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Cracking Christmas stories, ages 0-5

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As we head towards the end of the year, we’ve picked our favourite festive stories. Whether you’re counting down with an advent calendar or putting up decorations – here are some fantastic books to get you in the Christmas mood!

Click on the links to find books for ages 5-8 and 8+.

Follow the Star: A pop-up Christmas journey by Andy Mansfield, published by Templar

Follow the story of the Christmas star on Christmas Eve – a night when magical things happen. Discover it twinkling at the top of a huge pop-up Christmas tree, shining above Santa Claus to light his way and illuminating the three kings as they journey to Bethlehem. Featuring a foil star on every spread and intricate paper pop-ups, this is a lavish Christmas novelty book sure to make the perfect present.


Bing’s Christmas Bauble Books, published by HarperCollins

 The perfect festive present for pre-schoolers! Four bauble-shaped board books in a sparkly silver and red gift box.

These four little festive board books are the perfect size for small hands. They teach toddlers about first concepts (Numbers, Opposites, Shapes and Colours) and then double up as Christmas tree decorations! Once you’ve read them, have fun threading them with ribbon and hang them on your Christmas tree or around your home.

Each board book is ten pages long, has sturdy board pages, simple words, and colourful festive images of Bing and his friends on every spread.

A Cat’s Christmas Carol by Sam Hay and Helen Shoesmith, published by Simon & Schuster

It’s Christmas Eve and all the staff in the department store are on their way home for Christmas. All except one . . . Clawdia, the department store’s security cat! She doesn’t see the point in silly festive celebrations and would much rather prowl the corridors making sure everything is in order. But when three cold and lonely visitors turn up at the store, they teach Clawdia a few key lessons about the true meaning of Christmas.

A heartfelt holiday story—a great gift for festive fans everywhere!

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, and illustrated by Carson Ellis, published by Walker Books

As the sun set on the shortest day of the year, early people would gather to prepare for the long night ahead. They built fires and lit candles. They played music, bringing their own light to the darkness, while wondering if the sun would ever rise again…

Written for a theatrical production that has become a ritual in itself, Susan Cooper’s poem The Shortest Day captures the magic behind the returning of the light, the yearning for traditions that connect us with generations that have gone before – and the hope for peace that we carry into the future. Richly illuminated by Carson Ellis, this beautiful book evokes the joy and community found in the ongoing mystery of life when we celebrate light, thankfulness, and festivity at a time of rebirth. Welcome Yule!

Sarah’s Two Nativities by Janine M Fraser and illustrated Helene Magisson, published by Walker Books

Sarah loves her two grandmas – Grandmother Azar and Grandmother Maria. Grandmother Azar tells Sarah stories from the Holy Koran, while Grandmother Maria tells her stories from the Bible. At Christmas time, Sarah snuggles in each of her grandmothers’ laps and listens to two nativity stories about the birth of baby Jesus. They are the same in some ways, and different in others… But both can be Sarah’s favourite.

Oscar the Hungry Unicorn Eats Christmas by Lou Carter and Nikki Dyson, published by Orchard Books

It’s Christmas Eve and Oscar the Unicorn is HUNGRY. He’s eaten the Christmas tree, the stockings and is about to make a start on the presents. But at least he hasn’t eaten the Magic Reindeer Food that allows the reindeer to fly … has he?!

Join the Oscar, Princess Oola and Santa for a magical Christmas adventure in this brilliantly funny sequel to the Oscar the Hungry Unicorn

Christmas in 100 Words, illustrated by Sophie Bee, published by QED (Quarto)

Tree, star, snowflake, elf, chimney, cookies, merry… introduce your little ones to words of the festive season with cute characters, bright colours and playful scenes.

From decorating the tree to Christmas dinner and candy cane to sleigh, this charming book introduces a range of different holiday scenes and objects. Along with the seasonal items, each scene contains one feeling word and one action word to spot, such as cheerful and ice skating – color-coded circles point them out. With a glitter-accented cover that adds visual and tactile interest, this fun book inspires a deeper knowledge of the world, introduces language skills and supports emotional intelligence.

An original, contemporary take on teaching first words, the My World in 100 Words series of board books helps children ages 1–3 boost vocabulary, engage with the world around them and become familiar with specific subjects. With bright, playful illustrations from Sophie Beer, each book explores a different theme, including starting nursery, the garden and the seaside. With 10 words per page and variation between full scenes and visual lists, there’s plenty for children to look at and enjoy.

There’s and Elf in Your Book by Tom Fletcher with illustrations by Greg Abbott, published by Penguin Randomhouse

A mischievous elf has found its way into the pages of your book in this festive follow-up to There’s a Monster in Your Book, There’s a Dragon in Your Book, and There’s an Alien in Your Book. In the run up to Christmas, children and adults alike will love interacting with the loveable, mischievous little elf as it takes them through the all-important Nice List Test, to discover if they’ve earned their Christmas presents. But be careful not to let it catch you out! This cheeky elf has a few naughty tricks up its sleeve.

Goodnight, Santa: A Magical Christmas Story, published by DK

Snuggle up and share this magical Christmas story about a little girl who dreams of meeting Santa on Christmas Eve.

A little girl and her teddy go out in their snowy, moonlit garden, looking for Santa. Along the way, they meet playful fox cubs, Mrs Owl, and Mr Cool Cat, and wish them all goodnight. Soon the little girl learns that Santa only comes when you’re fast asleep and tucked up in bed. Can she still find a way to wish him goodnight? A heart-warming Christmas story to share with young children.

The Tree That’s Meant to Be written and illustrated by Yuval Zommer, published by Oxford University Press

A small fir tree is left all alone after the other trees near it in the forest are chosen by families at Christmas.

But when the forest animals gather around the lonely little tree to cheer it up and celebrate the season, it finds festive love and warmth in the heart of a cold, snowy forest.