A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about five new Christmas picture books that came out this year. Today I want to tell you about five Christmas picture books that I tend to read year after year. And just so you know, this was a hard list to come up with! However, I did ultimately narrow it down and here is the result:
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson
Stick Man ends up far away from his family for the holidays (he gets picked up by humans and animals who think he is a stick and then ends up on an incredible journey). Eventually Santa Claus helps to make sure that Stick Man and his family can have a happy holiday. I know, this seems like an odd book for me to like to read at Christmastime; however, I love the idea of talking about not always having families be able to be together—because that is a reality for so many in this world. So the fact that the happiest Christmas gift that can be given is to just be together, that makes me feel warm and fuzzy!
The Third Gift by Linda Sue Park
This story is about a boy and his dad that gather myrrh. One day they gather an exceptionally large and beautiful bit of myrrh that is eventually given to three wise men who are looking for special gifts for a special child. There are a lot of biblical references. The reason I especially like this story is that it makes me think beyond the story I already know. Until I read Park’s text I didn’t know what went into one of the three precious gifts. It puts the importance of the gifts in perspective.
Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess
A young wolf can’t sleep. He really wants a stuffed teddy bear to keep him comfort. So off he goes to look for where teddy bears come from. Of course, being a wolf, this tends to be a harder task than he thinks it will be. With a nod to fairy tale characters (and let’s face it, I’m also a sucker for a clever bit that adults who read these books over and over again will like) the wolf’s journey eventually leads him to an old man who is trying to fix a tire on a truck (which wolf fixes with a huff and a puff). Little ones will giggle when they realize just who that jolly old man is. I love that this is a happy story where wolf is kind and helpful while searching for his teddy bear.
Santa Duck by David Milgrim
When a duck named Nicholas wears a Santa-type hat and goes looking for Santa (to tell him what he wants for Christmas), all the other animals mistake him for Santa Claus. They tell Nicholas all of the somewhat humorous things they wish for as Christmas gifts. When Nicholas finally finds Santa, he tells him about all of the gift requests from his friends—and forgets to tell Santa what he wants. Thankfully Santa has a good idea what would be a perfect gift for Nicholas Duck. I love the humor of this Christmas tale. I like how Nicholas ended up being more concerned about conveying the list of what the other animals wanted then telling Santa what he wanted. Plus, did I mention the humor? I totally laughed at this story.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
Okay, this one is a classic. You have probably read it a million times yourself. But seriously, it is so good! I love reading about how something that is a cast off, discarded bit of tree is actually perfect for a whole bunch of people and animals. I love the feeling of everyone having a happy Christmas tree in the end. Yeah, this is the warm and fuzzy feeling of Christmas all wrapped up into a book…a book that just may be my all-time favorite Christmas read. Seriously, if you haven’t read it yet, come to the library to check it out!