From all-time Christmas classics to beautiful brand new books…
Christmas stories and tales are a magical part of the holiday season – and a special book always has a place in any Christmas eve box or sack. This collection of books includes stories about Christmas that are unusual, interactive or beautifully presented – or all three. From clever cut-outs to fabulous pop-ups, via a book carousel or interactive falls and pockets, we’ve a wonderful selection of books just perfect for festive reading or, as mini stocking fillers for you to choose from. Here’s our pick of some of the most magical festive books – both brand new and old-time classics for you – and the whole family to enjoy.
The Crayons’ Christmas
If you love the The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home – and to be frank who doesn’t? Then Christmas has come early with a brand-new Crayons book from author/illustartor duo Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. ‘Tis the season for all of us to write our Christmas wish lists. But everyone knows -even the Crayons – that the best presents are the ones that you give. In this unique book, join Duncan, the crayons and their families as they celebrate the festive season in this hilarious interactive book with real, folded letters to pull from their envelopes , games, press-out ornaments, a poster and even a pop-up Christmas tree. This is one book EVERY kid will want tis Christmas.
BUY HERE>> The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt and pictures by Oliver Jeffers (Harper Collins)
The Jolly Christmas Postman
Fans of The Jolly Postman will love this festive take on a Janet and Allan Alberg classic – although would be fair to say the Christmas story is a classic in its own right too! It’s Christmas Eve and The Jolly Christmas Postman is delivering greetings to everyone’s favourite fairy-tale characters far and wide. He has a card for Baby Bear, a game for Red Riding Hood, a get-well jigsaw for poor Humpty Dumpty and lots more packages to deliver – all hidden in interactive envelopes just waiting for little hands to open, of course.
BUY HERE>> The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Allberg (Puffin Books)
Santa’s Christmas Handbook
A clever Christmas themed book, written for Santa by his elves, to keep him on track on Christmas Eve! As one of the best-kept secrets about Christmas is that Santa Claus is highly accident-prone and doesn’t get on well with gadgets and gizmos! Packed with novelties, interesting tabs to lift and discover, and a fun board game on the penultimate spread. A beautifully illustrated, interactive and fun book with something new on every page that will appeal to readers young and old. The new Santa’s Christmas Handbook is to be re-published on November 14th 2019 – pre-order now we promise you won’t be disappointed.
BUY HERE>> Santa’s Christmas Handbook by Chris Edge (Templar)
The Nutcracker: A paper cut Pop-up Book
Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet receives a breathtaking retelling in this enchanting book featuring a new pop-up technique invented by the author that is called paperscope. As Clara’s nutcracker toy takes her on a magical midnight journey, through a world of dancing candy canes and mouse soldiers, each chapter is punctuated by a intricate laser-cut illustration which you reveal by pushing down on the top of the page, acting like a stage set. Simply stunning and one to treasure forever.
BUY HERE>> The Nutcracker: A Papercut Pop-up Book by Shobhaa Patel (Thames & Hudson)
Follow The Star – A Pop-up Christmas Journey
This is an unusual pop up book, as you have to turn it sideways to get the full pop-up effect across both the pages. The story is of the Christmas star as it makes it’s way through the Christmas story. The silver foil star complements the red foil cover and it can be found on every page, atop a Christmas tree, over the stable in Bethlehem and lighting up Santa’s way.
BUY HERE>> Follow The Star – A Pop-up Christmas Journey by Amanda Wood and Illustrated by Andy Mansfield (Templar Books)
The Girl Who Saved Christmas / A Boy Called Christmas
We love this trilogy of books for it’s a new and unusual story, that works on two levels: keeping the Christmas magic alive and bringing a new tale to the seasonal stable. They are great book for all ages – for reading to pre-schoolers or for tweens to enjoy themselves. The Girl Who Saved Christmas follows the tale of Amelia – a girl trapped in the Victorian workhouse – and of Father Christmas who needs her help to save Christmas. This story is the sequel to A Boy Called Christmas and the prequel to the third book in the series Father Christmas And Me which was published in 2018.
BUY HERE>> The Girl Who Saved Christmas ; A Boy Called Christmas; Father Christmas And Me all by Matt Haig and illustrated by Chris Mould (Canongate)
My Magical Book of Christmas Tales
This unique sliding picture book is pure magic for little ones as they get to change the pictures. The book comprises two Christmas classics – The Nutcracker and The Night Before Christmas, with six-scene changing pages. The illustrations are really lovely and the gatefold pages and cut-out cover all give it a special, keepsake feel. Printed in 2009 by Scholastic, it is definitely worth searching for an excellent condition copy on Amazon Marketplace and second-hand bookstores.
BUY HERE>> The Magical Book of Christmas Tales by Susannah Lockheart (Scholastic)
The First Christmas / The First Noel
Jan Pienkowskis’ The First Christmas tells the story of the Nativity with beautiful illustrations, with black silhouettes and decorative silver highlights, against brilliant jewel-like colours. The story’s Christmas scenes are interpreted through various settings, time periods and moods. They are a bit spooky and a bit gory, which some kids love (and others may not) but, either way, it’s an imaginative, beautifully designed book for families and collectors alike. Or, the more recently published The First Noel features five exquisite, detailed and intricate cut-paper silhouettes to form a carousel style book – by turning the book back on itself and tie the covers together to create a standalone carousel. It’s not a book to hand to tiny tots, but rather to enjoy with them. Alternatively, put it up high as a Christmas display and theme other decorations around i
BUY HERE>> The First Christmas (mini edition) by Jan Pienkowski (Penguin) and The First Noel by Jan Pienkowski
The book is modern but the story, as they say, is a tale as old as time… This beautiful poem is by the Georgian poet Walter de la Mare has been lovingly and carefully brought to life by Carolina Rabeis’ glorious artwork – which is a string mix of black and white images with glasses of red, orange and brown shades – and really brings a touch of elegance to the classic poem. A lovely winter wonderland of illustrations, it really lets the words sing through. It is perfectly beautiful to read at bedtime, or on Christmas afternoon after a crisp afternoon stroll.
BUY HERE>> Snow by Walter de la Mare, illustrated by Caroline Rabei (Faber & Faber)
The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Pop-up Edition / The Nutcracker / Jingle Bells
Bringing the classic Christmas poem to life with stunning black and white illustrations, cup-paper pages and a two page pop-up finale. The story is told through scenes from a family home and feels festive, with little characters and, of course, St Nicholas himself. A lovely gift and its cute mini size (around 15cm wide) makes it the perfect stocking filler. Also, look out for two other much-loved, classic festive tales given the same beautiful cut-out treatment by illustrator Niroot Puttapipat with The Nutcracker and Jingle Bells
BUY HERE>> The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Pop-up Edition by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat; The Nutcarcker: A Magical Pop-up Edition by E.T.A Hoffman and illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat; Jingle Bells: A Magical Pop-up Edition byJames Pierpont and illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat (Walker Books)
The 12 Days of Christmas and The Christmas Story
Technically, we’re stretching to two books here. Robert Sabuda makes incredibly detailed, stunning and intricate pop-up books. If you love a pop-up, take a look at his entire range, which includes classics such as Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and The Beast and The Little Mermaid to name just a few of our favourites! His two most famous (and lovely) Christmas books are The Christmas Story – a pop-up of the nativity and The 12 Days of Christmas, all about the song. Both books hit the sweet spots of traditional and fun – and make an unusual and beautiful gift, or two.
BUY HERE>> The Christmas Story by Robert Sabuda (Walker Books) The 12 Days of Christmas Anniversary Edition by Robert Sabuda (Simon & Schuster)
Little Christmas Tree
Little Christmas Tree is a glorious lift-the-flap exploration of nature in a store of one white and snowy night when a little Christmas tree stands alone in the forest. When everything is white and lifeless. As the night goes on, there are signs of life. An orange fox, a red-breasted robin, a cloud of fireflies … By the end of the book, the little Christmas tree is transformed by nature and your little ones will be captivated from begin gin to end.
BUY HERE>> Little Christmas Tree by Ruth Symons and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle (Big Picture Press)
(PICTS: OPENING & MAIN PICTURE: Both GettyImages)