Books are a window to another world. Open up these magical lands for your kids aged 2-6 using these ten Christmas picture books.
Looking for the perfect children’s Christmas picture books to capture the holiday mood? Whether it’s the story of Santa’s reindeer staging a rebellion for better pay and a drummer boy on a journey to a mysterious grand aunt who disappears every year during Christmas, here are handpicked choices to help you home in on the perfect Christmas reading experience that will pack in sleigh-loads of fun.
An entertaining and touching story of one of Santa’s elves, who is commissioned by Santa to make a special gift, a toy train, for a very special person. Towards the end of the book, the children find out who the gift is intended for. Jay Dee’s illustrations have all the warmth of a Christmas fireplace and all the torque of Santa’s reindeer!
“Once, a long time ago, in a town called Nazareth, a little donkey is born.” Thus begins Brian Wildsmith’s A Christmas Story, an alternate viewing of the Nativity, as seen from the eyes of a little donkey and the girl who tries to get the donkey back to its mother.
Santa is gearing up for the Christmas round but his plans go completely off-kilter when he finds that his reindeer are on strike because of the hard work and strict discipline that he enforces. Santa then auditions other animals for the job but with hilarious consequences! A fun, gripping, read-aloud rhyme that is sure to elicit peals of laughter!
Drummer Boy is an emotive story about a little drummer boy who warms the heart of every person he plays his drum for, starting from the little boy who is his owner. One day, he finds himself thrown into a trash can and he begins a journey to different places and meets new people (and animals). What makes this book special is Loren Long, the acclaimed author and illustrator whose images populate the story with sensitivity and grandeur.
This olden goldie by Clement Clarke Moore, popularly referred to as ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas,’ may be an expected choice but it never grows old.The text is a poem that established many of the modern traditions and popular culture of Christmas as we know them today. Despite being mired in controversy over its authorship, it remains one of the most popular Christmas literature in the world, with numerous versions, parodies, spin-offs and musical renditions.
To really conjure the magic of Christmas eve with your child, look for the version illustrated by Christian Birmingham and Charles Santore, whose images hark back to Christmas traditions, sprawling across the page like reindeer in flight, sumptuous details that will hold you completely in thrall. Charles Santore’s Classic Edition is another masterpiece and the illustrations will draw you into the magic of Christmas in all its nostalgic and its rich details – much like plum cakes and the elaborate Christmas plans that come with the season.
Maria is eagerly waiting for Christmas and when it does arrive, her cousins come home and they make tamales together for dinner. When Maria sneakily tries on her mother’s diamond ring, little does she know that she will lose it in the tamales and that she and her cousins will have to eat their way out of trouble! A wonderful Christmas story that opens a child’s eyes to the Hispanic culture; Too Many Tamales has also grown into a classic!
Childhood memories largely come to us not only in pictures but through smells . This picture book is special in that when you scratch and sniff the stickers, you get wonderful aromas — of pine trees, oranges, peppermint, gingerbread and hot cocoa! Even when all the smell is gone and the stickers are worn out, what remains is a charming Christmas story. The stickers can be bought every year-end through www.everythingsmells.com!
The Polar Express is a picture book masterpiece that is pure theatre for the eyes and the imagination. With masterful illustrations by the legendary Chris Van Allsburg, this book is about a boy who sits in his house waiting for Santa but instead hears the sound of a train. When he boards the train in his nightgown, he finds other children like himself in their nightgowns, eating candy and drinking cocoa, and they are all headed to the North Pole for an adventure of a lifetime. This book is perfect to be read out loud, with only the night-time air and the rustle of Christmas wind for company. These are words that are guaranteed to populate your child’s imagination for years to come.
Falak Randerian, Founder of My Little Chatterbox, gives us her two favorite Christmas books
My most favorite Christmas reads would be Stickman by Julia Donaldson, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Since these are very popular, let me tell you about two books that not many parents know of, still these books must be read.
A beautiful story about how a child imagines Snowmen spend their Christmas. He imagines, the Snowmen gather and party on Christmas eve as the city sleeps in their cozy beds. Perfect for 4-6 years.
Another beautiful book about imagination, this book tells the story of a farmer who sleeps on Christmas eve, pondering how Christmas will come without snow. He dreams about his farm covered in snow and gets up only to realize it did snow that night. What he does next is for the kids to find out! Good for 4-7 year olds.