Christmas isn’t Christmas unless I find a book inside my stocking on Christmas Day. At this time of the year I can’t resist a Christmas story for sharing with my girls, reading at Storytime or for spoiling myself with some peace and quiet and a festive read. Today I am sharing with you my pick of some of my favourite Christmas picture books for younger readers. If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift then all of these are just wonderful.
One Christmas Wish – Katherine Rundell & Emily Sutton
It’s Christmas Eve and Theo is left alone with the babysitter as his parents are much too busy to spend any time with him. With only a box of broken decorations to entertain him, Theo is desperate for friends to keep him company. When he sees an odd-looking star out of his window he decides to make a wish. He wishes that he had friends. Moments later he gets the most unexpected friends from the most unexpected of places and so this magical adventure begins. I loved the wondrous storytelling in this whimsical Christmas tale. Full of gentle humour and warmth, it manages to capture the spirit of Christmas and the importance of spending time together with loved ones. Emily’s exquisite illustrations are a veritable feast for your eyes. Each spread is filled with the most beautiful and intricate details that enhance wonderfully this delightful story. A treasure trove of a book, it is just perfect for sharing at Christmas.
Last Stop on the Reindeer Express – Maudie Powell-Tuck & Karl James Mountford
When Mia discovers her Dad won’t be home for Christmas everything begins to feel less bright, less Christmassy. It doesn’t even seem possible that she will be able to get her special card to him in time. But when she discovers a mysterious postbox she finds herself whisked away on an unforgettable adventure across snowy mountains, beautiful cities lit by paper stars in her quest to reach her dad in time for Christmas. Beautifully told with the most sublime, rich illustrations, ‘Last Stop on the Reindeer Express’ is an entrancing, festive read that is bound to delight. It’s peek-through pages and hidden flaps invite the reader to embark on this thrilling journey with Mia. Exquisitely produced from it’s die-cut cover through to it’s stunning end pages this is a story filled with so much magic, love and beauty that you will be totally captivated.
The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker – Jessica Courtney-Tickle & Katy Flint
Just in time for Christmas, ‘The Story Orchestra’ brings the classical Christmas ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ to life with this delightful story set to music. It’s Christmas Eve and Clara’s uncle gives her a gift of a nutcracker which comes to life at midnight. Follow Clara in this magical adventure and watch the Nutcracker battles the Mouse King, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy and journey to the Land of Sweets, where wonder and excitement await. Press the musical note on every page and you can hear the story come to life with music from Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’ which is wonderfully engaging and enchanting. Every spread is exceptionally illustrated in a warm, rich palette which makes you feel warm and glowing inside. An irresistible combination of music and magical storytelling this is a book that demands to be enjoyed over and over again.
One Hundred and One Dalmatians – Peter Bently & Steven Lenton
I couldn’t resist sharing this glorious picture book with you again because it does feature one of my favourite spreads of the year and yes you guessed it, it’s a Christmas illustration brimming with so much festive joy! You know from the moment you set your eyes on this stunning, vibrant cover that you are in for a real treat. Peter has brought to life brilliantly this marvellous adventure, managing to capture the thrill of the chase as Missis and Pongo pursue the dastardly Cruella, without making it too scary for little ones. Steven Lenton has created the most exquisite spreads that are filled with the most intricate and joyous details. The attention to detail is wonderfully endearing as we clearly see the personality of each and every single dog. ‘The One Hundred and One Dalmatians’ is a joy to behold, with the most perfect attention to detail all the way down to its Dalmatian dotty endpapers.
I Went To See Santa – Paul Howard
‘I Went To See Santa’ is a brilliantly, funny and entertaining read which deserves to be read aloud. And read it aloud I did! Having shared this at four storytime sessions at school I know that this is bound to be a big hit this Christmas having had the children giggling and laughing aloud with every read. When a brother and sister go to see Santa, they compete to see who can be given the most bizarre and brilliant things. As they try to remember all the Christmas gifts it gets totally silly and out of control. Really who would actually get seven skating penguins, a reindeer and an actual space rocket for Christmas!! Children will delight in trying to remember all the different gifts in this test-your-memory story. But this story has a very important message that Christmas isn’t really about the gifts we get, instead it’s about the time we spend together.
Oliver Elephant – Lou Peacock & Helen Stephens
Mummy, Noah and Evie-May are going Christmas shopping which is such hard work but they have lots to get, not forgetting a star for the top of the Christmas tree. Good job Noah has his beloved Oliver Elephant for company who loves to hide in doll’s houses, try on socks and get into mischief dancing on table. Exhausted by all this hard work (and fun of course) they stop in a café and tragedy strikes when Noah realises he has lost Oliver Elephant. Where can he be? This is a tale that children and adults alike will relate to and the despair of losing your favourite toy and the relief and joy at finding it are an integral part of family life. Lyrical rhymes and delicate spreads make this a heart-warming read perfect for sharing.
Thank you to Bloomsbury, Egmont, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, Little Tiger Press and Nosy Crow Books for sending me copies of these festive fancies. They’re all available to buy now online (click on the title for the link ) or from any good bookshop.
This will be my last post before Christmas and I want to wish all of the people who have supported me online and visited my blog a very Merry Christmas!