An advent book calendar—or perhaps, a book advent calendar—is a festive idea for passing the time on long December nights when the kids get home past dark and we could all use a bit of an extra snuggle (especially me). The concept is simple enough: to read a book a night with a loosely Christmassy or wintry theme beginning on December 1 and finishing on Christmas. As always, the specifics can be whatever you please.
There’s no need to rush out and buy new books, but collecting a few new-to-you titles from the library might be a thing to try. The books need not be wrapped up or all procured by the time the clock strikes midnight on December 1. Maybe your countdown to Christmas is five days long, or twelve, or two. Whatever any of us might have the time or stamina for in course of a very busy month would be the route to take (and there have certainly been years when I’ve scrapped the idea altogether).
This year, Phaidon sent me their newest Christmas tree-shaped board book which will no doubt delight my kids. The rest of the wrapped up books in our basket are from our own collection or the local library. The books on loan, I make sure to include toward the top of the stack so we don’t keep them past their due date, and I like to finish the stack with The Night Before Christmas, but besides that there’s no particular rhyme or reason for what we read or when.
If this sounds merry, here are a few new titles we included in our pile this year, and two older posts filled with fifty more wintry books between them. As always, please share favorites of your own in the comments below.
THE SHORTEST DAY by Susan Cooper, Illustrations by Carson Ellis
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NUTCRACKER by John Robert Allman, Illustrations by Julianna Swaney
THE BIGGEST LITTLE BOY: A CHRISTMAS STORY by Poppy Harlow, Illustrations by Roman Kaulitzki
IT’S CHRISTMAS EVERYWHERE: CELEBRATIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD by Hannah Barnaby, illustrations by Joao Fazenda
SANTA IN THE CITY by Tiffany F. Jackson, Illustrations by Reggie Brown
A THING CALLED SNOW by Yuval Zommer
THE LITTLE FIR TREE by Christopher Coor from the original story by Hans Christian Andersen
TWELVE KINDS OF ICE by Ellen Bryan Obed, Illustrations by Barbara McClintock
THE TEA PARTY IN THE WOODS by Akiko Miyakoshi
SO MUCH SNOW by Hyunmin Park
A BOOK ADVENT CALENDAR, CONTINUED.
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I always like to include some sun-related books that we read around the solstice – family faves beyond The Shortest Day include The Lizard and the Sun (dual language in Spanish) and Grandmother Spider Brings the Sun. My kids are also OBSESSED with this book called Christmas with the Mousekins, so much that I struggle to hide it away come February. Last year I think we read it nightly for about 60 nights in a row.
omg this is right up my alley, just ordered a copy for my little mousekins! ❤️
If you haven’t read Eve Bunting’s “The Night Tree” to your kids yet, please absolutely do so. You will love it.
What a lovely idea, and yes, very clever to have the library books among the first ones that you read. This also means that they are back at the library in time for other children to take them out for Christmas.
Have you read Phoebe Wahl’s Little Witch Hazel? Not fully wintery, but has a story for each season, and if I remember correctly, ends in winter.
Such a sweet book!
We love Chirri & Chirra’s The Snowy Day
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