10 Enchanting Christmas and Bedtime Books for Babies and Young Readers

10 Enchanting Christmas and Bedtime Books for Babies and Young Readers.

Which parent is not feverishly searching, at least once, for Christmas bedtime books ideal for babies or young readers?

The Cheetah and the Dog, The Elephant and the Sheep, The Lion and the Dog, diversity stories
The Cheetah and the Dog, The Elephant and the Sheep, The Lion and the Dog, diversity stories by Patricia Furstenberg

When my daughter was six month old I began reading to her “The Little Duckling.” We would cuddle together every day and enjoy the little bird’s adventures of bravery. It was a magical time for me and for my daughter as well. Later on she would look excited just seeing this book!

My son loved the touch and feel story of a puppy. It was a board book and, no matter how hard I tried, he would always put it in his mouth. I guess that’s what board books are for! He loved the touch of the puppy’s fur on the cover and, mostly, having his family around him at story time.

Later on I would read to both my children Enid Blyton’s “The Faraway Tree” and to this day my teen children remember the warm, fuzzy evenings and the big book we shared and delighted in together.

What’s left when books are outgrown are the memories; a fuzzy warm feeling of safety in mom’s arms, dad’s silly voice dad makes while trying to work out different voices, a bright cover or a beloved character. Tucked away in a special space in our children’s hearts; to take with through life, to give them a sense of family when they’re on their own and something to look forward to when starting their own family.

Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles
Puppy, 12 Months of Rhymes and Smiles by Patricia Furstenberg

Here are some of the 10 most enchanting and fun board books (most of them) with Christmas and bedtime stories to enjoy with your little ones.

1. Llama Llama Jingle Bells

From the beloved bestselling “Llama Llama series” by the author and illustrator Anna Dewdney comes the enchanting Christmas story, “Llama Llama Jingle Bells.” The illustrations are bright and easy on the eye, depicting adorable characters. Anna Dewdney is a master of the verse for young children, her rhymes being “polished and precise” (Publishers Weekly).

Llama brings a gift to his friend (a book smile) then Llama becomes excited thinking of present “Llama Santa” him! Back home he bakes cookies with Mama Llama and they leave Santa a snack. Mama carries a tired little llama to bed. The Christmas morning is met with excitement and joy.

Sadly, Anna Dewdney died this year, age 50, due to brain cancer. She left us sweet Christmas bedtime books for babies and young readers.

2. Llama Llama Holiday Drama

Another wonderful bestseller by Anna Dewdney. “Llama Llama holidays. Jingle music. Lights ablaze. How long till that special date? Llama Llama has to wait.”

Even though babies might be too young to really worry about “how long IS it until Christmas?” the musicality and rhythm of this Llama Llama story are just what little ears need.

And, of course, there’s that cuddle at the end of the story, when Mama Llama reminds little Llama that “Gifts are nice, but there’s another: The true gift is, we have each other.”

A great read for an after-read of cuddles and squeals of delight.

“Dewdney continues to display her very real understanding of preschooler mentality.”  Delivering clever rhymes. Library Journals LLC and, of course, this book contains Dewdney’s artistic illustrations.

The Llama Llama character was first introduced to young readers in 2005, with  “Llama Llama Red Pajama”. Ms. Dewdney was considered “rock star to preschoolers”  by the children’s-book journal The Horn Book

This one is a hardcover edition.

3. The Legend of the Candy Cane: The Inspirational Story of Our Favorite Christmas Candy

It is never too early to tech children that Christmas IS Jesus Christ’s Birthday! And this story does just that.

Lori Walburg spins a timeless tale, sweet and heartwarming while James Bernardin brings it alive with his warm, lavish rich illustrations.

A charming Christmas story for your family to grow old with.

Children often wish for the simplest of things, while grownups tend to be more realistic. Who is the stranger that rode in the small prairie town? Will he turn out to be just what all the children hope for? And, do you know why candy canes are being made as a symbol of Christmas? Ever wondered why the cane is shaped like a J?

“Remember Jesus when it comes to Christmas, He truly is the reason for the season.”

4. Song of the Stars

Best-selling author Sally Lloyd-Jones gifts us with an exciting book “The Song of the Stars”. It is a meaningful read about the joy of giving and the magic of Jesus’s Birth.

Stories for babies don’t need to always rhymes. Sometimes the excitement in the voice of the reader is what makes it all worthwhile.

“The world was about to change forever. And it almost went by unnoticed…” Jones begins and she goes on in a free-flowing, rhythmical way, using figures of speech to bring her story to life, songs to a child’s ears:  Leaves “rustle with a rumor,” the wind “whispered it softly in the sycamore trees,” a “big brown bear sniffed the air,”

The bright illustrations of Alison Jay show nature, animals and, finally, the town of Bethlehem with shepherds, sheep, and angels surrounding it, then a little barn and the baby, surrounded by animals. The baby held by his mother and surrounded by pure love, animals and his family.

5. Elmo’s 12 Days of Christmas (Sesame Street) (Big Bird’s Favorites Board Books)

What would Christmas be without Sesame Street’s beloved Elmo?

Hee-hee! Ha, ha ha! Laugh with your little one while reading out loud this amusing Christmas story by Sarah Albee, a New York Times Bestseller Trust herstorytelling capabilities and her children’s writer intuition as she delivers her own take on the 12 Days of Christmas, Sesame Street st‌yle!

With sweet verse and even more lovable characters depicted in bright, colourful illustrations, Elmo’s 12 Days of Christmas (Sesame Street) is a sing along, read along, laugh along book. Find Elmo in each day of Christmas!

Perfect size for little hands and a classic Christmas bedtime books for babies!

The Cheetah and the Dog, The Elephant and the Sheep, The Lion and the Dog, diversity stories
The Cheetah and the Dog, The Elephant and the Sheep, The Lion and the Dog, diversity stories by Patricia Furstenberg

6. The Hat

Written by Jan Brett, the author of the bestselling book The Mitten, here comes another story to treasure! Try your hand at making different animal voices with this fun, heart-warming filled with cute farm and forest animals.

A clever and appealing before Christmas story. Ever wondered where your missing socks are? Well, if you would live in a Scandinavian farm, then after reading this story you would know for sure.

The illustrations are brilliant and original, depicting glorious Scandinavian farm surroundings. Telling the story by themselves, the illustrations are an added bonus and something that will make youyou’re your child enjoy the book again and again, for amy years to come.

Find the missing sock in them! “The pictures, story, and subject matter make this a natural for sharing aloud.” (From School Library Journal)

There’s something for the parents to enjoy in this book as well! Whimsical and imaginative. A must-read for every child and her/his parents.

7. The Crippled Lamb

This is fantastic, revised edition of the same classical book, a board book perfect for little hands and durable to survive quite a bit of chewing and tossing.

The illustrations are beautiful and even grownups would want to pause on a page to enjoy them.

We read about a lamb who feels out of place because he is not as perfect as the other lambs. But his wonderful friend Abigail always reminds him that “God has a special place for those who don’t belong.”

The Lion adn the Dog by Patricia Furstenberg

A must read children’s book that’s sure to be enjoyed often than only once a year!

8. Goodnight Moon

A #1Bestseller by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd. Although not a Christmas story, “Goodnight Moon” is a fantastic read for bedtime.

With clear, bright illustrations and easy to grasp rhymes, this book has a magic of its own. The gentle repetitions and the joy of finding little mouse on every page are perfect for creating a calm bedtime routine.

A gem of a book belonging near every bed.

The little bunny tucked in his bed says good night to all the objects around him in his cosy moonlit room.

In this classic of modern children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.” (From the Back Cover)

9. Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (Classic Books With Holes)

Maybe not a Christmas story, but a classical nevertheless.

With lively rhymes ready for singing along, Bouncy illustrations and HOLES for poking little fingers. Or make your child giggle by poking your own fingers through the holes in this board book.

A great book to singing out loud, count along, tell time and speak about feelings. And why not, to allow your little one to jump on the bed – with you nearby.

Sweet, bright illustrations. Count the little monkeys.

A book and a game in one, a real treat for the whole family!

And, one of my top Christmas bedtime books for babies and especially young readers is:

10. The Lion and the Dog

Both my children loved this book and seeing the cover had brought back many wonderful memories!

A beautiful picture book with musical rhymes that celebrates diversity and promotes kindness, sure to strike a chord with the many fans of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”.

“I like the beautiful messages of friendship, faith, optimism, and kindness conveyed through this story. The rhyme scheme makes it a lyrical read, making it appealing to the children. The illustrations are wonderful and they give clarity to the author’s concept and words.” (Readers’ Favorite)

Christmas books for kids

What are YOUR family’s favorite reads? I would love to hear about them.

Written in 2016 for Redtricycle website.

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