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Reading Christmas and winter-themed books around the Christmas tree is one of my favorite things to do as a parent. I started collecting children’s Christmas books over a decade ago and can’t seem to stop my addiction. It’s tough to stop when you live just minutes away from a treasure like Warrior Gabby Bookhouse, where you can find hardback classics for a steal. Each year when I pull down our special holiday books, I’m always surprised at how many more we have acquired. The stack is big enough to make my living room look like a Christmas library. Books are everywhere. When someone asks me to recommend a holiday book, I get a little more excited than I should and have to reign myself in not to talk too long and overwhelm them with my enthusiasm.
I tried to narrow it down to a TOP 10 Christmas Book List to share with you. This list is in no particular order, but each of these would make a great addition to your holiday library. We recommend purchasing from a local Arkansas bookseller, but for those who need to order online, we compiled them on an Amazon Wishlist. If you don’t want to purchase them, you can always check them out from your local Arkansas library. Arkansas is fortunate to have an excellent library system statewide that can help get these rich stories into many homes throughout the season.
This book is a sweet story of the perfect Christmas gift between a father and a daughter. It is thoughtful, charming and has beautiful watercolor illustrations.
This is the story of Wilson Bentley and his fascination with snowflakes. The story has historical accuracy and is an interesting read. We love to read this book and then spend the evening making snowflakes from coffee filters.
This book is a lovely tale of friendship and determination. A 5-year-old boy befriends his neighbor Wilma, and together they start growing balsam Christmas trees. They work together and take readers through the entire process. I can’t imagine a December without this book.
My family is a fan of all the Cranberry holiday books by the Devlin’s. They are always humorous and keep children’s attention, but always have a sweetness about them. In “Cranberry Christmas,” Mr. Whiskers helps uncover a truth that leads to a Happy Christmas for all. As a bonus, there is a recipe for Maggie’s favorite cranberry cookies in the back of this book. Reading this book as a family and making the cranberry cookies make a perfect holiday evening.
This is a story of the perfect Christmas gift from a son to his father, and it is a story of thoughtfulness and sacrificial love. This book will be on my shelf forever, and as I have grandchildren in the future, I will make sure it is on their shelves as well. This story is special to our family because we actually do milk cows as a chore, just like the family in the story, so we can easily relate.
Both of these picture books are must-haves for your winter collection. They are perfect for ages 3-8. The beautiful illustrations and the ability to guess what comes next make these books family favorites and fun to read together.
This is a story of a mother’s dedication to acquiring a coat for her daughter in hard times post-World War II. It is a refreshing story of how a mother starts from the beginning with bartering for some wool and how she goes through each step to ensure her daughter has a coat. The pictures tell the story clearly, and it is an informative story about giving and celebrating.
All the “Bear” books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman should be in your library, but this one especially around the holidays. It is always fun for children to meet up with their friend’s gopher, mole and the rest of the gang to celebrate a holiday.
This is a story about a coal mining family anticipating celebrating Christmas together. But, an incident with the weather disrupts their plans. It is a story of an unforgettable Christmas morning and celebrating as a family.
This book has a bit of a tragedy as the main character is always sad and never smiles. But, a sweet young boy helps bring Jonathan Toomey back to joy. The book can make me shed a couple of tears while reading it to my children. But, the message is sweet, heartfelt and loving.
I am having to hold myself back from not posting another ten books. But, I have to add some Arkansas books to this list. Living in Arkansas, these are must-haves on your holiday shelf. These books are always a highlight for Arkansas children because of their content, pictures, and familiarity.
“Christmas Night on the Farm” was written by Maria Hoskins from Mayflower, Arkansas. She tells the story of how happy life was on a little farm in Mayflower during the celebration of Christmas–with not many presents but with a whole lot of love.
Now, grab some hot cocoa and some books and cuddle up for a great holiday evening around the tree in Arkansas!
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