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Christmas in our house wouldn’t be complete without celebrating books! I love gathering all of our holiday picture books into an enormous basket and reading them over and over throughout the holiday season!
I put together a list of my 10 favorite holiday picture books for young children that will guarantee hours of reading. It was difficult to narrow down this list, so trust me when I say these books will be amazing additions to your collection!
A World of Cookies For Santa- by M.E. Furman and Illustrated by Susan Gal- This story follows Santa’s sleigh on a Christmas journey around the world, and is guaranteed to spark conversations about how different cultures celebrate Christmas. As a bonus, the last few pages include recipes for sweet treats to try at home!
The 12 Days of Christmas By Greg Pizzoli– Books that you can sing are the best. The 12 days of Christmas is such a classic, and Greg Pizzoli’s new book uses brilliant illustrations to transform it into a whimsical and hilarious tale. This book is guaranteed to create serious belly laughs, as mayhem unfolds in the illustrations.
Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares– New to bookshelves, this book is easily one of our favorites. It’s about two cardinals that are the best of friends and live in an Evergreen tree. When their beloved tree is chosen for Rockefeller Center’s Christmas extravaganza, the birds are separated. Not only does this story celebrate the magic of Christmas, but also the power of love and friendship. Paired with beautiful illustrations, this book will quickly have a special place in your Christmas stack.
The Smells of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry and Illustrated by J.P. Miller– This book will bring back fond childhood memories. The best part is the scratch and sniff stickers that capture the magical smells of Christmas and are paired with beautiful, yet simple illustrations. It’s inevitable that this timeless story will continue to entrance young readers for many more decades.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg– A holiday book list wouldn’t be complete without this timeless story. Christmas can’t officially begin once we’ve read this book, or seen the movie. Polar Express is simply pure Christmas magic and easily the most treasured story in our collection.
Santa’s Underwear by Marty Rhoades Figley and Illustrated by Marty Kelley- This hilarious book will have you in stitches. What kid doesn’t love to giggle about underwear? It’s Christmas Eve and Santa can’t find his special Christmas Eve underwear. Frantically, he tries on underwear from every other holiday, but nothing feels right. As an extension activity, kids will love devising suggestions for Santa, or even designing a new pair of underwear.
When Santa Was A Baby by Linda Bailey and Genevieve Godbout– Kids and grown-ups will love this heartwarming tale about Santa’s Childhood, and how he fulfills his destiny to be the “man with the sack”. The vintage illustrations add to the magic of this tale, and readers will fall in love with his doting parents.
Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle and Illustrated by Jill McElmurray– The Little Blue Truck series doesn’t disappoint young readers, and this book not only celebrates Christmas, but as a bonus teaches counting from 1-5. Twinkling christmas tree lights on the last page are an extra special treat for curious young readers.
The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen– Nicola Killen has written a wondrous story about friendship between a lost reindeer and a little girl who embark on a magical nighttime forest adventure. Beautiful illuminated black, white and metallic illustrations make this heartwarming story come to life.
Bear Stays Up for Christmas (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson and Illustrated by Jane Chapman- In this hilarious tale, bears friends try everything to keep him awake for Christmas before his long winter’s nap. Written in rhyme, a catchy refrain, and gorgeous illustrations young children also learn the value of true friendship.
In a search of Hanukkah books, we stumbled across this heartwarming tale. Set in 1938, Oskar is a refugee seeking sanctuary from the Holocaust and he arrives in New York City with a picture of his Aunt Ester and her address on the seventh day of Hanukkah. On his journey, he encounters several people that show him kindness in a big new city. This book serves as a beautiful reminder to alway look for blessings, even in challenging situations.
What are some of your favorite holiday books?