ho ho! Christmas is coming! But there’s still time to get that treasured story that you read every year during the holidays and find some new ones with these 20 Christmas holiday picture books to treasure.
You can find these Christmas picture books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Looking for more great Christmas ideas? Be sure to check out my collection of Christmas Crafts and Activities for the entire family.
Children’s Picture Books for the Christmas Holiday
Olive, the Other Reindeer: Olive is merrily preparing for Christmas when suddenly she decides she must be a reindeer. So she quickly hops aboard the polar express and heads to the North Pole. And while Santa and the other reindeer are a bit surprised that a dog wants to join the their team, in the end Olive and her unusual reindeer skills are just what Santa and his veteran reindeer team need.
The Nutcracker: Based on the Balanchine ballet, this sumptuous package is the perfect gift for any fan ofThe Nutcracker-young or old. The nicely balanced text (not too much, not too little) captures all the best moments and sets the stage for Alison Jay’s richly imagined art. Sharp-eyed readers will notice tiny details playing out thrillingly over the course of the story (keep an eye on the gifts under the Christmas tree!).
The Twelve Days of Christmas Dogs: What could be better than a new dog for Christmas? How about getting dogs for all twelve days leading up to it?! This canine confection offers more than just a delightful twist on the traditional carol: by topping each other’s doggy deliveries, two friends compete to prove to a third that each is worthy of being her very BEST friend.
A Pirate’s Twelve Days of Christmas: On the first day of Christmas, a gift was sent to me: a parrot in a palm tree! Ahoy mateys–Christmas is coming and even pirates celebrate the holiday! This follow-up to the hugely popular A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas offers a witty re-imagining of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”–with a sly buccaneer twist.
“I’m Not Santa!”: Baby Owl is just out in the snowy woods, playing with his sled… so why does Baby Hare insist on mistaking him for Santa? Is Santa the only one allowed to wear a red hat? And doesn’t Baby Hare know the difference between a sled and a sleigh?
It’s Christmas, David! The bestselling star of NO, DAVID! turns Christmas traditions upside down with laugh-aloud humor. Readers of all ages will vividly remember trying to peek at hidden gift packages; writing scrolls of wish lists to Santa; and struggling to behave at formal Christmas dinner parties.
A Bad Kitty Christmas: A greedy Bad Kitty didn’t get all the presents she wanted for Christmas, but after she goes on a Christmas caper across town and through multiple alphabets, she makes a new friend, finds an old friend, and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Or not.
What am I? Christmas (My Look and See Holiday Book): For young children, a lift-the-flap look at what makes Christmas special. From Santa to a Christmas tree, this is a sure hit for little ones as they guess “What Am I?” and lift the flap to find out!
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas: In this rockin’ new spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? Ho! Ho! Ho! With more than 9 million books in print, America’s favorite dinosaurs can’t wait to celebrate Christmas! From decorating the tree to wrapping presents, little dinosaurs love to celebrate Christmas-and everything about it.
Merry Christmas, Strega Nona: On the day before Christmas, Strega Nona sends Big Anthony to town with a shopping list, which he promptly forgets. For the first time ever, there will be no time for her to prepare anything; Strega Nona will be alone on Christmas. But it’s not to be. The townspeople bring their own feast, thanks to Big Anthony’s plans.
Bear Stays Up for Christmas: Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up — by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents!
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree: Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree came by special delivery. Full and fresh and glistening green– The biggest tree he’d ever seen. That was the trouble. The tree was so tall, it couldn’t stand up straight in his parlor. Mr. Willowby asked his butler to chop off the top of the tree. What happens to the treetop? Where will it be for Christmas?
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Meet Jack Skellington. He’s in charge of making Halloweenland the coolest creepy place around. But when Jack suddenly grows bored with tricks and treats, he goes searching for new ways to celebrate and he finds them in Christmas Town!
The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree: his new classic Christmas gift book “brings together two great traditions: the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the neighbor-helping-neighbor program of Habitat for Humanity.” Opening in Depression-era New York City, The Carpenter’s Gift tells the story of eight-year-old Henry and his father selling Christmas trees. They give a Christmas tree to construction workers building Rockefeller Center and celebrate together.
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas (Reading Railroad Books): It’s December 23, and Christmas is just around the corner. But one family is having trouble getting its act together. Once again, Natasha Wing follows the rhythms and meter of Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem, yet gives it her own entirely original twist.
The Night Before Christmas: As St. Nick and eight tiny reindeer descend through a brilliant night sky, the famous Christmas poem begins. The father narrates the words just as Clement Moore wrote them, and artist Jan Brett captures the spirit of the story in glorious illustrations. Visually she extends it for children who will delight in watching two mischievous stowaways from the North Pole enthusiastically exploring the sacks of gifts on the roof.
The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher: In a snow covered village, while children all sleep, the Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher, lands with a leap! All the sprinkles he snitches, it’s his Christmas fun, but without sprinkles the baking cannot be done!
The Polar Express: For twenty years, The Polar Express has been a worldwide bestseller and Christmas classic. In 1986 The Polar Express was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal and hit the New York Times bestseller list. Since that time, more than six and a half million copies have been sold, and every December it faithfully reappears on national bestseller lists.
The Elf on the Shelf An Elf’s Story Easy to Read Book: How does Santa really know who is naughty or nice? The answer is finally revealed in…The Elf on the Shelf! The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas tradition and activity the entire family will enjoy.
Like these Christmas holiday picture books? Find even more engaging book lists for kids with more than 100 book-themed reading lists!