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Statewide Culture 0

Christmas Books to Read Around the Tree

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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.

10 Must-Have Children’s Christmas Books for any Home Collection

1. “Apple Tree Christmas” by Trinka Hakes Noble

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.

2. “Snowflake Bentley” by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

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.

3. “Christmas Farms” by Mary Lyn Rae

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.

4. “Cranberry Christmas” by Wende and Harry Devlin

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.

Christmas Books for Kids

5. “Christmas Day in the Morning” by Pearl S Buck and Mark Buehne

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.

6. “The Hat” by Jan Brett and The Mitten by Jan Brett

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.

7. “A New Coat For Anna” by Harriet Ziefert

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.

8. “Bear Stays Up for Christmas” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

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.

Christmas Books for Kids

9. “Cole Family Christmas” by Jennifer Liu Bryan

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.

10. “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey” by Susan Wojciechowski

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.

Arkansas Christmas Books

Arkansas Christmas Books

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.

  1. “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in Arkansas” by Jo Parry
  2. “Santa is Coming to Arkansas” by Steve Smallman and Robert Dunn
  3. “I Saw Santa in Arkansas” by JD Green (author), Nadja Sarell (Illustrator) and Srimalie Bassani (Illustrator)
  4. “Santa’s Sleigh is on its Way to Arkansas” by Eric James and Robert Dunn
  5. “Christmas Night on The Farm” by Maria Hoskins

“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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Arkansas Women Blogger member Amanda Farris is a wife to her super hero hunk of a husband and a mother to 3 little kiddos. She is a teacher/coach who hung up her coaching whistle after she got promoted to motherhood. She is a runner who loves all things sports and outdoors. She loves long coffee chats with her husband,fresh flowers on her table, and hosting game nights. Her friends would call her a "gatherer of people" who loves building genuine community. She's just Living the Adventure!. You can find her occasionally blogging at amandafarris.org.

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