Characters from children's books can become like good friends! Children love reading about their favorite characters in different situations and circumstances. Christmas books are no exception. As if Christmas books aren't great enough on their own, throw in some favorite characters and these books are sure to be hits. These books will help you to Celebrate Christmas With Your Favorite Characters!
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Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean
Santa is sick, so he asks his friend Pete the Cat to deliver the presents for him on Christmas Eve. Crazy Pete is happy to help, and even has a catchy song about the Christmas spirit to get stuck in your head. Like all the "Pete the Cat" books, the rhymes and cadence are pleasant and will put a smile on your face.
An Otis Christmas by Loren Long
It's Christmas Eve, and a horse on Otis's farm is struggling to deliver her foal. A blizzard is keeping the doctor away, until Otis braves the storm to fetch him. Otis displays his usual bravery and overcomes his own fears in order to take care of his friends. This one has a great Christmas message, as Otis receives a small gift from the farmer but knows that his greatest gifts are the members of his farm family.
Elmer's Christmas by David McKee
In Elmer's world, Christmas works a little differently! The elephants hustle and bustle in order to get gifts ready, but instead of giving them all to the children, the gifts are taken away by Father Red for children in need. This sweet story of giving is a great way to introduce your children to the idea of Christmas giving.
Corduroy's Christmas Surprise by Don Freeman
Sweet Corduroy is looking forward to celebrating with his friends. After realizing that his Christmas wish list to Santa may have been a bit self-centered, he changes his requests to ask for gifts for his friends. The friends celebrate with caroling and gingerbread houses and then gather to see what Santa has brought. While the message of this Christmas book is better than others (gifts for and giving to others) it is a little heavy on the gift aspect of Christmas as a whole.
Merry Christmas, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
Merry Christmas, Mouse! is a simple Christmas counting book. Mouse adds ornaments and decorations to the tree, and readers count along. This one is a great choice for younger children, or any fans of the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" series.
Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson
In the original "Bear" book, Bear snores away while his friends have a party. In Bear Stays Up For Christmas, Bear's friends are determined to help him stay awake for Christmas Eve night! Fighting all his hibernation urges, Bear is able to stay up as he and his friends gather and decorate a tree, have snacks, and sing songs. Eventually Bear is the only one left awake, and he prepares gifts for his friends as Christmas morning dawns. The gentle rhymes and touching story of friendship makes this one of our favorites!
Berenstain Bears' Old Fashioned Christmas by Jan Berenstain
This may be my favorite of the bunch! Brother and Sister are disappointed when they arrive and Gramps and Gran's house for Christmas and are told to turn the television off. Instead, the whole family celebrates with carols, cutting and trimming a Christmas tree, crafts, helping in the kitchen and a sleigh ride. The cubs realize that spending time with family is the best part of Christmas.
Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
The hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas is difficult for Llama to handle. He is very impatient and eventually becomes overwhelmed. His mama gently reminds him that spending time together is the best part of Christmas. I think many children and families will relate to this book. Even children can get caught up in the stress that holidays can often bring, and this book describes those feelings in a very age appropriate way.
Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Connor
My girls are just becoming familiar with the "Fancy Nancy" series, but boy, do we love her! In this story, Nancy and her family prepare for Christmas by choosing and decorating a tree, waiting for grandpa to arrive, and doing some Christmas crafts. As always, the lush illustrations give children plenty to look at and they'll learn some new fancy words. Nancy also learns how to move past a major disappointment after her prized tree topper breaks. There are lots of great lessons for kids in this book!
Olivia Helps With Christmas by Ian Falconer
My girls LOVE Olivia and we've read this book dozens of times this week. Olivia "helps" her family prepare for Christmas in true Olivia fashion. This book has just the right amount of silliness, encouragement to be helpful, and fun family dynamics to make it fun and enjoyable even for adults to read.
Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
While all of Madeline's friends (along with Miss Clavel) are ill at Christmas time, leaving Madeline to help care for everyone. She opens the door to a man selling rugs and buys 12, one for each of her friends. Turns out that they're magic rugs that allow the children to zip home to visit their families. I'm not crazy about the magical elements of this story (I think a traditional Christmas story about Madeline would be lovely) but for those who love her, it will be a welcome addition to your Christmas bookshelves.
Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle
Little Blue delivers Christmas trees to all his friends. Eventually there is one left and it's for Blue himself. The best part about this book is that the final page features twinkling lights on a Christmas tree! My girls were astonished! This story also has a counting element, as Blue counts backwards from 5 as he delivers the trees. I liked this story just as much as the original Little Blue Truck.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen
While I'm not generally a huge fan of this series, there IS something terrifically funny about pictures of dinosaurs Christmas caroling and putting dainty ornaments on trees. And it can provide opportunities for discussing appropriate behavior around Christmastime!
Want To Check Out Even More Great Christmas Books?!
Visit The Jenny Evolution to find over 30 great winter and holiday book lists!
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