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Favorite Picture Books for Christmas

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” and taking time out from the busyness of the season to read a few of these wonderful picture books with your family will make it extra special. Whether it’s the touching story of a special gift for a little girl, a magical journey to the North Pole, or a life-changing moment for an ornery camel, you won’t want to miss a single book on this list.

And if you’re looking for an extra special way to incorporate read-aloud time into your holiday festivities this year, why not create your own Christmas Book Advent Calendar. It’s the perfect way to make reading a part of your Christmas traditions.

Favorite Picture Books for Christmas

Download our free library list to take with you on your next visit to the library.

Humphrey's First Christmas - Picture Books for Christmas

Humphrey’s First Christmas
by Carol Heyer

Humphrey’s First Christmas is the story of a star, a newborn babe in a manger, and a life-changing moment for an ornery camel.

Let It Snow - Picture Books for Christmas

Let It Snow
by Holly Hobbie

In classic Toot & Puddle fashion, Let It Snow reminds children that showing your friend how much you care is the greatest gift of all.

An Orange for Frankie - Picture Books for Christmas

An Orange for Frankie
by Patricia Polacco

Set during the Great Depression, An Orange for Frankie is a charming and true tale of gifts and giving, of generosity and love.

An Otis Christmas - Picture Books for Christmas

An Otis Christmas
by Loren Long

Otis’s new horn is the best Christmas present ever … but he doesn’t realize just how special it is until his friends need a miracle on a stormy night.

Auntie Claus - Picture Books for Christmas

Auntie Claus
by Elise Primavera

It all begins when young Sophie starts to wonder about her eccentric auntie. Her quest to discover the truth takes Sophie to places she’s only dreamed of.

A Christmas Tree for Pyn - Picture Books for Christmas

A Christmas Tree for Pyn
by Olivier Dunrea

This is a story of love between a hard-hearted father and a tiny but determined girl who wants a Christmas tree more than anything in the world.

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree - Picture Books for Christmas

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree
by Robert Barry

Mr. Willowby’s fabulous Christmas tree is too big for his parlor, so he cuts off the top and gives it away. But that’s just the beginning of this sweet story!

Olivia Helps With CHristmas - Picture Books for Christmas

Olivia Helps with Christmas
by Ian Falconer

It’s the day before Christmas and all through the house … uh-oh, Olivia has been helping her mother with the Christmas preparations again!

Silent Night - Picture Books for Christmas

Silent Night
by Susan Jeffers

In this exquisitely illustrated picture book, Susan Jeffers brings the well-known lyrics of one of the season’s best-loved carols to life.

The Spirit of Christmas book cover

The Spirit of Christmas
by Nancy Tillman

Is the best part of Christmas found in sparkles, tinsel, and bright, shiny ornaments? You may find that The Spirit of Christmas is much, much more.

The Twelve Days of Christmas book cover

The Twelve Days of Christmas
by LeUyen Pham

Though you may have heard the song again and again, LeUyen Pham’s heartwarming illustrations breathe new life into this familiar holiday classic.

The Polar Express book cover

The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg

Join a young boy on the journey of a lifetime across fields, through forests, and into a magical world found only in a child’s dreams of Christmas.

The Crippled Lamb book cover

The Crippled Lamb
by Max Lucado

The Crippled Lamb offers a sweet reminder that sometimes the very best place to be isn’t the place you would choose to be.

One Starry Night book cover

One Starry Night
by Lauren Thompson

On a serenely starlit night, a manger creates the backdrop for a cast of animal characters—and a very special family.

Manger book cover

Manger
compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Imagine what the animals in Bethlehem might tell us if they could share their thoughts about the night that Jesus was born.

Great Joy book cover

Great Joy
by Kate DiCamillo

A little girl with a big heart shows what it really means to share Great Joy during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

A New Coat for Anna book cover

A New Coat for Anna
by Harriet Ziefert

Set in the aftermath of WWII, A New Coat for Anna is the true story of a determined mother, a little girl, and a special gift for Christmas.

Silver Packages book cover

Silver Packages
by Cynthia Rylant

Frankie learns that a simple act of kindness, no matter how small it may seem, can become a blessing that lasts a lifetime.

Holiday Cranberry Christmas book cover

Cranberry Christmas
by Wende Devlin

When old Cyrus Grape chases the children of Cranberryport away from the skating pond, Mr. Wiskers decides that something must be done.

Mortimer's Christmas Manger

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger
by Karma Wilson

Mortimer the mouse is very happy in his new home. But this story gets even better when Mortimer decides to make room for a very special family.

The Christmas Wish book cover

The Christmas Wish
by Lori Evert

Stunning photographs tell the tale of Anja, a little girl who sets out on a magical Nordic adventure to become one of Santa’s elves.

The Jolly Christmas Postman book cover

The Jolly Christmas Postman
by Allan Ahlberg

The Jolly Christmas Postman is much more than just a picture book; it’s “a present full of presents” to share with your loved ones this Christmas.

Under the Christmas Tree book cover

Under the Christmas Tree
by Nikki Grimes

Under the Christmas Tree, a collection of poetry that celebrates the holiday season, is the perfect book to put under your Christmas tree!

Who Is Coming to Our House? book cover

Who Is Coming to Our House?
by Joseph Slate

The excitement and anticipation is contagious as the barnyard animals busily prepare their house for the arrival of a very special guest.

The Light of Christmas book cover

The Light of Christmas
by Richard Paul Evans

The Light of Christmas is a sweet reminder that the spirit of Christmas isn’t found in the greatness of the gift, but in the heart of the giver.

Christmas Day in the Morning book cover

Christmas Day in the Morning
by Pearl S. Buck

A farm boy, barn chores, Christmas morning, and the love between father and son: this book has all the makings of a true Christmas classic.

Snowmen at Christmas book cover

Snowmen at Christmas
by Caralyn and Mark Buehner

The fun-loving snowmen who frolicked on the pages of Snowmen at Night are back! But now they’re celebrating Christmas … snowman style!

Pick a Pine Tree book cover

Pick a Pine Tree
by Patricia Toht

Lilting rhythm and delightful illustrations help this perfect picture book offer readers a timely reminder—it’s time to Pick a Pine Tree!

Christmas Tapestry book cover

Christmas Tapestry
by Patricia Polacco

Just when it seems like the Christmas service may be ruined, Jonathan witnesses the unfolding of an amazing Christmas miracle.

The Legend of the Christmas Rose book cover

The Legend of the Christmas Rose
by William H. Hooks

Dorothy longs to join her brothers when they visit the baby that the angel told them about. But first she has to find a gift to bring to the baby.

Apple Tree Christmas book cover

Apple Tree Christmas
by Trinka Hakes Noble

Katrina loves the old apple tree, but when an ice storm takes it down, it may take a special Christmas present from Papa to make her merry again!

Christmas in the Big Woods book cover

Christmas in the Big Woods
by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Join Laura and the Ingalls family for an old-fashioned Christmas. Their celebrations may be simple, but the memories they make will last a lifetime.

Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect book cover

Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect
by Richard H. Schneider

Enjoy the beautifully illustrated story of a perfect pine tree that discovers that some things are more important than being perfect.

The Wild Christmas Reindeer book cover

The Wild Christmas Reindeer
by Jan Brett

Santa has given Teeka a special job to do before Christmas, but first she has an important lesson to learn about gentleness and patience.

Angelina’s Christmas book cover

Angelina’s Christmas
by Katharine Holabird

Angelina feels sorry for poor Mr. Bell, a lonely mouse who lives all alone. Can she find a way to bring him some merriment for Christmas?

Grumpy Badger's Christmas book cover

Grumpy Badger’s Christmas
by Paul Bright

Winter is for sleeping, but Grumpy Badger’s friends keep waking him up! Will he be able to have a happy Christmas after all?

Song of the Stars book cover

Song of the Stars
by Sally Lloyd-Jones

It’s a special night and all the animals know it! Listen in as they join together to announce the arrival of a perfect Christmas gift.

B Is for Bethlehem book cover

B Is for Bethlehem
by Isabel Wilner

From A Is for Augustus to Z Is for Zest, this one-of-a-kind alphabet book is a must-have for every Christmas picture book collection!

'Twas Nochebuena book cover

‘Twas Nochebuena
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Discover the joy of a Latino family Christmas (and learn a little bit of Spanish) in this bilingual version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

The Carpenter's Gift book cover

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale
about the Rockefeller Center Tree

by David Rubel

When a boy’s Christmas wish comes true in a most amazing way, he wonders if someday he’ll be able to make someone else’s wish come true.

Santa Clauses book cover

Santa Clauses: Short Poems
from the North Pole

by Bob Raczka

Santa Claus himself celebrates the traditions of the Christmas season in this collection of short poems—sent all the way from the North Pole.

Santa Claus, the World's Number One Toy Expert book cover

Santa Claus, the World’s
Number One Toy Expert

by Marla Frazee

Go behind the scenes at the North Pole to discover just what Santa Claus has to do to make sure every child gets just the right toy on Christmas Day!

Yoon and the Christmas Mitten book cover

Yoon and the Christmas Mitten
by Helen Recorvits

Yoon wants to celebrate Christmas! Can she convince her parents to create Christmas traditions of their own?

Red & Lulu book cover

Red & Lulu
by Matt Tavares

When Red loses Lulu and their treetop home, he knows he has to try to save his friend. But first he has to find her!

The Christmas Baby book cover

The Christmas Baby
by Marion Dane Bauer

In this heartwarming Christmas story, the animals in the stable welcome Mary and Joseph into their home.

The Christmas Miracle book cover

The Christmas Miracle
of Jonathan Toomey

by Susan Wojciechowski

Can the gentle questions of a young boy soften the heart of a broken and bitter man and remind him of the miracle of Christmas?

Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel book cover

Cobweb Christmas:
The Tradition of Tinsel

by Shirley Climo

Have you ever noticed that tinsel looks like cobwebs? Maybe that has something to do with how tinsel became a favorite Christmas tradition!

The All-I'll-Ever-Want-For-Christmas Doll book cover

The All-I’ll-Ever-Want
Christmas Doll

by Patricia C. McKissack

It could be the best Christmas ever for three sisters—but only if they can stop quarreling over their new Christmas doll.

The Christmas Coat book cover

The Christmas Coat:
Memories of My Sioux Childhood

by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

What if Virginia’s parents can’t afford to buy her the warm winter coat she needs? Can Christmas make her wish come true?

Dasher book cover

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe
Changed Christmas Forever

by Matt Tavares

This charming picture book tells the story of how one little reindeer found a new home for her family—and how Santa got his reindeer!

The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit book cover

The Christmas Tale of
Peter Rabbit

by Emma Thompson

When they discover the McGregors are having William the Turkey for Christmas dinner, Peter and Benjamin help their friend out of a big predicament.

FREE Picture Books for Christmas Library List

Favorite Picture Books for Christmas Library List download

Gather a selection of books from this list. Just click to download our list to take to your local library.

For some extra-special reading fun, Create a Christmas Book Advent Calendar and make reading a daily part of your holiday traditions!

Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!

Christmas Picture Books Recommended by Our Readers

Do you have a favorite picture book about Christmas? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!

FREE Picture Book LIbrary Lists

All About Learning Press, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. All proceeds from our partnership with Amazon.com will be donated to local libraries.

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Beth C.

says:

This is a fantastic list. Many we haven’t read. Hope we can find new favorites at our library. We are reading some Christmas ones by Tomie dePaola and loving them. Thank you!

Kelli

says:

Great list! Our family also loves “The Money We’ll Save”!

Tiff

says:

Thanks for the list. We own some of these… now I get to see what the library still has on the shelves :-)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I hope you find a lot available at your library, Tiff. But if not, maybe you can put them on hold and still get them in a couple of weeks.

Alyssa

says:

So many great choices. Thank you for sharing!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Alyssa!

Bethany

says:

I loved Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree as a kid. Was reminded about it recently and now can’t wait to read it to my kids. ♥️

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Reading childhood favorite books with your own children is a wonderful pleasure, Bethany! I hope you make some very sweet memories.

Rebekah

says:

We love Room for a Little One

Jen

says:

So many favorites and so many new titles to try thanks

Mandi

says:

My kids always love getting picture books for any occasion. I know they’ll be read over and over. Great list!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Mandi!

Jonie

says:

Thank you for the amazing list!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Jonie!

Adayla

says:

I really like book lists. Thanks for the ideas

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You’re welcome, Adayla. I hope you find these enjoyable.

Cathy Hall

says:

We love holiday books!

Lynette Taylor

says:

One of our many favorite Christmas Around the World books is from Romania. It’s called “The Gift of the Traveler,” and it is written by Wendy Matthews with pictures by Robert Van Nutt. It is the story of a little girl named Anica who gets lost out in the woods while on an outing with her family to find a Christmas tree. A “mysterious traveler clad in fur and carrying a leather bag over his shoulder” finds Anica and reunites her with her family. The family invites the traveler to spend Christmas Eve with them, and it becomes a Christmas that Anica will never forget.

The story by Wendy Matthews is truly magical, and it combines with the illustrations of Robert Van Nutt create a Christmas classic that your family will want to read over and over again.

We have a very long list of Christmas Around the World books that we have pulled from the Native American cultures to the Celtic cultures to the Jewish culture and everything in between. Another of our favorites is Herschel and the Hanukkah Hobgoblins. We love to light the menorah and play dreidels after reading that and The Story of the First Dreidels. We read a different Jewish tale each night of Hanukkah. If it coincides with the month of December (as it most often does), then we read a different book from our small Christmas Around the World collection on the days when it is not Hanukkah and a Hanukkah book on the days of Hanukkah before we light the menorah and play dreidels.

Some of our favorites that we check out at the library are the Tomie dePaola, Richard Paul Evans, Jan Brett, and Max Lucado, just to name a few.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wow! Thank you for the great recommendations, Lynette!

Stacy

says:

What a great bunch of books!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Thank you, Stacy.

Jesse

says:

Love Christmas in the Big Woods!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Oh, yes! I agree, Jesse. I love the Little House books.

Elizabeth

says:

Thank you for all the great recommendations!

Danielle

says:

So many great ideas for books!

Holly

says:

I enjoy the Adventure of Fr. Evangelos

AnnMarie Jackson

says:

Love this list of children books

Cathy Hall

says:

We have enjoyed several books including Cranberry Christmas, The Polar Express, and a Russian tale about the Baba being visited on Christmas Eve only to realize the strangers were God in disguise. Christmas a great time to get the kiddos reading and the excitement generates even more desire to read more.

Kati

says:

This is just what I was looking for! Thank you!!

Kara

says:

I love Christmas picture books and am always collecting them all year long from the various thrift stores that I shop in regularly. I read my children a christmas themed book each night during the month of December…and naturally reading ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ n Christmas Eve!! My kids love this tradition and are always excited to see all the new Christmas books that ive collected during the year! Theres several here on your list i definitely want to pick uo for our holiday book collection! And ‘The Polar Express’ s definitely a family favorite for us…the book AND the movie!!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

What a lovely tradition, Kara!

Stephanie Briggs

says:

“Mary’s First Christmas” by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Robyn Bischof

says:

I’ve always read “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus!” It was one of my favorites as a little girl because my mother’s name is Virginia. :)

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Robyn,
One of the joys of parenting for me is sharing books I loved as a child with my children! My favorite Christmas picture book as a child was The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot.

Christine P

says:

We have read someone’s coming to our house many times at Christmas when my children were toddlers. They loved it

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Wonderful, Christine!

Jennifer Sears

says:

There are so many great books, I can’t wait to read the Twelve days of Christmas.

Tracie

says:

I have a lot more books to check out this Christmas! So many great books.

Christine

says:

We loved reading who is coming to our house when my children were toddlers

Tiffany

says:

My family doesn’t have a favorite Christmas book. This year I wanted to do something different to celebrate the Christmas season. When I saw this list I thought they works fit into my plan especially since we have a kindergarten son now.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

I’m glad this list will go with your plan for the Christmas season this year, Tiffany!

Shannon

says:

Thank you for the wonderful library lists.

Rebekah Mick

says:

My family likes Tonight You Are My Baby