I’m working on building up our collection of Christmas and Advent books – I’d love to get to a point where I could wrap them for the kids to enjoy one “new” on each day of Advent. We’re not quite there, but I was so late at even pulling them out of storage (thanks to house guests through the first part of the month) that it didn’t really matter. I do have additional books to work into the rotation once my children get somewhat older too, but by the time they’re ready for those I’m sure they’ll be done with some of the board books. Or I’ll be done with reading them.
And, I’d love to know what book you consider to be must-reads for the season – let me know what we’re missing!
What we’re reading this year:
Christmastime Is Here by Ellen Weiss
One I’d like to retire because of the Santa emphasis (we don’t do Santa in our family), but they like lifting the flaps so much I haven’t done so yet.
Baby’s First Nativity by Muff Singer, illustrated by Peter Stevenson
Will probably be retired at some point once my baby is older, but it’s fine for now.
The Little Drummer Boy illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
I’d also like to retire this one from the rotation once I get additional books. It’s not my favorite, although I do really like the illustrations.
Bob by Sandra Boynton
Totally silly, but in a way that makes us all laugh. While I wouldn’t want all of our books to be like this, I don’t mind a few completely secular ones.
Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate & illustrated by Ashley Wolff
Still another one that I don’t see lasting that many more years, but it’s cute for now. Some of the rhymes are clunkier than I’d like which is why it’s not one of my favorites.
Tell Me the Christmas Story by Joni Walker
I think it’s cute, but the kids do not find it that interesting.
Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree, A Star for Jesus and J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Claudine Gévry
I like her books and their focus on Christ, and the kids like them too. A few of her rhymes are more forced than I’d prefer, but not so much that I look forward to retiring the books.
My Nativity Jigsaw Book by Christina Goodings, illustrated by Rebecca Elliott
Awesome book for puzzle fans, but not always the easiest one when you have more than one puzzle fan, if you get what I’m saying. Also, the puzzle pieces can be hard to put together, and yet hard to keep together at the same time, so the idea works better than the execution at times. It’s still a huge hit this year. My biggest complaint is that the wise men are shown arriving to see Jesus while he’s still in the manger. That’s so common, but it annoys me.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Christian Birmingham
Our other Santa book, but this is such a classic story I don’t mind it as much.
The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
Eloise Wilkin illustrations remind me of my own childhood, so even though I never had this book while growing up, the book still makes me somewhat nostalgic thanks to her familiar artwork.
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Diane Goode
Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Renee Graef
Hopefully whetting my children’s appetites for the full Little House series.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
So far this one doesn’t do much for my kids, but maybe they’ll appreciate it more next year.
The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas
Love the text – excerpts from the King James Version, but I’m not crazy about the illustrations, specifically how she depicts the angels.
Chapter Books (that we’re reading):
The Jesse Tree
We’re not actually doing a Jesse Tree this year, but I think we’ll try it next year. I think this book will work well as a part of it if we decide to attempt it.
Chapter Books (waiting to be introduced):
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
I debated reading it to my children this year, but decided that they were more likely to get inspired by the bad example set by the Herdmans, rather than catch the bigger picture message conveyed by the story.
Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent, Bartholomew’s Passage: A Family Story for Advent, and Tabitha’s Travels: A Family Story for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide
Had read some good reviews on these, and found a great deal on them, so figured they were worth a shot.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is probably the one that’ll be waiting the longest to get into our reading routine.
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