Christmas picture books for kids will unwrap the magic of the holiday season.
In our home, the Christmas season begins by gathering our beloved holiday books from the top shelf of the hall closet. Each year, we eagerly expand our growing collection.
Not sure which books to add this year? Explore new holiday additions with this list.
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Top 5 Picture Books For Christmas
Short on time? Pick from the top 5 books suitable for all ages.
*Reading specialist-approved recommendations!
1. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson (Ages 2-5)
Bear and friends prepare for Christmas and help Bear stay awake for the big day. In this heartwarming series story, Bear discovers that sharing Christmas with friends is the best gift.
2. Snowmen At Christmas by Caralyn Buehner (Ages 2-6)
How do snowmen celebrate Christmas? Cuddle up and read this snowy bedtime story with your little one to find out!
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess (Ages 5-9)
*Popular on Amazon
“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas alot….
But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT!“
Experience the loveable Dr. Suess classic tale and uncover Christmas’ true meaning with the Grinch.
4. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson (Ages 3-6)
*A favorite in our house!
Meet Mortimer, a mouse the stairs who finds a perfect-sized home as Christmas nears. Snuggled in, he discovers the true meaning of his small bed.
This sweet tale shares a mouse’s first encounter with the Christmas story and will delight both adults and children.
5. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (Ages 7-10)
*“One of the best Christmas books ever.” –Publishers Weekly
Enjoy this laugh-out-loud chapter book with the mischievous Hedrman kids taking over the church Christmas pageant. Their antics set the stage for the best Christmas pageant ever – transformed by the magic of the true Christmas story.
Enjoy this book with your entire family!
Popular Christmas Board Books
Young children and babies love the colorful, interactive illustrations in these board books.
6. Christmas Parade by Sandra Boynton (Ages 1-3)
Popular author, Sandra Boynton, will have your little one marching along with the familiar characters in this lively Christmas parade. Grab an instrument and join in the fun!
“BOOM-Biddy! BOOM-Biddy! BOOM BOOM BOOM”
7. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle (Ages 1-3)
*1 New York Times Best-selling Series
Beep! Beep! Beep! Join Little Blue Truck on a Christmas adventure to spread joy to his friends. Count along from one to five as he delivers Christmas trees. Enjoy the flashing Christmas tree lights on the final page!
8. Santa’s Big Day Finger Puppet Christmas Board Book by Holly Berry-Byrd (Ages 0-4)
*5 Stars on Amazon
Enjoy this rhyming story of Santa’s Christmas preparations with a built-in finger toy for your baby’s playtime pleasure.
9. Dear Santa by Rod Campbell (Ages 1-3)
*A Lift-The-Flap Book
From the author of Dear Zoo, enjoy reading this story of Santa looking for just the right present for a child. Will Santa find the perfect gift to leave under the tree?
10. Frosty the Snowman by Jack Rollins (Ages 1-3)
Follow Frosty’s beloved tale and magical adventures through town.
Read or sing the loveable classic Frosty the Snowman with your little one this holiday season.
11. Jolly Jingle 10-Button Children’s Christmas Sound Book by Becky Wilson (Ages 1-3)
*Part of a Christmas book collection from Cottage Door Press
12. Babies Love Christmas: Lift-a-Flap Board Book by Holly Berry-Byrd (Ages 1-2)
Introduce babies and young children to Christmas words with bright pictures, sturdy pages, and easy-to-lift flaps.
13. The First Christmas Lift-a-Pop Board Book by Holly Berry-Byrd (Ages 1-3)
14. Duck & Goose: It’s Time for Christmas by Tad Hills (Ages 1-3)
*New York Times bestselling friends
Goose is busy enjoying winter, but Duck is ready for Christmas! Read along and celebrate Christmas with friends Duck and Goose.
15. Don’t Push The Button! A Christmas Adventure by Bill Cotter (Ages 2-4)
Larry is back in this funny Christmas book. Can Larry keep from pushing the button? Or will he be put on Santa’s naughty list? One little push can’t hurt….right?
Read this interactive book with one hilarious monster to see what happens.
Best Christmas Books for Toddlers and Preschool
Explore the holiday with loveable characters in these Christmas picture books for 3, 4, and 5 year olds.
16. Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker (Ages 2-4)
*1 New York Times bestselling series
Our favorite construction site characters are back just in time for Christmas in this bright-colored Christmas book. They finish a big job and receive their own big surprise!
17. The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry (Ages 2-4)
*Classic scratch-and-sniff book
A sweet favorite in our house, join Little Bear as he prepares for Christmas in this scratch-and-sniff books for preschoolers.
18. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert E. Barry (Ages 3-7)
*Classic picture book
Read what happens to the top of Mr. Willowby’s tree as it brings Christmas joy to all the animals. Add this classic picture book to your family collection this year!
19. How to Catch a Gingerbread Man by Adam Wallace (Ages 4-6)
*A New York Times bestseller
A spin from the classic story, the famous Gingerbread man has come to life and jumped right off the pages! What other characters will he meet in the book store and will he be caught?
“Run, run, as fast as you can!”
20. Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray (Ages 2-6)
Good friends, Wilma and Parker work to carefully plant and raise Christmas trees. This story is told in a lyrical way that makes it a wonderful holiday read-aloud.
21. Christmas Stories Vintage 8-Book Boxed Set by Cottage Door Press (Age 3-8)
Read all your favorite childhood Christmas stories in one book. This set includes 8 classic Christmas tales with beautiful illustrations toddlers and kids of all ages will love.
The Night Before Christmas, The Gingerbread Man, The Christmas Snowman, and more are included in this set.
22. Dream Snow by Eric Carle: Picture Christmas Books (Ages 2-4)
Join Eric Carle’s charming famer as he prepares for a Christmas Eve nap and awakens to a snowy dream that brings the magic of Christmas.
Grab this beautiful book!<<
23. Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht (Ages 2-6)
Enjoy stunning illustrations and rhyming text as you follow the journey of preparing for Christmas starting with picking out a tree! Witness the transformation from a pine tree to a beautiful Christmas tree by the end of the story.
Read this book before decorating your own family tree this year!
Children’s Christmas Read-Aloud Picture Books
Kindergarten and elementary students will enjoy listening to AND reading these enchanting Christmas picture books.
24. Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin (Ages 4-8)
*Caldecott Honor-Winning Illustrator!
Farmer Brown and his unruly farm animals are back in this Christmas edition. While Farmer Brown is busy preparing for Santa, Duck has other plans….will Christmas be saved?
25. Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger (Ages 2-7)
*New York Times Bestseller!
In this heartwarming story, Little Red Sleigh is determined to become Santa’s big red sleigh. With the help of friends, will she make it to the North Pole before Christmas? Will her dreams come true?
Anyone with a dream will enjoy and be inspired by the story of Little Red Sleigh.
26. Santa’s Smelly Socks! by Len Foley (Ages 3-10)
“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town, were smelly socks and putrid pants that made Ol’ Santa frown!“
Enjoy a laugh-out-loud read aloud and discover the true reason behind hanging stockings for Santa!
27. Dasher by Matt Tavares: Best Christmas Picture Books (Ages 3-6)
Meet Dasher, a young reindeer in a traveling circus who dreams of another life. Bravely, she journeys to follow her dreams to meet Santa. Her life will never be the same!
28. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (Ages 3-7)
Join a young boy on The Polar Express as its makes its magical journey to the North Pole. A Caldecott Medal winner and a beloved classic, this book will hold a special place in your heart. Make it part of your holiday tradition here.
After reading, enjoy the equally magical movie here.
29. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore (Ages 1-6)
*New York Times #1 Bestseller
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house….
Make reading this timeless poem a cherished Christmas Eve tradition with the entire family. This edition features beautiful fold-out pages for extra festive pictures.
30. The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains by Annie Silvestro (Ages 4-8)
*We added this new book to our collection last year!
When a little tree is chosen as a Christmas tree, she is taken away from the trains that speed past her farm that she loves. But is she in for a surprise on Christmas morning?
31. A Simple Christmas on the Farm by Phyllis Alsdurf (Ages 4-8)
*Don’t miss this touching story!
In this wonderful book discover the magic of a simple farm Christmas, emphasizing family, community, and meaningful connetions. Included are instructions for crafting three heartfelt Christmas gifts.
This Christmas picture book is a companion to Thanksgiving in the Woods.
32. Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo (Ages 4-8)
*A New York Times Bestseller and A Time Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year
Experience the true spirit of Christmas through the compassionate tale of a young girl’s kindness by Newberry Medalist author Kate DiCamillo.
*This book would make a terrific stocking stuffer for girls!
33. The Snowflake by Benji Davies (Ages 4-8)
In this his well-written Christmas picture book, two stories converge: a little gir’s wish for a perfect Christmas tree and a snowflake’s quest for the ideal landing spot.
34. Ming’s Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong (Ages 3-8)
Ming, an immigrant in 1930s California, yearns for a sense of belonging at Christmas. Will her wish be fulfilled? Or will she find a different meaning in family and belonging?
35. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie DePaola (Ages 5-9)
In this Mexican legend, by beloved author Tomie DePaola, the story of the Christmas poinsettia is told along with the story of a girl and a special gift from the heart.
Beautiful illustrations and a sweet, meaningful story make this a great Christmas book addition.
36. The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel (Ages 5-9)
In Depression-era New York City, Henry and his father, selling Christmas trees, donate leftovers to Rockefeller Center construction workers. Their kindness leads to a new home, and Henry later repays it.
This story, with historical notes, inspires giving back during the holidays.
Best Christmas Books for Older Readers
Upper elementary and older readers will want to pick up the chapter books on this list in time for Christmas.
*Pro Tip: Share as a read aloud with your kids.
37. The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson (Ages 7-11)
*Newberry Honor-winning book
Armand lives a simple life on the streets of Paris. Until the day before Christmas, when he finds three cold and hungry children under his bridge. Armand sets out to take care of these children and find them a home.
Older readers will love this fast read with a heartwarming story.
38. The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling (8 yrs+)
*Bestselling Author J.K. Rowling
Jack loses his childhood toy, Dur Pig. Jack’s new toy, the Christmas Pig, devises a plan to help Jack. Adventure with Jack and the Christmas Pig on a magical Christmas adventure.
The rich vocabulary in this book make it a great pick for 3rd grade and older.
39. A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig (Ages 7-12)
*Now a Netflix Movie
Eleven-year-old Nikolas, aka “Christmas,” embarks on a journey to the North Pole to find his missing father. Along the way, he discovers unlikely friends and learns he’s the key to restoring a village’s Christmas spirit.
Will he find his father in time?
40. The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig (Ages 8-12)
*New York Times Bestseller Author
In this follow-up book to A Boy Called Christmas, meet Amelia, the first child to receive a Christmas gift, granting Santa the magic for his journey. Amid challenges, including her mother’s illness, Amelia holds the key to saving Christmas. Can she rediscover hope and belief?
This is a great Christmas read aloud for the entire family!
41. The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements (Ages 8-12)
*Author of the popular book Frindle
Hart Evans is the most popular kid in sixth grade and everyone knows it (including the teachers). This works to Hart’s advantage until he hits the chorus director with a rubber band during class.
Suddenly, Hart finds himself in charge of producing the holiday concert. Will this be the last holiday concert for Hart? What will Hart discover about himself?
42. The Christmas Mix Up by Justin Johnson (Ages 6-12)
Penelope discovers she’s on the naughty list through a letter and embarks on a Christmas journey to set the record straight with Santa.
43. Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald (Ages 8-11)
Orphaned sisters Nancy and Plum, unhappy at boarding school, team up to change their Christmas fate in this delightful tale by the author of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
Read this story of kindness, hope and adventure this holiday season.
44. Nancy Drew Diaries: A Nancy Drew Christmas by Carolyn Keene (Ages 8-12)
In this book, Nancy Drew, confined to bed with a broken leg, faces a new mystery during Christmas. Will she crack the case in time for the holidays?
45. When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke (Ages 8-12)
*New York Times Bestseller Author
Niklas Goodfellow is the last remaining real Santa and all magic has been banned. Will this young Santa have the courage to save the magic of Christmas? Cozy up with this fun and entertaining book.
Related: Great Middle School Books to Read
46. Long Live the Pumpkin Queen: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas by Shea Ernshaw (13 yrs+)
*1 Best Seller in Teen & Young Adult Dark Fantasy
In this book, Sally embarks on a cross-holiday journey to save Halloween Town’s future.
*Perfect for readers seeking a unique Christmas story.
Best Nativity Books For Children
Discover the essence of the first Christmas with these popular nativity story picture books for the whole family.
47. The Christmas Blessing by Erin Guendelsberger (Ages 4-7)
The animals must work together to prepare the stable and have the manger ready in time for a special arrival. Read aloud this beautiful tale of the very first Christmas.
48. Silent Night by Lara Hawthorne: Christmas Picture Books (Ages 3-6)
Celebrate the birth of the Savior through this book told with the words from the song Silent Night. Beautiful illustrations and a beloved Christmas carol make this the perfect book to share at Christmas.
49. Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer (Ages 2-5)
50. Star of Wonder by Dan Crisp (Ages 1-5)
*A star that blinks while you read!
Enjoy this board book with young children featuring a bright blinking star guiding the wise men to Bethlehem.
6 Creative Activities for Christmas Picture Books
Connect with your children by exploring creative ways to include Christmas books in your holiday season!
1. Christmas Picture Book Countdown
Create a festive tradition by wrapping Christmas picture books for each day leading up to Christmas.
Then let your kids unwrap a book daily and read it together. Add numbers to the wrapped books to make it a countdown or let your kids pick the one to unwrap.
2. Add A New Christmas Story Book Each Year
Establish an annual tradition of gifting your children a new personalized Christmas book. Include a note about special moments or reasons you love them.
This cherished tradition will be anticipated each year and may continue even after they leave home.
Related: Best Meaningful Christmas Traditions
3. Family Night Out To Read
*My kids love this!
Visit a local bookstore or coffee shop for family reading time. It’s a distraction-free and enjoyable environment, adding a touch of fun to the experience.
4. Try The Icelandic Book Flood Tradition
Discover Jolabokaflod, the Icelandic Christmas Book Flood, where books are exchanged on Christmas Eve. This is followed by a cozy evening of reading and hot chocolate.
Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country, with the majority sold between September and November. Explore this unique tradition.
*Consider moving this tradition to a different night during the holiday season if Christmas Eve is too busy for your family.
5. Have A Book and Movie Night
Read a popular Christmas book together, pop some popcorn, and then enjoy the movie!
6. Christmas Morning Books
Boost Christmas morning excitement by leaving new books outside your kids’ bedroom doors.
Early risers get a delightful surprise to read while patiently waiting for the rest of the family to wake up. It’s worth a try for a little more sleep!
Free Printable: Christmas Picture Books For Kids
Explore diverse books suitable for all ages and enjoy quality family time with these holiday reads. Embrace the challenge of incorporating new book traditions into your festive season.
Now, grab your Free Christmas Picture Books Printable below and then let me know what books you love!
Next, discover the best Christmas trivia to connect with loved ones!
More posts about books for kids you’ll love…
- Best Books For Kids About Kindness
- Books for 5 Year Olds To Read
- Best Books for 10 Year Olds
- Best Interactive Kids Book List