The season of Advent is the time when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. It is also a time of great anticipation and joy. Reading special children's books about the season is a great way to prepare their hearts for the coming of Jesus and build a sense of great anticipation.
We kept our favorite Advent books in a box in the attic all year long. On the first Sunday of Advent, I would bring the books and place them in a basket in the living room. The kids were always so excited to see these books that had been stored away! They would “ooh” and “aah” and yell, “I remember this one”, or “I love this one” with total delight! Each child would grab their favorite and for the next couple of hours, there would be complete silence as they looked through the books.
There were some that we read aloud. There were some that we read together as a family. There were some that they read on their own. Some were particularly Christian and some were just really sweet and fun.
Today I am sharing some of my favorite books to use with your children during the season of Advent:
This is probably my favorite. I read this book to my children every year and, even though I knew what was coming, I always started crying when I got to the end. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is about the Herdman siblings who are“the worst kids in the history of the world” and how they took over the annual Christmas pageant. It is hilarious but it is also so profound. I always tried to time reading it so that it ended right before Christmas Eve. That way my children's hearts were really open to the true meaning of Christmas.
Twas the Season of Advent: Devotions and Stories for the Season of Advent
‘Twas the Season of Advent is a 25-day devotional containing beautiful devotions and stories for you to read with your children during the season of Advent.
Did you know that the candy cane has a Christian meaning? I didn't! This is a sweet board book explaining the importance of the birth of Jesus and the Christian roots of how the candy cane was created.
Look! A Child’s Guide to Advent and Christmas presents Advent as a special time for waiting and watching—paying attention—to the ways God comes to us. Told from the point of view of a child, the story weaves together familiar Advent traditions like the Jesse tree and the Advent wreath, biblical stories and characters, and reflections on what these stories call us to do and be. This book reassures children of the presence of God in all times and places and invites them to become part of the holy work of making Christ present in the world.
The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Activity Book: 24 Guided Crafts, plus Games, Songs, Recipes, and More This is a fun guidebook filled with crafts, games, recipes, songs, and activities for every day of Advent. The Jesus Storybook Bible Advent Activity Book highlights the significance of the Nativity and the meaning of God’s most precious gift.
This is such a sweet story! This is a Newberry winner and tells the story of an organ grinder and a monkey who appear outside of a little girl's window right before Christmas. It's a beautiful story about kindness and generosity.
From Glenys Nellist comes Read and Rhyme The First Christmas, a sweet lift-the-flap board book that tells the story of Jesus's birth through interactive rhyming and colorful illustrations. Children will enjoy guessing the hidden rhyme that fits into the story and discovering how Mary and Joseph made it to Bethlehem in time for the birth of baby Jesus.
A legend describes how, at midnight on Christmas Eve, all creatures are granted the power of speech for one hour. In this beautifully illustrated book, poets imagine what responses they might offer. The poems represent a diverse group of animals, but all come together with one singular purpose: celebrating the joy of the miraculous event.
I love anything by Tomie dePaola. He is a Newberry and Caldecott-winning author. In this beautifully illustrated book, he tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child.
Another wonderful book by Tomie dePaola. In this book, he tells of Las Posadas, the Mexican tradition in which Mary and Joseph go from door to door seeking shelter at the inn on Christmas Eve.
This is a precious board book where we follow Mary and Joseph in a rhyming story built around the lyrics of Silent Night and we discover how the baby born in the manger changed the world.
I hope that these books are a blessing to your family and that they help you bring the season of Advent into your home!
Do have a favorite Advent book for children that's not on my list? Comment below. I'd love to know what it is!