Tomie dePaola beautifully illustrates a classic Christmas carol. His book is a celebration of the joy surrounding Christ’s birth. The full song with notes is included in the back.
Pamela Dalton uses cut-paper artwork, a folk art tradition of Pennsylvania German origin, to bring the Nativity to life. Her delicate, detailed pictures are pure magic.
This book follows the delightful Cranberry Thanksgiving, an absolute favorite in our house. Set in a small town near the edge of a cranberry bog in New England, this book carries the spirit of Christmastide with its vintage style pictures and warm characters. It even includes a recipe for Christmas cookies on the back.
A retelling of Christ’s birth from the vantage point of a tiny cricket. Surprisingly, it is both whimsical and reverent; the story does not dilute into a “cutesy” Christmas story. Instead, with rhythmic prose, this sweet story evokes the wonder and mystery of the Incarnation that ripples to all of creation, even the tiny cricket.
Although not necessarily about Christmas, these selections of classic poems are perfect to read all throughout the winter season.
6) The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman
This is one for children who are a little older. The language is sophisticated and the story is a bit dark in the way that fairy tales are, but it is a haunting story that I loved reading out loud over several days with my daughter this year.
Originally written for second graders, this book is illustrated in a beautiful and rich folk-art style.
While the gorgeous illustrations (watercolor and gold leaf) by Jackie Morris are of the Christmas story, the poetry from Sally Lloyd-Jones is a type of universal hymn of joy for all parents celebrating their long-awaited, beloved children.
This one is illustrated with paintings from The National Gallery, London and uses texts from Isaiah and the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke. Simple and beautiful.
What are your favorite children’s Christmas books?