Our Favorite Holiday Children’s Picture Books

Our Favorite Holiday Children’s Picture Books

Christmas is one week away……but we’ve got you covered with some last minute holiday books!


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!

Santa Bruce (Mother Bruce Series) by Ryan Higgins

Santa Bruce is hands down the BEST new book of the holiday season! If you’re already a fan of the Mother Bruce series, this book will quickly become another favorite in your book collection. Both children and adults will enjoy another hilarious tale about Bruce who once again has had another case of mistaken identity as Santa. Ryan’s creative and beautiful illustrations fill each page and make this a book that can’t be missed.

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.

Tough Cookie: A Christmas Story by Edward Hemingway

A clever and hilarious rendition of the classic “Gingerbread Man” story. When the  Gingerbread man discovers that he doesn’t taste good, it sends him into a whirlwind to find a new identity before Christmas. Not only does this story celebrate Christmas, but also focuses on friendship and accepting who you are.

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.

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

A magical book that brings the joys of Christmas to life with rhyming words and beautiful illustrations. It’s a book that highlights all of the special traditions families take part in ( picking out a tree, decorations etc.) that make Christmas such a wonderful time of year!

The Sweet 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.

Construction Site On Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Bulldoze into the holidays with another classic story from Sherri Duskey Rinker that’s the perfect book for children that love trucks and construction sites. In this book, the team is back together and getting ready for Christmas by building a special gift. But, as they each finish their special jobs, a present awaits for each member of the team! Not only is this story written in fun, rhyming text, but it also does a wonderful job of teaching children the importance of gratitude and being generous.

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.



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.


What are some of your favorite holiday books?

If you try any of the books from this post, please make sure to tag me on Instagram and to Pin the image below!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to the reader. All opinions are my own. 


  1. Christy
    December 13, 2017 / 12:00 am

    The Sweet Smell of Christmas has always been my favorite. I also remember liking The Snowy Day.

    • Shanna Trombetta
      December 13, 2017 / 10:04 am

      I love the Snowy Day, too! Did you get the Snowy Day stamps this holiday season? Thanks for reading my post!

  2. December 13, 2017 / 8:03 pm

    Great and beautiful collection. Gonna keep it for future reference.

    • Shanna Trombetta
      December 13, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Thank you for reading my post. I hope that the list will serve as a helpful resource!

  3. December 13, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Love Bear Stays up for Christmas!!!

    • Shanna Trombetta
      December 13, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      We love it, too! I think we’ve read it everyday this holiday season. Thanks for reading my post!

  4. Alyssa Johnson
    December 13, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    The Sweet Smell of Christmas is my daughter’s new favorite book to read! We are big readers in my house so I love reading a list like that so we can discover new books, like The Little Reindeer!!!!

    • Shanna Trombetta
      December 13, 2017 / 10:01 pm

      I’m so glad that you were able to find a new book from my list! Thanks for reading!

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