How to make books the star of Christmas
Published on: 24 November 2015 Author: Kate Hancock
It's never too early to start some festive story traditions, says mum and children's publisher, Kate Hancock.
Dark evenings, fatty food, excited children and constant reminders about the number of shopping days left. It can only mean one thing - Christmas is coming!
However you plan on spending the big day and build-up (I'm a fan of the Christmas jumper), books can be a great part of the celebrations.
Sitting down and enjoying stories together is a lovely way to take a break from the Christmas craziness.
Traditions to try
Here are just a few simple ways to make books part of your festive routine:
- Advent countdown: Choose books together and read one (or part of one) each day at the same time as opening your advent calendar.
- TV and films: Many Christmas films and programmes are adaptations of some wonderful books. Why not enjoy them, too? I'm very much looking forward to the animation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's brilliant (and festive) Stickman.
- Pantomimes: If you're going to a pantomime, find a version of the story in your local library or bookshop. Read it together before or after the performance.
- Choose a story for Santa: If the children in your life are excited about a visit from Father Christmas, why not find a book for him to enjoy while he eats his mince pie?
Books to pick
There are lots of books with festive and wintery themes - and everyone has their favourites.
But here are a few I'll be reading and sharing this year:
From the creator of Miffy, comes a beautiful edition of Dick Bruna's charming Christmas Book complete with a press-out crib scene. In this delightful title he retells the birth of Jesus using simple text and charming illustrations.
The Night Before Christmas
There have been countless editions of Clement's poem but none has transcended this one illustrated by talented artist Christian Birmingham.
When Father Christmas sets off to deliver the presents, poor Bear is left behind in the workshop! How will he make it to Tom's house in time for Christmas morning? Lift the flaps to find out, as he chases Santa's sleigh through icy seas and snowy forests, all the way from the North Pole to Tom's cosy bedroom.
At each different house that he visits Father Christmas drinks and eats all the goodies left out for him. Before long he really, really, really needs a wee. So much so that he even forgets to leave the presents behind. But he dashes back, delivers all the pressies and flies home at high speed to avoid an embarassing accident...
One night, a bag containing £229,370 falls from the sky and flattens the hermitage. Damian is convinced it is a gift from God.
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.
A magical old man has asked Kay to protect the Box of Delights, a Box with which he can travel through time. But Kay is in danger: Abner Brown will stop at nothing to get his hands on it. The police don't believe Kay, so when his family and the Bishop are scrobbled up just before Christmas, he knows he must act alone...