We at Simon & Schuster Canada really and truly believe that there’s no better gift than the love of reading. That’s why when we stumbled across this great gift idea on Pinterest, we had to tell everyone we could about it! The idea is to wrap up 25 children’s picture books and put them under your Christmas tree at the start of December. Before bedtime each evening, your little one gets to choose one book to unwrap, which you then read together! This continues every night up to and including the big day itself. What a cozy and heartwarmingly brilliant gift idea.
Make this a new holiday tradition! To help you start, we’ve listed 25 of our favourite children’s books down below (in no particular order). Feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments section below.
- The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. This is a wonderful new version of the classic poem every family should own. Lavishly illustrated by renowned artist Charles Santore, the critically acclaimed illustrator of The Wizard of Oz, Snow White, and The Little Mermaid, this beautiful book is a treasure.
- One Starry Night is a simple yet profound book that perfectly captures the universal nighttime vigil of parents everywhere. Author Lauren Thompson is at her lyrical best, while Jonathan Bean’s gorgeous, artisanal illustrations are the perfect match for this beautifully serene story of a truly Peaceable Kingdom.
- The Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, with illustrations by Steven D’Amico, is a lively and rollicking book that is sure to insprire every member of the family in celebrating the Festival of Lights!
- Olivia Helps with Christmas (Ian Falconer) shows that everyone’s favourite 6-year-old pig is the #1 Kris Kringle fan, and of course she’s excited to OPEN HER PRESENTS!
- Christmas Parade is a delightful Christmas picture book filled with hilarious characters and dynamic art from the one and only Sandra Boynton! Written with the irresistible rhythm of a lively marching band and illustrated by the author with those signature Boynton characters, Christmas Parade is a superb present for young children and families everywhere. Biddy BOOM!
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas is an enchanting holiday story for young readers that kids will ask for again and again. Written by Karma Wilson and illustrations by Jane Chapman.
- Santa from Cincinnati by Judi Barrett (author of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), with illustrations by Kevin Hawkes. Compiled from his baby book, family photos, and report cards, Santa from Cincinnati provides a full-spectrum view of the boy who grew to be the man who grew to be Santa.
- Mortimer’s Christmas Manger is a sweet holiday story that’s cherished by families everywhere, again from the bestselling author and illustrator team of Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.
- The award-winning Red Sled by Lita Judge is an almost wordless picture book in which a host of woodland creatures take a child’s sled for a nighttime joy ride. Gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, their whimsical ride will become a wintertime favorite.
- No Two Alike, written and illustrated by Keith Baker, follows a pair of birds on a snowflake-filled journey though a gorgeous winter landscape to explore how everything, everywhere is wonderfully unique.
- In Making a Friend, bestselling author Alison McGhee reminds us all that “What you love will always be with you.” This tender story about the power of friendship will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.
AMAZING ANIMAL ADVENTURES:
- Olivia by Ian Falconer, the award-winning book that started it all! You and your little ones are sure to fall in love with Olivia’s adorably endearing precociousness.
- Olivia and the Fairy Princesses (Ian Falconer) follows our beloved Olivia on a hilarious quest for individuality, and rest assured, you won’t find THIS pig pleased to be in pink!
- Don’t Be Afraid, Little Pip - from bestselling author and illustrator team of Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman comes a reassuring tale about the lovable Little Pip that will leave readers cheering… and perhaps a little less scared to try something new.
- Bear Says Thanks shows us that there’s no better way for Bear to say thanks than by having a big dinner with all of his friends! Written by Karma Wilson and illustrations by Jane Chapman.
- Nightsong is a beautiful coming-of-age story about a young bat setting off into the world using only his good sense! With mesmerizing artwork from NYT bestselling illustrator Loren Long and lyrical text from Ari Berk, share the lovely message that no matter how far away you go, you can always find your way home.
- Mousetronaut is the story of a small mouse who wants to travel in outerspace! Written by bestselling author and retired NASA astronaut Commander Mark Kelly and with lively illustrations by award-winning artist C. F. Payne, this little mouse may inspire some big dreams!
- Creepy Carrots, by Aaron Reynolds with illustrations by Peter Brown. The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch in this clever picture book parable about a rabbit who fears his favorite treats are out to get him.
- In Boot & Shoe, Caldecott Honor medalist Marla Frazee brings her signature wit, tenderness, and hilarious illustrations to this endearing tale about an irresistible puppy pair.
GET READY FOR GIGGLES:
- I Loathe You, written and illustrated by David Slonim, shows that unconditional loathing is monsterly love in this sweetly humorous picture book.
- I’m Bored–we all know that there’s NOTHING boring about being a kid, but one little girl is going to have to prove it in this anything-but-boring picture book from comedian Michael Ian Black, accompanied by charismatic illustrations from newcomer Debbie Ridpath Ohi. (Also named as a New York Times Notable Children’s Book of 2012!)
Do you remember the book that you fell in love with as a child? The book with illustrations that left you wide-eyed, and words that your parents learned by heart from countless re-readings? We promise that a similar, if not more magical, experience awaits you in the books by William Joyce:
- The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is the book that inspired the touching Academy Award–winning short film, from New York Times bestselling author and beloved visionary William Joyce.
- The Man in the Moon is the first picture book in William Joyce’s absolutely stunning series about the Guardians of Childhood. (Have you seen the new hit kids’ movie Rise of the Guardians yet?)
- The Sandman is the second book in Joyce’s joyfully imaginative Guardians of Childhood series, and tells us how the sleepy Sandman dreamed up his sweet-dream legacy. Everything about this book is GORGEOUS.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good read!