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25 Children’s Books for Christmas

by The Artful Parent Book Review
December 1, 2023
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Find new children’s books for Christmas or revisit old favorites in our special holiday book list for kids!

Updated November 2023

If you’re looking for a simple way to embrace the Christmas spirit, you’ve come to the right place! Snuggling up with a stack of picture books near a twinkling tree can get any Grinch in the holiday mood.  

Of course there are A LOT of children’s books for Christmas floating around your local library and bookstore: too many to read in a year, let alone one month! That’s why we’ve spent hours knee-deep in stacks of holiday books, looking for the most beautiful, the most readable, the most holly-jolly tales out there. And we think you are going to LOVE what we found.

Twenty-five amazing, beautiful, fun-to-read Christmas picture books for 25 days of December, enough to keep you full of the Christmas spirit all season long.

Photo by Anna Harpe

Children’s Books for Christmas

1. Christmas Is Coming! An Advent Book: Crafts, games, recipes, stories, and more! from Chronicle Books, illustrated by Katie Hickey

This whimsically illustrated book is such a simple way to add fun traditions to your holiday season. Your kids will love lifting the flaps each day and discovering new activities, stories, or songs!

2. Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht, illustrated by Jarvis

We absolutely love the nostalgic illustrations in this festive book, and your kids will surely recognize some of their own family traditions in its pages.

3. A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman, illustrated by Susan Gal

Complete with recipes in the back of the book, this story takes you on a trip around the world, discovering new holiday treats and traditions at each stop.

4. 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli

We are always fans of Greg Pizzoli, so it’s no surprise we love this one! A Christmas classic paired with vibrantly fun (and totally silly) illustrations. It will be an instant hit!

5. When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Geneviève Godbout

It’s true. Baby Santa is just as charming and adorable as you imagine he would be. We immediately fell in love with this simple story, sprinkled with the perfect balance of humor and warmth.

6. All Is Merry and Bright by Jeffery Burton, illustrated by Don Clark

Totally vibrant and shimmering with joy on every page, kids will love poring over the illustrations and textures in this festive board book.

7. The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow, illustrated by James Ransome

This magical retelling of the Christmas classic is set during the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. All the beauty of the original with a few well-placed nods to the world of jazz!

8. The Great Spruce by John Duvall, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

Alec’s favorite tree is chosen for the city celebration, and he has an idea that will keep it twinkling for years to come. Don’t forget to read the author’s note in the back to learn more about transplanting trees!

9. Through the North Pole Snow by Polly Faber, illustrated by Richard Jones

Told from the perspective of a young fox, this cozy tale follows her blossoming friendship with a kindly old man.  Your kids, of course, will certainly realize his true identity before she does!

10. Last Stop on the Reindeer Express by Maudie Powell-Tuck, illustrated by Karl James Mountford

Last Stop on the Reindeer Express is a truly stunning book. We love the detailed illustrations and clever cutouts, made all the more special by just the right amount of Christmas magic.

11. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

The Bear books by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman are always fun to read aloud with their rhythmic text and heart-warming stories. This Christmas title is no exception!

12. Oliver Elephant by Lou Peacock, illustrated by Helen Stephens

If you’ve ever tried Christmas shopping with kids, you’ll certainly relate to this sweet story. It perfectly captures the busy rollercoaster of a holiday shopping trip, complete with the drama of losing a beloved toy. (Spoiler: they find it!)

13. Dream Snow by Eric Carle

The perfect holiday book for little hands, kids will love lifting flaps to reveal farm animals covered in a blanket of snow.

14. Little Mole’s Christmas Gift by Glenys Nellist, illustrated by Sally Garland

A lovely story of generosity and kindness, we are totally charmed by this adorable little Mole and his big heart.

15. The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen

This book reads like a holiday dream, illustrated in warm sepia tones with a few thoughtfully placed foil highlights and die cut pages. Who wouldn’t want to meet a reindeer friend on a snowy Christmas eve?

16. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree is absolutely perfect- except– it’s too tall! Luckily, a trim off the top solves the problem and provides a miniature tree for someone else to enjoy. Again and again, the tree is trimmed and passed along to spread Christmas joy throughout the forest. Originally published in 1963, this fun book has stood the test of time for a reason!

17. The Great Santa Stakeout by Betsy Bird, illustrated by Dan Santat

Freddy Melcher, Santa’s #1 fan, is determined to get a selfie with his hero this Christmas Eve. His plans may not work, but they’ll definitely leave kids giggling… and maybe even dreaming up some of their own crafty schemes!

18. Christmas Is Joy by Emma Dodd

Emma Dodd’s beautiful illustrations follow a family of reindeer in the great north, complete with foil highlights for sparkling snow and ice. A sweet book to read aloud with the ones you love.

19. The Snowflake by Benji Davies

This enchanting book tells two stories, of a little girl and a snowflake, both wishing for some Christmas magic. Quiet text and evocative illustrations help the two tales come together with a sweetly simple ending that will absolutely warm your heart.

20. Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever by Matt Tavares

There’s just something about Matt Tavares’s gorgeous illustrations that are perfectly suited to Christmas magic.  Dasher’s origin story begins with his family in the circus, but a brave escape leads him to befriend a bearded old man and his tired horse. (Your kids will love recognizing Santa before Dasher does!) You’re sure to fall in love with this beautiful new book that reads like an old classic. 

21. The Tree That’s Meant to Be by Yuval Zommer

One little fir tree fears it’s too small to ever be chosen and decorated for Christmas, but the forest animals recognize and celebrate its imperfect beauty. After reading this heartwarming story, your kids might start scouring the woods for their own little fir to decorate!

22. When Santa Came to Stay by Billy Sharff, illustrated by Eda Kaban

What if your Christmas cookies were so good that Santa decided to come back for New Year’s Eve… and didn’t leave? With a joyful rhyming text that’s oh so fun to read aloud, this story will certainly get your kids giggling…and remind them that maybe it really is best that Christmas comes just once a year!

23. May Your Life Be Deliciosa by Michael Genhart, illustrated by Loris Lora

A beautiful story of family and food, this book is a vibrant ode to tradition. Abuela explains how she makes her tamales, full of beautiful wishes for her family and memories of the past. 

24. The Night Before Christmas retold and illustrated by Rachel Isadora

Rachel Isadora sets her version of this classic Christmas poem in Africa, and her unique cut-paper illustrations will have your family poring over every page, perhaps even inspired to create their own collage artwork.

25. This Is Christmas by Tom Booth

The illustrations in this book have a vintage holiday feel that immediately caught our eye, and luckily the story is just as delightful! Follow a little chipmunk around the woods on Christmas Eve as he discovers all the things that make Christmas special. 

We hope you love these books as much as we do! If you want some other lovely holiday books paired with art activities, check out 5 Holiday Children’s Books to Inspire Family Creativity.

More Christmas Activities for Kids

Want even more creative ideas?

Check out our Holiday Creativity pack!

Let’s celebrate the holidays with all things crafty! Here are 53 pages full of our favorite drawing prompts, creative play ideas, art activities, and more!

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