by Ruth Ohi
Ruth Ohi is a local Torontonian author and illustrator and we love her series about Fox and Squirrel.
In this one, the duo are excited for Christmas and Squirrel is determined to make it the best Christmas ever by decorating with green and red. Fox tries to help him, but Squirrel gets mad (hmmm, similar to how I am decorating our tree with the kids) and tells Fox that he will ruin his decorating.
Squirrel wonders into the forest suddenly finds himself lost. Luckily, Fox followed him.
Squirrel apologizes and they continue to make the best Christmas ever by sharing why they love each other.
There is one illustration in particular I love because Ohi has completely captured the light of a freezing cold, winter’s day as the sun gets low. It’s my favourite light in winter (and about one of the only parts I actually like about the season).
by Aaron Blabey
Pig the Pug (or Elf) is back for the Christmas tale of the greedy/naughty pug and his lovely friend Trevor.
Pig can’t wait for Santa to arrive and has asked (or demanded) for a massive list of everything he could possibly think of.
Trevor only wants one nice thing from Santa.
On Christmas Eve – Pig stays up to see the man if red and is outraged when he discovers Santa has only brought him one gift. In anger, Pig follows Santa into his sleigh.
But what happens when he falls out?
by Susan Jeffers
This is the classic Christmas carol set to lovely illustrations of a brother, sister and their dog who resembles our dog, Mr. Mop.
The siblings finish their chores at the farm and then set off on a one-horse open sleigh to deliver a present.
George loves the horse and I love the dog. The dog ends up chasing animals in the forest and the kids can’t find them.
Luckily Santa is there to help rescue Mr. Mop and all is well.
by Lori Nichols
Maple and Willow are sisters who are excited to go pick our their first real Christmas tree from the forest. It’s quite possibly the best tree in the whole wide world. Only one problem: it turns out Maple is allergic to it!
Sadly the Christmas tree is sent outside and Willow is quite angry with her sister. She tells Maple that she has ruined Christmas. That night, Willow can’t sleep because she feels so bad for hurting her sister’s feelings. She gets an idea and spends half the night creating a surprise for Maple.
This is a sweet one for little siblings that might have differences (or allergies) and what the holidays really mean.
by Linda Bailey with pictures by Geneviève Godbout
This is a really fun book about Santa – it’s all about Santa before he was Santa.
With absolutely lovely illustrations (very vintage and sweet), we meet Santa as a baby. He was an unusual baby who didn’t coo or giggle but belted out a loud ‘ho ho ho’.
As he grows up, he shows other signs of who he will become: an obsession with only red clothes, a love of being cold, and a best friend who is smaller than him who loves to build toys.
Even as a little guy, he loved to open gifts but loved even more to re-wrap them and give them away.
by Bonny Becker with pictures by Kady Mcdonald Denton
Oh my god I love this book. It’s so random and cute.
It’s Bear’s first real Christmas and he’s done his research. The most important thing about Christmas are the pickles. Christmas pickles? Clearly any three-year old will like this book. Especially if you have a pickle-loving one.
Bear is hosting a party and Mouse is his guest. Mouse keeps looking for his presents. After all, Christmas is about presents. This makes Bear grumpy as he has prepared a complicated poem to recite and pickles from France and has no time for such tomfoolery. Just when you think Bear is an old curmudgeon, his poem reveals just where Mouse’s present is hidden and the friends end up having a wonderfully fun Christmas night.
by An Swerts and Eline Lindenhuizen
This is a super sweet story about a girl named Tess who wants a gnome (a real, live gnome) for Christmas. She won’t tell her parents what she has told Santa but she has let her grandparents in on the secret who are helping her get ready for his arrival by building him gnome-sized furniture and a gnome-sized quilt.
So just how will her parents (urm, Santa) and grandparents get her the impossible gift? The solution is great and I will keep it a secret for you to find out. This is a perfect book for parents who are giving the daunting task of making unrealistic dreams come true and managing the expectations of our children.
by Rubin Pingk
Yukio the ninja desperately wants a big snowball fight but none of the other ninjas want to end up on Santa’s naughty list.
Santa is in the way of a good snowball fight! So Yukio decides to thwart Santa. But he’s not quite ready for a Samurai Santa who can provide a child with their dearest wish: an epic snowball battle.
by Kallie George
This story is about four woodland friends who live in Merry Woods (cutesy but I like cutesy at Christmas): a deer, a bluebird, a rabbit and a grumpy squirrel. They wait on the hill to watch Santa in his sleigh and when they see him, they see a gift fall from his sleigh like a shooting star.
It becomes their mission to get the gift to its rightful owner: the new baby at the farm. They work tirelessly all night building a sled so it will be just like Santa, walking through the forest and over the hills. They are so tired and hungry but remind themselves that Santa must also feel the same way and gets his job done.
When they watch the baby girl open her gift, her happiness makes them happy and they forget about being tired. Of course they are rewarded for their kindness with their own gift from Santa.
It’s pretty sticky sweet but we like it because Christmas is the time to be sticky sweet.
by Elly MacKay
This is a beautifully illustrated book with no words. A little girl and her mother are going to a performance of The Nutcracker. The little girl is not particularly thrilled with having to wear a dress or the obnoxious boy she must sit beside.
But then the ballet begins and both children are spellbound. By intermission they are sharing sweets and by the end, they are friends – bonded over the beauty and whimsy of the story.
If you love The Nutcracker – you will love this book.
Well this ends part one of my Christmas 2018 list, I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful, snuggly Christmas full of reading!