Christmas is coming and that means it’s time to dig out our favourite Christmas reads! Do you have a box of Christmas books that only comes out in December? Christmas is a great time to read together as a family and rediscovering the books we’ve not seen for 12 months is one of our favourite things to do during the festive season. If you’ve been following us for a while, you will know how much we value reading as a family activity. Reading for us is a social experience and a brilliant way to spend some precious family time. So, with that in mind, here is our round up of our favourite Christmas books for kids.
Christmas picture books for younger children
The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis and Emma Cobb
Our all-time favourite Christmas book at Parrot Street HQ! In this brilliantly funny and heart-warming story, it's Christmas Eve and there's one very important question on everyone's mind - have YOU been good this year? For twins Sam and Charlie this is a big worry. Charlie has been especially naughty and everyone is sure that she won't get any presents AT ALL. But when Santa makes a mistake, it's up to Charlie to put things right...
Father Christmas Needs a Wee by Nicolas Allan
Another old favourite at Parrot Street HQ – we’ve been counting along with Father Christmas for over a decade! 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 embarrassing accident. But there's just one tiny problem . . . he's lost his house key!
Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Jim Field
Destined to become a Christmas classic, this gorgeous book brings together the dream team of author Michael Morpurgo and illustrator Jim Field to deliver a powerful message about protecting the environment. Every Christmas Mia and her family read a letter which her Grandpa wrote to her. His letter is a warm, impassioned and heartfelt wish for a better world for Mia to live in. He remembers fondly the times they spent in his garden finding frogs and worms and planting seeds. But Grandpa worries that all the things they love so much are in danger. His letter is a hopeful plea to Mia (and to all of us) to continue to care for and protect our precious world.
Chapter books for older kids
The Dog That Saved Christmas by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mike Byrne
This combines one of our favourite authors, the wonderful Nicola Davies, with one of our favourite series, Little Gems published by indie publisher Barrington Stoke. Jake is different from the other kids at school. He struggles when routines change, and people's emotions are so hard to understand. Christmas can be even worse and often the festivities are just too much to bear. But when Jake finds a little dog lost in the street, he unlocks a connection he's never had before. Together Jake and Susan form a special bond that helps him to understand the world around him, changing his life for the better. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+.
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Mould
This is our favourite of Matt Haig’s Christmas books (although we also love Father Christmas and Me and A Boy Called Christmas too!). It is Christmas Eve and all is not well. Amelia Wishart is trapped in Mr Creeper's workhouse and Christmas is in jeopardy. Magic is fading. If Christmas is to happen, Father Christmas knows he must find her. With the help of some elves, eight reindeer, the Queen and a man called Charles Dickens, the search for Amelia - and the secret of Christmas – begins. Perfect for kids aged 7+.
How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith
Newly published in paperback this year, this gorgeous book by the bestselling author of the Claude series stars Winston, a mouse on a Very Important Mission. On Christmas Eve, he finds a letter that has gotten lost on its way to Father Christmas – so, with no time to lose, he sets out to deliver it himself in time for Christmas Day! Each chapter includes its very own festive activity for all the family to enjoy together - a book after our own hearts! Perfect for kids aged 5+.
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Shane Devries
We’ve just read The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch, the sequel to this brilliant Christmas book, and it is just as good as the first volume. This is the story of a boy named William Trundle and a dinosaur named the Christmasaurus. It's about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It's about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer. It's about discovering your heart's true desire and learning that the impossible might just be possible… Perfect for kids aged 7+.
The Snowman by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Robin Shaw
Inspired by Raymond Briggs’ classic story and retold by beloved children’s author Michael Morpurgo, this reimagining stars James, who is thrilled to wake up one December morning to see snow falling. He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman, with coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose ... just like the snowman from his favourite story. That night, something magical happens - the Snowman comes to life! He and James take to the skies on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special. Perfect for kids aged 7+.
Christmas Dinner of Souls by Ross Montgomery
Parrot Street favourite Ross Montgomery has written an alternative Christmas story: spooky, bloodthirsty and not a little bit shocking! It's a dark and lonely Christmas Eve in the dining room of ancient Soul's College. The kitchen boy, 11-year-old Lewis, has helped prepare a highly unusual meal, made with unrecognisable ingredients, cooked by a mysterious chef. And then the guests arrive ... and carnage ensues. For this is the annual meeting of a secret club for those who despise children, warmth, happiness, and above all Christmas. Each member must try to outdo the others by telling the most terrible, disgusting story they know. Perfect for kids aged 9+.
Are you keen to supercharge your child’s love of reading but feel like you could be doing more to support them? We know that discovering, purchasing and recommending books that maintain your child’s enthusiasm for reading, helping them to reach their full potential, is time consuming. Why not let us take that off your to-do list? With a Parrot Street Book Club subscription your child receives a carefully chosen new children’s book and accompanying activity pack through the post each month. They receive a stream of varied and exciting books, whilst the book club-style questions and activities are perfect for sharing. Find out more here.