Are you looking for the 23 best Christmas books for kids to enjoy this holiday season? Check out this list of great picture and chapter books for elementary aged children and enjoy the holidays reading with the special kids in your life. Whether it’s the classics like Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, reading a holiday story with your children will put you in the holiday spirit at Christmas time. I hope this list of great Christmas books bring the spirit of Christmas to your whole family.
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Best Christmas Books for Kids – Tomie dePaola
Any Christmas book by Tomie dePaola is a great recommendation for a list of 23 best Christmas books for kids. His classic stories, combined with beautiful illustrations make for a magical read. DePaola has a great way of telling the true Christmas story in a style that older kids and young readers will enjoy.
The Story of the Three Wise Kings is retold by dePaola and recounts the story of the three wise men following the star to the Christ child as a young boy. It brings to life the true meaning of Christmas with the nativity story and will become a Christmas classic in your home.
The Legend of the Poinsettia is a beautiful Mexican story about how the poinsettia came to be, and it is based on the experience of a little girl on Christmas Eve searching for the true meaning of Christmas. It would also make a great Christmas gift to read throughout the holiday season.
The Legend of Old Befana follows the Italian woman Befana on her journey. As she encounters the three wise men on their way to Bethlehem, her world is changed as she also searches for the Christ Child and experiences the spirit of Christmas.
The Night of Las Posadas tells the story of Las Posadas, the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. The illustrations in this book are beautiful and captivating, showing the magic of Christmas on the first Christmas night.
If you know Tomie dePaola, then you know the wonderful character of Strega Nona. Strega Nona and her sidekicks, Big Anthony and Bambolona, appear in this tale just in time for Christmas Eve in Merry Christmas, Strega Nona. This one could be a great new tradition to read aloud with your children.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore is retold in this beautiful book illustrated by Tomie dePaola. It is one of the timeless classics to add to any Christmas library that the entire family will enjoy.
Jan Brett Best Christmas Books for Kids
Jan Brett is another amazingly talented author and illustrator. Her detailed drawings give amazing context to her stories. She is one of my personal favorite authors. Her absolutely beautiful Christmas picture books bring to life the joy of this festive season.
Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury includes several of her best sellers including The Night Before Christmas, Trouble with Trolls, Christmas Trolls, The Mitten, The Hat, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and The Wild Christmas Reindeer. This one is a great option if you want to have several of her books in one collection and would also make the greatest gift for any child.
The Wild Christmas Reindeer follows the story of young Teeka who is trying to train her reindeer for Santa. The book has lovely Swedish style art which brings the story to life with fun Christmas traditions! It’s a beautiful story that all younger children will enjoy.
Brett is great at bringing trolls to life. Home for Christmas follows the troll Rollo who wants to run away from home because he doesn’t want to do his chores. He quickly realizes that home is the best place to be! These may look different than Santa’s elves but it’s a fun book that will delight young children.
Christmas Trolls brings us another tale with mischievous trolls. The brave main character, Treva, helps them better understand how Christmas works and, spoiler alert, she saves the day. Children of all ages will love this one.
The Mitten is one of Brett’s most popular story of a lone mitten. The mitten is discovered by many animals in the forest who find new purposes for the it. There are multiple online resources that go with this story, making it a great read aloud for the classroom. This also comes as a board book for younger readers for a perfect bedtime story.
Brett’s version of The Night Before Christmas is a lovely rendition of this classic poem. It would be fun to compare her books to other illustrated versions of the same text.
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Brett brings this classic rhyme to life. Kids will love discovering all of the unique pictures in this text.
Annie and the Wild Animals tells the story of Annie’s cat who disappears into the woods and encounters several wild animals. Her sweet cat finally reappears with some new little kittens, thus, revealing why she set out for a new adventure in the first place.
Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Christmas Books
Gingerbread Christmas is the story of Matti and the Gingerbread Baby. They take their gingerbread band to the festival and a chase soon ensues. I love the illustrations in this book. It would be perfect to read aloud while your kids are making gingerbread houses or while talking about different gingerbread boy stories in the classroom.
Gingerbread Baby follows the Gingerbread Baby on a new version of the classic gingerbread boy tale. The illustrations are gorgeous and the ending page is a huge fold out page full of gingerbread goodness. This book is also published as a board book.
Classic Christmas Children’s Books
I loved the original Jolly Postman book. This Christmas version of the Jolly Christmas Postman contains beautifully illustrated real letters in envelopes throughout the book. Children will want to read it over and over again.
This is a classic version of Clement C. Moore’s famous poem. Illustrated by Charles Santore, this book is absolutely beautiful and the perfect addition to any Christmas library. This is a sweet story to read on Christmas night.
Galdone’s version of the gingerbread boy story is based on the original folktale and takes the reader of the journey with the gingerbread boy. This is a great book to kick off a gingerbread unit at school and spread some holiday cheer.
Santa’s Stuck answers the classic question “what happens if Santa Claus gets stuck in the chimney?” In the end, it all turns out ok and he returns home to the North Pole! This is a great sequencing story with plenty of online teaching activities. It makes a wonderful read aloud for the classroom or for the home.
Finally, the Herdmans are back, and this hilarious chapter book follows the Herdmans on their Christmas adventures. As a result, their whole community gets to experience the Herdmans once again. This one is perfect for a read aloud or for individual chapter reading.
Biblically Based Best Christmas Books for Kids
The Advent Storybook is a wonderful Advent text that parents can use throughout the Christmas season. It is a great opportunity to share with children the story of the first Christmas.
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado follows the story of a crippled lamb who finds out there is a greater purpose for his life. An inspiring book that reminds us all that God always has a plan for each of us.
Room for a Little One tells the story of the first Christmas. This lovely book is perfect for family read alouds and it is a gentle reminder of the beauty of the season.
I hope this list of the 23 best Christmas books for kids helps complete your holiday library, and remember to also check out this list of holiday board books for your little ones! Happy holidays!