A Very Merry Christmas Booklist (Part One)

A Very Merry Christmas Booklist

Rebecca from Thirteen Red Shoes is with us today to share an inspiring holiday booklist…

Over the coming weeks on Playful Learning I will be sharing some fun filled Christmas picture books and Christmas classics.  It might seem a little early, but Christmas is not far away! I love to gather all my picture books out of storage and purchase new titles for our collection so I am ready once December arrives.  This first series I wish to share with you is based all around the mystery and joy of Christmas.  The magical side of Father Christmas and school plays and singing carols!  Please share any of your loved titles.  I can not wait to add some new books to my collection and I would love to hear your favorites.


Some of these titles are difficult to find, so snatch them up if you come across them or find them at your local library.

  1. The Nutcracker and The Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffmann – A classic tale illustrated by Gail de Marcken. Whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, no Christmas is complete without reading The Nutcracker. This story can be read during the final week leading up to Christmas.

  2. Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Cracker by Lynley Dodd – If you like the Hairy Maclary series then this story is for you and your littles.

  3. The Watchmaker Who Saved Christmas by Bruce Whatley – A lovely tale of Christmas magic and adventure.  This title is hard to find, so make sure to ask your local boutique bookstore to locate it for you.  We had a library edition and it is certainly worth looking for.

  4. The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg – As it is filled with envelopes and little tales about fairytale characters, this one will be loved by lots of different age groups.

  5. Christmas Eve at the Mellops’ by Tomi Unberer – A delightful tale of the popular Mellop’s family.

  6. Thank You Santa by Margaret Wild and Kerry Argent – A sweet tale of a little girl and Santa corresponding with each other over the period of year.  This title can be very hard to find, mine is a library copy. I have an interview with Margaret Wild which can be seen here.

  7. Stickman by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler – Always has been and always will be a modern day classic in our home.  We love this book 365 days a year.

  8. The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nick Greenberg – Ruby the reindeer, who is always in trouble, is needed to help Santa deliver all the presents. Is she up to the challenge?

  9. We Wish You A Ripper Christmas by Colin Buchanan and Ronald Harvey – A spin on the classic Christmas song.

  10. Where’s Santa by Louis Shea – A delightful book with Santa hiding in lots of different places.

  11. Where’s Waldo? Santa Spetacular  by Martin Handford –  A Where’s Waldo? Santa sticker spectacular.

  12. Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans – It is the night before Christmas and everyone is sick in bed. Madeline’s in charge and sets about cheering everyone up in time for Christmas.

  13. Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer – If you love the Olivia series this one is for you.  This story just makes me laugh, the family is ever so funny.  The page with Santa’s offerings makes me giggle; pajamas not so great, skis big smile…sweater not so great, sledge big smile…booties not so great, maracas big smile!

  14. Elmer and Papa Red by David Mckee – Christmas time with Elmer and his friends.

  15. The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson – It is a long wait for the magic to arrive.  The illustrations by Jon Muth are beautiful.

  16. Christmas Wombat by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley – This book is from the author of the very popular Diary of a Wombat and tells the story of wombat’s adventure helping Father Christmas deliver the presents on Christmas Eve.

  17. Polar Express by Chris van Allsberg – We love this book and love the movie too. A perfect story and movie to share on the night before Christmas.  Delightful and perfect for creating family memories and traditions.

A few followers on my Instagram feed shared some more delightful tales that you may enjoy:

  1. Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present by John Burningham

  2. Cranberry Christmas by Harry Delvin

  3. It’s Christmas by Tina Burke

  4. The Empty Stocking by Richard Curtis

  5. Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs




Rebecca has a love for travel, the outdoors, and picture books, and enjoys spending her time sourcing delightful educational experiences to share with her two sons.With a background in early childhood and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Tasmania, Rebecca teaches at a private all girls school in Australia. Her passion for the philosophies of Reggio Emilia and Maria Montessori lead Rebecca to Playful Learning many years ago when she first enrolled in the online Playful Learning Spaces workshop.  She shortly became a regular contributor, mainly focusing on children’s literature. Rebecca is currently working on a modern day primer for children, called Alphabet Town under the label bec + georg.



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