Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Published October 27th 2018
Twelve books to share with your children this Christmas
There is a beautiful Christmas tradition in Iceland where people give each other books as gifts on Christmas Eve and everyone spends the night reading.
As a book lover, I absolutely adore this tradition. For children especially, the focus is less on getting the latest, most expensive toys and gadgets, and more on learning something new about themselves and the world around them, or getting lost in the past or in an exciting adventure or mystery.
Christmas is certainly not just all about buying stuff and more stuff, as Dr Suess' grumpy Grinch discovered. There are many wonderful Christmas books for children out there that capture the spirit and joy of the season, as well as its more meaningful traditions. I love nothing better than reading Christmas stories with my little one and keeping the magic of this most wonderful time of the year alive for him.
Here are twelve books that are my particular favourites. You can find these books at any good bookstore or your local library.
1. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS by Dr Suess. "Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!". The grumpy Grinch absolutely despises Christmas and can't understand why the Who down in Who-ville love it so much. So he hatches a plan to ruin their Christmas...Dr Suess wrote this story more than 60 years ago, and it's still as fresh and relevant and captivating and popular as ever today.
2. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Clement C. Moore. The hugely popular Christmas poem first published in 1823 and written by American Clement C. Moore is presented here as a picture book with gorgeously lush illustrations by Eric Puybaret and accompanied with a musical and narrative CD performed by the legendary trio Peter, Paul and Mary. It's the perfect poem to read on the night before Christmas!
3. THE NATIVITY. This beautiful book is perfect for little ones. It tells the story of the nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ. And it contains chunky pull-out puzzle pieces that will delight your little children.
4. A SNUGGLEPOT AND CUDDLEPIE CHRISTMAS. Australian author and illustrator May Gibbs introduced us to her two loveable gumnut babies, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, 100 years ago, and they still captivate us to this day! This book is Christmas with an Aussie flavour, with Snugglepot and Cuddlepie preparing for the big day with their bush friends.
5. AN AUSSIE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS written by Yvonne Morrison and illustrated by Kilmeny Niland. Another Christmas story with an Aussie flavour. There's no snow or reindeer here. It's Christmas in the hot Australian summer and Santa's wearing shorts and thongs, and he's riding a ute pulled by a team of kangaroos! We definitely need more Christmas books like this.
7. THE NUTCRACKER. Another classic Christmas story that is popularly performed as a ballet. This is a Little Golden Book version and tells the story of a girl called Clara who receives a very special present from her uncle.
8. GRUG AND HIS FIRST CHRISTMAS by Ted Prior. "Once the top of a Burrawang tree fell to the ground, and the grassy top began to change. It became Grug."
The loveable, adventurous, ever-resourceful Grug was created by Australian Ted Prior. I've loved Grug ever since I was a little girl, and so it's been a great delight to introduce him to my own child. In this Christmas story, Grug learns about Christmas for the first time and goes about celebrating it in his unique way.
9. SANTA IS COMING TO CANBERRA written by Steve Smallman and illustrated by Robert Dunn.
This book is part of the Santa is coming toseries of books which sees Santa delivering presents from his North Pole home to thousands of cities around the world. Each book is customized for your particular city. In Santa is coming to Canberra, Santa and his reindeer fly over Canberra's suburbs and significant landmarks such as Parliament House and Telstra Tower.
10. PIG THE ELF by Aaron Blabey.
Pig the pug is without a doubt the greediest, most selfish little dog in children's literature, and we just can't get enough of him! The hugely popular Pig (and his long-suffering mate, Trevor) return in this absolutely delightful Christmas story which sees Pig meeting Santa Claus and learning (once again) some very important lessons.
11. MY FIRST BOOK OF CHRISTMAS written by Charlotte Guillain and illustrated by Anna Jones.
This delightful book introduces young readers to the most common Christmas traditions and symbols such as the nativity, wreath, mistletoe, Christmas pudding and Christmas tree in a fun question-and-answer format.
12. THE NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
This book contains 24 classic stories, with one story for each night in December leading up to Christmas Day including the birth of Jesus Christ; the Grimm Brothers' fairytale, 'The Elves and the Shoemaker'; Good King Wenceslas; Hans Christian Andersen's 'The Snow Queen' and 'The Little Match-Seller'; extracts from Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'; extracts from Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows'; and Oscar Wilde's 'the Selfish Giant'. Beautifully illustrated by Tony Ross, this book is the perfect countdown to Christmas!