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Books for Christmas crackers

Is your child crackers about Christmas? Silly question really – of course they are! Our selection of Christmas books are a great way to really build the excitement and revel in the excitement of the Christmas run-up! From traditional Christmas stories to anarchic festive adventures, there's plenty to bring the magic of the season to life.

Books for ages 0–4

Yuval Zommer
A small fir tree is left all alone after the other trees near it in the forest are chosen by families at Christmas. But when the forest animals gather around the lonely little tree to cheer it up and celebrate the season, it finds festive love and warmth in the heart of a cold, snowy forest.
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Activity: Decorate your own tree [PDF]

Anna Currey
Christmas is only days away when Milly meets a unicorn. He patters softly into Grandpa's house on a snowy night and suddenly Milly's world is filled with magic, friendship, and the happiness she has been hoping for. This is a heart-warming story for everyone who believes in the magic of Christmas.
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Book extra: Create your own Christmas unicorn decorations

Brian Wildsmith
The classic Christmas song is made truly magical in the masterful hands of acclaimed illustrator, Brian Wildsmith. This beautifully illustrated book is a delight to share at Christmas time.
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Matty Long
Join the residents of the Super Happy Magic Forest for epic quests and lots of fun. When the Ice Queen covers the entire forest in snow, can the heroes break her spell before they all freeze?
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Activity: Colouring in sheet [PDF]

Elys Dolan
Step inside Santa's workshop and experience Christmas like never before. With more toys to make than ever it's going to be the busiest Christmas yet, but luckily Santa and his elves have everything under control… well, everything except for the rampaging polar bear, a toy factory that will only make toasters, and some very pesky visitors from the South Pole!
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Madeleine Cook, Samara Hardy
Timmy Turkey would love to see Christmas come to Pear Tree Farm. But how can that happen when all his family always vote 'NO'? Timmy leads a brilliant campaign. But how will the animals vote? And how will they escape Farmer Carver's turkey twizzling plans? A funny Christmas caper from the duo who created The Mouse That Cancelled Christmas .
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Books for ages 4–5

Valerie Thomas, Korky Paul
It's Christmas Eve and Winnie and Wilbur are super excited. They've posted their letters to the North Pole and made everything festive. But then disaster strikes. Santa gets stuck in their chimney! He desperately needs help with his deliveries otherwise Christmas just won't happen. It's a jingle-all-the-way Winnie and Wilbur adventure with a spectacular pop up surprise!
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Activity: Winnie's Christmas wordsearch [PDF]
Activity: Write a letter to Santa [PDF]

Madeleine Cook
A hilarious story of an anti-hero made good by the power of Christmas! For one little mouse Christmas means just one thing… danger! And he’s soon ruining everyone’s festive fun with his health and safety concerns, from spiky pine needles to dusty icing sugar to songs about open fires. Christmas itself is in danger of being cancelled! Can the animals of Jingle Bell Forest work together to save Christmas?
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Activity: Colouring in [PDF]

Clement Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house / Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…' Clement Moore's popular festive poem about a visit from Santa Claus, illustrated in glowing colour by Tomie de Paola, is a delight to share with children.
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Books for ages 5–7

Laura Owen, Korky Paul
Winnie and Wilbur have just opened the latest door on their advent calendar when they wonder 'who gives Santa a present'? This thought leads to an epic Christmas quest. This is the perfect Christmas present for Winnie and Wilbur fans who are ready to move on to a longer story.
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Activity: Festive gingerbread recipe [PDF]

Anne Booth, Sophy Williams
Lucy's help is needed when a donkey foal is about to be born. A new arrival, just in time for Christmas! Will she be able to gather everyone together in time? And how can she and her friend, Rosie, raise enough money to help bring the harvest mice back to nearby fields?
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Blog post: Developing empathy through reading

Books for ages 7–9

John Dougherty, David Tazzyman
It’s Christmas in Great Kerfuffle, but something’s not quite right. Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face have been extra good this year, but there aren't any presents. They know Father Christmas wouldn’t forget them, so something must have happened… Where is Father Christmas? And are there badgers involved? Will Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face be able to save Christmas? Or at least find their presents?! Find out in their latest anarchic adventure.
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Maggie Pearson
This book may be smaller than the average elf but it is FULL of stories! Stories of Christmases past and present, near and far; stories to make you laugh and stories to make you think; new stories, old stories and stories you'll remember for ever – this little book has them all! And each no more than two pages long. These 40 very short stories are guaranteed to bring a sparkle to your Christmas!
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Jenny Overton, Shirley Hughes
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree…
We all know this classic Christmas song, but what if someone really did send you all of those gifts? Where would you put all the geese a-laying? Not to mention the lords a-leaping! Find out in this charming story, which is perfect for all the days of Christmas.
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Books for ages 9–11

Tom McLaughlin
Ben has one important thing on his Christmas list, and it's the same thing every year. He wants his dad to be at home for Christmas. But his wish never comes true, and Ben's starting to get a bit sceptical about Father Christmas's existence. So, on Christmas Eve, he sets up an elaborate booby trap to capture the jolly bearded fella as he comes sliding down the chimney, kicking off a sequence of hilarious events that makes this Christmas the most bonkers ever!
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Activity: Draw Father Christmas [PDF]

Charles Dickens
The spirit of Christmas comes to life in this wonderful tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts that visit him to show him the error of his ways. As the clock chimes, will Scrooge be in time to learn the true meaning of Christmas?
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Dennis Pepper
All those things that matter – friendship, love, trust, happiness, and sacrifice – seem to matter all the more at Christmas time. In this wonderful illustrated anthology for older children such themes are considered through thirty stories, both old and new, to present a wide-ranging view of Christmas and its celebrations.
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Next: Oxford Children's Classics