Top 30 Christmas Books

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…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.

Christmas Library Angel

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 ‘Wombat Divine’ is a classic! I get teary every year when I read it I love it so!

christmas-at-grandad-s-farmI’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 ‘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.

christmas-in-exeter-street 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-s-christmas 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.

my-merry-christmas 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.

room-for-a-little-one 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.

blossom-possum-and-the-christmas-quackerI 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!

the-nativity-playThis 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!

the-nanny-piggins-guide-to-conquering-christmas 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)

christmas-catastrophe 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-historiesHorrible 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.

the-smallest-gift-of-christmas 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.

the-first-noel-a-christmas-carouselOkay so it is $24.95…however this is a book, it is home décor, it is art. It is amazing. Enough said. I adore it.

the-first-christmasAnd 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.

the-first-christmas2For a simple and child friendly nativity story, this one is $2.50 well spent.

the-christmas-starAnother board book edition of a classic tale by the creator of ‘The Rainbow Fish’ books.

christmas-wombat 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.

olivia-helps-with-christmas …Not a piglet was stirring. Well, maybe just one.

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.

spot-s-first-christmasLast board book I promise (but they are perfect for this advent tree and they last and last!). Who doesn’t love Spot?

the-little-drummer-boy 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.

ella-bella-ballerina-and-the-nutcracker 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’.

i-love-christmas Ollie – Oh how I love the Ollie books!

grug-and-his-first-christmasIt’s Grug. It’s $3.95. What’s not to love?

madeline-christmas-activity-bookCelebrate 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.

my-christmas-doodle-and-sticker-book 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.

draw-christmas-thumbprints-festive-art-at-your-fingertips-with-pens-pencils-and-ink-pad 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!

my-aussie-christmas-deluxe-activity-book This is an activity book full of dot to dots and craft and searching…and it’s Australian which is nice!

all-i-want-for-christmas-is-my-two-front-teethPudStar 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.

fancy-nancy-splendiferous-christmasIf you or your child love all things froufrou then I’d be surprised if you don’t already know about Fancy Nancy. PudStar and I are BIG Fancy Nancy fans.

poky-little-puppy-s-first-christmas For a trip back in time to ones own childhood…’Poky Little Puppy’…

the-christmas-abc and the Christmas ABC Golden Books

lego-city LEGO saves the day again – this time the LEGO city Christmas tree is under threat.

my-little-box-of-christmas-storiesThis 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.

with text

Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, 'What to Read Next' or sign up for my FREE webinar, '3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever'.

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  1. Nikki C on Nov 6, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Great selection, I have already wrapped our Christmas books for this years advent! But I there are some you have listed for older readers I think i’ll have to add.

    • Anonymous on Nov 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      I’ve been on the hunt for some Christmas books for older readers!

  2. Jackie@My Little Bookcase on Nov 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Gosh, your tree is stunning! I can’t believe you have it ready to go for Christmas 2013. You are incredible.

    You’ve got quite a few books that we don’t have in our Christmas stash.

    Thanks for linking to our post too- lovely 🙂

  3. Jackie@My Little Bookcase on Nov 6, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Oh, I also forgot to add that I adore your Christmas angel. You should publish a post just for her.

    • Anonymous on Nov 6, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      He he! Great minds think alike. I’m happier with the angel than I am the tree!!!!

  4. Margaret on Nov 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    One of my favourites is “The Christmas Caravan” think it may be published in New Zealand ( I am not at school today to check)


    Simon and his mother live in a caravan park.

    The local council runs a competition for the best-decorated house at Christmas and Simon, who can’t afford to buy decorations, collects lots of rubbish and makes his own decorations for the caravan.

    It’s a lovely, local Christmas story about conservation and values that extend beyond material consumption.


    I like it because it gives those students whose families are doing it tough a chance to see you can do things without a lot of money…

    • Anonymous on Nov 10, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Margaret this is probably my FAVOURITE…but it seems to not be in print! I couldn’t find it so was waiting until I found it to add it…but I think I’m just going to add it in and say BORROW IT FROM YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. I truly love this book!

  5. Christmas Picture Book on Dec 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

    […] I’ve done a short review of all these titles here […]

  6. […] have always wanted to do a “book advent calendar” and this year I actually bought some holiday books! Granted, those books sat in the Indigo bag on […]

  7. […] Last year Megan, blogger at Children’s Books Daily, wrote an inspirational post about her girls’ literary advent calendar. You can read it here where you will also find Megan’s list of top Christmas books!   […]

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