Traditionally families have read chapter books but by bit over consecutive nights, with books like The Iron Man being famously written to be read over 5 nights.
Combining this with the idea of an advent calendar has created some advent books with a page or chapter a night to get into the festive mood.
These are all books I have purchased in the hope of bringing the spirit of storytelling being a part of our Christmas tradition and I’m posting this a little early in the hopes that if they inspire, you can get them in time for Sunday.
Picture book for Advent with a traditional picture calendar at the back
Countdown to Christmas – Adam & Charlotte Guillain illustrated by Pippa Curnick (Egmont)
This is much shorter than the others and so is a book that will no doubt be read all in one go(and if left alone for five minutes the advent calendar at the back opened all in one too) but to reread the story is a nice for building memory and reinforcement of vocabulary as we join in the fun with Bear’s friends hunting the presents.
For those who read it every day then open the corresponding door at the back it will be excellent for recall, and otherwise it’s just fun especially with Pippa Curnick’s lovely illustrations!
A warm hearted chapter story with added activities for every day
How Winston Delivered Christmas – Alex T Smith (Macmillan)
Ok if you are a regular reader you may have noted we are the tiniest bit in love with the work of Alex T Smith and his Christmas book is no exception. Last year, Littlefae couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and demanded the whole story be read on 1st December and did not relent until it had been made so.
This is a heartwarming story of courage in that classic caper tradition where something new and exciting happens to Winston every night and leaves you on a cliffhanger for the next day.
Every day has a different recommended activity, but Alex stresses you don’t have to do them all according to the set day either which is wonderful to persuade little ones when you find you don’t have brown wool or coloured boiled sweets to hand on the right days!!
A redemption-arc tale for those with a love for earthy folk tales full of magic.
The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits – Ulf Stark & Eva Erikssen Translated by Susan Beard (Floris Books)
This is translated from Swedish and follows the traditions there that the Yule Tomte brings Christmas presents and St Lucy’s day on 13th December is noted.
This is a lovely traditional tale of a grumpy lonely house elf (Tomte) who one windy day loses his hat, his mittens and the sign from his cottage which blow into the path of young rabbits who get the whole woodland excited about the coming of the Tomte. There’s wonderful innocence in the story as they don’t quite know what Christmas is but they know it sounds lovely and that they must be prepared for the Tomte. There is also a wonderful parallel with real life as the creatures get worried and stressed about it being perfect that causes upset and mistakes but it’s going to be all right in the end.
A wonderful nature and folk-inspired tale of the festive season that is just wonderful.