Looking for children’s picture books about Christmas? Here are 27 of them!
Looking for fun seasonal books to read to your learners? In this post I share over 20 Christmas-themed books for young listeners.
If you’re looking for Christmas books with a Christian theme, zoom to the second half of the post.
Turkey Claus, by Wendi Silvano
This is an adorably funny story of a turkey who wants to escape being cooked and eaten for Christmas. Turkey decides the only thing to do is to ask Santa for help. But it isn’t easy to get in to see Santa – will one of Turkey’s hilarious disguises work? We loved the sweet and satisfying ending.
An Otis Christmas, by Loren Long
A terrible snowstorm at the farm spells disaster for the horse, who is struggling through a difficult labor and needs the doctor – fast. Brave and determined Otis the tractor pushes through the snowstorm to find the doctor and bring him back to the farm. Just in time, the doctor arrives to help the horse deliver a beautiful foal. What a beautiful, engaging story! We’ve loved every Otis book we’ve read, and this one is no exception!
Santa Claus and the Three Bears, by Maria Madugno
This is a beautifully illustrated book and a fun twist on the original Goldilocks story. When the bears return from a quick walk, they find that someone is in their house. But it’s not Goldilocks. Guess who?
Snowmen at Christmas, by Caralyn Buehner & Mark Buehner
This book is by the amazing husband and wife team who brought us Snowmen at Night. It’s fun to imagine what snowmen do to celebrate Christmas when all the people are asleep. We love the bouncy, rhyming text – but the pictures truly steal the show. I just adore the pictures of the toddler snowmen resting heads on their parents’ shoulders for the late-night walk home (sucking their little snowman thumbs!).
Santa’s Stuck, by Rhonda Gowler Greene
Santa eats one too many cookies and gets stuck in the chimney on his way out. The reindeer yank from the roof, and the dog pushes from below … but it’s not enough to budge him. When the cat, her kittens, and a tiny mouse lend a hand – Santa is finally “unstuck.” Fun story, wonderful pictures, and just enough text. A winner!
How Santa Got His Job, by Stephen Krensky
This is my favorite Santa book. We see Santa from when he was a young man until he’s an old man and gets the job he has now. I like how he ages slowly throughout the book, and how each job teaches him something he’ll need later… from cleaning chimneys and feeding animals at the zoo, to delivering packages for the post office. Love it!
How Santa Lost His Job, by Stephen Krensky
This is a fun follow-up book in which one of Santa’s elves thinks that an incredible machine called the Deliverator can do a better job. But this “efficient” machine backfires, and Santa returns to work. We like the sweet surprise ending, too!
Bear Stays Up for Christmas, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Fans of the Bear books will enjoy this addition – in which tired Bear fights his sleepiness to stay awake for Christmas fun with his friends.
The Naughtiest Reindeer, by Nicki Greenberg
We enjoyed the adorable pictures and fun rhyming story about Rudolph’s naughty little sister being sent in his place. Kids will laugh at the the trouble Ruby finds at every house … and cheer at the fun surprise ending.
Wombat Divine, by Mem Fox
Wombat wants a part in the Christmas play, but he’s not right for any part. He’s too big, too heavy, too short, too clumsy … But his kind friends find the perfect job for sleepy Wombat… baby Jesus!
Morris’s Disappearing Bag, by Rosemary Wells
This book has been a favorite at our house for a long time. Morris, the youngest of four bunny siblings, feels left out on Christmas morning. According to his siblings, he’s too young, too silly, and little to play with their gifts – and no one wants to share his teddy bear. But when he finds a forgotten present under the tree, Morris discovers a disappearing bag. Suddenly Morris is the center of attention! I’ve read this a million times and don’t mind one bit.
Cork and Fuzz: Merry Merry Holly Holly, by Dori Chaconas
I’m already a big fan of this lovable unlikely pair – the muskrat, Cork, and the possum, Fuzz, who are the stars of an easy reader series. In this picture book, Cork doesn’t know why he has a funny feeling – what is so special about today? He and Fuzz wear themselves out as they try to discover what makes the day so special. The story ends when they find the perfect place to rest: under a lovely a outdoor Christmas tree.
The Christmas Extravaganza Hotel, by Tracey Corderoy
Bear is looking forward to a quiet, low-key Christmas – alone. Suddenly, Frog arrives at at the front door – looking for an extravagant Christmas hotel. When Bear pulls out a map and shows Frog that he’s far from his destination, Frog is devastated. But kind Bear does his best to make Frog’s holiday extra-special, and Frog learns that the simpler things are actually best. Recommended!
Last Stop on the Reindeer Express, by Maudie Powell-Tuck
Mia is devastated that her Christmas card won’t reach Grandpa before Christmas. But when she stumbles across a magical mailbox, she takes a ride on the Reindeer Express and reaches Grandpa just in time. My Four and I enjoyed this vibrant picture book with its elaborate illustrations, lift-the-flap doors, and die-cut pages.
Construction Site on Christmas Night, by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ag Ford
We adored this wonderful companion book to Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site. It’s a rhyming book about construction vehicles who receive gifts that replace their worn-out parts. I love the playful rhyming text and the SUPER appealing and engaging illustrations! This one was requested often at our house.
The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Charles Santore
This is an absolutely gorgeous picture book featuring the famous poem about Santa’s visit. I can’t do better than what’s written on the inside flap: “Unforgettable images bring this legendary figure to life as no picture book has done before.”
Christmas Tree Memories, by Aliki
I love this beautiful book in which family members share memories associated with the ornaments on their Christmas tree. Snow days, trips to Grandma’s, a museum outing, and more … all brought to mind on Christmas Day.
Olive, the Other Reindeer, by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold
This modern Christmas classic is about a little dog who misunderstands a popular Christmas carol. When she hears “All of the other reindeer …” Olive the dog is sure the song is about her (Olive, the other reindeer)! Olive quickly catches a ride to the North Pole, where she volunteers to help Santa and ends up saving Christmas with her unique “reindeer” abilities. Sweet book.
Miracle on 133rd Street, by Sonia Manzano
José’s mami is preparing a delicious roast for their Christmas feast – but it’s too big for the oven! José and his Papi take the roast to the local pizzeria to bake it. On their way out of the apartment building, we meet grumpy and unhappy neighbors who definitely don’t have the Christmas spirit. But when José and Papi return with the the finished roast (and its amazing aroma!), all the neighbors join together for a Christmas feast.
Christian Christmas books
It’s shocking how hard it is to find a good children’s book that tells the true story of Christmas. I was looking for books that told the story without being too cartoony or silly. There aren’t many of them!
The Legend of the Christmas Tree, by Rick Osborne
I appreciate the godly perspective in this book about a family who learns the Christ-centered legend of the Christmas tree while picking out their own. I’m not crazy about the dated pictures (think mid-90’s) and the story itself is sticky sweet – making it a little hard to get through. But I still think it’s worth checking out.
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger, by Karma Wilson
This is a sweet book about a little mouse who discovers a little house just for him – the stable of a nativity scene. He moves out all the pieces night after night so that he can sleep in the soft manger.
One night, Mortimer hears the big people reading the story of Christmas, and he realizes that the tiny baby is a statue of Jesus, who was born to save the world. He lugs all the pieces back into the stable and gives Jesus his proper place.
I think you have to be careful with mixing true Bible stories with talking animals, but I liked this one.
The Christmas Story, by Jane Werner
This vintage book (1952) really does a perfect job of telling the story in all its glory and accuracy. And the illustrations by Eloise Wilkin give the book a special charm. Definitely one to track down!
Christmas in the Manger, by Nola Buck
I love the very simple rhyme and beautiful illustrations in this board book – great for toddlers!
An Angel Just Like Me, by Mary Hoffman
While this book doesn’t share the Biblical story of Christmas, it’s about a churchgoing family. My preschooler and I both enjoyed reading about Tyler, an African American boy who wants to find an angel that looks like him. The ending is wonderful – recommended!
Fear Not, Joseph, by Julie Stiegmeyer
This book tells the Christmas story from Joseph’s perspective. It does take some liberties in adding details and dialogue not in the Bible, so I’d make sure to follow it up with a discussion. Overall, it’s an excellent book with great illustrations.
The Birth of Jesus, retold by Catherine Storr
I love the simplicity of this vintage book (1982) as it retells the Biblical story in a child-friendly way. My only beef is that the Wise Men didn’t actually visit Jesus in the stable; it was a few months later, when he and his parents were living in a house in Bethlehem. But in spite of this inaccuracy (which is in almost any picture book about the Christmas story), I heartily recommend this book.
There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve, by Pam Munoz Ryan
This is a poetic book whose rich vocabulary may go over the head of young listeners. But the text is short and the pictures are beautiful and vibrant – making this a good fit for all ages.
Here’s an example of the text:
Sweet Mary wore a flaxen robe
And Joseph, sandals on his feet.
A stable open to the world.
Their quilt? No more than supple straw.
I hope you found some good books to enjoy this season!
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