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Christmas picture books for the under 5s

Must-have gifts and timeless classics, all beautifully illustrated to captivate little ones – and the rest of the family too!

Santa’s Wonderful Workshop

Elys Dolan

Step inside Santa’s workshop and experience Christmas like never before. With more toys to make than ever it’s going to be the busiest Christmas yet, but luckily Santa and his elves have everything under control . . . Well, everything except for the rampaging polar bear, a toy factory that will only make toasters, and some very pesky visitors from the South Pole !

Bursting with fun and silliness, Elys Dolan picture books are great to pore over and reward multiple reading like no others.

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The Lights that Dance in the Night

Yuval Zommer

In this wonderfully festive picture book, Yuval Zommer imagines the Northern Lights’ fleeting journey from space to Earth and how they weave a special magic for the animals and people living in the frozen lands below.

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The Wild

Yuval Zommer

Once upon a time, somewhere not far away, was the Wild. The Wild was huge and giving,
and everything from insects, to birds, to humans made their home in it. At first, people lived lightly and took what they needed, but when they started to take more, the Wild suffered. For the Wild to be healthy, someone must be brave enough to raise their voice . . .

Yuval Zommer’s lyrical modern fable has a hopeful and powerful message about how our environment needs us just as much as we need it.
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Winnie and Wilbur Meet Santa

Valerie Thomas, Korky Paul

It’s Christmas Eve and Winnie and Wilbur are super excited. They’ve posted their letters to the North Pole and made everything festive. But then disaster strikes. Santa gets stuck in their chimney!
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See also: More Winnie and Wilbur books and activities >

The Christmas Unicorn

Anna Currey

Christmas is only days away when Milly meets a unicorn. He patters softly into Grandpa’s house on a snowy night and suddenly Milly’s world is filled with magic, friendship, and the happiness she has been hoping for. This is a heart-warming story for everyone who believes in the magic of Christmas.
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See also: Activity: Create your own Christmas Unicorn decorations

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Tim Hopgood

A joyous celebration of the most wonderful time of the year, based on the classic song Winter Wonderland.

The book features stunning wintery artwork from award-winning illustrator Tim Hopgood and comes with an accompanying CD which includes a much-loved recording of the song by Peggy Lee.

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The Tree That’s Meant to Be

Yuval Zommer

A small fir tree is left all alone after the other trees near it in the forest are chosen by families at Christmas. But when the forest animals gather around the lonely little tree to cheer it up and celebrate the season, it finds festive love and warmth in the heart of a cold, snowy forest. 
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See also: Activity: Decorate your own tree [PDF]

Super Frozen Magic Forest

Matty Long

Join the residents of the Super Happy Magic Forest for epic quests and lots of fun. When the Ice Queen covers the entire forest in snow, can the heroes break her spell before they all freeze?
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A Dot in the Snow

Corrinne Averiss, Fiona Woodcock

This is the story of a curious polar bear, a little girl lost in the snow, and the precious friendship they discover together. With themes of empathy and kindness, the story is stunningly illustrated by debut illustrator, Fiona Woodcock.
‘Breathtakingly lovely. I adored this book.’ Cerrie Burnell. 
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Move Mountain

Corrinne Averiss, Greg McLeod

Being on the wrong side of the valley doesn’t matter if you have the right kind of friends.

Mountain had never seen the sun rise. Each morning, the hills around him were washed with a warm glow – sometimes pink, sometimes orange. But the sun always rose behind his rocky back. So, one morning, Bird and Bear put on an ingenious and spectacular show that allows Mountain to experience the sunrise for the very first time.

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The Dress in the Window

Robert Tregoning / Pippa Curnick

One day a boy is walking past a second-hand shop when he sees a dress. It’s no ordinary dress – it’s glittering, sparking, dazzling, and red. For the boy it’s love at first sight. His mum suggests he do some odd jobs to save the necessary money, but what if someone else buys it first?

An affirming, uplifting tale about love, acceptance, and being true to yourself.

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Paws, Claws, Tails and Roars

Brian Wildsmith

Answer the call of the wild with this timeless, stunningly beautiful gift book from one of the world’s finest illustrators, presented with a foreword from one of the shining stars of children’s literature, Michael Rosen.

Brian Wildsmith’s breathtaking animal paintings are accompanied by new lyrical text, inviting readers to pause a while and linger over the glorious wild animals, birds, and fishes within.

Whether already a fan of Brian Wildsmith, or discovering his work for the first time, readers will cherish this book for a lifetime.
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The Twelve Days of Christmas

Brian Wildsmith

The perfect gift for every day of Christmas, Brian Wildsmith takes you on an enchanting journey through The Twelve Days of Christmas.
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