I was originally going to include the phrase “Top 10 Best” in the title of this post, but that seemed a bit ambitious; there’s probably a ton of great Christmas children’s books out there that I haven’t discovered yet. This is just our own family’s top 10 list of personal favorites. I’m posting them for other families who might be looking for some great stories to add to their Christmas collection. These are listed in order of age of target audience. In other words, #1 is intended for the youngest children, and so on.
1. Christmas Mouse, by Cyndy Szekeres. 3- to 5-year-olds will empathize with the little mouse who wants to help his family get ready for the Christmas party, but keeps being told that he’s too small.
2. A Firefly In A Fir Tree, by Hilary Knight. Charming re-telling of the 12 Days of Christmas, for mice. (Hmm, I guess my kids really like mice.)
3. The Magic Carousel, by Dorothy Levinson. Our copy is illustrated by Ati Forberg, and the dreamy, stylized images really fit the whimsical story.
4. Snowmen At Night, by Caralyn Buehner. It’s Mark Buehner’s luminous moonlit illustrations that make this book such a treasure. Plus, hidden images for kids to search for on every page!
5. How The Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss. The original classic, freshly captivating every year. (Of course, you have to try and sound like Boris Karloff when you read it aloud.)
6. The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg. This is another book that’s as much about the illustrations as about the story. Both are wonderful.
7. The Family Read-Aloud Christmas Treasury, selected by Alice Low. There are some real gems in this anthology; I especially like “Ramona And The Three Wise Persons” by Beverly Cleary.
8. The Wild Christmas Reindeer, by Jan Brett. As usual with Jan Brett’s distinctively-illustrated books, half the story goes on in the backgrounds and margins of the pages. Lovely!
9. Thank You, Santa, by Margaret Wild. This is a small book for big kids; it’d probably be enjoyed most by girls in the 9 to 13 age range. An Australian girl starts up a pen-pal friendship with Santa, writing back and forth with him throughout the year. A heartwarmer. :^)
10. Norman Rockwell’s Christmas Book. Many of the stories here appeal more to adults than to children, so I’m not sure it belongs in a read-aloud list, but it’s such a wonderful collection that I couldn’t leave it out! Carols, plays, stories, poems, even recipes grace the pages of this book, all illustrated perfectly with Rockwell’s classic paintings and drawings.
Does anyone else have any treasured favorites they’d like to share? What’s your all-time favorite Christmas book?
[Note: we’ve discovered a new favorite since this was posted. Look here for a review of “Olivia Helps With Christmas.”]
Click Here for my list of 10 non-holiday books every child should read.