Monday, 27 November 2017

Our Book Advent

I first heard of the idea of a Book Advent about three years ago, during my brief spell as a children's bookseller. I loved the idea, but couldn't afford to get 24 Christmas themed books (I know you can use any books, but I thought that Christmassy ones would feel more special). But over the last three years I've slowly stockpiled a collection of Christmas and winter-themed books so at last I think we can try for a Book Advent!

I still had three books to get at the start of Advent which means that I couldn't do an arty pile of wrapped books (you should check out BookBairn's, it's stunning!) but then I'm not keen on wrapping anyway! I'm going to opt for a Christmassy bag hung somewhere with a book appearing in it every day.

My collection is a hotch-potch of bought, given and acquired books, and I'll note where each comes from in the list. There are a couple of days where I've doubled up books - I'm hoping that for the most part both my children will enjoy the same book, but as Toddler is not even 2 and Girl Child is nearly 6 with a very high reading age, I've paired short books for the former with more challenging books for the latter.

So here's my current plan. It may change depending on which other books I get. I'll be reviewing a few of these over Advent and will link in any reviews I do (and one I did many years ago).

1st December - 'Stick Man' by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (bought - actually pinched out of our regular bookshelf but hey, it has Santa!)

2nd December - 'Oliver Elephant' by Lou Peacock and Helen Stephens (Toppsta giveaway)

3rd December - 'The First Christmas' (given at playgroup)

4th December - 'Dear Santa' by Rod Campbell (charity shop buy)/ 'The Princess and the White Bear King' by Tanya Robin Batt and Nicoletta Ceccoli (bought)

5th December - 'Snow Bear' by Tony Mitton and Alison Brown (gift)

6th December - 'Refuge' by Anne Booth and Sam Usher (bought)

7th December - 'Sam's Snowflake' by Gillian Shields and Rosie Reeve (gift)

8th December - 'A Letter For Bear' by David Lucas (bought, after years of longing)

9th December - 'The Christmas Poem' by Bob Hartman and Honor Ayres (given at playgroup)

10th December - 'Teddy Bear Postman' by Phoebe and Selby Worthington (hand-me-down from my husband!)

11th December - 'Christmas Around The World' by Lesley Sims and Angelo Ruta (bought)

12th December - 'The Fox's Tale' by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen (gift)

13th December - 'Mr Grizzly's Christmas' by Libby Hamilton and Maggie Kneen (gift)

14th December - 'Thomas's Christmas Party' (hand-me-down from my husband)

15th December - 'The Christmas Star' (given at playgroup)

16th December - 'Busy Christmas' (bought)

17th December - 'Snowflakes' by Cerrie Burnell and Laura Ellen Anderson (bought)

18th December - 'Babushka' by Sandra Ann Horn and Sophie Fatus (bought)

19th December - 'Last Stop On The Reindeer Express' by Maudie Powell and Karl James Mountford (giveaway by Along Came Poppy - received after the above photo was taken)

20th December - 'Coming Home' by Michael Morpurgo (bought)

21st December - 'The Miracle Of The First Poinsettia' by Joanne Oppenheim and Fabian Negrin (bought)

22nd December - 'Maisy's Christmas Eve' by Lucy Cousins (charity shop buy)

23rd December - 'The Wise Men' (hand-me-down from friends)/ 'Christmas With Princess Mirror-Belle' by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (bought)

24th December - 'The Night Before Christmas' by Clement C Moore and Eric Puybaret (bought)

As you can see, it really doesn't have to be expensive to put together a book advent - at present, less than half of the books were bought new and a few of those were part of a deal - you just need to be good at hoarding and keeping your eyes open for good buys!

Are you doing a Book Advent? What are your favourite Christmas books?

 Linking up with #ReadWithMe hosted by Mama Mummy Mum.

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  1. Some wonderful book choices here, love a good book advent!! Thanks for linking with #readwithme

    1. Most of the books have actually chosen us, but thanks!

  2. We've done various kinds of Book Advent Calendars and I've always used library books to save money but also to support libraries and authors at Christmas. I try and buy Christmas books from charity shops as much as possible too, that way I'm supporting a charity as well.

    I love your December 24th choice, we always read that one on Christmas Eve :o)


    1. Yes I thought about using library books too but have always missed the good ones in previous years as other parents have beaten me to them! But yes, charity shops are another great way of keeping the costs down too.

  3. Torn on this idea as think mums already are under huge pressure and every year more seems to get added in the quest for the perfect Christmas as if perfection is very possible. But to encourage reading and to indulge in it is great
    at any time of year

    1. I hear you, there are so many new trends around Advent and it could feel like a lot of pressure. I hope I've shown that this particular idea doesn't have to be stressful though. I think books are always magical so work well with the Christmas preparations.

  4. Such a lovely idea! I think you need to squeeze Mog's Christmas Calamity in there somewhere though ;-)

  5. What a lovely idea. This isn't something I've ever done and I definitely won't be doing it now as my kids are 16, 14 and 11 and the two older ones don't read at all any more. My 11 year old does read, but only a few pages a day.

    1. Ahh what a shame, I don't know how I'd have coped as a teenager without books to retreat to. I think this may be the last year my eldest will tolerate picture books as she's quite advanced in her reading now, but at least I've got the toddler to keep me going!!

  6. Great list! We used library books last year to top-up our supply (and just renewed online if we hadn't unwrapped them). This is our third year and we have enough of our own to use! Such a great idea! #readwithme