Monday, December 16, 2013

25 Great Children's Christmas Books

Oh! How I love Christmas books for children! I have been collecting them since before I even become a mother. I thought I'd share some of family favorites with you here today! You can click on each picture and you will conveniently be taken right to Amazon where you can order a copy for your own little elves!
 
 
We all love Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett. Actually anything by Jan Brett is amazing! She is an author/illustrator who has written several Christmas/winter theme books for children. Home for Christmas is another beautiful book!
 
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The Polar Express by Chris VanAllsburg was one of my very favorites even before the movie became popular! The illustrations are gorgeous and the story is so magical. The kindergarten teachers at our school do this story with their classes every year and then the kids find a bell (from Santa) under their chair! This is just a lovely book!
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The Berenstain Bears are always popular at my house - no matter what age the kids are! This one has been highly requested for our bedtime story the past few weeks. The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving has the usual bear family fun but also has such an important message. Brother & Sister Bear learn the joy of giving through participating in their church Christmas pageant. As a mom, this one is a winner!
 
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A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Collen Monroe and Michael Glen Monroe is perhaps my very favorite! I love this story! This pine tree, living on a tree farm, gets taller and taller every year and no one chooses it as their Christmas tree. He is very sad until his woodland friends show him how special he truly is and help his wish to come true. Beautiful illustrations, beautiful rhyming text! Gotta have this one in your collection!
 
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Another sweet one - You Are My Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love and Satomi Ichikawa. Warning: if you are a parent, this will probably make you cry! This precious book just makes me want to hug my kids harder! Here is an excerpt from it...
 
I am your gingerbread;
You are my frosting goo.
I am your paper;
You are my glitter and glue.
 
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This is a cute book about a bear and his friends at Christmastime. Since Bear is always hibernating at Christmas, his friends work hard to keep him awake to enjoy the fun. It is really cute!
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman...
 
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This is a fun one that my daughter has enjoyed a lot lately - Santa's New Suit by Laura Rader.
Santa thinks it's time for a new suit - maybe a new color and style! Mrs. Claus isn't so sure!
 
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This might be my kids' favorite Christmas book right now. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney is a cute rhyming story that illustrates how hard it is to go through all the planning and preparing for Christmas but then to have to actually WAIT until the back day is really hard! As a mom, my favorite line in this book is toward the end when Llama Llama has a meltdown (as many kids do.) The page reads, "Gifts are nice, but there's another. The true gift is we have each other."
 
 
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Who Is Coming To Our House? by Joseph Slate and Audrey Wolff such a sweet story about all the animals in the barn getting ready for a special baby to come and visit. Everyone has a different job to do to prepare for their guest and Donkey brings Mary & Joseph and all the animals welcome Baby Jesus to their home. It is such a sweet story told from the animals perspective.
 
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There are so many versions of Clement Clarke Moore's The Night Before Christmas,but this one is extra special! Artist, Robert Sabuda illustrates this classic tale through intricate pop-up pictures on each page. The detail in this is amazing!
 
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If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff and illustrator, Felicia Bond is a fun Christmas book similar to the popular story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. We have this book on CD too and my children love to listen to it in the car!
 
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Little Mouse observes everyone around him busily getting ready for Christmas but he wonders "What is the magic of Christmas?" All his mice family and friends share what the magic of Christmas is for them and at the end of the story, Mouse's mom helps him to summarize what the magic really is about. A Magical Christmas by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Gail Yerrill is a darling story about the joy of giving, the excitement of the season, and the memories made with loved ones during Christmas.
 
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Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Henry Cole is a silly book about Daddy Moose getting ready for Christmas but needing to use his mustache (moostache) at the last minute as a substitution for a Christmas tree! He reminds readers that everything does not have to be "perfectly perfect" to be special! My students really like this fun book!
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Here Comes Santa Claus is a children's book based on the popular song with the same title.
In this book the famous words by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman are beautifully illustrated by Bruce Whatley. The pictures are gorgeous with such life-like features on the little dog and the family in the story.
 
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Santa's Noisy Night by Julie Sykes and Tim Warnes always makes my kids laugh - my own kids as well as my elementary age students. No matter what Santa does, he is still too noisy!
 
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White Wonderful Winter! by Elaine W. Good, illustrated by Susie Shenk Wenger is one of my newest discoveries - though it was published in 1991!
I really like the book, Fall is Here! I Love it! by the same author/illustrator team.
I saw that they had a story out for each season and since I enjoyed the fall one so well, I ordered White Wonderful Winter! from Amazon.  The story and stunning illustrations are mostly about winter but it does include some Christmasy aspects so I am including this on my list. Plus, in Michigan (where we live) winter pretty much begins during the Christmas season!
 
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Several forest animals follow the star when they hear a special baby has been born. In Hurry, Hurry! Have you Heard? the animals rush to the stable to greet the new baby and then all snuggle down and fall asleep together in the barn! The illustrations are so sweet and engaging.
 
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Santa Duck and Santa Duck & His Merry Helpers by David Milgrim are both stories that my preschool through 1st grade students really like! They always sing along to their favorite party, "Jingle quack, Jingle quack. Jingle all the quack!"
 
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Michael Glenn Monroe whom I mentioned illustrated A Wish To Be a Christmas Tree also illustrated this lovely book, The Christmas Boot which was written by Lisa Wheeler. I had the privilege of meeting Lisa Wheeler a few years back and even had dinner with her! She has done several marvelous children's books that have become some of our family favorites. This one is definitely at the top of the list! This beautiful story is about lonely lady living a quiet life in the woods and finds a boot lying in the snow near her home. It turns out the boot brings her much Christmas magic as well as a companion so that she is no longer alone! It is so sweet!
 
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A great Christmas chapter book for older kids is The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements. It is about 6th grader, Hart Evans who hits the chorus teacher in the head with a rubber band. The teacher decides that is the last straw and informs the kids that he is done - he will not be directing the annual Christmas program. Hart and his classmates must create a memorial Christmas program on their own.
 
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Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant is a beautiful book - both the story and the illustrations. It is about a little girl who lives with her grandparents and she LOVES helping them get ready for Christmas. It is a very sweet story about family and traditions.

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Merry Christmas, Ollie is written by Olivier Dunrea who is also the creator of the popular "Gossie & Friends" books. We especially love these Ollie books at our house because "Ollie" is the nickname we use for our son, Oliver! This book is adorable. The duck, Ollie has a hard time waiting for Christmas! This book is great for younger children and is even available in a board book!

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Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Margaret Wise Brown is a beautiful book about kind ox who invites one animal after another to rest in his barn. The last animal in is donkey carrying Mary & Joseph. Ox continues to assure everyone that, "there is always room for a little one." It is so sweet and simple yet portrays a big message about the true meaning of Christmas.

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Snuggling up together with a good book in the nights during advent make the season even more special!
What Christmas books are your family favorites?

 
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