Monday, 12 December 2016

From the Bookshelf: #twelvebooksofchristmas

This Christmas we'll be adding to our traditions by reading a different festive story each night, finishing with my childhood favourite on Christmas Eve. Yay! Technically, not in keeping with the Christmas carol because our twelve days will start on 13th December rather than Christmas or Boxing Days, but there we go.

When I initially started planning this post, I was convinced I was jumping on an already laden bandwagon, but there are currently only 4 public instagram posts with the hashtag #twelvebooksofchristmas which is crazy! So, I'm hoping we can do something about that: every day from 13th December I'll be posting our chosen book on my social media and keeping my Christmas sock clad toes crossed that we can tempt some of you to join in too!
Most of the books I've chosen are aimed at toddlers, but we'll be reading them to both of ours (8 months and 23 months) while we give them their evening milk before we tuck them up for (what we hope is) a good night's sleep.

Board books are a favourite in our house as they cope well with little hands (and mouths) so we've got five: Jingle! Jingle!, Dear Santa, That's not my reindeer..., Busy Christmas and That's not my elf.... Our kids love board books and I always try to keep one under the pram for when we're out and about; I'll be swapping our usual favourites for one of these. The first two have flaps with hidden pictures to find and complete the story, while the two That's not my... books have different textures on each page that are perfect for little paws. My personal favourite is Busy Christmas as each page has a different movement to change the image.

Alfie's Christmas is a gorgeous story all about getting ready for Christmas. In reality, our children are too young for it, but the story is so beautifully illustrated that I don't think that matters. Each time I read it, I struggle to decide which illustrations are my favourites!

I love a children's story that rhymes and am convinced that children love the rhythms created by poetry too. Our festive picks are, Santa is coming to (...), The Snowman and the Snowdog and The Night Before Christmas. The first is part of a series about the different places Father Christmas visits in the UK where the story is altered to feature landmarks from the chosen location which really help children (and you) to visualise the big guy's route on Christmas Eve. The other two are firm favourites, wth the latter being one I've read each Christmas Eve since I was child, while the adaptation of Briggs's story is beautiful and (our edition) includes a CD of the story read by Benedict Cumberbatch.
I also couldn't resist two of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's; even though they're not technically Christmas stories: Stick Man and The Gruffalo's Child the stories are synonymous with Christmas because each features the snowy scenes of winter.
My final pick is one that we'll be depending on to entertain are LOs and will be packing in our overnight bags when we go to stay with family; Santa's Noisy House is great fun with six different sounds and buttons to press that our toddler is going to love it!

I hope this post has given you some ideas of wonderful stories to read with your own children and that you'll share your own #twelvebooksofchristmas.

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