Christmas is a special time for children and a book is always a great child’s gift. The gift can be made more memorable by choosing gift books about Christmas or one that has a Christmas theme. Here are some great books for children, both old perennial favourites and new releases.
Peter Rabbit: A Winter’s Tale
This timeless Beatrix Potter book, just released by Penguin Australia in a new pop-up format, will delight all ages. It has the usual Potter characters and illustrations, but also features a spectacular pop-up Christmas tree in the final pages. The child can decorate the tree with sparkly pretend snowflakes, which are found throughout the book, and then the tree can become a Christmas decoration.
Olivia Helps With Christmas
This delightful book by Ian Falconer has been around since 2007, but is still a great favourite with the three to six-year-olds. Olivia is, of course, a pig who gets into all manner of trouble as she tries to wrap presents, decorate the tree and built a snowpig. Falconer’s illustrations make the book.
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
This offering comes from the prodigious team of Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser (illustrator) and is published by Harper Collins. Fancy Nancy is trying to make Christmas splendiferous, and is decorating the tree when disaster strikes. Her favourite ornament for the top of the tree gets broken. Grandpa steps in just in time and helps create a very fancy replacement. This would be a great book for grandfather to give and then read to the recipient.
Two Books about Christmas
Many gift buyers will want to impress on children the solemn religious aspect of Christmas, so here are two excellent books which tell the Nativity story in their own unique way.
The First Christmas – illustrated by Jan Pienkowski
Polish-born Jan Pienkowski now lives in London and he has been a successful children’s illustrator for many years, often using a silhouette style. His children’s book ,The First Christmas, released by Puffin in 2006, is a beautiful modern interpretation of the Christmas story, taking the King James Bible version for its text. A family reading from this book on Christmas Eve each year would be a delightful custom to establish.
This is a quirky New Zealand twist on the nativity, as it is set in New Zealand. Popular Kiwi children’s author Joy Crowley combines with illustrator Gavin Bishop to produce a wacky but moving account of the farm animals going to the cowshed door and seeing the baby Jesus. They bring uniquely Kiwi gifts for the Christchild – a rugby ball, a Kiwi toy, a pavlova and Jandals. Kids will love the wonderful illustrations. Cowshed Christmas is published by Random House, New Zealand.
These offerings are ready for the Holy Season. Check local bookstores or try Amazon.com. Here are some more more traditional Christmas books for children.