Popular Children’s Christmas Books – Is Your Favourite Here?

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Introduction

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

The poster of The SnowmanThis 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

Book of The Little Match GirlThe Little Match Girl was first published in 1845, in 1928 it became a French film and was then made into an animated short film by Disney in 2006.

 

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

Book of the Polar ExpressThis 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

Book of a Visit from St. NicholasThis 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

The Dinosaur that pooped christmas bookThis 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 

First Edition of a Christmas Carol bookThis 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

Mr Willowby's Christmas TreeAs 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”

How The Grinch Stole Christmas bookThis 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.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas was first published in the form of a book in 1957 and was twice made into a Christmas special. In 1966 it became an animated film for TV and starred Boris Karloff in the role of both the voice of the Grinch as well as the narrator. Then in 2000 it became a feature film which starred Jim Carrey.
The Grinch who is a bitter, bad-tempered creature who lives in a cave on a steep and high mountain which is known as snowy mount Crumpit.  The mountain is just to the north of the town of Whoville and this is where the loving and cheerful Who’s live. The only friend the Grinch has is his loyal but disliked dog called Max. When he hears the noise of the festivities taking place in Whoville, he gets annoyed and makes the decision that he is going to stop Christmas from coming and then he starts to steal their belongings such as presents, food and even trees. So while disguising himself as Santa and the dog as a reindeer he forces poor Max to drag the sleigh to Whoville.
 
Again, I do not want to ruin this book for you by telling you the full story just in case you would like to read it to your children or grandchildren.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert Lewis May

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer bookNow, I am sure that we all know the song for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and have sang it endless times to both children and grandchildren  This article however is more about the book.
 
Rudolph has now become a legendary reindeer, however he was originally portrayed as a fawn who is young and does not really have any antlers but does have a glowing red nose. He is known as the ninth reindeer of Santa. Then when Santa on a Christmas Eve asks him to be the lead reindeer to pull his sleigh, the brightness from his nose is so bright that it lights the way for them all during the harsh weather.
 
The first appearance from Rudolph was in the form of a booklet in 1939. It was written by Robert Lewis May and the department store Montgomery Ward were the publishers. The 75th Anniversary of Rudolph along with the 50th Anniversary for the TV special happened in 2014, there was also a series of postage stamps which featured Rudolph issued on 6th November 2014.

Conclusion

Well, these are the books that I look on as being popular Children’s Christmas books that people have either read themselves or to their children and grandchildren over the years. I have also read some of these books to my own children, as well as them reciting them back to me as they know them off by heart because they have heard them that often, especially Mr Willoughby’s Christmas Tree. My daughter is now 23 and my sons are 19, almost 20 and they still love to read the Christmas stories at this time of year.

I do hope that I have managed to include a favourite book that you remember from your childhood or one that you read now to your own children or grandchildren. If not, perhaps there is one there in the list that has drew your attention enough to make you want to read it.  I would love to hear any thoughts or comments you have on the books I have chosen.

If you have any questions or feedback on this article, please leave them in the comment section below or contact me at WealthyAffiliate.com and I will be more than happy to answer them.

Cheryl

 

6 comments

  1. Hello and thanks for sharing these are some classical books that brings back years of memory and can really get you in to the spirit of the season with all of that good feeling. I am sure that your readers will be happy to find out what you are offering.

    1. Thank you Norman for your comment and I am happy to read that I brought back memories. I always think that there is nothing better than a good book to read to your children at Christmas be it through a story or a rhyme. I love being in the Christmas spirit and I think it makes you feel good. I am pleased to see that you liked the choice of books and that you think my readers will be happy with the books I chose.

  2. A good book is a friend for ever.
    We all have our evergreens.

    Thznk you for sharing yours…
    Great reviews!

    1. Thank you very much for your comment and I agree that a good book is a friend forever. I have two or three that are my evergreens. You are very welcome and pleased that you liked the books that I chose.

  3. Thanks for the review. Books are one of my favourite things, I probably should have been a librarian. Many of these books brought back memories from both my own childhood and that of my children. All now fully grown.
    I especially liked the background to what I know as ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ but now know was originally called A visit from St Nicholas.
    I would be interested to know which is your favourite.

    1. Hi Karen, thanks very much for your comment. I love books as well and keep buying them when I see ones that I like so now have a large pile to read as well as the ones that are on my kindle. I think that a lot of people will feel the same in that it will bring back good memories of reading them yourself or too your family. I have read a few of these books to my kids as well and one we all love is Mr Willoughby’s Christmas Tree, in fact my 3 can now recite it word for word as we read it that often. I like The Little Match Girl, but my favourite one is a visit from St. Nicholas, I was in a shop one day with my mum and they have a bear that reads the story and I made my mum stand with me and listen to it from start to finish lol.

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