When you live abroad, Christmas is one of those times of year when you really want to bring a little bit of Sweden home. Traditions are important, and I usually sneak in a little bit of Christmas ham, meatballs and beetroot salad into our Christmas dinner and this year I’ll definitely put up an adventsljusstake (advent candle stick) too.
Now that our little boy is old enough to really enjoy books, I’ve searched for some Swedish Christmas books to read to him, and I thought I’d share my finds with you here. There are of course many other great Swedish Christmas stories, but most of them you can only get hold of in Sweden and I wanted to share the ones you can get hold of from abroad as it gets kinda pricey to ship them from Sweden.
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'Lucia Morning in Sweden' by Ewa Rydåker is probably for the slightly older kids, but I wanted to share it here as the illustrations are great and it really gives a good flavour of the Swedish lucia celebrations. It's in English, but still great for bilingual families as the whole family can enjoy it together and learn about Swedish culture at the same time.
The Yule tomte and the little rabbits by Ulf Stark is a gorgeous chapter book that is the perfect read leading up to Christmas. It's for 5-8 year olds but the younger kids will probably still enjoy the pictures. I can't wait to share this one with our little boy when he's just a little older! The story is told in 25 chapters, perfect for advent. It's available on Amazon and here's the link to the Amazon US store, and here’s the link to the book on Amazon UK. (affiliate links)
Swedish Christmas A-Z by Kathy Bernstrom is a fun 'pysselbok' for the whole family. Learn how to make everything from 'ischoklad', to 'julgranskarameller' to 'islyktor' and more. The book is printed in black and white and the illustrations give the book a homemade charm, and there's plenty of colouring in opportunities. It's all in English so perfect for bilingual families as everyone can join in.
Here's the UK Amazon link. At the time of writing this, the Amazon US store showed the book as not in stock, but I’ll share the link here anyway in case that changes. (affiliate links)
Tomten Tales by Astrid Lindgren is a collector's edition of Astrid's classic Tomten tales 'The Tomten' and 'The Tomten and the fox'. Absolutely gorgeous book for 5-8 year olds, and although it's in English its about as Swedish as you can get, so it's a perfect winter read when you're celebrating Christmas away from Sweden.
Santa’s Christmas - Tomtens Jul by me, Linda Liebrand, is a bilingual Christmas book for the youngest children. It’s a fun counting book that introduces kids to typically Swedish Christmas traditions such as julbocken (the yule goat), adventsljusstake (advent candle stick), Lucia and Lussekatter (saffron buns). All pictures and numbers are labelled in both languages making this a perfect gift for the bilingual family. You can find the book on Amazon US here, and if you’re in the UK you can find it using this link. (affiliate links)
The Tomte’s Christmas porridge by Sven Nordqvist is a great story about what happens when you forget to give your Tomte (Santa) the traditional Christmas porridge. It’s for 4-7 year olds and the pictures are beautiful (who doesn’t love Sven’s illustrations?) and really gives a glimpse into the Swedish Christmas celebrations. You can find it on Amazon USA here, and in the UK here.
Finally, another Christmas pyssel (crafts) book called a Swedish Christmas, I came across this one at the Swedish Christmas fair at the Swedish Church in London this year, and wanted to share it as it’s a gorgeous book. You can find it on Amazon USA here, and in the UK here.
If you can think of any other books about the Swedish Christmas that are easy to get hold of from abroad, then please leave a comment below so other parents can find them too!
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