Welcome back to our series of posts all about our favourite books for children designed to give you some gift ideas for the holiday season. In our previous posts we covered our favourite board books for infants and toddlers, our favourite picture books for kids, our favourite chapter books for beginning readers, and our favourite novels for middle grade readers and teens. This time around we will focus on a few of our favourite Christmas-themed books.
"The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore & Niroot Puttapipat (Candlewick Press, 2007)
There are countless picture book versions of this classic tale and this is one of our favourites. With the absolutely beautiful silhouette illustrations by Puttapipat, along with cut outs and an elaborate pop-up of Santa's sleigh flying over the tops of the houses, this book must be seen in person to be appreciated!
"The Twelve Days of Christmas" by Laurel Long (Penguin Group, 2011)
This is a brand new release this holiday season and it is an absolutely gorgeous picture book version of the classic song. Full of detailed and beautiful illustrations along with many hidden images, you will spend many evenings before Christmas examining each page with your kids.
"The Christmas Magic" by Lauren Thompson & Jon J. Muth (Scholastic, 2009)
In contrast to most frantic and busy tales about Santa Claus, "The Christmas Magic" is quiet and calm. It shows us Santa preparing for the big night: feeding his reindeer, packing his toy sack, and waiting for the magic of Christmas to arrive and send him on his way. This is a simple, subdued story that perfectly captures the true spirit of Santa Claus. As you may know, Jon J. Muth is one of our favourite artists and he once again portrays the mood of the story perfectly in the illustrations.
"The Longest Christmas List Ever" by Gregg & Evan Spiridellis (Hyperion Books, 2007)
This is the one we've added to our personal Christmas book library this year. When Trevor forgets to put the most important request on his list to Santa one year, he immediately gets to work on next year's list so he won't leave anything out. He works all year on the list, adding countless items until it is so long that it will cost six trillion dollars to mail to Santa! Will he not get what he wants for a second year in a row or will he learn a lesson about the magic of Christmas? With great rhyming text and incredible illustrations, this is perfect if you are looking for a funny Christmas book.
"Auntie Claus" by Elise Primavera (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999)
Sophie's Aunt loves Christmas more than anyone she knows. Strangely however, her Aunt goes on a "business trip" every year just before Christmas and doesn't come back until Valentine's Day. Determined to discover her secret, Sophie follows her and finds herself in the middle of a Christmas adventure. Another wonderful story with gorgeous illustrations and a good lesson about the true spirit of Christmas. Followed by the sequel "Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas".
"The Santa Trap" by Jonathan Emmett & Poly Bernatene (MacMillan UK, 2009)
This Christmas tale is full of dark humour and is definitely only appropriate for older children. Bradley Bartelby is a bad kid. A very bad kid. So bad that Santa only gives him a pair of socks for Christmas. Determined to get revenge, Bradley fills the house with all sorts of deadly traps to catch Santa. His plan soon backfires however, as he accidentally sets off one trap after the other himself. Hilarious and full of great art, but also very sinister.
Happy Holidays everyone from Kate, Drew, and Emma!