• Kelsey Paff

5 Books for Christmas

With the start of Advent, the official countdown to Christmas has begun -- along with the much-anticipated reading of Christmas stories in our house. Here are five that we particularly like. You can also find my Christmas board book recommendations from last year, here.

1. My First Christmas Carols by Tomie dePaola

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I am always praising books by Tomie dePaola. My First Christmas Carols is the perfect book for families who wish to bring the music of the season into their homes. While the book does not have a musical score, I think it's understood that families will know the tune to popular carols such as, "Deck the Halls," "Silent Night," "O Christmas Tree," etc..

I'd also add that while children may be exposed to carols simply by listening, I think it is nice to have a book with illustrations that embody why each of these songs would have been written.

2. The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman

The Spirit of Christmas has a very magical feel to it with its often snowy-themed illustrations, though, I would have liked to see at least one illustration depict Christmas from a religious perspective. There is one illustration with a dove (highlighting the presence of the Spirit) but this is a board book and I doubt if any children of board-book-reading age would understand that reference. Apart from that the book's message is one that families will find very enduring -- namely that, no matter how much it feels like Christmas around us, the presence of loved ones is what really fills us with the Christmas spirit.

3. The Nutcracker: A Dancing Primer by Jennifer Adams

In continuation of the Baby Lit Book series, The Nutcracker is now accessible for the youngest of book lovers. From dancing children, dolls, mice, soldiers, and snowflakes (among others), children can get acquainted with the basic characters seen in the Nutcracker before perhaps going to see a live performance.

4. My First Pictures of Christmas by Maite Roche

My First Pictures of Christmas introduces children to the basic story of Christmas while also providing a vocabulary breakdown of the objects and people seen within each illustration. A lovely book. And if you like this one you may also like Christmas by the same author.

5. The Twelve Days of Christmas by Dalmatian Press

A quick introduction to the twelves days of Christmas -- this version is very short but I particularly like the color pallet used throughout the book as it incorporates rich burgundies, blues, and gold.

Merry reading!