Creating a book advent calendar for toddlers and preschoolers

A book advent calendar has become a tradition in our house. My girls loved having one book to unwrap every day in December until Christmas Day.  There’s something quite magical about snuggling on the sofa together every night in December and enjoying a Christmassy book together. We have a selection of Christmas-themed books that I put away each year after Christmas and then get out and wrap up again in November. Even if the girls remember them, they still enjoy unwrapping them and reading them again.


A pile of Christmas books all wrapped ready for our book advent calendar: "Creating a book advent calendar for toddlers and preschoolers"


Our 25 books from last year’s book advent calendar:

1) Who’s Hiding? – Vicki Howie

2) The Perfect Christmas Tree – Igloo Books

3) Mr Snow – Roger Hargreaves

4) That’s Not My Reindeer – Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

5) Spot’s First Christmas – Eric Hill

6) Christmas Stencils – Maria Maddocks

7) The Nativity – Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

8) Peppa and Jessica’s Christmas (personalised book from Penwizard)

9) Little Reindeer Wants To Play – Igloo Books

10) Little Miss Christmas – Roger Hargreaves

11) In the Night Garden: Everybody Loves Christmas

12) That’s Not My Snowman – Fiona Watts and Rachel Wells

13) Dear Santa – Rod Campbell

14) The Fox’s Tale – Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen

15) Sophie’s Christmas Party (another personalised book from Penwizard)

16) Peppa’s Christmas

17) Mr Christmas – Roger Hargreaves

18) I Love You, Father Christmas – Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd

19) Baby’s First Christmas – Fiona Watt and Chiara Bordoni

20) Baby Jesus Is Born – Juliet David

21) How Many Sleeps till Christmas? – Mark Sperring

22) Mr Men: 12 Days of Christmas – Roger Hargreaves

23) Jesus’ Christmas Party – Nicholas Allan

24) The Night Before Christmas – Clement C. Moore and Harriet Muncaster


The different books that were included in last year's book advent calendar


Now that Jessica and Sophie are 5 and 3, some of these books are too young for them and so will not be included this time.  I’ve been looking out for new books that I can include in this year’s book advent calendar. These are the new books that we will be adding:


  • Father Christmas – Raymond Briggs
  • The Fourth King – Ted Sieger
  • Mrs Pepperpot’s Christmas – Alf Prøysen
  • Rudey’s Windy Christmas – Helen Baugh
  • The Jolly Christmas Postman – Allan Ahlberg
  • Dear Father Christmas – Alan Durant


The books from the book advent calendar in a gift-wrapped box, ready to be opened


Do your children have any favourite Christmas books? Are there any other books that you would add to my list?


15 thoughts on “Creating a book advent calendar for toddlers and preschoolers

  1. We are doing this for the first time this year and I can’t wait to get started! It’s good to see someone that has dome it twice… Clearly it’s not a waste of time and wrapping paper As some (ahem) friends have suggested! thanks for sharing. #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Thank you Laura – I definitely didn’t find it a waste of time and wrapping paper – the girls loved it last year and I’m looking forward to doing it again 🙂

  2. We did a book calendar like this last year and my daughter loved it (took me a lot longer to wrap the presents than I thought though!). This year I’ve stuck pictures of our favourite Christmas books behind the doors of a homemade Advent Calendar so we’ll have a different book to read every day too 🙂

    I hope your girls have fun. I got several books from the library last year which helped to keep the costs down.

    1. I like the idea of sticking pictures of the book to the advent calendar – that’s a good way of doing it too. Getting books from the library is perfect for keeping the costs down 🙂

  3. This is a lovely idea and I think spending time reading the books together at the end of each day is a great way to spend time together and get into the Christmassy spirit.
    Some great reads there, too, and my 5yo will still be enjoying some of these Christmas books this year!

  4. This is a great idea. Ours usually have a tiny gift in their advent calendar and a little felt decoration to hang on their felt tree but I do like the idea of a book as well. Great to encourage reading.

  5. What a great selection of books and a lovely way to count down to Christmas! We might try this next year for December 🙂 Beats chocolate;) #TwinklyTuesday x

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