle/upper primary. About half are under $5 so that an advent tree is viable option, but there are a few must haves in the mix as well.
Let me know if you plan on doing a Christmas Book Advent Tree and what titles you plan to add to it!
Top 30 Christmas Books
(Actually there is about 36…but ‘Top 36’ doesn’t have the same ring to it!)
To purchase these titles please click on the cover or title.
‘Wombat Divine’ is a classic! I get teary every year when I read it I love it so!
I’ve read and re-read this one already – without children! It so reminded me of wonderful Christmas times at my own grandads farm when I was a child! I’m purchasing this one for the gorgeous poppets who now live on that farm so they can share it with their grandad. If you have a farm you congregate at around Christmas, this one is a must. It’s a celebration of hot Australian summers, barbecues, utes, swimming in creeks and waking up together on Christmas morning.
‘My Christmas Crackers’ is the first joke book that PudStar has really enjoyed and understood. The simple text and lively illustrations mean that it’s perfectly suited to a beginning reader and the Christmas themed jokes are very clever.
This completely delightful Christmas classic is back in print! Celebrating all the things that matter at Christmas – community, family, love and laughter. This is a much loved book in our house over the Christmas season.
Redcap the elf is just desperate to work in Santa’s workshop…who wouldn’t be?! This is a lovely little hardcover illustrated fiction book suitable for independent readers from 7 years + or as a read aloud with younger children. The illustrations by Ben Wood are a mix of full colour and gorgeous detailed pencil sketches which will be poured over for hours and the story is engaging and fast paced. You can read more about the book here.
Rosie Smith and Bruce Whatley are producing some amazingly beautriful picture books and this one is no exception! Whether big or small, feathered or furry, everyone loves coming together at Christmas! Beautifully illustrated with delightful animals, this captures the fun of coming together at Christmas time.
I’ve linked to the board book version of ‘Room for a Little One’ as it’s nice to have a thicker book to add to your stack, other versions are available. This nativity themed book is told from the perspective of the animals and it is magical indeed.
I am so, so pleased to see another Blossom Possum book and Christina Booth has done a fabulous job with the characters originally illustrated by the late Kilmeny Niland. In this Blossom Possum tale, all the bush animals are trying to wake Koala Claws who is enjoying a nap that is just a tad too long!
This is a must if you are doing a Nativity play at school, or your child is to be in one. ‘The Nativity Play’ is a celebration of the event and a tribute to all those who perform miracles with wire coathangers and stripy towels!
If you have an independent reader in the middle primary years, ‘Nanny Piggins Guide to Conquering Christmas’ is a must. I was laughing from page one, as I have reading all eight of the Nanny Piggins books. They are truly madcap, subversive and naughty and children (and adults like me!) adore them. If your child has not yet discovered this series then this Christmas one is a grand introduction. There are hints, games and recipes and many, many laughs to be had.
Holiday Fashion Advice (from the desk of Nanny Piggins)
Christmas is the only day in the year when an elasticised waist is acceptable, indeed necessary, to fully enjoy the day’s eating. In fact I find, for optimum eating comfort, you cannot go past an all body wrestling leotard…it also means you are perfectly dressed is you get into a fight with one of your relatives over the last stuffing ball. (page 7)
Another one for middle primary readers, Geronimo Stilton is universally loved! They are among the most borrowed books in my library and I have it on good authority (Year Three child) that this Christmas edition is FAB.
Horrible History books are loved by middle – upper primary school aged males and females as well as their teachers…they bring history to life! They are history with all the nasty bits left in. In this one you can find out why making Christmas pudding used to be a crime and other horrible festive facts.
This one is whimsical and heartfelt and is just perfect for reading in the lead up to Christmas as it is a cautionary tale about being careful about what you wish for (bigger and more presents!) and the magic of family.
And then if you purchase the Pienkowski book/art above…well you must also have the Pienkowski ‘The First Christmas’ to accompany it. I can justify any book purchase, but really – books by Pienkowski are masterpieces and to be treasured. I have (please mum don’t be reading this) our childhood copy of the Easter version. This one uses the King James Bible version of the birth of Christ.
Again a board book edition because they make your tree stack so well (!), but you can get hardback or paperback editions of this utterly Australian Christmas tale of poor Santa and his reindeer having to deal with Mothball the wombat. Most of you will be familiar with ‘Diary of a Wombat’, this is the Christmas ‘version’ and it completely delightful.
Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure Dad sets up the tree, watch Mum make the Christmas dinner, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung, and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Oh how I love Olivia! Let me give one last plug for the audio version read by Dame Edna which you can find in this post here.
Annie’s grandfather carves the Little Drummer Boy from the leg of an old oak table as a Christmas gift for his small granddaughter. Throughout her life Annie’s favourite decoration travels the world with her and always hangs on the Christmas tree at her house, close to the top. Seasons and fashions come and go and Annie has children and grandchildren of her own but the pair remain together, although as they age they both start to fade. But they put that down to being well loved.
I do not know why this one is currently $4.50 on Booktopia but I won’t argue! You can expect tears (from you)…but this is just lovely, lovely, lovely.
I’m going to do a full review on the Ella Ballerina books soon as my Kindy children are OBSESSED with them and when I finally read them I also loved them! This book takes us through the story of ‘The Nutcracker’.
Celebrate a Parisian Christmas with Madeline – or in my case dream of this! Seventy-five reusable stickers, you can decorate a Christmas tree, flick through pages of Christmas crafts and games, including an ornament to make, and the entire text of Madeline’s Christmas is also included. It’s super cute for Madeline fans.
Another activity one – I rather love Doodle books! I’ve written more about them here. There is also another here which is just $3.95.
This is a special seasonal version of the popular ‘Thumb Prints’ titles. Magically turn thumb and fingerprints into Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen and more. It contains two ink pads in festive red and green, little black pen and 6 tear-out gift tags. These books keep Pud amused for the longest time!
PudStar hasn’t lost any teeth yet, despite wobbling them every night. You can read more about tooth fairy books here. Pud is really desperate for a lost tooth by Christmas…even she does manage to wobble one out I will have to get this one which also has a CD and toy. It’s a great little story.
This was the top present on out tree last year as it just was the perfect shape…and PudStar loves nothing better than a set of books in a slipcase. They are simple stories but have been very much loved in this house.