Earlier this week, I published, “10 Holiday Movies the Whole Family Will Love.” Today, I have a companion piece for you!
Every Christmas, our family also selects some read aloud favorites for cold, snowy nights, complete with hot cocoa and holiday cookies! Yep! We’re just that old fashioned!
Here’s a list of our favorites, in no particular order.
1. The Mitten by Jan Brett
Truthfully, I love nearly anything written by Jan Brett. I am totally enamored by her intricate, folksy artwork. The Mitten is a charming tale that will be loved by children and adults alike.
2. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Originally written in 1963, this book takes me directly back to my own childhood when it was a favorite and my mother read it to me again and again! You’ll experience the first snowfall through the eyes of a young child, in The Snowy Day.
3. Katie and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
Virginia Lee Burton is, perhaps, best known for her best-selling children’s book, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, which was so popular with my boys that I wound up buying multiple copies so that several could have their own, personal book.
In case you are wondering, Yes! Burton’s, Katie and the Big Snow is equally engaging and a book which I highly, highly recommend!
4. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
I judge my books by the illustrations as much as I do the text. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas will not disappoint! The pen and ink drawings are magical and the verse is true to the 1823 original, penned by Moore.
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Christmas just isn’t the same without experiencing the heart-change of the Grinch! Be prepared to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas in your most authentic “Grinch-like” voice. You will delight your children in the process. For the record, although I do love the classic movie, the newest version has also caught my heart, is very family-friendly, and well worth watching.
6. The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans
You may be unfamiliar with The Christmas Candle. I was, until by chance I found a copy super inexpensively one year. When a young man purchases an inexpensive candle at the candle maker’s, little does he know that it will help him discover the importance of loving and helping others not only during the holidays, but all year round. As with the rest of my recommendations, the illustrations are beautifully done!
7. Frosty the Snowman (The Golden Books version)
I grew up on Golden Books and they are still a great value for family friendly reading material! This book, Frosty the Snowman, hearkens back to the original 1963 movie and contains illustrations of friendly characters your children will recognize from the cinematic version.
8. The Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
Based on a traditional folktale, The Three Trees, will take your child from the birth of Christ all the way through to His atoning death on the cross. Get your tissue ready (my kids always laugh when I cry at the end of books).
9. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Christmas just isn’t complete without this Dickens classic! The three Christmas spirits, the idea of how a man’s countenance can change in a night, and how each life impacts those around it are all such prevailing and never-changing themes of Christmas! Even my younger children have enjoyed and understood the storyline. This version of A Christmas Carol is absolutely gorgeous, with fantastic illustrations. (I’m a real fanatic for good illustrations!)
10. The Christmas Story from Luke by Concordia House Publishing
Finding a book, which is engaging for children and does not take a lot of license with scripture can be tough. I wish this book had been around when my children were little! Long time inspirational publisher, Concordia House, wins my vote with their book, appropriately entitled, The Christmas Story. Drawn directly from Scriptures, it contains accompanying Bible verses and prayers. The illustrations are also outstanding!
What are your favorite family holiday books? I’d love to know! Leave your thoughts in the comments section.