Classic Illustrated Christmas Books For Children

Classic Illustrated Christmas Books For Children To Read

There’s A Special Kind Of Magic In An Illustrated Christmas Book

Being an English teacher I’ve always thought we’re never too old for picture books As a child I was an avid reader, especially of the classic illustrated Christmas books for children and it always amazes me how illustrations I saw in my childhood suddenly spring to mind. Especially at Christmas!

I guess you get to a point in your life when you can look far enough back and the books you read when you were younger have become classics. And perhaps that’s why the Classic Illustrated Christmas Books for Children have a special place in my heart.

Every year I have my go-to list and every year without fail someone asks me if I can recommend a classic children’s Christmas book as a gift. Your thoughts have probably jumped to ones like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Snowman by Raymond Brigs or Letters From Father Christmas by J. R.R. Tolkien. If you haven’t read them you should, but when I’m asked to recommend Classic Illustrated Christmas Books for Children I’m drawn to those that have a profound effect on the way we recall our youth. That connect with us as children. Those halcyon days when imagination was unbridled and we were open to a kind of magic that our later years often deny. 


Classic Illustrations That Bring The Words To Life

Christmas Books for children’s books may often be short on word count but never the less remain one of the hardest books to write and achieve any modicum of success. And the classic illustrated Christmas books for children are a peculiar form of art in that it’s only in the seamless melding of images to words that the magic might transcend the page to leave a lasting impression.

It’s not enough to simply read an illustrated children’s book at Christmas it needs to unleash the full power of a child’s imagination and connect with them on a level they will never forget. 

So it is. This English teachers recommendation for Classic Illustrated Christmas Books for Children. I hope you read them and I hope they bring as much happiness into the lives of your children as they have to me and mine.

My Top 3 Classic Illustrated Christmas Books For Children

At 3 – The Polar Express: By any stretch of the imagination Chris Van Allsburg is an exceptional illustrator, but for me never better than in this magnificent Christmas. The illustrations are quite simply stunning and inject the simplicity of his words with a magical spark that so assuredly ignites the imagination. Yet behind this carefully crafted façade is an underlying sense of irony that might only be truly appreciated with hindsight. For in the bell that might only be heard by those who still believe in Santa, older readers are left reflecting on a magic that all too readily fades with the years. This then is the true genius captured in the Polar Express, raising the spectre of expectation whilst leaving the reader hungry for an illusion that must be forever confined to the pages of a book.

At 2 – Hugo Cabret: Too many authors and illustrators come and go, but if I was to predict one that will withstand the yellowing of his portfolio, it is the very talented Mr. Brian Selznick. Hugo Cabret is an extravagant and infinitely elegant fantasy that radiates a brazen love for the magical perception and innocence of childhood. Fantastic, deceptively complex and a tad bizarre it stands both as a testament to the silent age of films and the ingenuity of a wonderfully creative mind. Rarely have black and white illustrations conveyed so much in the absence of words whilst imparting such depth of meaning. 


And …… My Number 1 Classic Illustrated Christmas Book For Children

The Colour Red: If I had to choose just one Classic Illustrated Christmas Books for Children for Desert Island Discs The Colour Red (Plotters Edition) would be it. Not simply for it’s stunning illustrations but for the additional stories that add a tantalizing element of magical mystery that will not only appeal to young readers but their parents and grandparents too. 

Like Mr. Brian Selznick Stephan J Myers has a gift for creating wonderfully imaginative images that feel wholly authentic and here he’s created a true classic for the winter season. A hypnotic melody of images and words that never fails to capture the imagination, no matter how many times it is read and it’s been wielding a magical yuletide hold over readers of all ages ever since its publication. But chose The Plotters Edition and it’s like unwrapping a present within a present with two additional stories which will have you reaching for your magnifying glass in an attempt to solve a real-world puzzle with a twist in time! It might be the lesser-known of my recommendations but take a plunge and your children will absolutely love Loss and Ted!

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