Scan my collection of holiday books and you will quickly discover that the biggest section is Christmas books for kids. Just like the magical season, I find Christmas books to echo that wonder and excitement too. And, I just can’t help adding to the stack each year.
There are so many beautiful books to celebrate the season, but I’ve narrowed down some of my favorites for you to read to the kids. I’ve included Christmas picture books for toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary students.
Enjoy These Christmas Books for Kids
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Read Christmas Board Books for Toddlers and Babies
There are so many great choices when it comes to books for babies and toddlers that I gave them their own list. See the Christmas Books for Toddlers HERE.
Gather the Best Christmas Picture Books for Preschoolers and Elementary Kids
The book that brings back the most memories for me is The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry. You know the one where you scratch the stickers and then stick your nose in the book to smell hot chocolate, pine, and oranges! Ah…memories.
My next pick is my-all-time favorite, Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. A too-tall tree is trimmed and the excess is discarded. But the topper becomes a tree for another creature and then another and then another.
I’m a big Mother Bruce fan. The illustrations are stunning and the humor is perfect for young and old readers. Check out Santa Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins. It was bad enough Bruce was mistaken for a mother, but now Santa!
Polly Faber and Richard Jones bring us Through the North Pole Snow. We meet a hunting fox in search of food in the deep white snow when it ends up in the house of a man donned in red and white with a big round belly. The man feeds the gentle fox and heads off to bed. Soon, the fox is cuddled up near the sleepy man and drifts off to sleep too. Soon it is spring and the twosome begins all the new season tasks. Then, one winter evening, the man packs up all the toys he has worked on and the fox joins him on the magical journey.
Santa is feeling old and dreams of being younger in Santa Baby by Jonathan Stutzman. His wish to become young again goes a little too far and he turns into a baby. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Turns out he just needs a little reminder to find that Christmas spirit. This is a fun read-aloud and a good pick if you are looking for a recently published book to add to your collection.
The Christmas Story by Robert Sabuda is a gorgeous pop-up book showcasing the true reason for Christmas. It’s the most stunning one on this list.
The Great Spruce by John Duvall has Christmas spirit with a dash of environmentalism. Learn about living trees and how we can enjoy the beauty of Christmas trees and still keep them alive for many more years. In the author’s notes, we learn that for a few years the tree in Rockefeller Center was a living tree.
The next two books turn up that joyful Christmas spirit.
First up is I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison. Walk through the streets during the Christmas season and the sights and sounds can only fill you with spirit from the “jingle jingle” of the red kettlebell to the “fa la la” of Christmas carolers.
Keep the joy alive with Todd Parr’s The Joyful Book. Bright bold reminders that joy is about spending time together, cooking together, decorating together and so much more. And, this one highlights other winter holiday celebrations such as the Chinese New Year and Kwanzaa.
Bulldozer’s Christmas Dig by Candace Fleming showcases that little loved bulldozer as he searches for the perfect gift for his trucky friends. He proves that junk can become treasure.
Matti and the gingerbread baby are headed to the Christmas Festival in The Gingerbread Christmasby Jan Brett. Studying the side illustrations is always one of the most enjoyable parts of Brett’s books.
Are you a fan of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin? There is a new Christmas adventure starring Duck. In Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! Farmer Brown is prepping the house for a visit from Santa. All of a sudden he hears something on the rooftop. Could it be Santa? Or, could it be Duck?
The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray starts with all kids in class making gifts for workers in the community. The Gingerbread Man knows exactly to who he wants to give a thank you note. They travel through town meeting different community workers. Finally, the Gingerbread Man finds the baker that made him. And, she has a little surprise for him too.
Mouse’s Night Before Christmas by Tracey Corderoy is the story of a little mouse who helps out the big guy on Christmas Eve. Taking excerpts from the traditional poem, Corderoy crafts another sub-story of a little mouse who makes a wish for a friend. Mouse helps Santa who in turn helps Mouse find that friend he has been wanting.
How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan is a fun book detailing all things you need to do to catch Santa. Leave Santa a trail to the cookies that lead to your room is just one of the tips. My kids giggled all the way through this one. But, I also knew they were taking notes.
Do you remember The Jolly Postman book and The Jolly Christmas Postman where you got to pull out individual cards and letters to read? They were little hidden treasures. Well, check out Santa Post by Emma Yarlett. Santa has received a letter with a request but he can’t figure out what the writer wants. Can anyone at the North Pole help?
And, for another fun book that lets you take things out of envelopes, check out Maisy’s Christmas Party by Lucy Cousins.
Maybe I like this one so much since I’ve been to New York City at Christmas time. It is truly magical. And, Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares captures that feel with a gorgeously illustrated and sweet story about two cardinals finding each other.
I love Karma Wilson’s series of Bear books and Bear Stays Up for Christmas is such a lovable read. Bears hibernate for the winter but can Bear stay up for Christmas this year? Read to find out.
For every little truck lover who is also excited for Christmas, we have 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of Christmas by Mark Lee. Something big is coming to the center of town for the holidays and it takes a lot of trucks to put it all together. But, what will be the crowning touch on the top of the display?
Lots of changes are happening in Murray’s home as decorations start filling every nook and cranny. Murray is on high alert and then there is an intruder in a red suit. Will Murray’s misguided attempts to protect his family ruin Christmas? Check out Murray Christmas by E.G. Keller.
The Best Gift for Bear by Jennifer A. Bell is the story of a friend trying to create the best gift for another friend. But, really the best gift is the gift of spending time with friends. Includes a gingerbread cookie recipe.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh! by Mo Willems let’s enjoy one of our favorite characters at Christmas. This time, Pigeon wants to drive the sleigh. Should we allow it? Can Pigeon even figure out how a sleigh works? Maybe Pigeon should move on to a new holiday. Perhaps we are seeing some foreshadowing of a new book!? (new 2023 pick)
The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore is not only a beautifully illustrated book but is also about one of my favorite traditions- giving books on Christmas Eve. This Icelandic tradition is something I’ve practiced with my kids since they were born.
I’m ending with a heart warmer. A Homemade Together Christmas by Maryann Cocca-Leffler is a heart-warming book about the best gifts are those that come from the heart.
Print the Christmas Book List for Kids
Grab a printable list of the books above.
Oh my, our Christmas book stack is about to grow. Enjoy adding to your Christmas reading list too.
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*This post was first published 11/9/15 and updated in 2016, 2020, 2022, and 2023.