Every Christmas since I was a baby, I was gifted with a seasonal, holiday or winter picture book…brand new and all mine. There is very little else that brings that feeling of Christmas spirit as choosing a new picture book for my now extensive collection. Then to curl up on Christmas Eve with my own personal Jolabokaflod…cup of hot chocolate, a few Christmas cookies (homemade and delicious!) and a book full of wintry illustrations and good cheer. Absolute heaven! It is a habit I would wholeheartedly recommend to everyone. With so many fantastic new books every year, the choice can be a little daunting. But here are a few suggestions to get me started…and maybe you, as well.
Evies’ Christmas Wishes by Siobhan Parkinson, illustrations by Shannon Bergin: Christmas is coming and Evie is really excited! She’s helping Mammy and Daddy make the pudding, decorate the tree, ice the cake, write to Santa…there’s so much to do. And she has so many wishes! As the days get closer, Evies’ Christmas wishes start to come true. Evie gets a singing part in the school Nativity; it snows and best of all, Uncle Sean is coming home for Christmas. And he’s bringing a very special surprise! A beautiful, very special Christmas story with a sense of all the joy and celebration, with warm, colourful illustrations that show the building excitement of a real family Christmas. (Little Island)
Frindleswylde by Natalia O’Hara; illustrated by Lauren O’Hara: There’s a tremble in the wind and the sun grows pale. All the small wild creatures hide. Frindleswylde is coming! And when the mystical boy enters Cora and Grandmas’ house, he steals the light from their lantern. Cora must get the light back for Grandma. To do so, she follows Frindleswylde down a hole in the pond to his magical kingdom. There, in order to retrieve the light, Cora must undertake three Impossible Tasks…. As frosty and magical as The Snow Queen, this is a haunting, adventurous fable that will live on as a classic in your heart. Enchanting, lovely illustrations! (Walker Books)
What would Christmas be without ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (accredited to) Clement C Moore? And this new edition is illustrated by no other than P.J. Lynch; master illustrator. Rich, atmospheric, evocative of the old favourite tale; filled with wondrous detail…the embers in the fire, the colour and shimmer of the toys and the sugar plums, the texture of the reindeers’ fur, the twinkle in old St Nicks’ eyes; this is Christmas magic in it’s original form. A book-lovers, Christmas-lovers must have; it will be the first one to come out every year. (Walker Books)
The Snowflake by Benji Davies: High up in the clouds, a brand new snowflake is made. Soft, fluffy, sparkling and white…the she begins to fall. And the Snowflake finds a little girl dreaming of a Christmas Tree like the one she, her granddad and their dog see as they pass by the store window on their way home. Both are looking for something; both wish to find their own special place in the big, wide world. A lovely, compassionate story that quietly sings of hope, coming together and finding where you belong. A perfect Christmas book to share. (HarperColllinsChildrensBook)
Jan Bretts’ The Nutcracker: I love a classic Christmas book and this one is a real beauty. When Marie and her brother Fritz receive a special Christmas nutcracker from their uncle, Marie immediately feels something magical. He looks like a real boy, she mused. A real boy with a secret, who came from far away.…and so the magic begins. Exquisite, subdued illustrations take us through the epic journey she goes on with the Nutcracker…into the cabinet, through the fierce battle with the mice, into nthe land of the SugarPlum Fairy…magical and timeless. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers)
The Fire Fox by Alexandra Page; illustrations by Stef Murphy: A beautiful bedtime story set in the frozen north. This is inspired by the Saami myth of the revontulet (fox fires.) The light has gone out of Freyas’ life since her dad passed away. So she and her Mum have retreated to the little cabin for a while. When she meets a magical fox, Freya follows him deep into the forest, where sparks fly from the foxs’ fur…and become the Northern Lights. A comforting, reassuring story of loss; deliciously, quietly wild; a message of hope and finding light in the darkest nights. Beautiful! (Two Hoots)
Looks like I have a decision to make! What will I add to my Christmas Book Basket?
3 thoughts on “Christmas Brings…New Picture Books”
Great selections. I LOVE Jan Brett’s books!
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Did you know in Iceland it is traditional to give all children a new book at Christmas time?
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Oh, it’s not just children…it’s their annual tradition*; Jolabokaflod. The entire country settles down on Christmas Eve, having opened their bookish gifts and…reads. Bliss! Did you know that Iceland publishes more books per capita per year than any other European nation?