Classic Christmas Stories for Children

We all have Christmas stories from our childhood that we still remember…some of us might even have a few of those classic storybooks in our houses now. Here are a few of my favorites.

 


Christmas is almost here, which means ice-skating, Christmas carols, and sparkly lights everywhere–even on Snoopy’s doghouse! Everyone is enjoying the holiday celebrations except Charlie Brown. Can the Peanuts gang help Charlie Brown discover the true meaning of Christmas?

This first one, I actually remember as an animated TV show. Each year it wouldn’t be Christmas without watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. Decades later, it was released as a children’s story. What a great way to honor this holiday tradition.

Dr. Seuss’s small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His “wonderful, awful” idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all.

This is another story I knew as a TV show first, but we still have this book in our basement. I never quite understood the orange cover, but this is a must read each Christmas.

Based upon the poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” a father narrates this story of seeing Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. There are numerous versions of this story with a variety of illustrations. This is a pretty cover. I’ve also used the poem as inspiration for my own Christmas poetry.

 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids.

Honestly, it took me a bit of time to warm up to this story, but now that I have, I love reading it from time to time.

“The Gift of the Magi” is a short story written by O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. As a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving, it has been a popular one for adaptation, especially for presentation at Christmas time. The plot and its “twist ending” are well-known, and the ending is generally considered an example of cosmic irony.

This is another story that I had to warm up to. The message is wonderful, but I always felt it a tad too much for kids to handle. As an adult, I appreciate it a lot more.

What are a few Christmas classics you recall from your childhood?

Advertisements

Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini

If Where Wishes Grow by Chris Sarracini doesn’t melt your heart and make your eyes glisten, you might be the Grinch.

It has been hard for Maggie to watch her beloved Nana becomes ill and bedridden. She believes wishing on stars is too risky, so, with her mother’s help, she writes down her wishes for Nana and plants them where they can grow.

It’s not often that a children’s picture book can make you pause, appreciate life and your loved ones, and truly make you think. Where Wishes Grow is able to do that and more. It is a profoundly touching story, clearly born out of someone’s heart, that shows how caring for and loving each other can turn one child’s dismay into happiness. Artist Pauline Aksay is able to capture all this emotion so beautifully with the artwork for Where Wishes Grow. Her unique style is soft and warm.

My children are too old for this book now, but I might have to keep it because it is too beautiful to give away.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 56 pages
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing (August 31, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1988856000
ISBN-13: 978-1988856001

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses by Michelle Nott

Freddy and Hoppie go to school, but numbers are smooshed together, words blur, and the wrong answers make classmates snicker. After a week, Freddy knows it’s time to tell his mom what’s going on, but admitting you need help can be hard.

Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses by Michelle Nott is an adorable story about a young boy opening up to his mother about an ongoing problem with his eyes. His imaginary friend helps him, but at some point Freddy must work up the courage to share what he is dealing with so he can get better. This story will touch the heart and make it easier for young people who might be struggling with vision problems to open up and to have some idea of what to expect. The ending is so sweet. The story is made better by the colorful and fun artwork of Robert Lee Beers. From facial expressions, to background details, to that silly and cute little Hoppie frog, the illustrations are the perfect complement to a wonderful story. I look forward to more books from Michelle Nott soon.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; Large type / large print edition edition (February 11, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616337338
ISBN-13: 978-1616337339

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Enter the 12 Days of Christmas Books Giveaway

 

Some of my fellow Christian children’s authors and I have gotten together to offer you the chance to win copies of our books during the 12 Days of Christmas Books Giveaway. Today my book, A Christmas Kindness, is featured. You can find today’s post at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2018/11/28/12-days-of-christmas-books-featuring-a-christmas-kindness-by-cheryl-malandrinos/

Wishing you a blessed Christmas season.

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis

If your child enjoys books with strong female protagonists, a hint of mystery, and the joy of Christmas, then Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis will be a perfect gift.

It’s a few weeks before Christmas and Sophie and her friends are busy as school is coming to a close before the break. When Sophie begins receiving presents from a secret Santa, she can only guess who it might be. Is it one of her friends or one of the boys she knows? The answer might surprise her.

Though this is the seventh book in the Sophie Washington series, it’s the first one I’ve read. It’s a quick, fun chapter book with cute illustrations. As the reader gets to know Sophie and her friends, they eagerly turn the pages to see if they can figure out who Sophie’s secret Santa really is. Sophie is spunky and she has a love him/not so in love with him relationship with her younger brother that makes her even more relatable. In addition to the mysterious Santa, the book also addresses the topic of bullying. I don’t think we can have enough books that tackle this issue, and I like the author’s handling of it within this story.

If you set a story at Christmas, you’ve already partially won my heart. Sophie Washington: Secret Santa also inspires me to check out the previous books in the series to follow more of Sophie’s adventures.

EXCERPT:

“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!”

“Be quiet, Cole!” I put my hands over my ears to muffle my brother’s out-of-tune singing and focus back on my laptop to finish my English essay. It’s less than three weeks until winter break and my teachers have been piling on the assignments to make sure we get our end of semester grades in.

There sure is a big change between fifth and sixth grade, workwise, at Xavier Academy, the private school my brother and I go to. Between all the essays and projects and studying for final exams, I feel I can barely take time to pat my dog, Bertram, when I get home; whereas, my eight-year-old brother Cole acts like he’s already on vacation.

Since we got home from school an hour ago, he’s been living it up, shooting hoops in the driveway, eating a snack and now playing on the handheld video game player that my mother would make him put up if she were downstairs with us. I ought to tell on him now…

Ding Dong!

The doorbell interrupts my thoughts.

“Can you get it, Sophie?” Mom yells from upstairs. “I’m putting some clothes in the closet.”

I would ask her why she wants me to answer the door, and not Cole, but I already know the answer: “Because you’re the oldest.”

Of course, that logic doesn’t hold when it comes to who gets the first dessert or who doesn’t have to do the dishes at night. As the baby of the family and favored child, my little brother has got it made.

I trudge to the front door in time to see the mail carrier heading back to his truck. He’s left a medium-sized box on the porch. Wonder what it is?

My mother sometimes has holiday packages delivered to the house, but Cole and I haven’t made our Christmas lists yet, so I doubt it’s anything for us. I open the door, pick the package up, and check out the label. It’s got my name on it in bright, red ink, “Sophie Washington.”

Who could this be from?

I never get any mail, except for birthday gifts my Granny Washington sends to our house in Houston from Corpus Christi when she can’t be here, and I don’t remember my parents ordering anything for us online. Granny is driving up to see us tomorrow, so I doubt she would mail presents here when she could just bring them with her.

“Mom, I got a package!” I call out.

“What is it?” Cole bounds from the family room to stare at the box as I set it on the kitchen counter.

“Back off, Cole, it’s mine,” I move him to the side with my hip and take a closer look at the delivery. The box is wrapped in brown paper, and there is no return address. It looks difficult to open with my fingers, so I pull a butter knife out of a drawer in the kitchen and slit through the tape on the side. A sweet, sugary scent fills the air.

“Cool!” exclaims Cole in appreciation as the brown wrapping slides off to reveal a box filled with packages of licorice, gummy bears, gum, and red and green M&Ms. I notice a typed note underneath.

Dear Sophie,
Hope your day is super sweet!
Your Secret Santa

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 2 – 6
Series: Sophie Washington (Book 7)
Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Page Turner Publishing (September 10, 2018)
Language: English

Digital version available for only 99 cents!

Also available in softcover!

Website: tonyaduncanellis.com

Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks

Twitter: @TonyaDEllis

I received a digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

GIVEAWAY

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Bring These Titles Home for the Holidays

mac-cheese-for-thanksgiving

Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

Purchase at:

Guardian Angel Publishing
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Booksamillion
Indibound.org

Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior’s birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?

Purchase at:

GAP website
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indiebound.org

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused about what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

Purchase softcover at:

4RV Publishing
Amazon softcover
Barnes and Noble softcover
Indiebound.org

Purchase digital at:

Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble Nook
KOBO

 

Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God’s protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully, too.

Purchase at:

Guardian Angel Publishing
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Indiebound.org

New from Clavis Publishing: Brave Thumbelina by An Leysen

 

An Leysen’s breathtaking and magical retelling of the classic fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen!

Once upon a time, there was a woman who desperately wanted a child. One day, a good witch passed her house and gave her a flower seed. The woman planted the seed and took good care of it. Before long, two little eyes curiously stared at her between the petals. Inside the flower was a tiny girl! The woman named her Thumbelina. It soon became clear that Thumbelina was a very brave little girl.

In this magical picture book, An Leysen retells the classic fairy tale of Hans Christian Andersen. For children ages 5 and up and anyone who loves enchanting fairy tales.

Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Clavis (October 1, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781605374215
ISBN-13: 978-1605374215
ASIN: 1605374210

Purchase from:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Indiebound.org