Perfect Festive Books for Everyone

Have you still to find the perfect festive book for a friend expecting their first baby? Or the ideal story for a family who don't celebrate Christmas? Don't worry! Your friends in the Early Years team are here to help with their seasonal book suggestions for everyone:



Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock and Helen Stephens

Oliver Elephant
This charming story feels really nostalgic to me – bringing back happy memories of trips to Jenner’s at Christmas with my Granny. So magical! With a lovely rhyme and featuring Helen Stephens’ beautiful illustrations it tells the story of Mummy, Noah and Evie-May Brown as they do their Christmas shopping and Noah loses his beloved toy Oliver Elephant. But don’t worry, all is well in the end. (chosen by Kirsty)



Santa’s Beard by Matilda Tristram, Tom Duxbury and Nick Sharratt

Cover image from Santa's Beard
Santa is too hot with a white fluffy beard, so his beard decides to take off and find a new face to live on. Will it be a baby’s face? Will it be a princess’? No one wants Santa’s beard! (poor thing). This book is hilarious and lots of fun – there is a tactile white beard that can be stuck to various characters throughout and Nick Sharratt’s vibrant illustrations make it perfect for engaging wee ones at Christmas. (chosen by Emma)



A Dot in the Snow by Corrinne Averiss and Fiona Woodcock

Cover of A Dot in the Snow
A Dot in the Snow is a beautiful wintery tale, perfect for sharing whether or not your family celebrates Christmas. It follows a curious polar bear cub, Miki, as he follows a dot in the snow. The dot turns out to be a little girl, all dressed up for the cold and ready to play. This story is a treat for all the senses and I love the magical pictures that throw a frozen landscape in and out of focus as the weather changes. If you’re looking for a book to curl up and snuggle in with your small person, this would be perfect. (chosen by Catriona)



Goodnight Santa by Michelle Robinson and Nick East

Cover of Goodnight Santa
The beloved Goodnight series is back and full of festive magic! Enjoy the excitement of Christmas with a gentle, calming twist. Get ready – Santa’s coming, ho ho ho! Say goodnight to snowmen, choirs and stockings by the fire. Get a special sneak peek into Santa’s workshop. Make sure he’s got his list then quickly off to bed before Santa comes. A wonderful book to help little ones wind down with their grown up at the end of a busy day. (chosen by Tracy)



Snow Rabbit by Camille Garoche

Cover of Snow Rabbit
If you're looking to introduce a friend to wordless picture books, Snow Rabbit would be my festive pick. Winter can be a magical time, with snow and frost transforming the world around us; this beautiful picture book encapsulates this sense of wonder perfectly. Two girls gaze out of the window onto a snowy landscape - one goes out to make a snow rabbit for her wheelchair-bound sister but inside it starts to melt. So into the snow they go, where magic happens. A wonderful way to use your imagination as you tell the story together. (chosen by Ruth B)



Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Tim Hopgood

Walking in a winter wonderland
If you're looking for a book to celebrate baby's first Christmas, Walking in a Winter Wonderland is just perfect. Tim Hopgood brings this traditional winter song to life with his beautiful illustrations. Cosy up as you walk through the snowy forest with charming wildlife and sing along as you stroll through the winter wonderland. The vibrant illustrations give this classic song an enchanting, modern twist. Babies love to hear the sound of your voice and singing is a great way to soothe them when they are unsettled - this book includes a recording of the song so you can sing along as you share the book together. (chosen by Tracy)



How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss

The Grinch who Stole Christmas
“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” This classic Christmas tale of a change of heart from a grump even worse than Scrooge is perfect to read aloud to your bump or newborn. The rhythm will be the thing that they will notice along with the sound of your voice, so watch out for some kicks or some stretches when you read this! It also means they don't miss out on one of the best bits of the festive season - curling up with a good story! (chosen by Beth)



The Very Long Sleep by Polly Noakes

The Very Long Sleep snow scene
The Very Long Sleep is a snowy tale about what animals get up to over the frosty winter months. Some hibernate, and some don’t (much to Fox’s disappointment!) A great alternative Christmas read for little ones who love animals - the nostalgic illustrations by Polly Noakes are just beautiful. (chosen by Ruth G)


If you still need some inspiration for that perfect Christmas gift, we have plenty more books to choose from on our Christmas Countdown11 more Festive Books and 12 Festive Baby Books lists.

And don't forget that you can also win one of our favourite festive books, The Snowman, in our Bookbug book of the month competition.


(Main image from Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Tim Hopgood)