For me, reading to my baby son is such an important thing. As a child I loved books, I used to go to the library ever Saturday and read two books a week, I had so many books and they were all so important to me, they fuelled my imagination, improved my grammar, spelling and knowledge of words and reading was such an enjoyable pastime for me, I want my son to have the same fond relationship with literature. My fiance and I went into Waterstones last weekend with the intention of 'having a look' at the baby books, of course, a look is never enough for me when it comes to baby items, if I see something I like and think my son will love I just need to have it - crazy but true! I was so impressed with the selection of Christmas books in the baby and children section that I really could have snapped them all up if I had an unlimited amount of money! I was also delighted to see cuddly toy characters to go with the books for reading time, however, my purse was not, I must admit they were surprisingly quite expensive but hey, it's Christmas - my excuse for everything these days it seems! I have every intention in making these books part of our Christmas tradition with our baby boy. I want to read him these books every Christmas and see the amazement, wonder and joy in his eyes surrounding their stories and the whole festive season.I really do think the gift of a book is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give a child.
The first book I'm recommending and the only one I initially went to buy was 'The Snowman and The Snowdog' based on the characters of Raymond Briggs , an absolute all-time classic and one to warm the hearts of not only the babies and children in your house but also the adults for many Christmases to come. If you didn't know this is the heart-warming story of a boy named Billy's snowman and snowdog coming to life and taking him on a magical adventure which he, and you are sure to never forget. This book also boasts an audio CD read by Benedict Cumberbatch so it really is a great buy. To go with this book were two cuddly versions of the Snowman and Snowdog and also a puppet of the Snowman. I became besotted with the cuddly Snowman as he has a star attached to his hand which, when pulled, plays the tune of 'Walking in the Air' in that music box sound that I love. I just couldn't leave him behind, I can just envision my son and I cuddled up on Christmas Eve night reading 'The Snowman and the Snowdog' and listening to this sweet little tune while my baby boy cuddles the Snowman - very idealistic I know but wouldn't it be lovely?! I may just have to pick up the Snowdog also but we'll see...
Secondly is 'The Night Before Christmas' by Clement C. Moore and Angela Barrett. Being a fan of poetry I have always loved this story and can recite most of the story off by heart. This is the ultimate Christmas Eve read and will be sure to get your little ones excited and anticipating the arrival of the jolly Mr. Claus. There is so much magic and merriment to this story that it is one for all to enjoy every Christmas time.
Thirdly is 'The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit' by Emma Thomspon, inspired on the original tales of Beatrix Potter. We picked up the hardback version of this book and it really is such a beautiful thing and wonderfully illustrated. The story centres around Peter Rabbit and his cousin Benjamin Bunny who try to save their feathered friend the turkey from an unsavoury end, quite a cheery subject matter as you can see! I really love the tales of Beatrix Potter and with my son already having twelve of her tales I thought this would be a lovely addition to his collection.
Fourthly is 'The Nativity' by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells. Was is more perfect for a child at Christmas time than a book about the event of why Christmas actually exists? Now I have had heard from a lot of mothers how hard it has been for them to find a children's book on the nativity, I found this one very easily in Waterstones so I would urge parents to check in there if they are searching for a book about this. This is also a hardback book with touchy-feely cut outs on the pages for babies and children to explore while they are being read to or reading the book. This really is such a lovely book and I'm delighted to have it for my baby boy.
The fifth book on my list is not strictly a Christmas book but I love the story so much that I had to include it and get it for my baby, 'Guess How Much I Love You in the Winter' by Sam McBratney. This is another hardback book with a gorgeous cover adorned with silver glittered snow. If you don't know 'Guess How Much I Love You' is the adorable story of Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare who measure how much they love each other. In this particular book they play a sweet game of eye-spy in the snowy winter landscape. This book is such a lovely one to read with your little ones and show them just how you love them like Big Nutbrown loves Little Nutbrown.
Finally is a book which we just couldn't leave behind, 'Santa Is Coming To Cork' by Steve Smallman. My fiance and I were particularly intrigued by this book as we had never seen a Christmas book about a particular place before, let alone the county that we're from! This is quite a modern tale where Santa, guided by his trusty reindeer and Santa-nav finds his way, rather awkwardly I must add, around Cork county delivering presents to the good boys and girls. This is definitely a special book for us for Christmas time and is one we just had to have, not only to read to the baby but also one to read ourselves and show to our relatives. We really didn't know such a book existed until we saw it!
The Snowman and the Snowdog - €9.99 (Buy one get one half price)
Musical Snowman Cuddly Toy - €18.99
The Night Before Christmas - €8.99 (Buy one get one half price)
The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit - €16.50
The Nativity - €12.50
Guess How Much I Love You in the Winter - €8.99
Santa Is Coming To Cork - €5.99
What is your favourite Christmas book from your childhood? Have you bought any books for your children for Christmas?