The 18 Best Christmas Books for Kids

My kids and I are so excited to share this list of the BEST Christmas books for kids! I didn’t realize how much my kids enjoy the Christmas books that we own until we went through them together. Recently I asked them to vote on which ones are their favorites, and it cracked me up that they all voted for almost every single one! 

I love to spend time reading Christmas books with  my kids. Whether it’s cuddling under a cozy blanket, sitting by the fireplace, or gathering around the Christmas tree, I hope they’ll remember how much fun we’ve had slowing down a bit and reading together.  

We’ve divided our list into meaningful and fun categories, just like my post about our favorite Christmas traditions. I’d love to hear which of these books you love too! And please share your favorite children’s Christmas books in the comments below!

Best Meaningful Christmas Books for Kids

1. The Last Christmas Tree by Stephen Krensky

This story about a little tree looking for a home is both sweet and heartwarming. It raises awareness and creates compassion for those things (or people) that are different from the norm. 

2. Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold

Not only is the title of this book a fantastic play on words, it is a wonderful story of a little dog who goes after her dreams. While she looks different from the others, she is able to make a big impact. I recommend singing “Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer” after reading this book to see if you hear it a little differently!

3. Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner

There are several Snowmen books, and each are equally endearing. I love this one best because it mentions that Christmas is truly a celebration of the birth of a King. The illustrations are absolutely fantastic. My kids love that there is an activity element to the book, with hidden pictures to find on every page. 

4. Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

This timeless children’s book has been recently re-released with illustrations by Anna Dewdney, the author and illustrator of the Llama, Llama books. Whether you obtain this copy or can find the older version with illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist, Diane Goode, the story is the same. With a similar cadence to her well-known Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown’s retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus is both simple and endearing.

5. Reindeer Christmas by Mark Kimball Moulton

I don’t recall how we were introduced to this book, but I am so glad it’s a part of our Christmas library. With rhyming sentences and beautiful pictures, this story is about a child who helps a wounded reindeer. His kindness does not go unnoticed, and he then shares his special wish with each reader of the book. 

6. Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Power of Giving by Howard Binkow

Do you have a 4-7 year old who is completely caught up in all of the getting of Christmas? This would be a perfect book for your family! Through his adventures, Howard learns the importance and joy of giving and sharing. The end of the book features a Lessons and Reflections section that can help facilitate discussion about these important topics. 

7. Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber by Tom Brokaw

Ideal for older children, this wonderful book tells the story of Gail Halvorsen and his experience as a young pilot flying over Berlin after World War II. Full of lovely illustrations and real photos, this story teaches the importance of kindness and the impact it can make. A DVD featuring the voice of Tom Brokaw and the music of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir makes this a lovely Christmas reading tradition for any family.

8. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

Many of us are familiar with Charlie Brown and his iconic Christmas tree. The message of love and kindness, paired with well-known characters make this one of the best Christmas books for kids. This particular version is a gorgeous deluxe retelling of the movie. A bit lengthy for little ones, the story could be divided over several reading sessions. We like to follow up our reading by watching the movie on our Christmas movie day. 

9. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

I remember my third grade teacher reading The Polar Express to me when I was in school. The illustrations were magical, and the story about the power of belief stirred my little 8-year-old soul. Now in its 30th Anniversary Edition (whoa!), this book is undoubtedly a Christmas classic for kids everywhere. While the movie embellishes quite a bit on the book, it could be a fun way to follow up the completion of this timeless story. 

Best Fun Christmas Books for Kids

1. Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty

In this book, a young dinosaur writes a series of letters to Santasaurus throughout the year. My kids love reading his explanations for his mishaps and seeing how his requests change from letter to letter. This is a fun read to follow up with writing actual letters to Santa. 

2. Santa’s Reindeer Games by Samantha Berger

Of all of our favorite fun Christmas books, this one is my kids’ first choice. I highly recommend getting into character and doing a loud, boisterous announcer voice. Your kids will be laughing out loud! Filled with very clever humor and fun illustrations, this book is a definite winner!

3. Turkey Claus by Wendi Silvano

This light-hearted story is follow up to Turkey Trouble, where this in-the-know turkey avoided becoming Thanksgiving dinner. In this book, turkey travels to the North Pole to make his appeal for help from Santa so he can stay off the Christmas dinner table as well. The ending is funny and unexpected, unless you’ve read Turkey Trouble too! 

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett

If you’ve never read any Jan Brett books before, this Christmas season would be a perfect time to start! Her detailed illustrations keep my kids engaged and attentive. While “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is one of my least favorite Christmas songs, reading this book and singing along is something my kids love to do every year.

5. The Night Before Christmas by Jan Brett

In a beautiful rendition of the classic poem by Clement Moore, Jan Brett carefully details one child’s experience of finding Santa in his home. This book does not omit the couplet about Santa’s pipe and and the wreath of smoke around his head as many modern retellings do. But the vibrant, action-packed illustrations make this version of “The Night Before Christmas” one of our favorites.

6. Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett

This lesser-known story is perfect for those families who like to learn about Christmas around the world. Set in Scandinavia, the story about a girl and boy and their polar bear defending their home from trolls is best for older kids, ages 7 and up. As with all Jan Brett books, be sure to pay close attention to the illustrations in the side panels. 

7. The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer

When the reindeer go on strike, Santa must explore other options for which type of animal will pull his sleigh. With delightful rhyming text based loosely off of “The Night Before Christmas,” this book is a fun and easy read that all of my kids enjoy!

8. Dinosaur Christmas by Jerry Pallotta

Did you know that before the reindeer were a thing, dinosaurs used to pull Santa’s sleigh? If you have a dinosaur enthusiast at your house, this book is a must-read! Full of hilarious illustrations and funny text, your kids will be quoting from this book in no time.

9. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff

For anyone who enjoys the If You Give a … series, this book will be a Christmas favorite for you! When mouse is eating popcorn at the movies, he is struck by a desire to make a popcorn string for a Christmas tree. From here his ideas grow more grandiose. My kids’ favorite part is seeing mouse in his candy cane underwear! This is a fun book for all ages, but is especially good for the 4-7 year old crowd. 

All of these books are available on Amazon and many should be accessible at your local library. I’d love to hear if you check any of them out! While you’re feeling the Christmas spirit, check out this post about our family’s favorite Christmas traditions.

What would you add to this list of best Christmas books for kids?

16 thoughts on “The 18 Best Christmas Books for Kids”

  1. Love this!! My fave is The Power of Giving book. I feel it’s import for me to teach me lil one what a Christmas is really about early on. Happy Holidays!💕

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  3. I have several of these books and have gifted many of the titles to our young grandchildren. I’ve never heard of Christmas from Heaven and will be sure to check it out. Another Christmas book that my children always enjoyed was This Is the Star by Joyce Dunbar and Gary Blythe. The pictures in it are amazing, and rhyming text flows perfectly as you read the nativity story.

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