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Christmassy children's books for 2016

Written by · Published Nov 29, 2016

A child meets Bookstart Bear

Board books

Stella Baggott - Baby's Very First Noisy Book: Christmas

Very young readers can enjoy colourful Christmas images alongside Christmas sounds including sparkly snowflakes, twittering birds and Santa racing across the sky in his sleigh.

This may be my favourite of this year’s crop of Christmas board books, with a fold-out zigzag that should withstand repeated unfolding!

David McKee - Elmer's Christmas

It’s two days before the annual visit of Papa Red and the young elephants are very excited. They choose a tree to decorate and prepare the presents for Papa Red to collect during the night to take to those who need them. But this year Elmer has a special treat in store for the young elephants, if they can keep quiet and out of sight.

As you would expect with a story about Elmer, this is a heart-warming book about working together (to carry the Christmas tree) playing nicely, sharing and kindness, perfect for the season of goodwill. It came out in paperback last year, but works even better in this board book format with added sparkle.

Dawn Sirett - Christmas

From the DK Baby Touch and Feel series, this board book is a perfect size for very small hands and is filled with seasonal photos and sparkly bits. Your baby can develop their fine motor and language skills and learn about Christmas by touching Rudolph’s red squishy nose, admiring the twinkly red baubles on a Christmas tree, and investigating a gift wrapped in glittery polka dot paper.

Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells - That's Not My Elf...

There are five mischievous elves to meet in this bright and textured book, with shiny boots, fluffy scarves and soft hats to keep them warm at the North Pole.

Usborne touchy-feely board books look exciting and inviting whatever their subject matter. This one is a bright Christmassy green, so we couldn’t resist buying loads.

Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler - The Christmas Bear

Follow Christmas Bear when he enlists the help of a gnu in a canoe and a raccoon in a balloon, among others, to catch up with Santa’s sleigh in time for a child’s Christmas.

Packed with characters, lots of little details and asides, this book would be great for children who love poring over pictures and undoing small flaps.

Picture books

Steve Antony - The Queen's Present

The Queen and her corgi swoop around the world with Father Christmas in search of presents for her great-grandchildren in this gorgeous new Steve Antony picture book. The palette is seasonally green with a touch of red, the cover shines, the sleigh soars over iconic landmarks and the endpapers are populated with elves. It is a beautiful object and funny too. In fact, it’s a perfect present for Christmas.

Kes Gray and Garry Parsons - Nuddy Ned's Christmas

This title is bound to be a favourite this Christmas with all sensible children. It’s about naughty Nuddy Ned, who capers unclad into the town on Christmas Eve to meet Father Christmas. Luckily there are strategically placed flaps and it’s all in rhyme.

Cheryl Hart and Sarah Warburton - The Princess and the Christmas Rescue

Princess Eliza is awfully lonely in her beautiful snow palace. Stuck inside all day with no-one to play with, she’s become brilliant at building her own toys. However, she can’t build the thing she wants most: a friend.

If you like your princesses a bit wishy-washy, don’t read this book, because Princess Eliza is “brainy and bright”, invents a whole series of machines and gadgets, and gets a power drill for Christmas.

Valérie Thomas - Winnie and Wilbur Meet Santa

“It’s Christmas Eve and Winnie and Wilbur are super excited. They’ve posted their letters to the North Pole and made everything festive. But then disaster strikes. Santa gets stuck in their chimney! He desperately needs help with his deliveries otherwise Christmas just won’t happen.”

Junior novels

Lil Chase and Thomas Docherty - The Cat Who Ate Christmas

“It’s Christmas, and everyone in the Hudson family is very excited - including their kitten. First he knocks the Christmas tree over, then he shreds the presents, and finally he eats the entire Christmas turkey! Mum gets cross, and the kitten runs away. But when he doesn’t come back, the Hudson family have to venture out on Christmas Day to find their naughty kitten. Can they have a merry Christmas after all?”

Just the right length for the child who wants to read a whole book by themselves, but lacks the stamina for a solid wall of print, this familiar tale about a naughty kitten who jumps on the Christmas tree is punctuated with enough funny illustrations to power you on to the end. Super.

Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks - Christmas with Princess Mirror-Belle

“Ellen gets a big shock when her reflection climbs out of a mirror. But Mirror-Belle is a double with a difference! She is a princess, and a very mischievous one at that. Join Mirror-Belle as she sweeps Ellen into hilarious Christmassy escapades - from joining in with the Christmas ballet show to attending Ellen’s friend’s fancy dress party and trying to catch Father Christmas! You can always guarantee that wherever Mirror-Belle goes, trouble will follow.”

Julia Donaldson’s latest book includes added Christmas extras like recipes for salt dough and instructions for how to make a snow globe.

Tom Fletcher - The Christmasaurus

The Christmasaurus is a story about a boy named William Trundle, and a dinosaur, the Christmasaurus. It’s about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It’s about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer, music and magic. It’s about discovering your heart’s true desire, and learning that the impossible might just be possible.”

As well as writing songs for McFly, Tom Fletcher loves dinosaurs, and has written a whole series of picture books about The Dinosaur That Pooped. Right at the end of The Christmasaurus Tom has written some Christmassy dinosaur lyrics.

Jo Dixon

I work for Suffolk Libraries Stock Team.