Christmas is magical for children – but what made Christmas special for you when you were young?
There are probably many things: curling up on the sofa and watching a Christmas film or looking out of the window trying to anticipate the snow falling.
Did you have a favourite Christmas book? Parents usually read their children a story before bedtime on Christmas Eve, so carrying on the tradition with your children is something that’ll excite you.
We invite you to explore a list of books for babies and toddlers, from new books to the good old classics.
We’ll also explore what the concept of the book is, and why we think it’s a great book to buy.
While most kids learn to read between the ages of 4-7, there’s no reason you can’t get them interested in reading from an early age.
Babies and toddlers love listening to your voice, especially if you make the stories fun and include them in the activity.
Here are 8 benefits of reading to babies and toddlers:
Here are four of our favourite Christmas books for babies and toddlers:
Jane Foster is a relatively new author. She’s been publishing books for the past five years, which are hugely popular, and her Christmas book is no different.
She’s sold over 300,000 copies of her books worldwide in only three years, so she’s definitely one to look out for and tell your friends about. This book was released in 2019.
The concept of this book is the simplest – it’s basic word association. You look at the various Christmas associated pictures and connect them to the word.
If you have a baby or 1-2 year old, they’ll adore this Christmas book. It’s one you can put away and give to your children’s children, it’s so colourful.
We love this book because it injects some style into Christmas with its vintage, Scandinavian-style images.
You can tell Jane is inspired by vintage culture, and bold, brave patterns and pictures. If you have a similar style, you’ll like this book.
We also love the fact that Jane is a UK-based author, so you’d be supporting the UK book trade if you buy this book.
Rod’s books are popular among the under-fives – his 1982 Dear Zoo was a hit – it’s sold over 8 million copies and has been published in sixteen different languages. In 2004 he followed up with Dear Santa, which has also been a big success.
Rod was fascinated by the lift-the-flap Spot the Dog books as a child, but he wanted to create something that made sense in terms of a story.
The concept of the book is simple (as you’d expect), a small child writes to Santa with his Christmas wish list.
The book guides you and your little one through the process of Santa wrapping the presents. He’s unsure of which present to send and changes his mind on each page.
In the end, he gets it right! Well done Santa.
Here’s a video read of the book if you’d like to try before you buy:
The book is visually engaging, babies and young children will love seeing what’s under the flaps as you lift them up. As they learn the different presents, they’ll be chuffed with themselves as they reveal what’s underneath.
If your kids are slightly older (2-3) it’s an excellent book for developing language skills and hand-eye coordination.
But most of all, the concept and storyline are simple. If your kids are particularly curious, you can try to explain the idea. Sometimes, we get confused because we don’t know what to pick, but after some consideration, we get there!
Similar to the above book, The Gruffalo’s Child is a spin-off from the ever-popular The Gruffalo.
Both books were authored by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The Gruffalo was published in 1999, has sold over 13 million copies worldwide and has won several English literature prizes. The sequel had a lot to live up to!
This is more indirect than Dear Santa, so don’t expect elves, tinsel and carol singing.
The book has a more complex theme than Dear Santa, but it’s still an enjoyable read. The story focuses on the brains-over-brawn topic.
If you’ve read the first book, you’ll know the small, smart mouse outwits the big, cumbersome Gruffalo. The story continues in a similar fashion, but this time it’s the baby Gruffalo who’s duped.
The baby Gruffalo disobeys, and sets off into the woods to find the ‘big, bad mouse’. He encounters several animals on the way, who tell him where to find the mouse.
The baby Gruffalo finds the mouse, who creates a large shadow and scares the baby Gruffalo, who’s faith is her father is restored.
While this books is technically for three years and above – we think it’s lively rhymes and upbeat nature can keep children of any age hooked.
“Aha! Oho! A trail in the snow!/ Whose is this trail and where does it go?”
It reads more like a poem or a song that a book, and mirrors a similar style to the of Dr. Suess and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
The artwork is rich, colourful and expressive. If your children are old enough to understand the concept of brains-over-brawn, you could consider explaining this to them.
Otherwise, you could use it as an excuse to tell them mum and dad are always right!
Tom and Mike both began commendable careers in different professions before they entered the world of book publishing.
Tom wrote for Private Eye, and award-winning sketch show Dead Ringer and Mike started as a designer for a greetings card company. No wonder they created such a funny, visually stimulating book.
Sprouts are a staple of the Christmas period, but one you either love or hate. There’s no in between.
The story’s hero Jack hates them, yet his mum and dad bring home Sproutzilla, who sets off on a mission to destroy Christmas.
The only way to stop him is by eating all of the sprouts in his way – Jack has to push himself to his limit!
This book is the funniest in the list, your kids will be howling as they read about evil sprouts who can’t stop trumping. We also love the bizarre twist on something quite traditional.
The illustrations are soft in tone, and the frowning sprouts are amusing. If you want something a little quirky, bizarre and funny, this book is for you.
If you’ve already got this book, check out the sequel: The Return of Sproutzilla!
We hope these books have convinced you to buy your child a new book for Christmas. Think about sitting next to the fire on Christmas Eve, or your kids jumping out of the bath and snuggling into your Christmas pyjamas.
What’s the best thing to do after? Read a magical Christmas book, of course.
Here’s a recap of the four books:
Further Reading: 13 Non-Fiction Book Gift Ideas for Christmas 2019
It just wouldn’t be Christmas without these songs dominating the airwaves. While you’re listening to your Christmas selection, it’s a great time to have a little clear out and generate some cash in the process.
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