What are the best children’s books to read at Christmas?

Reading a book before bed can be a magical experience for any child, and there is no more magical time than winter. Whatever your bedtime routine, this is one tradition that you can take extra delight in over the festive period.

Reading together is a perfect way to wind down after a day at school and work and can give you a chance to spend quality time together as a family. We asked our Manchester Children’s Book Festival team to share their favourite heart-warming books to read at this extra special time of year.

The Christmas Handbook by Malcolm Bird


“It’s a beautifully illustrated craft book full of oddments, yuletide lore and really ancient looking elves with eerie faces. I dig out every Christmas and once berated my Mum for trying to gift it on when she thought I was too old for it. I credit it with my early love for crafting and Biba (he did illustrations for them too).”

– Rachel Halton, Student Enrichment

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


“An obvious one from me: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – When you tire of listening to other people’s first world problems, it reminds you of what the ‘true’ spirit of Christmas is all about – selflessness. It is a bit on the saccharine side, but I love it!

My favourite poem for Christmas is ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost.”

– Claudia Conerney, Schools Liaison

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss


“This is my all time favourite Christmas story. It’s so much fun to read to my siblings and we get it out every single year.”

– Lisa Bach, Make a Difference

‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke Moore

“No surprise to anyone but my favourite festive read is ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’, more commonly known as ‘The Night Before Christmas’. It is a poem first published anonymously in 1823, though other people later claimed credit for writing it. I have a treasured copy of the book, with beautiful illustrations, that I bought for my daughter when she was a baby and which has been read to both my children and my sisters’ children every year since. I love that it leads naturally into the story of Rudolph because that is the only song I know how to play on the piano.”

– Kaye Tew, MCBF Festival Director

Did your favourite book make our festive list? Let us know and share your own @MCBFestival using #MCBF2016

Looking for something fun and festive this weekend? Join us for our fabulous Let in the Stars Family Festival at Stanley Grove Primary Academy, 1pm – 4pm on Saturday 17th December. The event will be followed by a lantern parade starting at the United Church of God, Rushford Street at 4.30pm.


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