Before I dive into this article, let me just start by saying, I had NO IDEA that some of my most memorable stories that I read in elementary school at Christmas time were all written by Jan Brett. Shoutout to her and making some rockin winter/Christmas themed storybooks. Plus whoever her illustrator is is equally AMAZING. Anyways, today’s post is dedicated to all those children’s picture books that will spark some deep Christmas nostalgia within you. Odds are you’ll want to read them and relive the magic all over again once you’re done! Enjoy!
10. Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve by Jan Brett
The great thing about Jan Brett is all of her novels usually in so way wrap around Scandinavian folklore and her illustrations are WHAT MAKES THE NOVEL. They are amazingly detailed and as a kid, were really able to suck me into the story. What’s also amazing about the illustrations that I’ve never seen before in children’s books is the sides of each right page give a hint at what is the come on the next. Almost like children’s book foreshadowing. Anyways, Who’s That Knocking On Christmas Eve? is a great tale about all of these amazing and fanatical creatures stumbling upon a young boy and girls home on, you guessed it, Christmas Eve.
9. Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
Another hit classic by Jan Brett here. Let’s just say that the Gingerbread Baby is a little more mischievous than his other ginger counterparts. Check out this story for yourself to see all the little adventures he goes on throughout the book.
8. The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Hey could you guys tell I like Jan Brett? I’m telling you her books really were a staple in my elementary school library, especially around the holidays and winter months. Another amazing winter story about the Scandinavian wilderness all the while preluding what’s to come at the end of each page! Love it!
7. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Check out a little boy’s adventure during his first snow day of the season in his neighborhood. I just remember loving the vibrant colors and illustrations of this novel as well as the importance behind this book being based around an African American boy written in the 1960s.
6. The Mitten by Jan Brett
I think this is the most classic Jan Brett book that I remember reading almost every year in elementary school. The story is about a forest of woodland animals that discover a missing mitten. They decide to then pack inside of it one by one because it is so cozy and the mitten continues to grow and grow. It’s a super cute story and once again the sides of each page hint at what animal is coming next.
5. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson & Vladyslav Yerko
For some reason I seem to remember this illustrated version better than any other. BEFORE WE HAD ELSA SINGING LET IT GO, the Snow Queen was a real ‘witch’ for lack of a better term. The true story revolves around a sister who’s brother is captured lured away by the infamous Snow Queen back to her castle of ice. There she slowly freezes him and it’s up to his sister alongside with the friends she meets on the way to save him and fix his frozen heart.
4. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Maggie Testa
When Charlie Brown’s done searching for the great pumpkin, it’s time for him to kick back with some rockin piano tunes and decorate his award winning Christmas tree. The storybook to the timeless TV-special is always equally amazing.
3. Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
With so many editions and illustrations, the story still remains the same. Twas’ The Night Before Christmas, and All Through The House, Not A Creature Was Stirring, Not Even A Mouse. Unless of course you’re in Disney World then the line is usually ‘except for a mouse’ or ‘but their was a mouse.’ Only exception really.
2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The only thing better than this novel is Jim Carrey playing the Grinch himself on the big screen. GREAT STUFF. Also let’s be real, Dr. Seuss is a rhyming genius. He doesn’t let non-rhyming words get in the way of his goals, he just makes up his own! Anyways, I’ve always loved the story of the Grinch and how he learns to love Christmas. I also think I really connect with the Whos and how drastically over-the-top they celebrate Christmas. I feel that. Me too Whos. Me too.
1. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
THE FIRST GIFT OF CHRISTMASSSS. I can’t even begin the describe the importance of this story in my life. Year after year I remember reading this story and being fascinated by the idea of the Polar Express. Then the movie came out and Tom Hanks brought my imagination to the big screen. For years on Christmas Eve, I would go to bed wondering if I would be chosen to be whisked away to the North Pole on that enchanted train. This story is a classic that I believe every family should read together to keep the spirit of Christmas alive for years to come.