Best children’s Christmas books to bring festive magic

Nothing brings the magic of Christmas alive more than a brilliant festive story.

The children’s Christmas books we share here have compelling characters, beautiful illustrations, and exciting plots. The books also contain meaningful messages that embody the spirit of Christmas, providing food for thought.

Reviews of the best children’s Christmas books

We think every Christmas book here is a real page-turner that will delight children from aged 2 to 12. Happy Christmas!

A Boy Called Christmas

By Matt Haig

Canongate Books, 2016

This is the story of how Father Christmas came to be Father Christmas. He wasn’t always an old man with a long white beard, once he was a little boy.

The plot is like Dicken’s Oliver Twist in that the main character, Nikolas, runs away from a cruel adult and is eventually rescued. Instead of being rescued by his uncle like Oliver Twist, Nikolas is rescued by Santa’s elves. Like a Dickens tale Matt Haig’s story is full of fantastical, quirky characters and the plot twists, turns and surprises which makes it a difficult book to put down!

Bursting with Christmas wonder, yet touching on some tricky subjects including abuse, death, grief and trust, this is a must-read book for children aged 8 years plus.

Little Robin Red Breast

Jan Fearnley

Nosy Crow, 2019

This magical story for young children embodies the Christmas spirit as it is about generosity and kindness. The plot is similar to Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Smartest Giant in Town except that a robin instead of a giant gives away his best clothes to help animals in need. 

By Christmas Eve Little Robin has given away all his warm, woolly vests to keep other animals warm and he has nothing left to wear himself. Shivering with cold he’s rescued by Father Christmas who says how proud he is of him and gives him a hand-knitted red vest that will keep him ‘warm forever’ and make other people ‘feel warm too’.

Mouse’s Night Before Christmas

By Tracey Corderoy and Sarah Massini

Nosy Crow, 2019

It is Christmas Eve and everybody is asleep.  Mouse, who lives inside a grandfather clock, pops his head out and sees a star on top of the family Christmas tree.  He scrambles to the top of the star and makes a wish. As he makes his wish, he hears a commotion outside.  It’s Santa and he’s lost!  Mouse climbs aboard Santa’s sleigh and shows him the way to go.  Mouse helps Santa to fill the stockings, so all the children receive their presents before daybreak. 

When it is time for Santa to leave Mouse is sad.  He’s been feeling lonely and has enjoyed having some company for a change.  As Santa leaves, he tells Mouse he heard the wish he made on the star.  He gives Mouse a present – it’s two pairs of ice-skates.  Full of hope Mouse follows a map Santa has given him which leads him to a lonely bird who is also in need of a friend. They ice skate hand-in-hand across a frozen pond, skating the words The End.

This is a wonderful story about thinking of others and the value of friendship which captures the Christmas spirit.

Pip and Posy: The Christmas Tree

Axel Scheffler

Nosy Crow, 2019

Pip and Posy are busy decorating their Christmas tree with home-made biscuits and candy canes. The strange thing is that each time Posy goes into the kitchen to fetch something, a decoration vanishes from the tree. ‘When Posy came back, she noticed that one of the candy canes was missing. “There were four candy canes,” she said. “But now there are only three.”’ 

Soon there are no decorations left and Pip is feeling strangely sick.  He confesses that he has eaten all the decorations and apologises to Posy. Together they go out for some fresh air to make Pip feel better.  Then they return to make more decorations for the tree – this time, paper ones!

We love this story of friendship and forgiveness, and it also helps young children with their maths skills.

Santa Clause Vs the Easter Bunny

By Fred Blunt

Andersen Press, 2019

The Easter Bunny lives next door to Santa, and he is fed up. Every Christmas children say thank you to Santa by leaving him treats – rice pudding in Denmark, mince pies and sherry in England, milk and cookies in America. On top of that, Santa is helped by a team of elves. The Easter Bunny receives no treats and no help and he’s feeling jealous, so he hatches a plan to punish Santa and the children.

In the dead of night, the Easter Bunny sneaks into Santa’s workshop and fills the toy machines with chocolate. On Christmas Day, the Easter Bunny gleefully switches on the television to enjoy the upset he has caused. However, things don’t go to plan because the children are delighted with their chocolate aeroplanes and bicycles!

The Easter Bunny shuts up shop and prepares to leave home, but at that moment Santa knocks on the door. Santa makes him an offer he can’t refuse – they will be a team!  The Easter Bunny is given full access to Santa’s machines and elf power, and he is rewarded with all the carrots he can eat (thanks to the reindeer who are sick of carrots anyway). 

This is a delightfully funny story with an important message. Although what the Easter Bunny did was wrong, Santa understood why he felt jealous and helped him rather than punishing him.

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