12 October 2014

31 Days: Our Toddler Christmas Book Basket (40+ books!)

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Good afternoon, friends! 
Happy Sunday! Here on the blog, we're spending the month preparing a Holiday Planner to help organize everything for the fall & winter holidays. If you are new to this 31 day series, check out my beginning post...

Creating A Holiday Planner in 31 Days!

So are you ready to wrap up these book lists? I hope they've given you some new books to explore and perhaps add to your current and future holiday lists! Today I wanted to share some of our family's favorite Christmas-themed books! Our Christmas Book Basket contains a variety of book topics- from secular Christmas to Advent & Epiphany to Christmastide (aka. the 12 days of Christmas).

We have a 2.5 yro toddler in the house who, thankfully, loves to read! So most nights before bed, we all snuggle in and read a small pile of books. This Christmas season we'll be unwrapping one book per night- it will be a mix of old and new books for our little one since we're still building our stash! I have to confess that I'm a stickler for beautiful illustrations, even in children's books, or perhaps especially in children's books! However, some of these books I did pick out with purely my toddler's favorite things in mind. So! Without further ado, let me share my list with you! In no particular order...

Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale
On a cold winter night, farm animals pass by and old kind ox invites each of them inside his stable for warmth and shelter. This culminates with Ox inviting in tired donkey, who brings along Mary & Joseph with him. A cute rendition of the traditional Christmas story. A beautifully illustrated board book for even the youngest toddlers. 

Silent Night
There's not much to say about this book besides- wonderful. If you enjoy Thomas Kinkade's artwork, then this is a "must" to add to your Christmas Book Basket. Thomas Kinkade's illustrations are set to the traditional text of the Silent Night Christmas carol. A truly lovely book. 

Who is Coming to Our House?
A very cute board book that regales us with a story of each of the barnyard animals getting the stable ready for Mary and Joseph's arrival. A cute take on the traditional Christmas story, fun for toddlers young and old.

The Story of Christmas
A beautifully illustrated Christmas book that was a recent gift from dear friends of ours. The text goes through the story of Christmas (no surprise, hehe) with text taken from the four Gospels of the King James Bible. A truly wonderful addition to the Christmas Book Basket. 

Being a Disney-loving family, this book, and the animated movie, are staples in our home during the Christmas season! The traditional story of The Christmas Carol, but with Uncle "Scrooge" McDuck as Scrooge and Mickey as Bob Cratchit! This book was actually mine as a child and was passed down to our little one (the image link above will take you to the original version, while the text link above will take you to a modern copy that you can purchase new!)

One Night In Bethlehem
This is a touch and feel book, which is how it made its way into our stash- our toddler still loves touch and feel books! I'll admit I still feel all the textures right along with her, hehe :) The story regales us with one youngster's thoughts on what he would have done had he been at the birth of Jesus. While this board book doesn't have the most creative variety of textures, it does have a very solid Christian message. A great addition for even the youngest toddlers.

Christmas in the Manger
A simple little board book that has been with our family for a few seasons now- as is evidenced by the chew marks on the corners of our copy from when the wee one was first teething! A typical walk through the Christmas story, wrapped up with "And I am the baby, asleep in the hay, and I am the reason for Christmas day." Simple text makes this most appropriate for most young toddlers.

This has become a staple in many families during the Christmas season, and ours is no exception. While it does focus on the more secular side of Christmas, it has a great message, and cartoons don't get much better than classic Dr. Seuss! I, of course, plan to combine the reading of this book with the watching of the animated movie as well- a must watch for us each Christmas season!

This was bought for my princess-loving toddler in mind! Only recently she branched out from just loving Mickey & Minnie to enjoying the Disney princesses as well. Cinderella, Tiana, Aurora, and Ariel each get their own Christmas tale in this book, each sharing a Christmas tale of parties, friends, family and traditions. A cute new addition to our Christmas Book Basket. This book is also just a reprint of A Royal Christmas

Irish Night Before Christmas, An (The Night Before Christmas Series)
Coming from an Irish family, when I first saw this book at a shop in Walt Disney World, I knew it had to come home with us! It joins the ever-growing list of parody's on the classic Christmas poem. This one, however, includes a donkey pulling Santa's sleigh instead of reindeer, mom & dad are drinking stout instead of egg nog, and of course Santa carries a shillelagh! While we tend to veer away from any Santa stuff in this house, I'll admit I made an exception for this story!

The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas (Big Little Golden Book)
This one is a must for any Army family, and most any military family in general will appreciate it too. Very funny take on the classic Christmas tale but set at boot camp! 

Cajun Night Before Christmas (The Night Before Christmas Series)
We bought this book a few years back because we thought it was really funny... well, then we got stationed in Louisiana in the boonies and didn't think it was so funny anymore! It now conjures up bad memories from our stay in LA!! We just moved from there last Thanksgiving, so give it a few years and I'm sure we'll enjoy it again and be able to look back and laugh at some of the ridiculousness that ensued while we were there :)

Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking (Peanuts)
Another new book for our Advent Book Basket this year. The wee one loves anything Snoopy/Charlie Brown related, so I had to snag this cute book when I saw it! Great size for a large Christmas stocking gift too ;)

This is kind of a neat take on the traditional Christmas story. It's from the perspective of the owners of the inn where Mary & Joseph stay on that fateful Christmas Eve. It tells of all their Christmas preparations that evening leading up to the holy couple arriving. Not necessarily Biblical, but a cute story nonetheless. This one's a bit hard to find- I think I picked it up in the clearance/dollar section at our local Books-A-Million.

This is both a classic book and movie. It always makes me tear up though!! It's a cute story about the donkey that no one wants, but eventually becomes the only one able to carry Mary to Bethlehem. Just a cute tale, but bring the tissues! This year we'll be reading this just before we watch the Disney movie. The book is a bit wordy, so it might be better for older toddlers. 

Another wordy Christmas book that is perhaps best suited for the older toddler. The story of another wise man that saw the signs of the Christ child, but during his first quest to find to Jesus, he gets waylaid helping people. This continues to be the story of his life- searching out Christ and getting "sidetracked" helping people. A very beautiful story (with a beautiful ending!) and a fabulous addition to any Christmastide/Epiphany Book Basket. 
This is a new book to our library! The wee one has just gotten into "teddy bear" (aka. Pooh bear!) so I picked this up to be one of the new books that we gift her in this year's Advent Book Basket!

The Little Drummer Boy
The classic Christmas song set to beautiful illustrations. It's hard to not sing along to the lyrics as you read them! I'll be doing a Christmas Carol / Hymn study during this Advent season, and you can take a guess which carol I'll be studying the evening we read this book from our Advent/Christmastide Book Basket!! Definitely give this book a look :)

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story
Some of the most beautiful illustrations out of all the Christmas books we have. A beautiful take on the Scriptures from the perspective of the all the earth and animals awaiting the arrival of the Christ child. I can't do this one justice- just definitely check it out!! :) One of my top picks for Advent books.

Those are the books that we currently own and enjoy! Below are some additional books that are on our wish list to get either later this year or next year. Do you own any of these? Are they favorites in your family? Do you have any favorites that I missed? I hope today's post has inspired you to add a few of these books to your Christmas lists of things to do, or pick up other holiday books that catch your eye! Tomorrow I'll start sharing some Christmas lists!

Disney Christmas Storybook Collection

Biscuit's Christmas Storybook Collection

The Birds of Bethlehem

Little Tree

Bear Stays Up for Christmas (The Bear Books)

Din Dan Don, It's Christmas

Winnie the Pooh's Sweet Christmas

A Very Merry Christmas (Disney Classic Pooh)

Disney's Winnie the Pooh's Twelve Days of Christmas

Clubhouse Christmas (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse)

J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told

Disney Christmas Storybook Collection

Usborne Lift-the-flap Nativity

The Friendly Beasts: an old English Christmas Carol

The Tale of Three Trees : A Traditional Folktale

This Is the Stable

Mortimer's Christmas Manger

Woody's White Christmas (Disney/Pixar Toy Story) (Pictureback(R))

Wombat Divine

A Star for Jesus (ZonderKidz)

The First Night

The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas

One Shining Star: A Christmas Counting Book

Biscuit's Pet & Play Christmas

Cinderella's Fairy Merry Christmas (Disney Princess) (Pictureback(R))

Christmas in the Castle (Disney Princess) (Pictureback with Flaps)

A Very Mater Christmas (Disney/Pixar Cars) (Glitter Board Book)

Snowmen at Christmas

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