Toddler Christmas Books

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Santa’s Reindeer
Tom Duxbury, Matilda Tristram and Nick Sharratt
Walker Books
Over-peppering of his pre-delivery supper soup by Santa causes extreme nasal irritation of Reindeer and …

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But can they retrieve it in time to deliver the presents when Polar Bear wants it to button up his his onesie, Robin thinks it might be a tree decoration, Seal needs it to practice tricks for the Christmas show, sending it flying into Arctic Fox’s stocking

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and when he empties it out, the nose vanishes. Hold on though, what’s that in Penguin’s fruit salad?

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Could it possibly be …
A fun idea, hilariously captured in Nick Sharratt’s suitably silly seasonal scenes, complete with a squeaky nose. What better novelty for a Christmas Eve romp?

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Is It Christmas Yet?
Jane Chapman
Little Tiger Press
This is a lovely, squashy-covered board book version of Jane Chapman’s jolly tale.
Young Ted is beside himself with excitement charging round the house yelling.
Is it Christmas yet?” he repeatedly asks Big Bear who is getting to the end of his tether at the frequent question.

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However, the preparations continue at a pace – a slow one – as they work together wrapping presents, search for a suitable tree – easier said than done resulting in a very tearful Ted.

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But happily, team work fixes the problem and finally Big Bear carries his exhausted little one up to bed as it is at last very, very nearly CHRISTMAS!
With a decidedly upbeat text full of delicious words (HEAVED, HUFFED, PULLED, PUFFED and “TOO SPIKY…” “TOO THIN…“)

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and sounds (zzzzzzzzzzzzpft! SNAP!, NOOOOOOO!) to join in and perhaps act out), this is perfect for sharing with over-excited toddlers, (especially those who keep asking the same question as Ted) as Christmas draws ever closer. Adults will surely recognize the feelings portrayed by Big Bear in the deliciously humorous illustrations; and it’s good to see a single Dad coping so well with the high spirits of Ted.

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Bizzy Bear Christmas Helper
Benji Davies
Nosy Crow
A seasonal board book offering featuring the popular Bizzy Bear who herein, has been enlisted to aid and abet Father Christmas, First he has to help in the workshop, then there’s the sleigh to be packed, after which it’s ‘up and away!’ delivering toys to all the sleeping animals.

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With the usual ingredients: brief rhyming text, jolly pictures and sliders to push and pull plus the added festive fun, this is just the thing to share with the very youngest during the run up to Christmas.


Jingle Bells
James Lord Pierpont and Pauline Seiwert
Walker Books
This is a sturdily built rendition of the seasonal favourite song with teddies riding the sleigh pulled by a pony, with rabbits bounding along beside, badgers greeting them as they slow down; and a whole host of other woodland creatures joining them as they sing and sleigh slowly towards the candle-lit Christmas tree where they look skywards and see another sleigh pulled by reindeers …


If that’s not enough to captivate the very young, then there’s a button to press and they can sing along with the music.

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This Little Piggy Went Singing
Margaret Wild and Deborah Niland
Allen & Unwin
In their follow-up to the delightful This Little Piggy Went Dancing, the highly regarded Australian picture book creators Wild and Niland come up with a Christmas sequel. Herein, the super-cute five little piggies are busy with their seasonal preparations. They sing and make music, shop, create …

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and post cards and party.
There are candy canes …

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and cakes (of the fishy variety), baubles and bedtime stories, not to mention plum pudding, and pineapple, gingerbread and more …
In ten verses Margaret Wild offers musical alternatives to the ‘wee-wee-wee’ with more upbeat ‘vroom vrooms’, ‘plink, plonk, plunks, ratta-tat-tats, jingle-jingle-jingles’ … and a final

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… all the way home.
Do join those porcine frolics so cleverly rotated so that a different piggy has none each time, in Deborah Niland’s lively, playful , action-packed pictures. And look out for that mouse friend who makes his presence well and truly felt in every spread.
Seasonal enchantment for the very young (and those who read or sing it aloud to them).

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Playful Piggies and Penguins


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This Little Piggy Went Dancing
Margaret Wild and Deborah Niland
Allen & Unwin
This is a delightful, fun-filled, action-packed interpretation of the traditional nursery rhyme This Little Piggy. The various little piggies engage in all manner of the physical activities young children love – dancing, hopping, hula-hooping, scooting, skipping, crawling, sliding, running, jumping, juggling even.rainbow 005 (800x600)

What pleasure they exhibit in these and the other things they do at home such as watering the plants – another favourite of young children, playing with water (ditto), pushing prams,

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painting, reading (hurrah!) and teetering around in adult high-heeled shoes.
Deborah Niland’s totally endearing piggies are almost all portrayed as full of exuberance; even some of those who ‘had none’ are enjoying themselves.

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And, listeners will delight in the familiar final ‘And this little piggy went Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee …
all the way home!’
As well as being ideal for sharing with the very young, individually


or in an early years setting, this is a great book for those in the early stages of reading to try for themselves, first joining in with an adult and then, gradually taking over the reading themselves. Both illustrations and text have a pattern, there’s a close match between words and pictures and there’s rhythm and repetition – what more can a beginner ask. Oh yes, there are lots of lovely action words too.

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Celestine and the Penguins
Penny Ives
Templar Publishing pbk
Celestine, a little duckling is eagerly awaiting the first snowfall of the year. She’s donned her warmest clothes and brought out her sledge but there’s no sign of that white precipitation anywhere. The determined heroine decides to improvise – first with cotton wool balls – too lumpy; handfuls of flour make her cough and just as she’s trying torn up paper, she spies something very surprising. There behind her in the garden is a whole host of baby penguins – lost and delighted to find some ‘snow’. They tell Celestine they were cast adrift far from their parents and carried by the waves until they landed up on the beach, a walk away from Celestine’s home.

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Celestine tries her best to entertain her guests but they won’t all fit in the freezer, the ice-lolly skates melt and the frozen pea slide soon becomes pea soup. Off they go upstairs but Mum catches them in the bathroom, and Celestine certainly has some explaining to do.
Time for Mum to take control and before long the baby penguins are safely stowed aboard an explorer’s ship bound for the South Pole. And as the ship departs, Celestine feels a cold, soft something tickling her cheek –

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but it isn’t a tear – it’s starting to snow at last.
A cute story with endearing characters, an enterprising heroine and satisfying finale.

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