My children and I love snuggling up together with a book and it seems even more special and cosy at Christmastime. This year, we have read lots of children’s stories together and have chosen our 5 favourite festive reads. One thing we can conclude – there are lots of amazing children’s books on the market especially those from self-published authors, and it was very difficult choosing just 5!
- Festive Flamingo – Shaula Maitland.
This is very different and very special. This was my personal favourite. This is a Christmas-themed book full of mindfulness and meditation exercises. I wasn’t sure at first if my children would enjoy it as it was very different, but they loved it! There are various Christmassy mindful exercises to enjoy. I read them out to my children whilst they lay in their beds listening to the words and relaxing. The words would tell them to imagine something; the smells of Christmas, the calming feeling of going to post Christmas cards… it was festive and cosy but also really relaxing which is not something which you really associate with Christmas but reminded us that, when we are all so busy at Christmastime, it’s important to relax and appreciate the little moments too. This is a fabulous book to enjoy – I recommend doing one or two exercises a day on the run up to Christmas.
- Little Squirrel Squish – Ross Hammond.
I was delighted when Ross Hammond asked me to work on this book with him, after having worked on his first Christmas book; Little Elf Ray, I was excited to see what this book would be like. I was delighted – the story is brilliant and I couldn’t wait to share it with my children. My children loved this story because it was really magical. It tells of a little Squirrel who dreams of pulling Santa’s sleigh. He makes his own red nose and antlers and hopes that Santa will choose him! The illustrations are bright and fun and the story told in a really simple way that made my 8-year-old fully immersed. When I asked him why this is one of his favourite books of 2019, he said it was because he liked the main character and how his dream came true. He also liked that it made him excited about Christmas and the things that happen with Santa which ‘we don’t know about!’ Now I think my little boy is imagining all the excitement in Santa’s workshop and his reindeer training ready for the big day, which is brilliant, I love that it has sparked his imagination!
- Foxes in the Snow – Jonathon Emmett.
This story is a lovely one to enjoy during winter. It made us snuggle up and get cosy. It tells of two little fox cubs who venture out of their den and end up getting lost in the snow. They have to try to find their way home. The story is very sweet and also a little tense at times but the illustrations are what really make this book stand out. It has beautiful pictures of wintery scenes and complimented the story so well. My daughter said she enjoyed this book a lot because she felt sorry for the foxes and wanted to know what happened to them.
- The Mouse in the Hammock – Bethany Brevard.
We all loved this story, it’s so cute and magical and has some lovely extras at the back – such as a poem and some behind the scenes! The mouse within the story helps to prepare for Christmas and does all kinds of tasks to make sure everything is ready for the big day. We discussed the story afterwards and how funny it would be if little mice did do all of these extra things when we are lying in bed on Christmas Eve. It’s got lovely illustrations and a great poem at the end. We have chosen this as our book to read on Christmas Eve.
- Where would Santa Go – Julia Inserro.
This is a Christmas-themed book which I first read in Spring last year when Julia showed me her draft. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, so when it was published this year, I downloaded it right away and got to share it with my children. This is a different kind of Christmas book; it looks at the bigger picture and also answers a question which I’m sure lots of children have asked; where is Santa when it isn’t December? The story explores all the different places where Father Christmas could travel over the course of the year… and trust me, there are lots of different places! My children enjoyed seeing them all and then deciding which place they would prefer to go too. I think it’s a great way to engage children in a story and have them imagine a bigger picture – there’s more to Santa than delivering presents! This is a brilliant book!
We have enjoyed lots of wonderful Christmas stories and it was so hard to choose just 5! We will be sharing other festive books we have enjoyed too on our social media posts over the next couple of weeks. We hope that you will find a festive story that makes you feel magical and excited for the big day!