As Christmas draws nearer, I have decided to look at some of the popular children’s Christmas books and I would love to know if your favourite book is here in the ones I have chosen. I was trying to see if there was an up-to-date list of the top 10 books for 2017, the latest one I could find though was 2015.
Therefore, I have chosen some of the ones that are deemed as being popular.
The Books I Have Chosen
Listed below are some of the popular ones I have picked to tell you about. I will then give you a little insight to the story of each book without spoiling it for anyone who may have not read it yet or may be wanting to read it to their child or grandchild.
- The Snowman.
- The Little Match Girl.
- Polar Express
- A Visit From St. Nicholas.
- The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas.
- A Christmas Carol.
- Mr Willoughby’s Christmas Tree.
- The Elf On The Shelf.
- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
- Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Insight Into The Books
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
This Children’s book is full of pictures but has no actual words. It was first published in the UK then in the US in 1978. On the 26th December 1982 the UK were treated to an animated special adaptation of the book which lasted for 26 minutes.
This book is all about a young boy who decides on a cold winters day to build a snowman who then comes to life at midnight. After having fun in the house where they play with the toys, knick-knacks as well as the appliances they then go on a motorcycle ride where they manage to disturb a lot of the animals.
After cooling off in a freezer, the snowman takes the boy on a flight which takes them over places like the village where the boy stays, Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavilion, out over the ocean and along the Norwegian coast. After this they carry on over an arctic countryside and onto the Aurora where they land and join a party of snowmen as well as receiving a scarf from Santa who they meet with his reindeer.
However when the boy wakes up in the morning, he finds that the sun has come out and the snowman has melted. When the boy puts his hand in his pocket he finds the scarf that he received from Santa.
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson
This book tells a lovely but sad story of a young girl who is poor and is trying to sell matches to people in the street. It is a freezing New Year’s Eve and the girl is afraid to go home where she will be beaten by her father because she has not been able to sell the matches as well as her house being freezing because of the wind blowing in through the cracks.
As the poor girl is already so cold and in the early stages of hypothermia, she is already shivering as well as having to walk barefoot because she has lost her slippers which were too large for her, she makes the decision to take sit down and take shelter in an alley or nook.
In trying to warm herself up, the young girl lights the matches. While doing so, she starts to see some lovely sights of a warm stove followed by an extravagant feast where she imagines that the goose nearly leaps out at her. She then gets a vision of an elegant Christmas Tree which is a lot larger than the one she saw at the house of the rich merchant in the glow of the matches.
As she looks up towards the sky she catches sight of a shooting star which makes her remember her grandmother telling her that when you see a falling star it means that someone is passing away and will be going to heaven.
On lighting the next match the poor young girl gets a vision of her grandmother, the only person ever to have shown the girl any love as well as kindness throughout her life. To hold on to and keep the vision of her grandmother alive for longer she lights the whole bundle of matches at the same time.
Now, I do not want to ruin the rest of the book for you by saying what happens in case there is anyone who does not know the story and would really like to read the book.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
This book was published in 1985 and set partly in the home town of the author which is Grand Rapids in Michigan. It is recognised as being one of the classic Christmas stories for young children.
This is the story of a young boy, on hearing the whistle of the train roar discovers that the train is actually waiting for him. He then notices the conductor looking up at the window to which he then rushes downstairs and outside. The conductor tells the boy that the train is named the Polar Express and is on it’s way to the North Pole. At this, the boy boards the train to find it filled with lots of other boys and girls who are in their pyjamas, as well as candy and chocolate.
On approaching the North Pole, the children notice lots of Christmas elves who have accumulated in the centre of the town and were waiting to wave Santa Claus off. Santa chooses the boy to accept the first Christmas gift from himself and on discovering that he can have anything he wants, the boy then chooses to have one of the bells from the harness of one of the reindeer’s which he then puts into his pocket while the children all watch Santa as he disappears on his annual deliveries.
The boy then finds that he no longer has the bell in his pocket which has a hole in it as the children are on their way home. Once he reaches his house, as the train is pulling away the boy goes back to his bedroom.
I have decided not to tell you the next part so that it doesn’t ruin it for the ones who have never read the book yet and may want to.
A Visit from St. Nicholas
This poem is also known as Twas the Night Before Christmas as well as The Night Before Christmas and these titles derive from the very first line. It was originally anonymously published in 1823 and was later credited to a gentleman of the name Clement Clarke Moore who took provenance of the book in 1837.
This poem is all about Christmas Eve and Santa’s visit. It is the story of how a father looks out the bedroom window after being wakened by noises to see Santa and his reindeer landing his sleigh on the roof after which he comes down the chimney into the house and is carrying with him a large sack of toys.
While Santa is putting the presents into the children’s stockings while having a laugh to himself, the father is watching him and they share a secretive moment after which Santa disappears back up the chimney. Then as Santa and his reindeer fly away he is heard to say “Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night”.
The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas by Dougie Poynter and Tom Fletcher
This story which has been classed as a madcap romp was written by two of McFly’s band members and is all about a dinosaur as well as lots and lots of poo.
It is the story of a boy named Danny who is a greedy boy and always asks for far too many presents from Santa and so to teach Danny a lesson this year he gives him a dinosaur. The final outcome of this book is extremely smelly, large and incredibly funny.
Here is Santa reading the book aloud, this will let you see what it is like before you decide if you want to purchase it.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is the story of an old miser who goes by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge who one Christmas Eve receives a visits from his old work partner’s ghost to tell him to expect a visit from 3 ghosts which are the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Now and the Ghost of Christmas yet to come. These 3 ghosts basically take Scrooge back to when he was young and show him how his life has evolved over the years to make him what he is now.
When Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning after the visits from the ghosts he decides to change his attitude and he changes and becomes a much nicer, kinder and more gentle man.
This book can be referred to as being the ghost story of Christmas. It was first published in London in 1843 and the illustrations in the first ever edition were by John Leech.
Charles Dickens was influenced by his own experiences from the past as well as using the stories about Christmas from other Authors. It was written during a time when old traditions such as carols and new customs such as having Christmas trees were being explored and examined by the British. The first edition of the book was published on the 19th December and was sold out by Christmas Eve.
Mr Willoughby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
As the saying goes, “One man’s rubbish may be another’s treasure,”. Well this is the message that comes through in the story of Mr Willoughby’s Christmas Tree, which was first published in 1963. This is the story about the delivery of a Christmas Tree which is a little too tall and there are so many others who all benefit from this tree as well.
This story starts with the delivery of a Christmas tree which turns out to be far too tall for where it is intended to go and therefore the top is lopped off and the maid then takes it to use as her Christmas tree. It then appears to be too tall for the maid’s room so she also takes off the top and the story continues like that down the line until even the mice get the perfect tree.
This book is both funny and tender, because every time the top of the tree is chopped off and thrown away there is always someone else who finds it and takes it to their home thinking that they have been left a gift until it gets to the point where there is only the tiny tip which is big enough for the mice to have their own tree on which they place a cheese star on top.
The Elf on the Shelf by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell
This children’s picture book was published in 2005, is written in rhyme and tells the Christmas-themed story of how Santa finds out who is naughty and who is nice by having the elves keeping an eye on the children between the period of Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. When you purchase the book of the Elf on the Shelf, it comes in a keepsake box which contains the book and a small soft toy elf.
The story of the Elf on the Shelf tells us how the Scout Elves who belong to Santa, go and hide in peoples homes to keep an eye on what is happening and they then report back to Santa every night who has been good and who has been bad. The elf then goes back to the house before the family awaken and he finds a new place to hide. There is a game of hide and seek with the family and the Elf going on as he finds a different place every day to hide.
For the Scout Elves to be able to fly to and from the North Pole they need to get their magic and they get this from being both named and loved by a child. There is a place in the back of each book for the child to write the name they have given the elf as well as the date they adopted it.
The story also tells you that if you touch the Scout Elf then his magic may disappear and therefore he will not be able to report back to Santa with the good and bad things that he has seen and knows. Therefore, there is one rule that you must follow and that is to not touch the Elf but you can talk to and tell your Christmas wishes to him so then he can go and report back to Santa.
The book finishes on Christmas Day when the Elf leaves to go and stay the rest of the year with Santa till it comes to the Christmas season the next year.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Theodor Geisel “Dr. Seuss”
This is another story that has been written in rhyme and follows the Grinch who is a grumpy creature that lives alone tries to get rid of Christmas. He does this by going round the houses in the town of Whoville stealing any Christmas-themed items on Christmas Eve. However, as the people of Whoville still decide to honour the holiday, the Grinch becomes the guest of honour at their Christmas dinner as he returns everything he has stolen.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May