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Seira Wilson
Senior Editor at Amazon Books

The 25 Best Christmas Books for Kids

Grab your kids and cuddle up for these very merry books celebrating the season.

The countdown to Christmas is on! Which means it’s time to break out those fun holiday books for extra-special storytime. Ready to get into the holiday spirit but not sure which books to read with your little ones? Here’s an early present: a comprehensive list of the best Christmas books for kids. These picks offer heart-warming stories, festive illustrations and plenty of holiday magic.

Photo: Courtesy Cartwheel Books

Teeny Tiny Santa

Big things come in small packages with this adorable Christmas book for kids. A teeny tiny fox dreams of Christmas but worries that he might be too small for Santa’s sleigh to reach him. But lo and behold, a teeny tiny Santa arrives to deliver a special treat before he flies off again into the moonlit Christmas night. It’s a sweet holiday read that’s perfect for teeny tiny babies and toddlers.

For ages: 0-3
Buy it: Teeny Tiny Santa by Rachel Matson, $6, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Penguin Workshop

The Crayons’ Christmas

I’m guessing you’ve read the smash-hit children’s book, The Day the Crayons Quit. (It was a Bump Book Club pick, after all!) Well the crayons are back in a special holiday-themed, interactive Christmas book for kids. Duncan and his crayons are getting ready for Christmas and letters start arriving. Beige crayon gets a set of punch-out clothes from his mom and grey crayon sends the crew a Hanukkah card with a dreidel to put together. Each envelope has something special inside for little ones to discover.

For ages: 3-7
Buy it: The Crayons’ Christmas by Drew Daywalt, $14, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Silver Dolphin

How Winston Delivered Christmas

A fun and creative way to count down the days before Christmas, this story of a mouse named Winston who sets off on a journey to deliver a lost letter to Santa takes place over 24 and a half chapters. Each chapter also includes a fun Christmas themed-activity, such as making paper snowflakes and writing a letter to Santa. It’s a holiday book to keep and share, year after year.

For ages: 6-8
Buy it: How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith, $14, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Bloomsbury

I Got the Christmas Spirit

A little girl is excited about all the sights and sounds of Christmas, and when she encounters a person in need, she looks for how she can help. Here’s a unique Christmas book for kids that tackles a difficult reality of the season head-on, and shows a young person being compassionate and giving.

For ages: 3-6
Buy it: I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison, $10, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Candlewick

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever

Dasher is a gorgeously illustrated story of how Santa’s team of reindeer came to be, and it all started with one brave little doe. Dasher runs away from the circus and meets Santa, but she misses her family terribly and wishes they were with her. Santa delivers her Christmas wish and soon the whole family is pulling the sleigh together in a bright celebration of love and family.

For ages: 4-8
Buy it: Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever by Matt Tavares, $14, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy HMH Books

All You Need for a Snowman

The author of Little Blue Truck serves up a delightful winter treat with All You Need is a Snowman. A fun, rhyming story of a group of children bundled up in the snow, counting up all the snowflakes it takes to build a snowman (or two). This seasonal favorite is now in a board book format, just right for sharing with little ones.

For ages: 0-3
Buy it: All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle, $9, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Arthur A. Levine Books

The Great Santa Stakeout

The illustrations of Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat add a bit of extra comedy to Bird’s story about a boy determined to catch Santa at work. Freddie Melcher has spent all year on Operation Santa Selfie, and this delightful Christmas book for kids takes young readers step by step through his elaborate plans. Things don’t go quite as expected, but that’s okay—there’s always next year! It’s a perfect read for the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

For ages: 4-8
Buy it: The Great Santa Stakeout by Betsy Bird, $14, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy HMH Books

Santa’s Puppy

Little known fact: Santa has a big, fluffy dog named Peppermint Bark, who helps with the reindeer and double-checking Santa’s list, but he never gets to ride in the sleigh! When Peppermint Bark decides to stow away, he accidentally gets left behind at a house and it’s up to siblings Chris and Holly Kerstman to get Santa’s pet home in time. It’s a lively holiday story for middle-grade readers or a fun family read.

For ages: 8-12
Buy it: Santa’s Puppy by Catherine Hapka, $12, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Chronicle Books

Construction Site on Christmas Night

Fans of Sherri Duskey Rinker’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site will love her holiday-themed picture book. Each of the construction vehicles contributes to a big Christmas surprise, and finds a surprise of their own as they head off to bed. Construction-obsessed kids may want to read this one again and again, long after the holidays are over.

For ages: 3-7
Buy it: Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker, $15, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Canongate

Father Christmas and Me

Older kids may not believe in Santa Claus anymore, but that doesn’t mean they’ve given up the stories. Author Matt Haig has written two earlier Christmas novels that are clever, irreverent and kind ( A Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas). In his latest Christmas book for kids, Father Christmas and Me, the Easter Bunny is out to ruin Christmas and must be stopped. The tale is funny and heartwarming.

For ages: 8-12
Buy it: Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig, $9, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Knopf Books

The 12 Days of Christmas

There are many different editions of this classic holiday song-turned-book, but acclaimed illustrator Alison Jay’s images are absolutely stunning. Her crackle varnish finish and creative imagining of each day gives her picture book a whimsical and sophisticated style that makes it one of the best Christmas books for kids.

For ages: 3-7
Buy it: The 12 Days of Christmas by Alison Jay, $14, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Nosy Crow

Little Robin’s Christmas

A small brown bird named Little Robin is all set for the cold winter days leading up to Christmas with seven brightly colored knit vests to keep him warm. Each day, as Robin heads outdoors, he comes upon another animal who’s cold and has nothing to keep them warm. One by one, Little Robin gives his vests to those in need, and Santa rewards his kindness and generosity with a very special gift. It’s a picture book to warm your heart.

For ages: 2-5
Buy it: Little Robin’s Christmas by Jan Fearnley, $14, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Little Simon

The Nutcracker

Stunning illustrations are inspired by the set of the New York City Ballet production of The Nutcracker, and the story mimics George Balanchine’s famous production. It serves as a beautiful introduction to this famous holiday ballet or as a special reminder for young ones who have seen it performed.

For ages: 3-8
Buy it: The Nutcracker by New York City Ballet, $12, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Walker Books Ltd.

The Christmas Eve Tree

Here’s a Christmas story that really gets to what matters this time of year: community and caring for one another. A leftover tree and a homeless boy bring happiness to each other in this story of hope and sharing that I will read to my daughter from this year on (and then I’ll just read it for myself).

For ages: 5-8
Buy it: The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy, $7, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Jane Foster's

Jane Foster’s Christmas

Continuing with her holiday-themed board books, Jane Foster’s Christmas is filled with simple, sophisticated images showing popular symbols of the season. Foster’s bright color palate pops on every page of this little crowd-pleaser.

For ages: 1-2
Buy it: Jane Foster’s Christmas by Jane Foster, $6, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Faber & Faber

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The classic Christmas carol is re-imagined with gorgeous mixed-media illustrations. Nine ladies dancing becomes nine glorious butterflies and the five golden rings are accompanied by rather sophisticated looking frogs. There are many versions of this title out there, but Anna Wright’s artistic style make this one of the best Christmas books for kids.

For ages: 4+
Buy it: The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Anna Wright, $12, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Harper Collins

The Nutcracker in Harlem

A jazz-infused take on the Nutcracker gives the story new dimension in this beautiful picture book. Set in New York during the Harlem Renaissance, a little girl finds her voice in music thanks to a very special toy. A beautiful and welcome addition for holiday reading to be shared with many future generations.

For ages: 4-8
Buy it: The Nutcracker in Harlem by T. E. McMorrow, $8, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Candlewick

Red and Lulu

Incredibly sweet and heart-warming, this beautiful picture book is about Red and his mate, Lulu, who lose each other when their fir tree home is moved. Red searches endlessly for Lulu, until the singing in Rockefeller Center brings them together again. This moving Christmas book for kids is about a miracle of the season and the power of love.

For ages: 3-7
Buy it: Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares, $17, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Penguin Workshop

The Tooth Fairy vs. Santa

To make the coveted Tooth Fairy team, a fairy named Blue must complete an assignment by midnight on Christmas Eve. Blue arrives at his destination only to discover that someone else is already there—Santa Claus. The two compete for the right to stay, but after reading a letter left for them both, they decide there’s a way to work together after all. It’s a fun story with a message of sharing and friendship.

For ages: 3-7
Buy it: The Tooth Fairy vs. Santa by Jamie L. B. Deenihan, $13, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Frances Lincoln

Silent Night

A gorgeous and reverential treatment of one of the world’s most popular Christmas carols, this read earns a spot on our list of best Christmas books for kids. Hawthorne captures the diversity of our world in her illustrations and tells the story of the Nativity through the lyrics of Silent Night. It’s a beautiful addition to the season.

For ages: 3-6
Buy it: Silent Night by Lara Hawthorne, $12, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy The Little Golden

The Night Before Christmas

What’s a roundup of the best Christmas books for kids without THE classic Christmas poem beloved by both adults and children? This Little Golden Book edition has been around for decades and brings to mind many fond memories of Christmases past. Reading this beloved story to the next generation is a wonderful way to carry tradition forward.

For ages: 2-5
Buy it: The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, $5, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Random House

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

A holiday story that will never stop giving, Dr. Seuss’s Grinch continues to remind us about the true meaning of Christmas. Movies have been made, they but can never take the place of reading the tale of a Grinch who grew his heart three sizes in one day. Cherish this one, give it as a gift and feel your own heart get bigger.

For ages: 5-9
Buy it: How the Grinch Stole Christmas! By Dr. Seuss, $9, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy HMH Books

The Polar Express

A Caldecott Medal winner, The Polar Express has been delighting young readers for nearly two decades now. Van Allsburg’s gorgeously illustrated story of a boy who takes a Christmas Eve train ride through the dark, starry night to the North Pole has become a modern classic of the season. The power of believing is pure magic for readers of all ages.

For ages: 4-7
Buy it: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, $9, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Harper Collins

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

A laugh-out-loud funny novel about the eccentric and wacky Herdman kids and what happens when they take over the annual Christmas pageant at church. These rambunctious kids don’t even know the Nativity story when they get started—they just went to church for the snacks—but their reimagining of it is heartfelt and delightful.

For ages: 8-21
Buy it: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, $6, Amazon.com

Photo: Courtesy Random House

The Christmas Wish

In this special Christmas book for kids, illustrated with photographs, Anja wants to be one of Santa’s elves, so she dresses up and sets out to find Santa, doing a few good deeds along the way and making some new animal friends. The magic of the photography brings the wonder of the season alive and you can almost believe what you see is real. It is Christmas, after all.

For ages: 3-7
Buy it: The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert, $14, Amazon.com

Published December 2019

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