There is such a wealth of delightful Christmas books to share at this time of the year, it can be hard to choose. This week, Maureen Mann provides a helping hand with this overview of a range of books that capture the festive spirit.
Getting ready for this blog posting, I went in search through the catalogue of Libraries Tasmania. All these books can be found through your local Tasmanian library. Merry Christmas to all our readers.
Bah! Humbug! by Michael Rosen and Tony Ross 2017
A fun re-telling of Charles’ Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. Primary-aged (and older!) readers will enjoy this. It’s much more multi-layered than just a retelling.
Tinsel: the girls who invented Christmas by Sibeal Pounder 2020.
So far, everyone’s got the Santa story all wrong, so Blanch Claus and her friends show us what it really should be. It’s a book set in Victorian England, with many nods to modern life, full of humour and Christmas magic and spirit. For primary aged readers. upwards.
Ten Little Reindeer illustrated by Jonny Lambert 2020
A flap book (lovely big sturdy flaps they are too). Ten reindeer are waiting for their big night, and slowly each one is distracted by interesting things to do. When only one is left, the reader is encouraged to “close your eyes, make a wish and bring back all ten”. Fun to read
Reginald’s Christmas by Patricia Pettett and Narelda Joy 2020
Reginald, all ready for Christmas, sneaks out of his mousehole to explore the rest of the house. He samples the goodies left for Santa, climbs the tree and investigates the stockings. When he returns home, he discovers that he has his own named stocking. Read about the creation of this book.
Santa Claus heard a Fart by Olaf Falafel 2017
This is a great book to sing to the tune of Old MacDonald and a wonderful opportunity for those who love toilet humour to make appropriate fart noises.
Monster Christmas by Giles Andreae and Nikki Dyson 2020
When Monster joins Santa to deliver presents, everyone thinks he’s come to eat them. In despair he returns to the north pole, meets a girl who sees him as he really is and together, they return to make the deliveries. Finally, everyone sees Monster as someone just like you or me.
Meerkat Christmas by Emily Gravatt 2019
Sunny finds a list guaranteed to make a perfect Christmas. His hot home in the Kalahari doesn’t meet the criteria so he goes around the world searching, sending cards home to show why it’s not quite right. When he finds the perfect location, something is still missing and Santa helps him return to his family.
A Very Fiona Christmas by Richard Cowdrey 2019
Fiona searches the zoo to find Christmas which all the animals are talking about. She is confused about what it is, till she realises it is friendship and love, fun and lights and trees and most importantly giving to someone who doesn’t have things.
A Cat’s Christmas Carol by Sam Hay and Helen Shoesmith 2019
Clawdia is left in the store when it closes on Christmas Eve. When the mice come out to play, Clawdia has to chase them. The mice were clever enough to distract Clawdia when she gets too close, but eventually Clawdia has the best day with the store security guard as do the mice with all their friends.
I’m ready for Christmas illustrated by Jedda Robaard 2019
A text suited to any part of the world, but the illustrations focus on celebrating a summer Christmas. The cute animals – wombats or maybe koalas? – do summer-time activities getting ready for that special day.
The Twelve Unicorns of Christmas by Timothy Knapman and Ada Grey 2019
A fun ‘take’ on the Twelve days of Christmas. All the preparations for the days preceding Christmas Day, with the involvement of the unicorn, food and preparations, and snow. And on the twelfth day Santa brings another 11 unicorns as friends for the household.
All I Want for Christmas is Rain by Cori Brooke and Megan Forward 2016
Jane’s parents are farmers and desperately need rain, so when Jane meets Santa that’s what she asks for. And of course, he grants her wish so the family on Christmas morning have far more fun with the mud than the presents. Told in rhyme, the background of this story will resound with many readers.
Mouse’s Night Before Christmas by Tracey Corderoy and Sarah Massini 2019
Twas the night before Christmas … but the mouse was lonely until Santa, lost in the blizzard, arrives. Mouse shows Santa where to go and helps deliver the last of the presents. Santa thanks him for being such a good worker by giving him a gift and a map, which leads to Mouse finding a new friend.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Christmas Eve by Eric Carle 2019
A lift the Flap board book, with only a tenuous connection with the very hungry caterpillar. Who’s at home on Christmas Eve? Cat, Dog and Mouse are getting ready for the visit from Santa. Those who love board books will enjoy this one.
Finally. One I rediscovered during my search (and there are many more oldies I could have included) and renewed my love of the quirky Raymond Briggs.
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs 1973
Santa is blooming grumpy because it’s Christmas again and his solitary routines are disturbed.
I’ll close with Briggs’ words “Happy Christmas Cat! Happy Christmas Dog! Happy blooming Christmas to you, too!”
Retired teacher librarian and avid reader