For the last several years I have wanted to countdown to Christmas with books and each year I think of it many months ahead. Then bam December 5th and then soon Christmas Day is upon us. Life is so busy no matter what time or year or how many children you have. Won’t you take some time this year to spend reading a book each day as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
This year I am trying my best to make Christmas a special time even if our house is a mess and we are busy with Nutcracker practices and performances. Our Christmas Tree may go up late but preparing our hearts for Christmas is more important!
Our first book on the list is a brand new book that we received in the mail which I am so excited about!
Your family will love this heartwarming Christmas story told from an unlikely perspective: a donkey carrying Mary to Bethlehem. Though the donkey wasn’t the biggest, fastest, or strongest of all the animals, he had an important job all the same. Adults and children alike will love the message about how God has big plans for little ones.
“Love Came Down at Christmas” is a Christmas poem by Christina Rossetti. It was first published without a title in Time Flies: A Reading Diary in 1885. It was later included in the collection Verses in 1893 under the title “Christmastide”.
“Someone’s coming to this house,” Mouse tells all the animals in the stable. As each animal hurries to tidy up, they wonder who their special visitors will be. By nightfall, the stable is ready and the animals’ guests appear. Warm, appealing illustrations bring this celebration of the first Christmas to life.
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies–
If you take a mouse to the movies, he’ll ask you for some popcorn. If you give him the popcorn, he’ll want to string it all together. Then he’ll want to hang it on a Christmas tree. The famous little mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie that has delighted millions of readers is back in an irresistible tale full of holiday antics.
All is quiet in the stable, except for Baby Owl. “Whooo is the new baby sleeping in the nest below? he asks his mother, and “Where are his feathers?” As Baby Owl listens to Mama Owl’s patient answers, he learns all about the Holy Child and the bright star that has come with him. Young children can share in Baby Owl’s wonder in this cozy and joyous rendition of the Nativity Story.
The gentle beauty of the story of the first Christmas is now available as a board book. With a simple, lyrical text and radiant artwork, this book is perfect for the youngest child to be a part of the wonder of the Nativity.
Here is the story of the Nativity told in 200 words that are simple enough for a toddler to understand. From the Annunciation by the angel through Jesus’s birth, the angels’ appearance to the shepherds, and the journey of the wise men, the Christmas story is presented in its most traditional form. Vibrant new illustrations are paired with classic text to bridge the connection between the biblical story of Jesus’s birth and today’s Christmas celebration. This book is unsurpassed as an introduction to the significance of the Christmas holiday.
Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale–
On a cold winter night, Kind Ox invites one visitor after another into the shelter of his stable–Old Dog, Stray Cat, and Small Mouse, who rest together in harmony. When Tired Donkey appears, he brings with him Mary and Joseph, and all of the animals welcome Jesus when He is born. The slightly fuzzy yet realistic acrylic paintings are dappled with multicolored blurry dots that add a touch of magic to the scene, although young children may simply assume that it’s snowing. The very short and simple text, the catchy refrain, and the lovely illustrations make this title a fine choice for young listeners.
Little Benjamin and the First Christmas: A Bethlehem Boy and the Christ Child–
The story of the birth of Christ, as seen through the eyes of Benjamin, a young boy in Bethlehem.
A procession travels to Bethlehem, bringing gifts for the newborn baby Jesus. The little drummer boy comes along, although he is too poor to bring a present fit for a king. Instead, he plays a song on his drum for the Christ Child. Within the little drummer boy’s seemingly simple gift lies the true spirit of Christmas.
The classic story of The Nutcracker comes to life with this book, theater, and paper doll play set. Read along in the 32-page storybook as your paper doll characters (more than 40 of them!) dance their way through three different foldout stages!
I Spy A Candy Cane–
All new, easy-to-read riddles by Jean Marzollo are paired with fun photographs culled from previously published I Spy books to create an I Spy easy reader. With rhythm, rhyme, and picture clues, this book is written to support the newest reader!
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree–
The Armistice has been declared, but still there is no sign of Ruthie’s father in their little Appalachian town. So, in accordance with the traditions of Pine Grove, it falls to Ruthie and her mother to bring home the perfect Christmas tree to donate to the town. Ruthie had accompanied her father to the rocky cliff where he marked a tree in the spring, so she and her mother set out to find it again, and haul it home. Their trip becomes the basis overnight of a new town legend; Ruthie, chosen for the role of the heavenly angel in the the church Christmas play, finds herself outfitted in a made over wedding dress of the finest silk another “miracle” wrought by her hardworking mother. An accomplished, fluid telling garnishes this simple story, as do Cooney’s moonlit paintings of wintry evenings and the welcoming glow of fire and lanterns. Ruthie is more or less an observer; her mother is the real heroine. But the way they work together to keep their family’s duty is rendered in a harmonious blending of text and pictures.
Corduroy’s Christmas Surprise–
Christmas is coming, and Corduroy has a list of gifts he’d like from Santa-until he discovers the true meaning of Christmas is not about train sets and ice skates, but about good friends. Celebrate the season with Corduroy in this Christmas story that is sure to be a holiday read-aloud favorite.
Six Christmas stories by the Newbery Honor winning author converge to portray the sensitive moods of togetherness, loss, belonging, privation. Garnet Ash has lived alone in an out-of-the-way house ever since his parents died; his solace is growing Christmas trees, and folks ride out to his place once a year. Francis spends part of Christmas Eve with her father in a diner where a stray cat is fed and sheltered. Philip’s grandfather comes for the holiday and misses his dead wife; Philip tries to show him “you’ve got us.” Silvia walks the streets of New York, looking for Christmas in the eyes of strangers. Frankie waits yearly for the Christmas train to arrive in the mountains with a special package for him. And Mae, while hungry and sick, tries to find shelter and instead stumbles across a picture of a woman and a baby and stars in the sky. Rylant’s Christmas is a sad and lonely one, but her ability to summon the joys of the season through her writing is extraordinary. Schindler’s illustrations, appropriately, are both reserved and inciting.
The curly-haired, toddler-sized Holly Babes put on a Christmas pageant presentation of the Nativity in this sweet, simple holiday story.
It’s Christmastime, and the four holiday mice merrily hang stockings, string popcorn, wrap presents, and sing carols. But while they are busy spreading cheer, what is the cat up to? Beginning readers will be delighted to find out in this easy-to-read holiday book with a clever twist on giving and receiving.
The Family Christmas Tree Book–
In this warmly illustrated book, a family trims its Christmas tree. As the mother, father, grandmother, and children decorate together, they tell the story of how Christmas trees came to be, including the changes in size and appearance over time, and the way ornaments were first introduced.
A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . .
Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.
Share the joy of counting and rhyming while reading about the birth of Jesus. This early reader 16-page book teaches kids about the Bible and character traits.
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Disclosure: I received One Small Donkey by Dandi Daley Mackall free of charge from Thomas Nelson as part of their Tommy Mommy Review Program. All opinions are my own honest views along with the provided description that was provided as part of the program.
You have some new ones that I have not read before on here. I will have to check them out! Thanks for some new reads for this season, I especially like how Christ-cenered your list is!