Battle of the Santas

Santa's New Sleigh

Usually jolly, sometimes grumpy, young and old - we've all got a favourite Father Christmas in fiction. Which book has the Santa that you love the most?

To get you started, here are just a few of Mr Claus' best moments: ho, ho, hooray!

  • Dear Father Christmas

    Author: Alan Durant Illustrator: Vanessa Cabban
    Publisher: Walker Books
    Interest age: 4-7
    Reading age: 5+

    Christmas is fast approaching and Holly writes to Father Christmas. To her surprise, he replies and the pair begin to exchange letters.

  • Where's My Santa?

    Author: Kate McLelland
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 0-2

    Children will love finding Santa and revelling in Christmas in this board book that is full of interesting textures to explore, from glittery snowprints to a snowman's felt hat and, finally, the thick white beard of Father Christmas. 

  • The Night Before Christmas

    Author: Clement C Moore Illustrator: Christian Birmingham
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Interest age: 4+
    Reading age: 6+

    There have been countless editions of Clement's poem but none has transcended this one illustrated by talented artist Christian Birmingham.

  • The Grumpus and his Dastardly, Dreadful Christmas Plan

    Author: Alex T Smith
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The Grumpus hates Christmas. Will he be able to stop it? A beautifully illustrated, heart-warming festive delight.

  • Santa’s Christmas Countdown

    Author: Kathryn Jewitt Illustrator: Sebastien Braun
    Publisher: Townhouse Publishing Ltd
    Interest age: 2-3

    Santa’s lost his to-do list! Will he remember everything before Christmas? A fun touch-and-feel book starring a Black Santa.

  • Jingle Spells

    Author: James Brown
    Publisher: Simon and Schuster
    Interest age: 4-5

    Can Trixie the witch save Christmas? A cracker of a festive book.

  • Stick Man

    Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 4-6

    The award-winning creators of The Gruffalo now present us with a modern variation on a long-established folk tale theme, which details the perilous adventures of a stick.

  • Kid Christmas (of the Claus Brothers Toy Shop)

    Author: David Litchfield
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    A heartfelt retelling of the Father Christmas legend. In this festive picture book, young apprentice toy-maker Nicky Claus sets out to deliver a special toy to every child so that they can feel happy, at least for one day…

  • The Snowman

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 3+
    Reading age: 3+

    James builds a snowman in the garden, then wakes up in the night to find that it has come to life.

  • The Polar Express

    Author: Chris Van Allsburg
    Publisher: Anderson Press
    Interest age: 4-6
    Reading age: 6+

    An enchanting Christmas story, beautifully written and illustrated with pictures full of warmth and light

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    Author: C S Lewis
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy - step through a wardrobe door in the strange country house where they are staying, they find themselves in the land of Narnia.

  • I Love You, Father Christmas

    Author: Giles Andreae
    Publisher: Orchard
    Interest age: 1+
    Reading age: 5+

    A sweet picture book, full of engaging rhyme about one child's love for Father Christmas.

  • Little Santa

    Author: Jon Agee
    Publisher: Scallywag Press
    Reading age: 4-8

    A wonderfully entertaining festive tale, perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what Santa was like as a child. Full of quirky detail and subtle humour.

  • A Boy Called Christmas

    Author: Matt Haig Illustrator: Chris Mould
    Publisher: Canongate
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and a boy called Nikolas, who isn't afraid to believe in magic.

  • Santa's New Sleigh

    Author: Caroline Crowe Illustrator: Jess Pauwels
    Publisher: Faber
    Interest age: 2-5

    It’s Christmas Eve and Santa’s ready to leave the North Pole in his sleigh, but there’s a problem: the engine’s dead, and spare parts can’t be had for love nor money! Is Christmas cancelled?

  • Father Christmas

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
    Interest age: 2+
    Reading age: 5+

    For poor Father Christmas, December 24th is the hardest night of work in the year. Raymond Briggs follows him on his wonderfully grumpy and funny journey, revealing some beautifully illustrated moments of joy.