A lovely Christmas tradition
Book advent is one of the best Christmas traditions I do with my four children. They get to unwrap one book every evening before bed and we read it together.
It seems more meaningful than some of the more commercial customs and I try to do it for around a pound per book. Between The Works and The Book People, I’ve been able to buy books in bundles of ten and five which keeps the cost down.
As I have done this lovely tradition over the last few years, the challenge is to make sure no books are duplicated. The Night Before Christmas, for example, is a classic that tends to be included in bargain book bundles. Although it doesn’t matter too much because any duplicates can be given as presents to other families or to school as a present for the class.
Here’s 24 of the best festive books for around a pound.
The Christmas Selfie Contest
The world’s gone selfie bonkers. Now buy the book. Rhyming and witty, this charming story depicts an elf trying to win a selfie competition and the friendships he builds with animals as he goes. Rosie Greening’s got five-star reviews online too.
Father Christmas Needs A Wee
Nicholas Allan’s book gets them laughing from the title with his rhyming toilet humour. With all the children leaving him snacks and drinks, by the time he gets to the tenth house, he is desperate to go to the loo. But will he be able to solve the problem and avoid wetting his Santa suit? Because he really really really really does need a wee.
The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas
So, we roll our eyes at the lavatorial merriment, seriously consider if this is really one we need to add to our lounge bookcase and then buy it anyway. Because dinosaur, poo and Christmas? These are my boys’ idea of the best things ever. Tom Fletcher obviously knew what he was doing with this concept.
Sproutzilla vs Christmas
Tom Jamieson’s Jack loves everything about this time of year except sprouts. So when his parents bring home the biggest sprout he has ever seen, it’s going to get out of control. Sproutzilla is a mean green Christmas-ruining vegetable and the only way Jack can save Santa is by eating sprouts. I don’t think I could do it. Take one for the team, Jack.
Grumpy Badger’s Christmas
Paul Bright and Jane Chapman’s story depicts a miserable badger who wants to sleep until spring. Sounds good to me. But apparently, sleeping isn’t acceptable and everyone wants him to realise the error of his ways, in time to enjoy Christmas. Will he? (Cue the EastEnders dramatic drums)
Is it Christmas Yet?
Jane Chapman has taken the most familiar phrase in our homes since November and turned it into a paperback that packs festive punch for your pennies. Excited Ted cannot wait for Christmas and he is wondering if it will EVER come.
One Magical Christmas
Alice Wood’s adorable book makes a gorgeous gift. It’s about a brave little dolly who is helpful and kind and finds her own happy ending. It’s described as having an old-fashioned feel and comes highly recommended by parents and teachers.
Puppy’s First Christmas
Steve Smallman’s puppy-dog tale shows that hanging large socks on the wall, putting a tree inside the house and a slightly crazy mum in the kitchen are all pretty normal Christmas behaviours. It’s about a puppy. What’s not to love?
A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Pantomime and Meet Father Christmas are among Roger Hargreaves’ festive favourites. Loved by children and with wonderful classic charm, these are always a quality purchase.
Aliens Love Panta Claus
Claire Freedman and Ben Cort produced this Christmas version of the adored series, which also features pants-based giggles with pirates, monsters and dinosaurs.
Judith Kerr’s fluffy feline provides retro fun for parents and is beautifully illustrated. Find out what Mog is up to this Christmas and make your children smile. Because like all cats, she’s a bit disconcerted by all the unusual goings on. So she escapes to the roof and stays there – until she gets a surprise…
Thomas and Friends
The Snowy Special is one of a handful of train-tastic tomes for our engine-loving young friends. The Fat Controller asks Henry to pull the Snowy Special. It’s carrying lots of important presents but the rails are icy and slippery and snow is falling. Hopefully Henry can help. Published by Egmont Publishing UK.
What’s a Christmas?
It’s Christmas Eve and Ed the elf is going about his usual Yuletide business, when he stumbles across four little penguins who have never heard of Santa, elves or sleighs. Something tells me they’re about to receive an education. By Hayley Down.
The Stinky Sprouts in a Rather Smelly Christmas Tale
Rosie Greening has come up with a winner here. The Sprout family are stinky and green and they are not liked, so they decide one year to hatch a plan to become the most popular vegetables around. Spoiler alert. When they get found out, it looks like they’ll lose their new-found fans - but in the end, they are accepted for who they are.
The Perfect Gift
Love is the most important thing. That’s a message for a winter bedtime to keep you all warm inside, in the Christmas build up. By Thomas Nelson.
William’s Winter Wish
William wants it to snow. And he makes a wish on Grandpa’s snow globe. But when he drops and breaks it, he has no idea what to do in this lovely heart-warming story by Gillian Shields.
When Granny Saved Christmas
Julia Hubery’s hilarious antics are a reassuring adventure for all the family to enjoy, especially if they’re worried about Santa being able to find them or accessing their house if there’s no chimney.
Laura Dollin’s angelic character might be little but she shines brightly. She lives by the star on the top of every Christmas tree and she watches over sleeping little ones on Christmas Eve. This rhyming story has a bonus story (Santa’s Reindeer).
Santa’s 12 Days of Christmas
What does the big fella get up to once his work is done on Christmas Eve? Read this and find out. It’s the retelling of the 12 days of Christmas packed full of funny fun and festive adventures, by Alexandra Robinson.
The Nativity - The Story of Baby Jesus
May Eliot and Richard Johnson collaborated to make this traditional beautiful book which tells the nativity story of the baby king’s anticipated arrival.
The Polar Bear Who Saved Christmas
Wonderfully illustrated with easy to read rhyme - Pip the polar bear gets lost and comes across Santa’s grotto where disaster has struck and the elves are about to cancel Christmas. Can Pip save Christmas? The clue is in the title.
A Very Pirate Christmas
Have yourself a swashbuckling Christmas? Let it snow, let it snow – yo ho ho? Pirates aren’t everyone’s idea of festive shenanigans but when Father Christmas gets captured, the tension mounts. Timothy Knapman’s rhyming wit and the imaginative illustrations of Russell Ayto are a refreshing change from elves. Your kids will find it hilarrrrrious.
Peppa Pig - Cold Winter Day
Everyone’s favourite pigs Peppa and George don their winter woollies which might help encourage your toddlers to do the same.
I’ve Seen Santa
Little Bear can’t wait for Santa to visit but he won’t come until he falls asleep, tells Mummy Bear in David Bedford’s story. Pour yourself a Baileys and prepare for cuteness overload.
By Caroline Thain