It has no words and is illustrated entirely using pencil crayons.
But now The Snowman has topped a national poll as Scotland’s most loved Christmas book.
A third of Scots voted for the Raymond Briggs classic, which was first published in 1978, as their favourite Christmas read, and over 80 per cent of Scots parents agree that reading helps them to bond with their children.
The book, which won a number of awards and was adapted into a animated television film in 1982, tells the story through a series of illustrated drawings.
Other classics which received a high number of votes in the poll included A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis and Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore.
The poll comes as Scottish Book Trust launched its Christmas appeal, which aims to help 1,000 families by providing pregnant teens with a copy of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s The Snail and the Whale. The campaign urges people to donate £5 for the project, which will also give teen parents support to help their children begin their reading journey.
SBT chief executive Marc Lambert, said: “It’s very fitting that a children’s picture book has topped our nationwide poll of Christmas books. This underlines how important books and sharing stories are to us all, in childhood and as parents or carers.
“Sharing stories is one of the best ways for parents to bond with their babies from the earliest moments.
“Even before they are born, babies can hear sounds, and reading from these early stages also supports important early development such as language learning. We are appealing to people to support our mission by donating £5 to give the gift of reading this Christmas and ensure no baby misses out.”
Scottish author Julia Donaldson, whose Christmas book StIckman also made the list, said: “I’m delighted that Scottish Book Trust is gifting copies of The Snail and the Whale for their Christmas appeal as it’s one of my favourites of all my own books.
“It’s lovely to think of a whole new generation of parents and children across Scotland enjoying the story together. If you are able to support this campaign with £5, you could really make a difference this Christmas.”
The Christmas Appeal follows a successful pilot in Tayside, Glasgow, South-East Edinburgh and the Lothians. Scottish Book Trust now wants to roll the scheme out nationwide, to all teen parents in Scotland.