I love finding great picture books to read with my kids to help the holiday come alive, and the Christmas books are my favorite ones! They are also some of the only holiday books I actually purchase. Most holiday books I check out from the library, but over the years I’ve been building up a collection of Christmas books that we love pulling out each year. Of course that doesn’t stop me from also checking out a bunch of Christmas stories from the library. If you’re hoping to check some out this season, now is the time to start placing holds, because the requests build up fast this time of year!
There are so many wonderful Christmas books out there and I cut down our list quite a bit, but there’s still a lot left so I separated the list into a couple several posts. This one includes all the fun, sweet, silly Christmas stories. Click below to check out the other lists.
Christmas Picture Books with Spiritual Themes
Profound Christmas Picture Books
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
This was a childhood favorite and I literally had it memorized and could recite it to others. It’s been so fun to introduce it to my own kids and they love it too. With a flowing, rhyming text it tells the story of a tree that it is a bit too tall. The top is cut off and given away and consecutively smaller homes are able to enjoy a piece of the top of the tree and end up with their own beautiful tree.
When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey and Genevieve Godbout
I’ve mentioned before how much I love Genevieve Godbout‘s illustrations with their vintage feel. This is a really sweet imagining of what Santa might have been like as a child and how he came to love and do all the things Santa is known for.
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
This is such a sweet story of a tree who has always dreamed of being someone’s Christmas tree, but is overlooked every year. The animals in the forest want to show the tree how much they appreciate all it has done for them and they come up with a thoughtful plan.
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
We have some pirate lovers in our family and so this book was a lot of fun! A boy makes a crew of gingerbread cookies and leaves some out for Santa on Christmas Eve, but the captain of the crew isn’t so sure about this cannibal Santa. I love the tender and creative ending.
Merry Christmas Mr. Mouse by Caralyn Buenhner and Mark Buenhner
A cute story about a family of mice who learn what Christmas is for the first time and get to experience all the joys and wonder.
The Lost Gift by Kallie George and Stephanie Graegin
Some forest animals notice a present fall off Santa’s sleigh and are worried about the recipient never receiving their gift so they set off on a journey to return it even though it’s often difficult and they aren’t sure it is worth it. This one has a sweet message and my kids really enjoyed it.
Last Stop on the Reindeer Express by Maudie Powell-Tuck
A girl wants to send a Christmas Card to her grandpa, but there’s not enough time for the mail to reach him before Christmas. She is disappointed until she finds a magical doorway that is labeled as The Reindeer Express. This one is full of bright, detailed illustrations with flaps and cut-out pages. My kids wanted to reread it many times.
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson
My kids love this book and the short movie adaption! It’s the story of a stick man that is trying to get back to his family, but keeps getting picked up and used for other things by various animals and people.
The Tree That’s Meant to Be by Yuval Zommer
A tree in the forest feels sad that it is too small or imperfect to be chosen as a Christmas tree, but some thoughtful forest animals help it discover it is right where its meant to be. The plot is similar to other picture books I’ve read (including one listed above), but the message is such an important one that I don’t mind.
Dasher by Matt Tavares
Serving as a type of origin story for Santa’s reindeer, this one follows young Dasher growing up in a traveling circus with her family and wishing for a better life. The illustrations are beautiful and the story stands out for its originality.
Christmas Books Featuring Beloved Book Characters…
Although each of these are about previously written characters and it’s fun to read a new story about beloved characters, you don’t have to read the previous books in the series to enjoy them.
Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree
How perfect for a series about sisters and trees to have a Christmas book so they can bring in a Christmas tree! The situation doesn’t end up being ideal for Maple who seems to be allergic to their perfect tree. I love the solution that the girls come up with on their own!
Turkey Claus by Wendi Silvano
My kids love this series about the Turkey who keeps coming up with new disguises. He survived Thanksgiving, but not he’s on the menu for Christmas dinner and sets out to talk to Santa about intervening.
Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor
Nancy’s personality is perfect for Christmastime when everyone wants to make things a little fancier!
An Otis Christmas by Loren Long
This one definitely one of my favorite books in the Otis series. There are beautiful illustrations full of fresh snow, a story of kindness and bravery, and tender Christmas miracles.
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
This series is a fun imagining of what the snowmen you build do while you’re sleeping. This festive addition is set at Christmas time.
And of course, don’t forget the classics like Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Night Before Christmas!
Also check out: Gift Ideas for Book Lovers