A Christmas Story – Brian Wildsmith
There are several cover designs for this book, and I chose this one to show off the covers stunning illustration as an example of what you can anticipate inside this festive title. It is a beautifully written story that is the epitome of a Christmas story that we all know so well, but told in such a brilliant way that it brings it to life in a children’s book for younger readers to enjoy. They will absolutely love linking sharing this book with singing well known Christmas carols too.
In this story we follow a young girl, Rebecca, and the baby donkey she has been asked to look after, as they head off to reunite with the mother donkey who has ventured off with Mary and Joseph. Along the way Rebecca and the baby donkey interact with characters that are known in the infamous story of the birth of baby Jesus at Christmas time, such as shepherds that are watching their flocks. It is a brilliant adaptation that adds depth to the story of Joseph and Mary heading to Bethlehem, and is told from the perspective of a young girl, making it all the more relatable to the audience. This has all the festive vibes you could possibly want in a picture book, and feels traditional in both textual content and illustrative design too.
- Published by OUP, and priced at £7.99 (paperback)
Little Santa – Jon Agee
This is an adorable story of Santa Claus as a young boy, before he becomes the infamous Father Christmas. We are introduced to him as a young boy amongst his family, who are struggling to enjoy living at the north pole. Santa is the exception from the rule, and really thrives there, so he is the one most disappointed by news that his family are all moving to warmer climates.
When their home is snowed in, the Claus’ are unable to leave, and it is Santa that comes to the rescue by offering to climb up the chimney, and find help. That help comes in the form of elves that are able to make the tools needed to get to the Claus’ family home, and rescue them. It is a team effort, all entirely based at the north pole, and equal measures of festive and fun throughout.
- Published by Scallywag Press, and priced at £12.99 (hardback)
A Thing Called Snow – Yuval Zommer
This wintery tale tells of a Fox and Hare that have grown up to be close friends, and who get told to anticipate snow to enjoy very soon. As the pair are unsure what snow actually is they set off to ask their other friends for a better understanding, and each friend gives them a characteristic of snow to look out for, and the pair will then set out in search of the wintery weather phenomenon.
It is adorable how the two friends excitedly explore their surroundings for snow, especially as they make the correct assumption based what each of their friends tells them, and yet are incorrect when it comes to whether it is snow, and the pair fall asleep as it gets late, cosying up together far from their home.
When the pair wake they find that is has snowed, and they are joined by their friends as they have fun and play, all of whom are glad to be reunited with one another. This is a fantastically fun way to introduce and explore snow in the format of a story with little ones, and will definitely help them to understand what snow is, how much fun can be had in it, and how to tell what snow is – or indeed isn’t!
- Published by OUP, and priced at £6.99 (paperback)
Santa’s New Sleigh – Caroline Crowe and Jess Pauwels
With rhyming sentences throughout, this is a super fun festive read that tells of the dilemma Santa faces when his sleigh no longer works. The elves and all those at the north pole try many different suggestions as to how Santa can still deliver presents to all the children on Christmas eve, with each and every idea being crazy fun to read about, and make readers laugh out loud as they see it play out in the illustrations, which are full of energy and entertainment, and have so much detail on each page that children will want to spend time enjoying them, with and seperately to the story. One clever elf comes to the rescue, as she has created an electric sleigh for Santa, which is better for the environment (hugely relevant), and explains why no one hears Santa delivering gifts, and the elves themselves depict diversity, and individuality, perfectly. The representation in this book allows children to recognise themselves in the elves, as they enjoy the chaos and cleverness that unfolds in this brilliant book.
- Published by Faber&Faber, and priced at £6.99 (paperback)
I Love You More Than Christmas – Ellie Hattie and Tim Warnes
This book is always such a huge favourite of mine, because its ultimate message is how the people you share Christmas with are what makes it special, and reminds us how the preparation we do feels special because of those we are doing them with. The bear family are busy getting everything ready for Christmas, and at each opportunity they long to explain that ‘the thing i love more than Christmas is..’ before getting interrupted, and the antics continuing, but ultimately the book concludes with them sharing how they love one another more than Christmas. It is a heart warming read, that has an overall feel good message, and illustrations that compliment the text perfectly, in a traditional style that makes you feel the festive vibe throughout the entire book.
- Published by Little Tiger Press, and priced at £6.99 (paperback)