Our Favourite Christmas Stories November 20, 2017 – Posted in: Book News
As the big day approaches there’s nothing better than pulling out those well-loved Christmas tales, or discovering some brand new stories, and sinking into the spirit of Christmas with a wonderfully warming book.
Here are some of our favourite children’s books for Christmastime.
Best Christmas Classics:
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Quentin Blake. Of course. What list of Christmas books would be complete without Scrooge and the three ghosts of Christmas! This is the unabridged Victorian original, with fabulous atmospheric illustrations throughout, which guide the reader through Scrooge’s lively journey to find the true meaning of Christmas.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore and Christian Birmingham. Although this list of Christmas books is in no particular order, I suppose, if I was pushed, this would probably have to get the top spot. There are lots of versions of this classic Christmas poem, but I love the traditional, nostalgic feel of these illustrations. All the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Eve is wonderfully captured in this fabulous festive season favourite!
Letters From Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien. A witty and charming collection of letters from Father Christmas to the children of J.R.R. Tolkien. In them Father Christmas describes aspects of the ups and downs of his wintery life with the reindeer, polar bears and much more. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and ‘authenticity’ of Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. Everyone’s favourite snowman, now with a sparkly glitter cover and introduction by Raymond Briggs! One winter’s night, a snowman comes to life and an unforgettable adventure begins. Raymond Briggs’ classic, told entirely in pictures, is a true piece of Christmas magic!
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechows. Although Jonathan is the best woodcarver in the valley, he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request – a request which leads to a joyful miracle.
Best Christmassy Picture Books:
Alfie’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes. From opening the advent calendar, writing Christmas cards, choosing a Christmas tree, to all the joyful things the family share on the big day itself (including the not so joyful search for last minute batteries!). Like all the Alfie books, this story has a wonderfully gentle feel to it and explores the importance of family and tradition at this most exciting time of year.
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlberg & Janet Ahlberg. It’s Christmas Eve and the Jolly Postman is delivering greetings to various fairy-tale characters – there’s a card for Baby Bear, a game (appropriately) called ‘Beware’ for Red Riding Hood from Mr Wolf, a get-well jigsaw for hospitalised Humpty Dumpty, and more. More interactive fun for fans of the Jolly Postman.
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht. Brimming over with the excitement of being with family at the festive season, a gorgeously rhythmical 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.
The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis. it’s Christmas Eve and there’s one very important question on everyone’s mind – have YOU been good this year? For twins Sam and Charlie this is a big worry. Charlie has been especially naughty and everyone is sure that she won’t get any presents AT ALL. But when Santa makes a mistake, it’s up to Charlie to put things right…
The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy & Emily Sutton. When the ugly little fir tree is taken to the city, no one wants to buy him; they prefer the big tall trees. But a homeless boy asks the shopkeeper if he can take the tree, and down by the river in a cardboard box, decorated with a few candles, the tree finds itself at the centre of a magical Christmas Eve! A Christmas tale with a classic feel but a modern theme at its heart.
One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell. A longer picture book with gorgeous illustrations and plenty of warmth and humour, this is a story about treasuring the people and values that really matter at Christmastime. 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…
Best Longer Christmas Stories:
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. Father Christmas was not always an old, jolly man with a white beard, he was once just a little boy. Join Nikolas on a life-changing adventure, full of fantastic characters and beautiful moments, and watch how one little boy came to be the very symbol of Christmas itself. Full to bursting with festive wonder, this story will warm the heart of readers young and old. And if you loved this one, pick up the sequels – The Girl Who Saved Christmas and Father Christmas and Me
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher. The Christmasaurus is a story about a boy named William Trundle, and a dinosaur – the Christmasaurus. It’s about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It’s about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer, music and magic. It’s about discovering your heart’s true desire, and learning that the impossible might just be possible . . .
Christmas Dinner of Souls by Ross Montgomery. It’s a dark and lonely Christmas Eve in the dining room of ancient Soul’s College. The kitchen boy, 11-year-old Lewis, has helped prepare a highly unusual meal. For it is the annual meeting of a secret club for those who despise children, warmth, happiness, and above all Christmas. Each member must try to outdo the others by telling the most terrible, disgusting story they know. A spooky, shocking, bloodthirsty alternative to festive cheer that will fascinate and delight young readers.
Christmas Stories by Michael Morpurgo. An enchanting collection of Christmas stories from favourite children’s author, Michael Morpurgo. Lose yourself in faraway lands and unexpected adventures with five wonderful festive tales. Includes: The Best Christmas Present in the World, The Best of Times, The Goose is Getting Fat, On Angel Wings, Mimi and the Mountain Dragon.
Christmas with the Savages by Mary Clive. Based on real events and people, this is the story of a small girl’s Christmas holiday in a large Edwardian country house. At Tamerlane Hall, Evelyn finds a horde of children: the gentle Glens, the plaintive Howliboos, and above all, the uninhibited Savages. Seen through the eyes of a prim little eight-year-old, this is an amusing and touching account of a childhood a hundred years ago.
Best Versions of The Christmas Story:
A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith. ‘Once, a long time ago, in a town called Nazareth, a little donkey was born.’ As the wonderful events of the Nativity unfold, Brian Wildsmith tells of the journey of a little girl and a donkey to Bethlehem. It is their perspective on the Christmas story that gives the book such an intimate, innocent and child-centred appeal.
Room For A Little One by Martin Waddell. That cold winter’s night, beneath the star’s light, a Little One came for the world. The Story of Christmas is told through the animals’ words and deeds, in this stunning book which brings the Nativity to life and offers a universal message about kindness to all creatures. Perfect for anyone wanting a traditional retelling of the birth of Jesus for young children.