Top 5 Books to Read to Your Kids at Christmas
When I was little my parents would buy me a different Christmas book each year. When I was younger, a picture book; and as I got older, chapter books or histories. The following are my top five favorite picture books that I was given over the years. I hope your children enjoy them as much as I did.
5. Merry Christmas - Best-Loved Stories & Carols
Illustrations by Donna Green
Christmas is a time for families - for reading favorite stories to young ones, for singing festive and sacred songs of the season - a time to celebrate the most joyful of holidays. Merry Christmas is a book that will become a part of family traditions and will be treasured by each generation.
In Merry Christmas you will find eight classic strories of Christmas, including beloved tales by Dickens, O. Henry, Kenneth Grahame, Hans Christian Andersen, as well as Clement Moore's irrepressible narrative poem, "The Night Before Christmas."
You'll also discover twenty-one of our loveliest holiday songs, each indispensable for singing around the piano with family and friends, perhaps with wassail in hand and wide-eyed children crowded 'round. Chosen from a rich musical heritage, they include such varied songs as "Go Tell It on the Mountain," "What Child is This?" "O Holy Night," "Jingle Bells," and "The Twelve Days of Christmas." New, accessible musical arrangements have also been provided.
But best of all are the now classic Christmas illustrations by New England artist Donna Green which adorn the book throughout. These paintings are contemporary and timeless, loving and beautiful. They form what is undoubtedly the finest body of Christmas art ever assembled. (Smithmark Publishers)
4. The Christmas Wreath
by James Hoffman, Illustrations by Jack Stockman
What happens when you combine the magic of Christmas with the majesty of the natural world? In the case of The Christmas Wreath, written by James Hoffman and enchantingly illustrated by Jack Stockman, you get an instant Christmas classic, sure to become a holiday tradition in your home.
On Christmas Eve, after sending Santa off in the sleigh once again just in the nick of time, the elves are exhausted. They have no energy left for their own Christmas celebration and fall alseep without putting up a Christmas tree or wreath. All but Chief Elf, who halfheartedly gathers scraps from the workshop to craft a wreath, which he hangs on the door before falling into his own deep slumber.
What follows next involves a hungry polar bear, the beauty and stillness of a North Pole night, the watery world below the ice and a Christmas wreath mysteriously transformed into a wondrous, one-of-a-kind work of nature and art to greet Santa upon his return home.
The Christmas miracle endures through the centuries, and The Christmas Wreath is an endearing new fable your family will cherish for years to come. (School Zone Publishing)
3. The Crippled Lamb
by Max Lucado with Jenna, Andrea & Sarah Lucado,
Illustrated by Liz Bonham
Joshua, the black and white spotted lamb, longed to be like the other lambs. He wondered why he had to limp along with a crippled leg, instead of running and playing in the meadow.
Because Joshua the lamb was different, he often felt left out. Yet God had a very special plan for his life, as He does for all who feel alone. Joshua not only witnessed the greatest event in history, he was able to give the newborn King the one thing He needed most.
Lucado was joined by his daughters to write his most touching children's story yet. (Word Publishing)
2. The Small One
by Alex Walsh, Illustrated by Jesse Clay
In this inspiring tale, a young boy is heartbroken when he has to sell his favorite donkey, Small One. But the boy's unhappiness is lessened when he finally finds a man who will give Small One the love and care he deserves - little knowing that the man is Joseph and that Small One will become the steed on which Mary rides to Bethlehem.
Based upon Disney's animated short film of the same name, The Small One vividly invokes the true spirit behind the first Christmas. With an introduction by Kathie Lee Gifford, and all new illustrations, it's a book sure to inspire faith and love in children everywhere. (Disney Press)
1. The Littlest Angel
by Charles Tazewell, Illustrated by Sergio Leone
I love this book. But I love it for more than the story. I love it because it is the very first Christmas book my parents ever bought me for my first Christmas in 1987. Just take a look at the dedication page below! "With lots of love, Mommy & Daddy." Fills my heart with love and joy just looking at it!
The modern classic with a mischievous, endearing hero, The Littlest Angel continues to enchant generations of children.
How does an irrepressible four-year-old boy adapt to life in the heavenly community? Can the angels adjust to him when he disturbs their routine? When at last the Littlest Angel learns o live happily in Heaven, he finds a special gift for the baby Jesus.
This sensitive tale is perfect for reading aloud at Christmastime.
Share a book with a child and share a moment of love. (Ideals Publishing)
Another book that I always loved reading around Christmas was The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen. I'm not really sure why we always read it around Christmas, other than it takes place on New Year's Eve and the little girl dreams of a beautiful Christmas dinner, but we always read it at this time of year. Its a sad story, but beautiful in its own eerie way. One I continue to read at Christmastime to this day.
The Little Match Girl
by Hans Christian Andersen, Illustrated by Rachel Isadora
Andersen's tale about a little girl who's afraid to go home because she hasn't sold enough matches is a classic. The little girl, bareheaded and barefoot, curls up in a corner, lighting match after match to warm herself. In the flames she sees visions; in the final one, her grandmother appears and lifts the little girl into heaven.
With muted blues, grays and browns, Isadora captures the mood of a snowy Victorian winter reminiscent of Dickens's A Christmas Carol. With these illustrations, coupled with superb book design, the artist has surpassed even the splendid art in her previous books. (source)
There are so many wonderful Christmas books for children out there. This is only a very small selection of the ones I received as a child. During this busy holiday season, carve some time out of that busy schedule of yours, and sit with your children, reading their favorite holiday books. Whether if it's keeping up an old tradition or starting up a new one, may your holidays be Merry and Bright!
From one bookaholic to another, I hope I’ve helped you find your next fix.