This is a tradition that my girls have looked forward to for years. Now that they are getting older, I started doing different things with them instead as a way to countdown. However, I have transferred the book countdown to my family child care program.
The children are so excited to unwrap a book each day and read it as a group. Each year I have also shared on my blog what books we are reading. This year will be no different.
So without delay, here are the books we are reading this year. (Note: there are only 15 books as there are only 15 days of child care during the entire month of December before Christmas)
I will include links for each book to be purchased on Amazon for easy shopping purposes. They are also available at your favorite local bookseller or other online retailers.
1. Finding Christmas by Robert Munsch
A very Munsch Christmas! For the first time ever, Canada's best loved author and illustrator team creates a festive story to ring in the holiday season - with all of the zaniness fans have come to expect, of course! Every year Julie finds the Christmas presents her parents hid: in the basement, under the bed, in the garage. But this year it's Christmas Eve and she has found nothing. NOTHING! She's worried - will be there no presents at all? Her investigation takes her to a mysterious box on the rooftop, which - lo and behold - houses all of the gifts! But, in classic Munsch mayhem, she becomes trapped inside, creating the biggest surprise of all for her family on Christmas morning.
2. The Little Red Elf by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Who will help the little red elf prepare for Christmas?
This clever retelling of "The Little Red Hen" features a little red elf and her lazy friends: the hare, the penguin, and the reindeer. When the cheerful elf can't get help planting the pinecones or decorating the Christmas tree, she knows just how to reward her friends.
3. Snowman at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
Snowmen at Night shared with us the magical, slip-sliding adventures of snowmen after dark . . . but have you ever wondered what snowmen do for Christmas? Well, now’s your chance to find out! The snowmen are back, and this time they’re celebrating Christmas—the snowman way!
This snappy and entertaining companion to the New York Times bestseller Snowmen at Night depicts all the best parts of the holiday, replete with icy treats and a snowman Kris Kringle. Told in the same bouncy verse as the original, Snowmen at Christmas is perfect for a snowy evening read-aloud.
4. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama holidays.
Jingle music. Lights ablaze.
How long till that special date?
Llama Llama has to wait.
If there's one thing Llama Llama doesn't like, it's waiting. He and Mama Llama rush around, shopping for presents, baking cookies, decorating the tree . . . but how long is it until Christmas? Will it ever come? Finally, Llama Llama just can't wait any more! It takes a cuddle from Mama Llama to remind him that "Gifts are nice, but there's another: The true gift is, we have each other."
5. Santa's Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki and Ivan Gantschev
Discover the true meaning of the holidays as Santa Claus retells the story of the first Christmas in this sweet picture book from Hisako Aoki and Ivan Gantschev.
When Santa Claus tells the forest animals that he is not looking forward to delivering all those heavy packages, they are worried that there won’t be a Christmas anymore. To help everyone understand that Christmas would still come even if he didn’t, Santa tells the story of the first Christmas, and they all learn a good lesson about the meaning of this special holiday.
6. The Night Before Christmas by Jan Brett
Jan Brett's Christmas classic is a visual masterpiece and includes a DVD to savor!
One of Jan Brett's all-time bestselling Christmas classics comes to life with this deluxe package that includes a DVD featuring Brett's gorgeous artwork paired with original music performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra, and text read by award-winning narrator Jim Dale. Introduce your family to a holiday tradition they'll treasure for years to come.
7. Pete The Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean and Eric Litwin
Spend the holidays with your favorite blue cat! In this rockin' spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.
This edition of Pete the Cat Saves Christmas features a gorgeous and ornate foil jacket.
The fun never stops—this book includes a sheet of full-color stickers and a free downloadable song!
'Twas the day before
Christmas and Santa was ill.
In the cold winter wind he
had caught a bad chill.
Will Christmas be canceled?
Will it come to that?
"Never!" cried Santa.
"Let's call Pete the Cat!"
Moose thinks he has all his Christmas preparations taken care of, but at the last minute he must come up with a substitute for the Christmas tree.
9. Dashing Through The Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells by Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmerman
Jingle Bells, Beaver yells: "Santa's on the way!" Oh what fun it is to ride The jolly True North way, eh? Porcupine and friends are back for more Christmas fun! When Santa's gifts get mixed up, how will the animals figure out which is which? With a lot of mayhem and merriment, of course! The bestselling team of Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmerman bring us another hilarious Canadian Christmas carol, sure to have the whole family singing along.
10. A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: A Canadian 12 Days of Christmas by Helaine Becker and Helaine Becker
Four calling moose, three beaver tails, two caribou and a porcupine in a pine tree...Celebrate Christmas Canadian-style with this hilarious adaptation of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." You'll find squirrels curling, puffins piping, hockey players a-leaping and more. Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmerman turn the Christmas carol on its head, with a totally Canadian cast of characters wildly romping through the pages. A new holiday classic is born!
11. A Moose in a Maple Tree: The Original All-Canadian 12 Days of Christmas by Troy Townsin
Just released in hardcover with revised illustrations. This best-selling children’s book is already a favourite of people young and old around the globe and its lyrics have been sung in classrooms and assemblies across the country. The book’s endearing use of iconic Canadianisms provides a great tool for young readers developing memory recognition and learning to count. Its comical ending, with all the characters in the tree, provides a captivating look-and-find.
12. If You Take A Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
Mouse celebrates the holidays in this picture book in the beloved #1 New York Times bestselling If You Give... series!
If you take a mouse to the movies, he'll ask you for some popcorn. If you give him the popcorn, he'll want to string it all together. Then he'll want to hang it on a Christmas tree.
The famous little mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie that has delighted millions of readers is back in an irresistible tale full of holiday antics.
13. I've Seen Santa by David Bedford
Little Bear is so excited about Santa's arrival that he cannot sleep; despite his family's efforts to stay up with him, they all fall asleep beneath the Christmas Tree--but will they wake up in time to see Santa?
14. Is It Christmas Yet? by Jane Chapman
Christmas is coming, and Teddy is so excited, he's just about ready to pop! "Is it Christmas yet?" he cries." "Is it Christmas Yet?" But first, there are presents to wrap, a cake to bake, a tree to decorate - so much to do. Poor Teddy - will it ever be Christmas?
15. The Nutcracker by Anna Luraschi
As the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, Clara's nutcracker toy turns into a prince. He calls for his reindeer and his golden sleigh and whisks Clara away to the mouthwatering Land of Sweets.
Enjoy your last few weeks before Christmas with some great books to read to your children!