I get asked often for holiday book suggestions. It’s not that I’m the world’s greatest expert on the topic, more that I am a great hoarder of children’s books! I love to keep holiday books away in bins and only get them out each year. We keep them in a designated basket in the living room and read essentially nothing else during the season! “Best Christmas books” is obviously a biased title. Here are my personal favorite ten Christmas books for kids.
The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia Scarry
If you take no other suggestions from this post, take this one! This is my favorite, favorite. Patricia Scarry is magic. This is a simple story about Little Bear and his parents and Christmas preparations and… it’s a scratch and sniff! I’ve read this book since I was a child and so the smells bring back the most wonderful nostalgia. It’s an inexpensive book so when the scents wear out every few years, I just order a new one!
Corduroy’s Christmas by Don Freeman
For some reason, Corduroy is just about the cutest little character ever. This is a lift the flap book, and George (3) insists that we read it approximately 43 times per day. It’s a sweet classic for toddlers and preschoolers (and my bigger kids always end up perching behind us on the couch to listen in as well!).
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie DePaola
I’m a nut for all things Tomie DePaola. We have several of his Christmas books and this one is my favorite. Set in Mexico, it is a beautiful story about a young girl’s humble offering for the Christ Child during her town’s Nativity celebration, and the miracle that follows. Tomie DePaola is pure genius at bringing the holiday traditions and cultures of the world to life.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
This is a great one for about grade school and up. It is a tender story about a gruff woodcutter who befriends a struggling widow and carves a Nativity for her son. Watching his heart change as he serves this struggling little boy is so dear. It’s a real tug-at-your-heart-strings kind of book.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Mary Engelbreit
Obviously there are numerous versions of this book, it’s just that I am a product of the 1990s when Mary Engelbreit reigned supreme. I always had a ME calendar and even made a quilt with her fabric. I think her bright, ultra detailed illustrations are the most charming and absolutely love this book.
Where is Baby’s Christmas Present? by Karen Katz
Karen Katz’s lift the flap books are the greatest thing since sliced bread as far as George is concerned. We have one for every holiday and then some. I think they are just darling and don’t mind reading them a billion times in a row. They are bright and interactive (and predictable, which is great for the three year old in your life) and the perfect thing to toss in your purse when you’re going to church or the grocery store.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
This story has a charming, rhyming meter and quick pace. When Mr. Willowby’s tree is too large, they just cut off the top, which becomes a tree for someone else…and then someone else… All ages in our house are delighted by this story. It’s a must for the collection!
The 12 Days of Christmas by Robert Sabuda
Robert Sabuda is the king of pop-up. His books seriously boggle my mind- the detail and engineering! This book is so fun to sing through and we all adore it. Just make sure and keep it up high so the George in your life doesn’t destroy it.
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
This is Eric Carle’s only Christmas book and it is gorgeous. His use of bold color really speaks to me. This story about a farmer and his animals is simple and sweet and makes you want to cozy up with a cup of something warm.
The Best Christmas Present Ever by Richard Scarry
Busytown at its best! We are major fans of all of Richard Scarry’s clever books and this little story about a new baby being born at Christmastime is no exception.
Let me know if you have any questions and please comment with other favorites!