Christmas is Coming 2021

…the most startling thing about this wonderful tree was that hundreds of tapers glittered like stars in its dark branches, and the tree itself, shining with an inner light, invited the children to pick its blossoms and fruits.

The Nutcracker, E.T.A. Hoffman

With only a few days until Advent I’m beginning to dig out all our Christmas books to enjoy over the next few weeks. Some are a selection of classic picture books that I will try and find a quiet moment to enjoy with whichever child will join me. Others are longer chapter books which the older two children (aged 12 and 10) will enjoy reading independently. I’m planning to read aloud two retellings of the Christmas story:

1)Katy Morgan’s The Promise and the Light to all three children in the evenings.


2)Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Jesse Tree to my 6 year old.


There is an enormous selection of Christmas literature for children out there – old and new, classic and modern. It can be a little overwhelming. Perhaps these lists will help you navigate the choices:

Over 25 Christmas Picture Books

Over 25 Christmas Chapter Books

Classic Christmas Stories and Poems

Christmas Audiobooks

The Nutcracker Extravaganza

Authors are drawn to this time of year and the bookshops are filled with new titles fresh off the press every year. I couldn’t resist reserving some of this year’s and last year’s titles from the library ready for my children to enjoy. Have a scroll of what I’ve picked up.




Happy reading and have a wonderful Advent.

More Recommended Posts:

Over 25 Christmas Picture Books

Over 25 Christmas Chapter Books

20 Family Read Alouds

Children’s Book Recommendations

Books 0-5 years old


Getting in the Picture

“To really instil a love of art, children need to be encouraged to have a go and be creative themselves.”

— James Mayhew

In the last three blogposts I have shown how James Mayhew brings life to museums in Katie’s Picture Show, and now in this final post I want to explore how he brings life to the artwork itself.

Katie frame 1

Mayhew’s story begins in the Classical world. Continue reading

‘Katie’s Picture Show’: Museums are Gateways to Adventure

“A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can.”
— Maira Kalman

One of the most inspiring features of James Mayhew’s Katie series is the way in which museums and art galleries become playgrounds for adventure. Continue reading

‘Katie Picture’s Show’: The Ultimate Children’s Museum Guide


Characters in storybooks can be many things – heroes, villains, friends, and mentors. But they can also serve as a guide – not only through a story, but in a story as they help us explore different aspects of life beyond our experience. James Mayhew’s Katie is just this, ushering us simultaneously through Katie’s Picture Show (2014) and Continue reading

Over 10 More Children’s Books 9+

I opened a book and in I strode
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion. Continue reading

Easter Stories & Poems

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.

— Martin Luther

With Lent underway and only 4 weeks until Easter, I’ve updated my Easter booklist below. Continue reading

10 More Audiobooks for Children

There is always room for a story which can transport people to another place.

— J.K. Rowling

As lockdown starts easing here in the UK, and getting back in the car becomes more normal, whether travelling to school, the supermarket, or to see friends and family, audiobooks are always a winner on journeys. Even for short trips around our city, we normally have an audiobook on the go.  There are already a number of audiobooks listed here, but here are some more that we’ve enjoyed with my children (11,9 and 5). Continue reading

10 Audiobooks for 4 +

If I were the Principal, boy, things would change.
Our school would be fun, if a little bit strange.
We’d keep kangaroos in the classrooms as pets.
We’d travel to Tonga and learn to fly jets. Continue reading