Over the next week or so I’m going to be posting some festive and seasonal collections of Christmassy, and Wintery books across Picture Books, Early Chapter and Middle Grade.
This post is looking at the Christmassy themed books published in recent months of 2019 that we have added to our collection whether through kind gifting from publishers or our own purchases. Please note I use the term Christmassy or festive to denote secular books of the festive season.
Yesterday I showcased the girls favourite Christmas Picture books and I will also discuss our favourite Christmassy & Winter themed early chapter & MG books of recent years in upcoming festive posts.
The Snow Dragon – Abi Elphinstone & Fiona Woodcock (Simon & Schuster)
The Snow Dragon is a most gorgeous tale of hope and heart and deserves to become a festive classic in the same was as Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman.
The story has all the hallmarks of a classic ‘overcoming’ Middle Grade story in the tale of the last girl in a terrible Dahlian orphanage where magic and good triumphs but has been cleverly edited to become a long form picture book so will inspire older children too. A perfect festive story.
The Night Before Christmas in Wonderland – Carys Bexington & Kate Hindley (Macmillan)
Ok so my girls adore Alice in Wonderland and then throw in Christmas it’s going to be a hit, so when my husband saw this he had to buy it!!
This is a take on Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem but shifting the action to Wonderland as Santa receives a letter from the Princess of Hearts and ends up meeting the cast of characters from the classic tale when it turns out that letter was meant to be posted donkey years ago and the Princess is now a certain Queen and detests Christmas because of her disappointment.
When she realises she has to be good to get the present she has wanted for so long, she restores Christmas to the kingdom. It’s a really lovely tale for fans of the stories or films and has my favourite lovely Christmassy redemption arc factor!!!
Pip and Posy the Christmas Tree- Axel Scheffler (Nosy Crow)
Great for young children who are bound to be over excited about Christmas, may not know exactly how to behave in that excitement and also learning to count with Pip eating the decorations (5 cookies, 4 candy canes, 3 bells and so forth) and being brave enough to tell the truth.
What is also nice is that Posy is being calm and understanding of these mistakes and finding ways to decorate their tree that are less likely to lead to mishaps!!
A great book for children like my youngest who can’t really remember in great detail last Christmas (other than songs apparently!) and it’s so very exciting with lights and sparkly things.
Just right for Christmas – Birdie Black and Rosalind Beardshaw (Nosy Crow)
This is a board print edition of the original 2011 book and a lovely addition to our Christmas collection as it touches on so many values from choosing (and here making) the perfect present for the person not the most expensive or flashy to the concept of reusing and making good of what you have from the offcuts of a whole roll of cloth being enough for a jacket and leftovers down to the trimmings for a mouse’s scarf.
It also looks at how happy and grateful the recipients are that love was in every stitch and the present was perfect for them whether it be a showy cloak or a pair of gloves for a squirrel.
Oh Christmas Tree! – Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet (Macmillan)
We are huge fans of this duo particularly I Need a Wee and The Supertato series (Tinyfae & my dad share an absolute PASSION for Supertato books) and Oh Christmas Tree! is a lovely addition to their twisted takes on household objects! Here the Christmas decorations have come to life and are frantic that Tree just wants to be free (of course now I have Freddie Mercury doing the hoovering in my head), they do not wish to be decorated and sit in a pot, this tree has dreams!! But these baubles and tinsel have purpose and they hatch a plan to get the best of both worlds.
Oscar the Hungry Unicorn eats Christmas – Lou Carter & Nikki Dyson (Orchard)
Whilst I enjoyed the humour of the original Oscar the Hungry Unicorn, I think I love this one more, because Oscar actually makes up for his ‘I don’t care I’m eating it’ attitude.
Oscar is like the anti-corn challenging the kitsch creations that they fart rainbows and poop candy floss kind of thing, with his dazed munchies expression but still embracing his rainbow glitter extravaganza. Oscar reminds me a lot of Garfield blended with that episode of The Simpsons where Homer dreams of a Candyland where everything is chocolate and he goes around taking great big bites out of everything living or not!
This time Oscar saves Christmas day, by pulling Santa’s Sleigh even if he almost wrecked all of Christmas to begin with!!
Mouse’s Night before Christmas Tracey Corderoy & Sarah Massini (Nosy Crow)
This is another gorgeous take on the classic Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore with a lonely mouse as the protagonist who wishes for a friend and gets swept away on a midnight ride by Santa and the nine reindeer (acknowledging Rudolph in the canon) before being left with two pairs of skates and a Treasure hunt which reveals himself to be someone else’s wish too.
Beautiful illustrations, and a wonderful sentiment that we can all be someone’s wish, I can see this one being a favourite for years to come.
Thanks to Nosy Crow for gifting me their books and Toppsta for my winning a copy of The Snow Dragon 💜💜