I love this time of year. And I love sharing my favorite picture books for Christmas.
Whether it’s the touching story of a special gift for a little girl, the antics of a silly pig named Olivia, 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.
Read the short synopses of my favorite picture books for Christmas below, and then download my free library list and take it with you on your next visit to the library.
And if you’re looking for an extra special way to incorporate read-aloud time into your holiday festivities this year, check out our Advent Calendar for Book Lovers. It’s the perfect way to make reading a part of your Christmas traditions.
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
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
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
by Lauren 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.
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
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
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 Tree
by Ian Falconer
It’s the day before Christmas and all through the house … uh-oh, Oliva has been helping her mother with the Christmas preparations again!
Silent Night Tree
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
by Nancy Tillman
Is the best part of Christmas found in sparkles, tinsel, and bright, shining balls? You may find that The Spirit of Christmas is much, much more.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
by LeUyen Pham
Though you may have heard the song again and again, LeUyen Pham’s heartwarming illustrations breathe delightful new life into this familiar holiday classic.
The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg
Join a young boy on the journey of a lifetime across fields and through forests, and into a magical world found only in a child’s dreams of Christmas.
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
by Lauren Thompson
On a serenely starlit night, a manger creates the backdrop for a cast of animal characters—and a very special family.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
by Lori Evert
Stunning photography tells 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
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
by Nikki Grimes
It’s the perfect book for Under the Christmas Tree—a collection of poetry that celebrates the best that the holiday season has to offer.
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
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
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 great old-fashioned Christmas story.
Snowmen at Christmas
by Caralyn and Mark Buehner
The adventurous snowmen who frolicked on the pages of Snowmen at Night are back! But this time they’re celebrating Christmas … as only snowmen can!
The Christmas Miracle
of Jonathan Toomey
by Susan Wojciechowski
Can the gentle questions of a young boy soften a bitter man’s heart and remind him of the miracle of Christmas?
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 Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit
by Emma Thompson
When they discover that the McGregors are having William the Turkey for Christmas dinner, Peter and Benjamin help their new friend out of his predicament.