I absolutely love exploring all the new Christmas books each year for kids and adding to our library. Each year we wrap our collection and use it as our Advent calendar. I also love making room on our favorites list for new titles while still cherishing some classics. This year is a list of new releases as well of some of the very best of previous year’s releases. Last year’s list has some favorites as well and you can learn how we slowly and responsibly set up an Advent calendar when the kids were little.
Little Mole’s Christmas Gift by Glenys Nellist
Geared toward pre-schooler and young readers, Little Mole’s Christmas Gift is the seasonal follow up to LIttle Mole Finds Hope and both are beloved titles in our home. This is a new twist on the classic Christmas themes of generosity and sacrifice for the love and good of others in the community.
The Night of His Birth by Katherine Paterson
A release from 2019 by the giant in literature, The Night of His Birth provides a thoughtful reflection on the nativity story that continues to be a family favorite. From Mary’s voice we get the concerns and hopes of a mother, but we also get some really excellent explicit theology–talking about who God is and what God is doing.
All the Colors of Christmas by Matthew Paul Turner
From the author of bestselling books When God Made You and When God Made Light, comes a beautiful book for preschoolers and young readers about the many colors of Christmas. With the diverse illustrations and solid progressive theology we’ve come to expect from Turner, All the Colors of Christmas uses color to think about the story and traditions of Christmas. I could imagine using this as a resource to do a color themed countdown to Christmas with the toddlers and preschoolers in my life.
The Spider Who Saved Christmas: A Legend by Raymond Arroyo
Based on an Eastern European myth, The Spider When Saved Christmas is the story of a spider who protects the Holy family as they immigrate from Bethlehem into Egypt, fleeing from Herod. Not only does this story add a new perspective we don’t often get (the perspective of a spider rather than a camel or donkey) but focuses on the part of the story that Christians often de-emphasize, the part that talks about migration and the threat of the empire. The Spider Who Saved Christmas introduces these themes responsibly to children and has enough tension to create a sense of adventure.
Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story by Barbara Brown Taylor
A favorite release from 2018, Home by Another Way remains and will remain a classic in our home for years to come. Focusing on the wisemen and their entanglement with King Herod it draws together key parts of the Christmas story that are often underemphasized. A must have to give your children and library a full understanding of the nuance and depth of the Christmas story.
Nativity by Cynthia Rylant
This is one of my favorite books on faith for children, Advent or no. We use it year round at our house as it connects the story of the nativity and birth of Jesus to the beatitudes he teaches in his Sermon on the Mount. I love the way Nativity connects the Christmas story to the teachings of love, compassion, peace making and ministry of Jesus.
Faithful Families For Advent and Christmas by Traci Smith
While this is not a children’s picture book, it is one of the best resources available to make Advent and Christmas meaningful with your children. Faithful Families for Advent and Christmas will guide you through how to make the ordinary moments of the season sacred moments. You can read my full review HERE.
Reading books that enrich our faith year round is deeply important but especially around the Christmas season when our kids’ attention can be pulled in so many different directions. Reading is one of the small practices we use to shape our kids’ hearts as Disciples of Jesus. We love discovering new books as well as revisiting old classics during the Advent season. If you are curious how we set up an Advent calendar using books on a budget you can check that out HERE and if you want to see last year’s list of books you can check that out HERE.
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