21 Awesome Christmas Books for Kids You Need to Read This Year

These delightful Christmas books for kids will be ones you’ll love for years to come.

There are so many wonderful Christmas books for kids available – and some are definitely better than others. 

Amazon alone has more than 20,000 results for the search query “Christmas books for kids!” 

To help you narrow the search down a *little bit, I’ve got a great list of our 21 favorite Christmas stories for kids right here. 

This list is 100% kid-approved

To create our list, I gathered all 5 of my kids and our giant stack of Christmas books.

When I asked them to vote on which ones are their favorites, they all voted for almost every single one! 

We’ve divided our list into meaningful and fun categories, just like my post about the best family Christmas traditions.

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The 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 highly 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. We love this one best because it mentions that Christmas is truly a celebration of the birth of a King.

The illustrations are absolutely fantastic. Your kids will probably love that there is an activity element to the book – there are several 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 snag 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 at the end 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 start discussions with your kids about topics such as sharing, giving, and kindness. 

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 Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square makes this a lovely Christmas reading tradition for any family. 

And if you have a staircase in your home, you could even re-enact the candy bombing. There are instructions in the back of the book that are easy to follow and a lot of fun for your kids! 

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 sweet movie.

While it’s 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 classic movie on our Christmas movie day. 

9. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Can you believe The Polar Express is 35 years old this year?! Crazy!

I remember my third-grade teacher reading it to our whole class when I was in school. The illustrations were magical, and the story about the power of belief stirred my little 8-year-old soul.

This printing is the 30th Anniversary Edition and it’s a beauty! 

This beloved Christmas story for kids is all about a boy who is invited to the North Pole and learns the power of belief during his magical meeting with Santa Claus.  

While The Polar Express movie embellishes quite a bit on the book, it could be a fun way to follow up the completion of this timeless story. 

10. Social Distance Santa by Eric DeSeo

If your littles are wondering how Santa will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, this book is the answer! 

With light-hearted rhyming text, this book answers what will be very serious questions for your kids. 

  • Will Santa wear a mask?
  • Will he still come down the chimney? 
  • What are the elves doing this year?

There’s no doubt 2020 has been a tough year for all of us – not to mention our kids! Snag this cute book to help alleviate any of their Santa-related worries. 

11. Little Red Sleigh by Erin Geundelsberger

This sweet, newly-released picture book is one your kids will enjoy reading again and again! 

The little red sleigh dreams of growing up to become Santa’s big red sleigh. 

Combining the can-do attitude of The Little Engine That Could and the timeless quality of The Polar Express, this is a wonderful new book to add to your Christmas books for kids this year. 

Free Printable Christmas Would You Rather Questions

Grab our most popular Christmas printable for kids – 101 Christmas Would You Rather Questions! 

This would be a fun thing to do after reading some of your favorite Christmas books by the tree!

Best Fun Christmas Books for Kids

12. 5 More Sleeps ‘Til Christmas by Jimmy Fallon

This fun-filled book completely captures the magic and anticipation so many kids feel at Christmastime!

With endearing illustrations, readers follow a young boy on all of his adventures in the 5 days leading up to Christmas. 

Recently released at the end of October, this fun book already has a five-star rating on Amazon!

13. Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty

In this book, a young dinosaur writes a series of letters to Santasaurus throughout the year.

Your kids will 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.


14. Santa’s Reindeer Games by Samantha Berger

Of all of our favorite fun Christmas books, this one is my kids’ first choice every single year!

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 and is fun for adults to read too!

15. Turkey Claus by Wendi Silvano

This light-hearted story is a follow-up to Turkey Trouble, where an in-the-know turkey ingeniously avoids 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! 

16. 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. Be sure to give your kids lots of time between each page turn – they’ll want it!

Reading this book and singing along to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is something my kids love to do every year.

17. 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 coming down his family’s chimney.

Fair warning: this book does not omit the couplet about Santa’s pipe and the wreath of smoke around his head as many modern retellings do.

But the vibrant, action-packed, highly detailed illustrations make this version of “The Night Before Christmas” one of our favorites.

18. 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 to see if you can figure out what is going to happen next. 

19. 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 kids of all ages will enjoy!

20. 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.

21. 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 and 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. 

Final thoughts about these delightful Christmas books for kids


I’d love to hear which of these books you love too! And please share your favorite children’s Christmas stories in the comments below!

delightful christmas books for kids list

All of these books are available on Amazon and many should be accessible at your local library.

Whether you read them while cuddling under a cozy blanket, sitting by the fireplace, or gathered around the Christmas tree, I hope your kiddos will remember these special times you’ll spend reading together at Christmastime. 

Related articles about family Christmas traditions:

11 Great Tips to Get Ready to Decorate Sugar Cookies with Your Kids

13 Awesome Christmas Traditions for Families You Must Try This Year

57 Easy Last-Minute Elf on the Shelf Ideas Your Kids Will Love

How We Practice Intentional Christmas Gift Giving

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

21 Awesome Christmas Books for Kids You Need to Read This Year21 Awesome Christmas Books for Kids You Need to Read This Year21 Awesome Christmas Books for Kids You Need to Read This Year21 Awesome Christmas Books for Kids You Need to Read This Year21 Awesome Christmas Books for Kids You Need to Read This Year

Jen Bradley, the founder of Jen Bradley|MOMs

Hi there! I’m Jen and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a mom who believes that meaningful connections with our families can happen in small and simple ways. Read More …


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16 thoughts on “21 Awesome Christmas Books for Kids You Need to Read This Year”

  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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