Tuesday, November 21, 2017

10 Children's Christmas books that Should Be in Your Home Library

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Are you looking for some new, fun Christmas stories?  Looking for some books to use to make Christmas
memories?  Here are some of my favorites and why I like them.  Most are under $10, one is under $2.50, so you won't break the bank to add one or more of these to a stocking this year!  While I'm sure you have heard of some of these, I expect a few will be new ones to you, and hopefully they will turn into beloved favorites like they have here!

1.  The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is such a favorite of mine.  In fact, when I was dating my husband, and heard he had never read this book, I decided we needed to read it together.  My mother was still alive, and she listened in.  I will always treasure those memories, from the days when I was growing up and Mom read it to me, to when I read it as Mom listened on at her last Christmas.  The antics of the Herdmans reminded me of neighbors we had when I was growing up, and I am pretty sure I knew Imogene.  A wonderful book that really speaks to the true meaning of Christmas -- after all wasn't Jesus born for the outcasts and ones who aren't perfect?  :)

2. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree.  Mom read this book to me every year on the day we put up our tree.  I got mine from a Weekly Reader book club back in the 1970s but it's an absolute delight.  It's in rhyme.  I am very picky about rhyming books, but this one is very well written.  The illustrations are delightful, and anyone from a small child to adult will enjoy this volume.  It's definitely one you should add to your collection this year.  Even now I laugh at the line about the rabbits and their Christmas tree.  :)

3. The House Without a Christmas Tree is one of only two chapter books on this list.  Addie Mills was a favorite character of mine growing up.  Set in 1946 Nebraska, Addie wants a Christmas tree, but her dad is overcome with grief from losing his wife, and he says no.  A book that brings back memories of years past, before all the technology gifts under the tree, to a time when small and often homemade presents and decorations were what everyone was accustomed to.

4.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas -- BEFORE it was a TV special or movie it was a book!  I am very picky about rhyming books, as Dr. Seuss was a staple of my childhood, and because of his talent, only the top notch rhyming books ever get a recomendation from me.  Everyone is familiar with the story, I think, the Grinch tries to steal Christmas from Whooville.

5. The Polar Express.  It's hard to believe this book has been out so long.  I was not longer in the picture book stage when this came out, so I didn't read it until I was in college. (It was assigned, believe it or not.  We had to read it for my children's literature class for elementary school teachers!)  That was before the movie.  But the book is just as magical (and in my opinion less frightening than the movie!)

6. A Sesame Street Christmas by Golden Books.  This book is out of print, but it was one of my favorites growing up.  I was a little old for it when it found its way under our tree for me, but I have always loved Sesame Street (still love watching the classic ones).  This has all kinds of great Muppet cheer in it.  I always loved the Sesame Street retelling of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas".  Big Bird's line about his stocking is "Mine's the one you'll notice first because it has three toes."  Although this is out of print, you can order a copy cheaply on Amazon.

7. Arch books are lovely retelling of Bible stories in rhyme.  (Have I mentioned I am actually biased against rhyming books, and this is the third one on the list because these are so well done.)  The one I had as a child is out of print, but you can find others based on the Nativity.  There are a number of Bible stories and a collection of these would make a fantastic Christmas gift for a child.

8.  A Wreath of Carols is another book that is out of print.  But again, it can be purchased relatively inexpensively.  From the 1960s, this is a book full of Christmas carols.  I loved having words to all the carols I heard on records growing up, and I remember a time I took this to a friend's house.  She could play the piano, and neither she nor I had ever heard "Bring a Torch Jeanette, Isabella" and she played it on the piano and we were playing around with it, and probably made it into more of a mess than a carol, but we had a good time, and with so many lyrics (with music) to carols, it really is worth having, especially if you play the piano.

9. Christmas ornament craft books.  While this is not a specific book, I had a number of these when I was growing up.  When I was little, I colored the ornaments, cut them out and put them on the tree.  Later, I traced them onto Shrinky Dinks and created ornaments that way.  When I was a teenager and my grandmother taught me how to craft, I would use the coloring patterns to create ornaments with those designs in cross stitch, embroidery, or pretty punch (no longer a popular craft.)

10.  The Night Before Christmas.  Would any list of Christmas books be complete without this one?  Also known as A visit from Saint Nicholas, it's a true Christmas classic, and one I have often adapted to make a fun poem-gift for friends.

What are some of your favorite Christmas books?

1 comment:

  1. I just blogged about our favorites here: http://www.sweepingupjoy.com/pre-advent-prep-the-books/

    Thanks for sharing your list. Most of these titles are new to me! :)