8 Festive Book Recommendations to Read with the Children this Christmas

Our favourite Christmas story books for children

There are so many things to love about Christmas with the kids, but one of the best things is snuggling up together with a Christmas story! There is a tradition in Iceland called Jolabokaflod which involves people giving a gift of a book to a loved on Christmas Eve and then snuggling down with Hot Chocolate and reading their book straightaway. We think this is such a lovely tradition and one that should be adopted all over the world. And what is better than snuggling down with your little ones and reading  Children’s Christmas book?!

So here is our round-up of favourite Children’s Christmas books, whether you start them on the 1st December (we have already started ours though as we have so many to get through!) or read them on Christmas Eve, we hope you make time for reading together this Christmas. Such precious and short lived moments are to treasure…..

1/ Santa Claus; the Book of Secrets – Russel Ince

Age 5+

This is our favourite and one the we get out every year (hence the worn look of it!)

Santa Claus the Secrets answers everyone’s questions about how the magic world of Santa works; from the Elves and where they live, to how Santa delivers all the toys in one night, how he works with special helpers around the world to succeed in his gift of joy and what happens throughout the year in the North Pole plus so much more.

A beautifully written, collection of chapters, each one covering a different aspect of the magical world. We do one chapter a night in the nights leading up to Christmas. They are only short too so a great, magical insight which can be dipped in and out or devoured in one go! You children will never be able to question the logistics again!

santa claus book of secrets

2/ The Night Before Christmas – Richard Scarry (and various others!)

Age 2+

the night before christmas richard scarry

A staple in our household read for us on Christmas Eve just before the kids go to bed. We do the reindeer dust, put out the treats for Santa and cuddle up to read The Night Before Christmas. There are lots of versions of course and all are lovely. This is one of our copies.

But our kids just love Richard Scarry. If you haven’t read any of his books before you really should. They are the kind of books that every time you read them you see something different! The children love them as there is so much to look at ad point out. The characters are a bit random and have funny names and we love that! And this version of The Night Before Christmas is just a bit different and more fun that a lot of the traditional ones. And who doesn’t like maximum fun at Christmas?!

richard scarry the night before christmas

3/ Sprout’s Elf Adventure Challenge – Helen Nurse

Age 2+

childrens christmas book

This was written to accompany the event ‘The Elf Adventure Challenge’ and is the story of Sprout the Elf and how she does her Elf training and the important lessons that she learns about the true spirit of Christmas along the way. Beautifully illustrated, a lovely picture book for 3- 8 year olds to read with their parents.

4/ Father Christmas and Me – Matt Haig

Age 7+

father Christmas and me Matt Haig

This is part of a series of 3 books, including ‘A boy Call Christmas’ and ‘The Girl who Saved Christmas’. All 3 are amazing stories and they do link together with this ‘Father Christmas and Me’ being the final one of the three and for us it’s our favourite. In the first book we see how father Christmas became Father Christmas. In the second one we meet Mary (to become Mrs Christmas) and Amelia the human girl who ends up going to live in Elfhelm with father Christmas. The third book is about her first Christmas in Elfhelm and being accepted by the Elves. It has its dark moments and is probably recommended for age 7+due to this. For ages 7-10 I would read it with them (and even after that I would anyway as I love it so much!)It is not only an amazing story set in a magical world, and therefore keeping the spirit and magic of Christmas alive for children for longer. It  also has some brilliant core messages and thought provoking ideas to discuss with the kids.

5/ Little Owl and the Star – Mary Murphy

Age 2+

little owl and the star by mary murphy

A board book or younger children, a really nice take on the Christmas story, quality illustrations and small enough to pop in your handbag as a boredom busting story when you are out and about this December!

6/ The Snowman – Raymond Briggs

Age 2+

the snowman by raymond briggs

One of the most famous festive stories of the last 30 years! Of course it started out as a animation and the story has come from there. We love to listen to the audio version with the music accompanying it (the one read by James Nesbitt is the best in my opinion!)

But we also love to read the book and my 2 year old loves to look at the pictures as the illustrations are so beautiful considering their origination.

7/ Mog’s Christmas – Judith Kerr

Age 2+

mogs christmas bt judith Kerr

We love Mog! Maybe because we are a cat family! And this is another good one for the littlies! Mog is not happy about the Christmas upheaval in the house! Will she ever come down from the snowy roof?!

8/ A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

Age 7+

A christmas carol by charles dickens

Not a traditional Children’s story, there are Children’s versions of the story and I think it is such an important story for children to know, that introducing a version of it when they are young is good to do. I am also a big fan of reading a book before seeing the film and since there are various children’s film versions of the tale now, reading it first gives more magic to the tale. When I was a child my uncle recorded an audio tape of the story and I listened to it constantly at Christmas time. There is a great sense of nostalgia for me around the story as a result and I think it’s great to create those future moments for our children too.

So that’s’ our top 8 – but there are so many more amazing Christmas stories! Please let us know your favourites and share your Christmas reads with us.

See also ‘Why we start the Christmas Magic in November’

and ‘Elves Best toy picks for Christmas 2018’

To book tickets for The Elf Adventure Challenge CLICK HERE

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