With New Calendar Christmas just around the corner and Old Calendar Christmas in the near future, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite Christmas books. A few might be hard to find, but they’re all worth it.
Noel for Jeanne-Marie by Francoise Seignobosc: One in a series of very sweet stories about a little French girl, Jeanne-Marie and her sheep Patapon. In this one, Patapon is worried that Father Noel won’t give him anything because her shoes are attached to the rest of her, instead of being wooden like Jeanne-Marie’s. With a little help from Jeanne-Marie, everything turns out well.
Take Joy! by Tasha Tudor: A lovely Christmas collection, with stories, songs, poems, and traditions from around the world. Plus Tasha Tudor’s beautiful illustrations.
Christmas at the Tomten’s Farm by Harald Wieburg: The story of a Swedish celebration, complete with the help of the Tomten. Very sweet story and unusual illustrations make this a special one.
The Long Christmas by Ruth Sawyer: A great collection of Christmas stories from around the world; Sawyer did several Christmas collections but this one is my favorite.
Maggie Rose by Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Maurice Sendak: Maggie Rose is a Christmas baby, born into a large and shiftless family. Nonetheless, she is determined to do whatever she has to to make Christmas what it should be this year.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney: My favorite of all. Every year in the town of Pine Grove one family gives the Christmas tree. Ruthie and her father pick out their tree, a balsam growing high up on the rocky crags, before their turn comes around. But when the time comes to fell the tree, Ruthie’s father is still not back from the Great War. With beautiful illustrations and a wonderful story, this is absolutely a winner.
Updated 12/2013 with a few more!
The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren: To be honest, I mostly remember the lovely illustrations, which somehow manage to capture the magic of snow-light, and the tomten himself.
Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden, illustrated by Barbara Cooney: This is a long book, but it has been a favorite of my family for a long time.
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long: Laurel Long is one of my favorite illustrators and she did a marvelous job with the carol.
Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble: A lovely, old-fashioned story about a family who lives above a barn and their old apple tree.
The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler’s Sons by Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Barbara Cooney: One of my favorite Christmas folk tales, with wonderful illustrations from Barbara Cooney.
The Dolls’ Christmas by Tasha Tudor: When I was younger, I took a great delight in this little story of three dolls and their Christmas.