With the nip in the air, the colourful decorations hitting the stores and the seasonal music on the airways to set the scene, I always reach for a nice Christmas themed book. My sons too prefer something that adds to the holiday atmosphere. However, finding affordable Christmas books isn't easy. Neither are they very soft on the wallet - picture books especially cost SO much now!
So I decided to check out Christmas deals on Amazon. Let me share with you some of the treasures I discovered. (Disclaimer: the prices mentioned here are what I found at the time of browsing). Another word of caution - the picture books look wonderful on a tab or phone, but the colours are obviously monochrome on a regular Kindle device.
Kindle deals can last from one day to one month in duration. Some of the Christmas books I downloaded in November are now back to $2.99 So if you are interested, search on the Amazon website for free books. I am sure you will find something that will pique your interest.
Sniffer's First Christmas
by Pippa Pennington
This was a joy to read. It would definitely appeal to youngsters aged 4+ who love animals. If you actually own a pet dog - then that's an added bonus as you would have the first-hand experience of animal troubles at Christmas. The story is about a little dog named Sniffer, and all the trouble he gets into at Christmas. He eats the turkey, topples the decorations and even poops next to the tree! You actually feel sorry for both the owner who is struggling to handle the little fellow and the dog himself who is totally overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the season. However, it has a lovely ending that mirrors the true spirit of Christmas. This is a picture book with the text incorporated beautifully into the illustration so that it is easy to read. (I have found some picture books that just do not work on a device since the pictures and text alternate, leaving you staring at disjointed pages).
Off The Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure by John Arvai
The star on each Christmas is actually a secret transmitter used by Santa Claus to identify all the active Christmas homes throughout the world. Off the Hook follows two groups of ornaments from opposite sides of their tree who must find their missing star before Santa passes their family's house by. Their adventure takes them across town, and before long the reader is dragged along as they zoom down hills on toy shovels! The story is humorous and the author seems to have added as many gags as he could think up. The spirited journey soon develops into an all-out battle for supremacy. However, it all ends well as the toys realise they need to join forces and be as creative as possible to reclaim their star. This multi-award winning book has delightful illustrations which are loaded with details. This is definitely a book both children age 5+ and adults will enjoy.
Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Clement C. Moore (Author), Elena Almazova (Illustrator), Vitaly Sharov (Illustrator)
This is a famous old poem which has been illustrated numerous times. This version claims to be edited by Santa Claus for the benefit of children of the 21st century. I liked this version because the illustrations had a modern feel to them, and there are so many hidden delights! Some of the pictures are downright funny - like how the reindeer screech to a halt on the rooftop! Again, suitable for ages 4+. A parent will also be able to use the pictures as a means to discuss the story as they are packed with details.
Bargain Books at $0.99
Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Complete Christmas Stories
by L. M. Montgomery
L. M. Montgomery is best known for her series "Anne of Green Gables". Although I had read that, I was unaware of this collection of 14 short stories. They are all set in the late Victorian era, and cover the holiday season of Christmas and New Year. Those who love her style of writing in the Anne books will find new favourites here. The stories are inspirational, of people from many walks of life, and how they share the spirit of the season. If you enjoy shedding a happy tear, then this is the book for you! (Suitable for children age 9+)
"Oh Dear" Said the Deer
by Sigal Abler
Sigal Adler is a children's author with a rhythmic writing style. The stories are spiced with humour and carry an ethical message that will appeal to children. They learn a great lesson, that we should be there for our friends in times of need. The story is about a deer, who is in need of a hat to keep off the cold. On the way, he meets a monkey, elephant, rhino and silkworm who help him to solve his problem. The pictures are very colourful and reminiscent of children's cartoons on television and take up most of the page. This book is suitable for youngsters age 4 - 7.
The Deep and Snowy Wood
by Elwyn Tate (Author and Illustrator)
This is another story told in rhyme and suitable for younger children. The story follows the adventures of three animals - a deer, a squirrel and a mole. They go hopping, digging and running through the wood in search of ... something. It is only at the end that we realize the great secret - they are searching for Santa Claus and Christmas! The rhyming is really good and the illustrations superb. It is short but sweet and will leave kids yearning for the arrival of Santa Claus.