Reading Christmas Picture Books with children is a wonderful way to create lasting memories and share the joy of the season.
Whether you’re looking for a classic tale that has been beloved for generations or a modern story that captures the spirit of the season, these books are sure to bring joy and wonder to young readers and families alike.
Get more Christmas inspiration — including Christmas recipes, holiday crafts and children’s activities.
You can find these holiday Christmas picture books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
20 Magical, Mischievous and Marvelous Children’s Picture Books for the Christmas Holiday
Oh it’s tough to pick some favorites!
Right now I could enjoy the funny I’m Not Santa and How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas.
Christmas picture books
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.
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!).
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas!
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 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?
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!
This 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.
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.
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.
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!
For thirty 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.
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.
Be sure to check out our other book lists for kids!
Full Spectrum Mama says
OOOOH…love Love LOVE Christmas books! Have you seen: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/richard-scarrys-best-christmas-book-ever-richard-scarry/1000978638?ean=9781402772184
We also just adore vintage christmas books.
thanks for a smile 🙂
I actually don’t know this book and we all LOVE Richard Scarry. Thanks for the great tip!
Olive is my absolute favorite!
It’s such a sweet book… and a great play on words. “Olive of the other reindeers….”
Carolyn Wilhelm says
Wonderful book list! Thanks so much. I added a link to this from a blog post and hope that is OK!
Absolutely as long as it links back to my original post 😀 Thanks for sharing!
Carolyn Wilhelm says
It links right here and I didn’t use photos. I included it in my Christmas read and play post. Thanks so much!
Jennifer Hughes says
Wonderful, Carolyn! Thanks so much. And for future reference, please feel free to use my featured graphic if it helps your post. I know you’re a good apple 😀
I loved this post! Thank you, I used it to come up with more books to read on my YouTube channel!
The Nutcracker is one of our favorites.