Gosh, where did November go?! I had really hoped to get another couple of blog posts published in the lead up to Christmas, but what with several bouts of illness in our house, and underestimating the time it would take to package 30 advent calendars, I've not managed it.
Children's books are one of my biggest passions. I began to collect favourites during my first term at University, believing that I was making a great investment in my future teaching career. During my many years in the classroom I prioritised a good half hour at the end of the school day for reading the children a story. It was, and still is, one of my favourite things to do. I am still collecting books. I don't think I will ever stop collecting books.
So, every Christmas I buy Bean books, and today I wanted to share with you some of our favourite Christmas books...
Winter by Gerda Muller
Bean had this book in her stocking when she was about 18 months old, and it is still a firm favourite. If you read my Autumn book recommendations, you will already know that we are big fans of the Gerda Muller season series. These are wordless board books, so suitable for the very youngest children, and the illustrations are divine. Although not exclusively about Christmas, the pictures depict an array of wintery scenes which will be familiar to young children, and offer lots of opportunities for encouraging early speech and language development. At 7, my daughter still enjoys looking at the pictures in these. Sometimes they inspire her to tell a story of her own, other times they will remind her of past experiences that she wants to reminisce together. These books make a lovely addition to your seasonal/nature table.
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Bean received this book as a gift from our family in America, and it has been such a wonderful introduction to the world of Jan Brett. We now have a few of her books and they are all gorgeous. This too is a board book, retelling a delightful and funny traditional story from the Ukraine. A little boy drops his mitten in the snow. One by one, various woodland animals discover it and crawl inside, stretching his mitten out of shape. At 2.5 years old, Bean had just started attending weekly forest school sessions, and this book really helped her to become familiar with the names of all the woodland animals.
Lucy and Tom at Christmas by Shirley Hughes
I couldn't write a post of book recommendations without including a Shirley Hughes. I grew up with these books, and it is such a pleasure to be reading them to my daughter. Lucy and Tom are excited about Christmas. Follow them as they prepare for a typical family Christmas, with beautifully observed illustrations and a timeless story line. This book is suitable for all ages, young and old, and is one that we never tire of in this house. The magic and excitement of the lead up to Christmas, and the celebration on the big day, radiate out of the pages. One of the reviewers on Amazon writes simply, 'You can't get better than Shirley Hughes'.