Every year in December, our box of Christmas books comes out for the month. Now that we have Elfie, our Elf on the Shelf, he has created a new tradition of pulling out the books on December 2nd for our boys. Over many after holiday sales, we’ve built up a pretty good collection of Christmas picture books, but there’s a handful that stand out as favorites.
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup, illustrated by Matt Tavares. This book is A’s absolute favorite. In fact, I sometimes don’t find it in the book box because he’s smuggled it out onto the main bookcase at least twice. It’s a cute story about a little boy who makes some gingerbread pirates that have an encounter with Santa on Christmas Eve. By Christmas morning, the little boy discovers the results of Santa’s special magic. Kids who especially love pirates will love this one as much as A does.
It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon. If your family is familiar at all with No, David!, then they shouldn’t be surprised to find the titular mischief maker up to his usual shenanigans during the holiday season. W particularly loves David’s misadventures, and we’ve used them as good talking points on what not to do. The words are very simple and younger readers may be able to read this on on their own.
Olivia Helps With Christmas by Ian Falconer. Olivia is one of my favorite storybook characters to read about because she has so much sass and personality. Her spunk comes right along with her into the holiday season, and I always find myself smiling at her antics. If you have an Olivia in your life, this is a must-read.
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas story by Eric Litwin, created and illustrated by James Dean. Pete the Cat has grown in popularity in our house, especially with W. A variation of The Night Before Christmas, this groovy storybook favorite has to take over for Santa on Christmas Eve emphasizing the idea of Christmas spirit.
Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney. I have always found something delightfully soothing about the rhyming patterns of the Llama Llama books. This one does a great job of reminding kids what Christmas is about as well as underlining how overstimulating all the holiday excitement can be for little ones.
A Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruel. A is particularly fond of Bad Kitty. The naughty feline is up to her usual troubles on Christmas Eve, but gets an important lesson on the value of family when she and Puppy get lost.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss. A huge Christmas classic, the Grinch has become so iconic he has several movies and lots of merchandising. There’s a great lesson in his story about how feasts and gifts are fun, but the presence of others is the most special part of the holiday season.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. This one is my personal favorite. There’s something extra special about the story of a boy who is a believer even years later when he’s a grown up. I love reading this one on Christmas Eve and a Hallmark ornament of the sleigh bell from Santa has a very special place on our tree.
Are any of these on your favorites list? Which books does your family love? Let us know in the comments.