There is clearly no definitive list of the best kids Christmas books. However, one story tends to dominate this time of year. Despite those who claim that Jesus is “the reason for the season”, and the tale of the birth of Jesus is a great one, there are plenty of other wonderful yuletide stories to expose our children to at this time of year.
Some of the other best kids Christmas books also involve magic, mystery, the promise of a better world, and the power of love & family.
We read a lot to our daughter, and at this time of year we bring out our yuletide big guns to add to our arsenal of great Christmas books to read aloud.
So, in no particular order, this is our selection:
Our 5 Best Kids Christmas Books to read aloud
There are few children’s books I enjoy reading more than the best of Dr Suess, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas is certainly one of those.
If your only experience of this story is from the ridiculous Jim Carrey movie, please do your best to remove that from your consciousness.
Then sit back and revel in reading this splendidly Seussian tale of the disgruntled Grinch who attempts to steal Christmas from the citizens of Who-ville.
At nearly sixty years old, the distinctive illustrations lend a nicely nostalgic element that helps make this an endearing Christmas tale.
2. Stick Man
A writer whose children’s books I enjoy reading aloud as much as any Dr. Seuss is anything by Julia Donaldson. Famed for the Gruffalo, her rhyming prose is once again teamed with Axel Scheffler’s delightful illustrations for Stick Man – about a father who longs for nothing more than to be reunited with his stick family at Christmas.
This is an easy one to read again and again, but I warn you that before too long you’ll be able to recite off by heart.
“Stick man is lonely, stick man is lost, stick man is frozen and covered in frost”
Will he ever get home?
More lovely rhymes and illustrations are abundant in Madeline’s Christmas, set in the charming Parisian life enjoyed by the young girl. It is one of the much-loved series written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans.
Despite being set in a Catholic boarding school, this adventure take inspiration from the likes of Arabia and Persia.
In this story, Madeline is the only one in her exclusive girls school to not be bedridden with a nasty Christmas eve cold – yet somehow she manages to engineer a magic carpet ride adventure.
However, the original book of Mog’s Christmas is a nicely realised tale that explores the disruption that Christmas can bring.
Mog – being a simple cat – has trouble understanding why all the extra family are staying, why there’s a talking tree walking into the house, and why everyone is too busy to play with her. Basically, it reflects what a lot of young children may be experiencing at this time of year too. It all comes right in the end though.
A delightful read, with great illustrations as always from the author.
The story is more well-known as the 1993 animated movie, but this book is not an adaptation. It is in fact director Tim Burton’s original poem, with illustrations by him, that he put together in the 1980’s (before he hit the big time) as a potential TV project.
The plot is broadly similar, but very streamlined, focussing on the main story of Halloween Town’s Jack Skellington who – bored of scaring people – opens a portal to ‘Christmas town’ and is inspired to celebrate the season – only he doesn’t quite know how to, and things go a bit awry.
While revelling in the ghoulish trappings of Halloween, this is an ultimately heartwarming tale of Christmas redemption. It is a really fun way to introduce the story and concepts to little children.
Do be warned – this is an American book, so there’s the occasional rhyme that makes no sense, e.g. rhyming ‘job’ with ‘macabre’ :s
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What are your best Kids Christmas Books?