Reading Together: Christmas Stories

Originally I wasn’t going post about Christmas books for the latest edition of Reading Together, but I was looking over the books L and I have been reading together the most lately and the large majority are (surprise!) Christmas books. Looks like it was inevitable. I’ve included a few brand new favorites, tried and true favorites, and a few old school favorites of my own.

What are you reading to get into the holiday season? I’d love to know– Please leave your favorite titles in the comments below!

Brand New in 2012 Favorites:

Christmas Parade by Sandra Boyton

I don’t know how many times we’ve read this book. I might have to purchase it because we can’t get enough of this musical Merry Christmas crew by the one and only, Sandra Boynton.

The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Rinata Liwaski

We adore reading The Quiet Book and The Loud Book. The Christmas Quiet Book has a holiday spin on all things “Christmas quiet”. My favorite is “Listening to sleigh bells quiet.”

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean

L loves Pete the Cat. Like most children, L also loves Santa. Pete the Cat + Santa Claus = An instant favorite!

The Just Right Christmas by Birdie Black and Rosalind Beardshaw

A king purchases red fabric to make a gift for his daughter. The leftover fabric ends up being hand down over and over and over again to make gifts for the entire kingdom on one Christmas Eve.

Tried and True Favorites:

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Corinne Malvern

I grew up with this book version of Clement C. Moore’s famous “Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem. We’ve been reading this one a lot lately.

Maisy’s Snowy Christmas Eve by Lucy Cousins

Maisy always seems to make her way into our Reading Together lists. My husband would argue that this story is “the best” of the Maisy books.

Twelve Days of Christmas by Jane Ray

A lot of L’s current favorite books are inspired by classic holiday songs. We really like the colors and illustrations in this story. Jan Brett also does a great book version of this song.

A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Olivier Dunrea

I came across this book last year late one night at work. It’s such a lovely story about a girl and her emotionally distant father and a tree that brings them together.

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

We always enjoy Eric Carle’s books. This holiday-themed one is no exception. A farmer and his animals celebrate the first snowfall with some Christmas cheer.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas by Marc Cheshire, illustrated by Michael Hague

These fun illustrations by Michael Hague pair nicely with this short, cheery holiday song.

Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

Frosty is still in our reading together circulation. My guess is we will still be reading this book based on the song in June. Good ol’ Frosty.

Jingle Bells by Kathleen Daly and J.P. Miller

A group of animal friends embark on a sleigh ride. A fun poem inspired by on the very famous “Jingle Bells” tune.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

A boy stays up to listen for Santa’s sleigh bells, but hears something entirely unexpected. The Caldecott winner. The picture book made into a major motion picture. It’s every child’s favorite train (other than Thomas).

The Glorious Christmas Songbook compiled by Cooper Edens and Benjamin Darling

Are you seeing a trend in a few of our favorite holiday books? The Glorious Christmas Songbook is a collection of popular Christmas songs paired with vintage illustrations by various artists. It’s a great visual way to enjoy

My Old School Picks:

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert E. Barry

Mr. Willowby orders a large Christmas tree for his house, but it’s a little bit too tall. The top gets thrown out, but a few forest animals find a way to make use of it. The first time I read this book was two summers ago and I’m so glad I came across it. It’s now among the “must reads” during the holidays.

Christmas in the Country by Barbara Collyer, John R. Foley, illustrated by Retta Worcester

A bright and cheery story about two siblings that go visit their grandparents in the country for Christmas. The illustrations in this book are colorful and fun, and the story a true gem.

The Christmas Cookie Snitcher by Robert Kraus, illustrated by Vip

If you’re baking cookies this holiday season, please have this book handy to read as they bake. Or read it as a family aloud. Or read it wherever, whenever you can because it is hilarious. It’s hilarious for kids, it’s hilarious for adults. A cookie sprinkle snitcher (who looks kinda like a gryphon with the head of a human) unfortunately scooped up all the sprinkles in one town. For “Christmas cookies without sprinkles are like raisins without wrinkles, and sleigh bells without tinkles are Christmas cookies without sprinkles.”

How Six Found Christmas by Trina Schart Hyman

A week or so ago, The Children’s Book Council put images of this book up on their Facebook page, and until that moment I haven’t thought about this book since I was young. It’s a magical tale of one girl and her woodland friends search for “Christmas”.

Christmas Eve at the Mellops’ by Tomi Ungerer

This one is a more recent find from a year ago at the library. Four Mellop brothers have the same idea of surprising their family on Christmas Eve with a Christmas tree. One in a series of Mellop stories.

Becky’s Christmas by Tasha Tudor

I wish this book wasn’t so expensive. I would purchase it for our home library. A story that follows Becky as she witnesses the preparations in her country house in the 19th century New England. Tasha Tudor, to me, is what Christmas is all about. Oh wait…

***Reading Together is a sampling of picture books I’m currently reading aloud to LBD (also known as L or Little L), my toddler daughter. Since I work in the children’s room of a public library, I’m always bringing home stacks and stacks of books to share together. Old and new. These are our favorites. Some of which have been read over and over and over again…. Times thirty. To the tenth power.***


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