Thursday, November 29, 2012

{Books We Love} 26 of the BEST Christmas Picture Books

So I know a lot of people like to do a Christmas book advent over the holidays. We don't personally do an book advent, my kids like to read several books a night, and a few favorites are requested night after night after night, so we get our Christmas books out the day after Thanksgiving and enjoy them throughout the rest of November and December. I do however, like to buy at least one or two new Christmas books every year to add to our growing collection. I don't like to buy any old Christmas book though, I really like to search out the best! So I thought I would share some of our absolute favorites with you, whether you use them for a Christmas book advent or just enjoy them throughout the Christmas season is entirely up to you! Here they are, in no particular order:

1. The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long
This book has been my son's favorite for the past couple of years and probably will be for a few years to come. It has beautiful illustrations of the twelve days of Christmas that we all remember from the holiday song, and hidden inside each illustration is that day's gift (such as five golden rings), as well as the gifts of any days that have come before. It's such a fun and beautiful book.

2. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
We love all the Bear books in our house, and this Christmas edition is no exception. The rhymes and illustrations are adorable!

3. Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
This is another great one by Karma Wilson. It's about a little mouse who learns the importance of having room for Christ in our homes and in our lives. 

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Such a classic. Do I really need to say anything more?
5. Kissing Kringle by Sam Beeson
Sorry for the tiny picture, but this one can be a little hard to find. It's a sweet story about how all Santa needs to be motivated and get his work done is a sweet little peck on the cheek. Explains away the "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" song quite nicely!

6. The Christmas Train by Thomas S. Monson
Thomas S. Monson is such a great storyteller! Pretty much goes without saying that whenever one of his stories comes out we are going to get it! This is a sweet story from his childhood and how he first felt the spirit of Christmas in his own life.

7. A Christmas Dress for Ellen retold by Thomas S. Monson
This one is a retelling of a story that was shared with Thomas S. Monson by family members of the struggling family in the story. It is a book about Christmas miracles and how service to others can bring about such miracles.

8. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
I love this story of the simple gift that a boy gave his father one Christmas morning. It's another classic!

9. Cobweb Christmas by Shirley Climo
This is such a cute book! It tells the story of sweet little Tante, and how a gift she was given one Christmas inspired the tradition of draping tinsel on Christmas trees. 

10. Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Connor
Fancy Nancy, need I say more? I love that girl.

11. Little Critter's Christmas Book by Mercer Mayer
I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Little Critter Christmas books. This one has a whole bunch of mini-stories. That little critter cracks me up.

12. Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear! by Don and Audrey Wood
I love The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by the same couple, and this book is just as cute! The Mouse is afraid that the Big Hungry Bear is going to steal all of his presents, but by the end of the story the mouse is more concerned about the Bear's Christmas than his own. So cute. I also have this in board book version because I just couldn't help myself!

13. Merry Christmas, Splat by Rob Scotton
I love Rob Scotton. He is not only the author but is also the illustrator of the Splat the Cat and Russell the Sheep books. The stories are always so cute and the illustrations adorable! Splat the Cat is as loveable as always in this Christmas version.

14. Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton
Russell helps Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and gets to experience a little Christmas magic. So cute!

15. Merry Christmas, Curious George by Margret and H.A. Rey
Who doesn't love Curious George? George gets into his usual hijinks but as always, is a crowd pleaser in the end!

16. Santa Claustrophobia by Mike Reiss
This is a funny little book about Santa becoming claustrophobic after one too many trips down the chimney. He takes a much needed vacation and the holiday stars from the rest of the year (such as the Easter Bunny) try their hardest to get Christmas delivered on time. 

17. Santa's Stowaway by Brandon Dorman
This beautifully illustrated book is about one of Santa's elves who decides to stowaway in Santa's sack on Christmas Eve.

18. The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
This is a great story about a boy who learns that a lot of the magic of Christmas is found in the memories that you make with loved ones. 

19. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
This classic poem can be found in a lot of cute book versions, this just happens to be the one we have, and we really like it. The Santa in it is really cute!

20. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
I don't know if this one needs an explanation either! If you haven't already read it a hundred times, it's about a child's magical Christmas Eve, climbing aboard a train that magically carries him off to the North Pole. Can't make it through the Christmas season without this one!

21. The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry
 We had this one when I was a kid, so I was so excited when Kim found it one year and gave a copy to each of our siblings. It's such a cute little book and kids love to scratch and sniff all the yummy treats Little Bear gets to enjoy as Christmas draws near. 

22. Christmas City by Michael Garland
This is another favorite of my son's. It's about an adventure a little boy takes as he follows clues left him by his aunt. The aunt is hidden in every picture, as well some other fun hidden pictures and clues. Definitely a fun read.

23. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
Mr. Willowby's tree is way too tall so he has his butler chop off the top. What happens to the top? Soon,  nearby people and furry creatures alike are able to enjoy a small part of Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree. Such a fun book, my kids really get a kick out of it!

Board Books
I can't complete my list without at least a few board books. My kids love to hold and read through books on their own, but until they are a little older I really prefer to have them stick with board books. Much more forgiving! So here are a few favorite Christmas board books:

24. Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
This is a sweet little book about the animals who were inside the stable the night Christ was born, and how they always had room for a little one.

25. Frosty the Snowman by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson
This is a cute illustrated version of the memorable little Christmas song we all know and love.

26. Merry Christmas, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
We love all the "If You Give" books by Laura Numeroff and her holiday versions are always cute. This one is short and sweet. It counts from 1 to 10 as Mouse decorates his Christmas tree. 

So there you have it! More than enough to get you through a Christmas book advent, or you can maybe choose one or two to add to your Christmas collection. What are some of your favorite Christmas picture books?

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