Our Favourite Children’s Books for Christmas


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I’m a bit of a children’s book addict and a huge fan of Christmas, so when it comes to combining the two, I’m right there! I have so many memories of Christmas books from my own childhood and I’ve loved creating our own family collection of children’s Christmas classics. And there are new children’s Christmas books released every year, with beautifully festive illustrations and always a touch of magic. We’ve enjoyed discovering lots of new stories the last few years and our collection has grown rather large now! Here are some of our favourites from our collection.

Pick a Pine Tree – Patricia Toht

This was an addition to our Christmas book collection last year and it’s a lovely celebration of heading out to choose your Christmas tree. It has a rhyming text which is a pleasure to read, and the illustrations really capture the magic of the season and the traditions that you create as a family. Decorating the Christmas tree is one of my favourite parts of Christmas, so this is already a firm favourite with us.

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The Empty Stocking – Richard Curtis & Rebecca Cobb

Written by Richard Curtis (of Four Weddings and Love Actually fame), this is a really wonderful picture book for slightly older children (I think 5 and above is a good guide as it’s quite wordy and I think younger children would struggle to understand the message). It tells the story of two twins, Sam and Charlie, whose behaviour is very different from each other. Sam tries hard to be well behaved, but Charlie is really rather naughty. Everyone in the family is rather concerned that Charlie might not end up with any presents in her stocking on Christmas Day…

I love this one and it really engaged my 5 year old. I loved the message that even if you’ve done naughty things, it’s never too late to put them right and embrace the spirit of Christmas.

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Lucy and Tom’s Christmas – Shirley Hughes

A childhood favourite of mine, this is a beautifully simple story of one family’s Christmas Day. I love the small and simple presents, and especially when Tom gets over emotional and has to go out for a walk with Grandpa. We’ve all been there!

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Stick Man – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Julia Donaldson’s Stick Man is one of our all time favourites and includes a visit from Santa, so definitely qualifies as a Christmas book to me. It’s a joy to read, and we’ve read it so often I’m pretty sure I could recite it by heart. You join Stick Man on his quest to get back home to his family of stick children and his stick wife, encountering numerous problems along the way.

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Jingle Spells – James Brown

I loved this tale of a little witch who much prefers Christmas to Halloween. But when she gets a letter from the Head Elf to say that she’s on the naughty list, as all witches are, she decides to head to the North Pole to change his mind. And along the way she manages to save Christmas (and change the elves minds in the process!). I love the message that it’s ok to be different and to know that other people’s opinions of you aren’t always correct.

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The Jolly Christmas Postman – Jane & Alan Alberg

This is a firm favourite from my own childhood and my boys love it just as much! You follow the Jolly Postman on his Christmas round as he delivers Christmas cards to various different fairytale characters, including Goldilocks and the three bears, and Red Riding Hood and the big bad wolf. Each page has a special letter or card to take out and read. It’s enchanting and every bit as magical now as it was 30 years ago.

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We’re Going on an Elf Chase – Martha Mumford

This was a new addition to our collection last Christmas and it’s a great one. Probably best suited to preschoolers rather than older children, but perfect for under 5s. Lots of flaps to lift as you hunt for all the elves who are hiding throughout the book.

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Grandpa Christmas – Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo has to be the master of storytelling, so I had high hopes for this one. It’s quite word heavy and the environmental message is better suited to slightly older children, so I’d recommend it for children of at least 5 and up. The illustrations are charming accompaniment to a sweet letter from a grandpa to his grand-daughter, recalling the happy times they’ve spent together, connecting with nature. The message to look after the world around us is so important and one that I want my children to appreciate.

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Snow in the Garden – Shirley Hughes

A Christmas book filled with poems, activities, recipes – enough to occupy you for the whole of the Christmas season. A beautiful anthology which is guaranteed to be a well loved addition to your Christmas library.

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Last Stop on the Reindeer Express – Maudie Powell-Tuck

A new discovery for me this year and after seeing it pop up in my recommendations far too many times I finally bought it, and I’m so glad I did. It’s a story about Mia, a young girl who’s Dad cannot spend Christmas with her and she misses him. She discovers a mysterious post box and is transported off on an adventure across magical lands. The illustrations are enchanting, and I love the lift the flaps and peek throughs into the next pages which really keep the children engaged with the story. A really beautiful one, especially if you have a loved one who can’t be there for Christmas.

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Little Robin Red Vest – Jan Fearnley

A really sweet tale of a little robin who gives away all his warm vests to other animals in the run up to Christmas. The illustrations are adorable and I love the message, which captures the Christmas spirit perfectly.

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Bear Stays Up For Christmas – Karma Wilson

This is a perfect tale probably best for under 5’s, about a bear who desperately wants to stay up for Christmas this year and celebrate with his friends rather than hibernating. A really sweet tale of friendship and a lovely simple message.

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The Christmas Eve Tree – Delia Huddy

We bought this book last year and it’s a beautifully illustrated tale of a little tree and his Christmas journey. He is picked up by a little boy who is homeless, and who plants him in a cardboard box and decorates him with candles. The story is a little sad as you never find out what happened to the little boy, but it’s a great reminder that Christmas is about giving as well as receiving.

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Which are your favourite children’s Christmas books? Do leave me a comment, I’d love to know!

If you have a younger child, you may like my recommendations for Christmas books for toddlers.

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