Enter any bookshop at this time of year and you will often see a gorgeous display of Christmas picture books full of lots of bright colours and festive cheer, traditional stories and familiar characters, rhymes and illustrations. But what about when your little reader begins to get older? You might start searching for a chapter book – a story that your young bookworm can read independently, or that would a perfect read-aloud, snuggling up for a chapter each night and the eager anticipation of what will happen next! These seem to be a slightly rarer breed, and it’s not always as easy to conjure titles to mind – The Snowman, The Grinch and the Jolly Christmas Postman are more likely to be your first thoughts than a children’s Christmas novel!
With all that in mind, I thought I would put together ten of my favourite chapter books to bring some festive cheer to your story-time this December!
A Boy Called Christmas – Matt Haig
Although only a few years old, this book has become an instant classic and will be a firm Christmas favourite for years to come. The story centres around a young boy called Nicholas who follows his father to the far North, where he has gone in search of proof that elves exist. This book has just the right mix of sadness, determination, humour and happiness. Perfect for 7 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2RTByDc
Christmas Stories – Enid Blyton
Get your fix of a traditional Blyton Christmas with this collection of 25 short stories. They are a lovely way to mark each evening in the build up to Christmas day – Ann, Peter, Susan and Benny learn about English Christmas customs such as mince pies, yule logs and the pantomime. These are accompanied by a selection of sweet festive tales, including the story of a tiny Christmas tree! Perfect for 6 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2PljMXw
Father Christmas’s Beard – Terry Pratchett
Master storyteller Terry Pratchett’s short stories are perfect for those wanting a giggle this Christmas! With an exploding mince pie, snowstorms and a computer that believes in Father Christmas this would make a great read-aloud (with all the voices of course!). As an added bonus, they are all brilliantly illustrated! Perfect for 8 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2thp2D0
Bah! Humbug! – Michael Rosen
A modern retelling of A Christmas Carol! Harry is playing Scrooge in his school play and is extra nervous that his workaholic dad will be in the audience. Rosen cleverly uses the original Dickens text for the action and lines of the play, making this a great way to introduce children to the story for the first time in a modern and relatably setting. Perfect for 8 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2M1M2MQ
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
It wouldn’t be right not to include this classic Christmas favourite! Many children will know the story from film and tv, but it is always lovely to experience the original tale from the man himself. Join Scrooge as he is visited by three ghosts who teach him the meaning of Christmas and the value of family. Perfect for 10 years+
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2M2Mfj3
The Christmasaurus – Tom Fletcher
A Christmas Eve adventure for William Trundle and his magical meeting with the Christmasaurus! William is a 10-year-old wheelchair user who is obsessed with dinosaurs. When he experiences bullying from a new pupil at school, it turns his life upside down. But a chance meeting with a lonely Christmasaurus sends him on an actioned-packed adventure! Filled with silliness and friendship, this is a heartwarming story! Perfect read-aloud for 6 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2MFdvUX
The Snowman – Raymond Briggs
For generations we have loved the classic festive picture book created by Raymond Brigg, first released in 1978! Michael Morpurgo has reimagined this wonderful story as a chapter book. The book stays true to the original and takes the reader on a snowy adventure with young James, as one night his perfect Snowman comes to life. Perfect for 6 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/35a3p4J
Santa Claude – Alex T. Smith
A silly, sweet story about the adventures of a little dog and his best friend. Claude and Sir Bobblysock think they’ve caught a burglar coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve, but they are in for a surprise when they turn on the light! And things get worse when they handcuff him to the chair and lose the key! A funny story, ideal for newly independent and developing readers. Perfect for 6 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2tc8OLt
One Christmas Eve – Katherine Rundell
With his parents away working, a lonely Theo tries to decorate with a found box of old Christmas ornaments. But when he wishes on a star outside, he is swept into an imaginative adventure as four of the decorations come to life to keep him company and cause a little mischief! With beautiful illustrations by Emily Sutton, this story captures the magic of Christmas Eve and would be a lovely bedtime story. Perfect for 7 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/2QaaRZH
Horrible Christmas – Terry Deary
Not a chapter book in the same sense as the others, but I couldn’t not include an option for those who prefer a good fact book instead of a story! Learn when Christmas crackers started, the year Christmas was cancelled and lots of curious Christmas customs! Full of facts and festive history, this will fascinate any young history fan. Perfect for 8 years +
Find It Here >> https://amzn.to/37hEzBy
I hope this list gives you a good starting point for adding some festive stories to your bedtimes! They are such a lovely way to add some Christmas sparkle to your bookshelves, and keep the magic alive for just that little bit longer! Snuggle up for read-alouds with your favourite little people, or set them loose on their own, to spread their reading wings with a new novel.
Have I missed any? Which Christmas chapter books would you add to the list?
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