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'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house… were magical books, perfect for curling up together and reading. There is something truly special about Christmas Eve when you have young children around. Whether or not they believe in Santa, there is always the feeling of magic in the air. And of course, they bring with that that sense of excitement as they look forward to Christmas Day.

To pass time, many families have traditions where they watch films together, or have games nights. But more and more families are taking a leaf out of the Icelanders tradition of giving a book as a gift on Christmas Eve.

Iceland is a county of booklovers. There are more books read there than anywhere else in the world and there is a huge surge in book buying in the leadup to Christmas. Then, on Christmas Eve, books are given as gifts and people spend the evening reading. This lovely tradition gained traction across social media in recent years, and now there are many people even here in Australia who embrace this idea.

This Christmas Eve, share a book with a child, and then take time to read it together. These are how precious memories are made. Here are some truly magical Christmas tales to choose from.

 

Little Bilby’s Aussie Bush Christmas by Yvonne Mes, ill. by Jody Pratt

This joyful rhyming picture book is perfect for some home-grown Christmas cheer. Help as the little bilbies hunt for decorations, meeting some friendly Australian animals along the way. Perfect Christmas Eve bedtime reading for ages 0-4.

 

The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling, ill. by Jim Field

A heartwarming, page-turning adventure about one child's love for his most treasured thing, and how far he will go to find it. A tale for the whole family to fall in love with, from one of the world's greatest storytellers. Available as a gorgeously gifty hardback, with 9 black and white inside illustrations.

The Fairies Night Before Christmas by Sarina Dickson, ill. by Sarah Grieg

“'Tis the day before Christmas

And all through the trees

The fairies are working

As busy as bees...”

This modern take on Clement C. Moore's classic A Night Before Christmas is the perfect book to set the tone for Christmas. Magic, fairies… and quality family time.

101 Christmas Bums by Sam Harper, ill. by Chris Jevons

Other than sleigh bells ringing, what other sound means Christmas has arrived? Laughter! And what’s funnier than bums? From the creators of 101 Bums and 101 Spooky Bums comes 101 Christmas Bums. This will have the whole family laughing this Christmas.

My Kiwi Christmas by Donovan Bixley

It's Christmas time in both English and te reo Maori. This vibrant board book from award-winning author and illustrator Donovan Bixley will teach your child to say Santa (Ko Hana Koko), the Christmas Tree (Rakau Kirihimete), and the decorations (He Whakarakei), and much more in te reo Maori.

Santa and the Sugar Glider by Alexa Moses, ill. by Anil Tortop

When Santa’s reindeer Comet is injured, Snap the sugar glider has a chance to shine. This sweet Australian Christmas story has a positive message about following your dreams, helping others, and the magic of Christmas.  

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