The Best Christmas Books for Kids

Looking for inspiring and engaging books to read as a family this Christmas? We have compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Christmas books for kids!  From babies to tweens, these books will captivate our kids with the spirit of Christmas!  

Our Favorite Christmas Books

These are just a few of the many Christmas books I have come to love. These books are all wonderful for family read-alouds. The ages I have each book labeled under are merely a suggestion…I have found that my littles are sometimes eager to read the longer books and occasionally my older kids enjoy listening to a fun and simple rhyming read-aloud. There is a plethora of quality literature for kids at Christmastime and it is so fun to enjoy reading together this time of year!


The Best Christmas Books for Kids:  Babies and Toddlers


Christmas in the Manger
This is a sweet and simply story, perfect for babies and toddlers. Each character in the nativity story is shown, with their specific purpose identified in this rhyming tale.
“I am the baby asleep in the hay, and I am the reason for Christmas Day.”
This adorable counting and rhyming book is perfect for toddlers!  Little Blue Truck is making a delivery of Christmas trees to all of the farm animals and the last tree is perfect just for him!
The Isty Bitsy Reindeer by Jeffrey Burton

This sweet song book is sung to the tune of “The Isty Bitsy Spider” and is perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers!


Christmas Books for Kids:  Ages 4-7


song of the stars

 Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones

This beautiful book has quickly become one of our family favorites. The book begins by talking about the wind rustling, creatures stirring, declaring “It is time!” Throughout the book, the various names for Jesus are used (King of Kings, Light of the World, Prince of Peace, the Bright and Morning Star) in beautiful prose. Towards the end, it captures the scene with the shepherds, the manger, and finally baby Jesus with his mother. The very last line captures it perfectly…

“Heaven’s Son, sleeping under the stars that He made.”


Gingerbread Baby
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
If you’ve never read a book by Jan Brett, you are missing out. Her stories are always exciting and her illustrations are unmatched! I absolutely love all of the Nordic elements present in her books. This particular book is an adorable spin on the classic “Gingerbread Boy” story. This rambunctious little baby causes all sorts of mischief until the whole town is chasing him! Finally, Matti (the boy) solves the problem by creating a Gingerbread house just for the Gingerbread Baby. “I’m the little Gingerbread Baby, Lucky as can be, To be living in the house, That Matti made for me!”
gingerbread girl
The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell
This is my favorite of any of the gingerbread books because it is just so darn cute. The spunky Gingerbread Girl is determined to learn from the mistakes of her older brother. The rhyming chorus throughout the book begs to be recited over and over again.
My boys beg to read this book over and over again because it is funny. The ornery Gingerbread Girl reminds me a lot of Little Sister these days…so I’m sure she will love it just as much!
how the grinch stole Christmas
This beloved Dr. Seuss classic is a favorite in our house as well.  When discussing the best Christmas books for kids, this one definitely has to be included!
“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!”
Wombat Divine by Mem Fox
Wombat’s favorite part of Christmas is participating in the Nativity Play.  Much to his dismay, Wombat isn’t chosen for any of the important roles.  Finally, he finds the perfect role and beams with pride! This Australian Christmas story is simple yet heartwarming!
room for a little one
This is a sweet story about a kind ox who welcomes each tiny creature needing a place to stay into the stable. And old dog, a stray cat, a small mouse, and a tired donkey are all given rest with Kind Ox. A baby is also welcomed in the stable…”a Little One who came for the world.”
It is relatively short with detailed illustrations…perfect for young children!

Christmas Books for ages 8-12

Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect
I LOVE this book…and it is one that is not widely known. The story goes that every year, the Queen’s woodsman venture into the forest looking for the perfect tree. Small Pine, the main “character”, desires to be the chosen tree and therefore must keep its branches perfectly straight. Except…a rabbit needs protection from a group of wild dogs, so Small Pine dips its lower branches down towards the snow. But when Rabbit left the next morning, Small Pine couldn’t get its branches to their proper height. Then a little later, a bird needs a place to rest during a blizzard. Again, Small Pine’s branches are no longer perfectly straight. Small Pine was scolded by the larger, perfect trees…but could not ignore the needs of the helpless animals. Ultimately, the Queen chooses Small Pine to be the Royal Christmas Tree because it took care of the needy animals. The final sentence in the book reads, “For, as have many of us, the trees have learned that living for the sake of others makes us most beautiful in the eyes of  God.”
The book is quite long for a young child…but a great read-aloud of the whole family. It is a precious reminder of our duty to care for the needy!
polar express
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
I refused to watch this movie for the first year after it came out. It looked so much different from the book and I absolutely LOVE the simplicity of the book. I gave in (kind of) as we showed it to all of our first graders while I was still teaching. The movie was okay–but I really love the book! I have such wonderful memories of my oldest brother reading this to us in the balcony of my parent’s house. Every year Santa would walk through our front door while we were reading this book and it is one of my favorite memories as a child. If you haven’t read this book–it is a classic! The illustrations are magical and the story is the dream of every young child!
cripled lamb
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
This is a precious story about a lamb named Joshua. Joshua was born with one crippled leg and spots on his wool. An old cow named Abigail befriended Josh and kept him company while the other sheep left to graze in a valley of green grass. Eventually Abigail and Josh settled into the warm barn for the night. They awoke to the sounds of a baby crying…a baby with no blankets who was lying in a manger. To keep the baby warm, Joshua cuddles up next to him…comforting the tiny baby with his warm wool.
“He also understood why he had been born with a crippled leg. Had he been born like the other sheep, he would have been in the valley. But since he was different, he was in the stable, among the first to welcome Jesus into the world.”
sparkle box
The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie
This book has quickly become a favorite of mine because it challenges our family to consider that the acts we do for others are really gifts that we give to Jesus himself. The book offers a fresh perspective for children (and adults) in a season that has become so much about receiving. The book also comes with its own Sparkle Box in the back of the book so your family can participate just like Sam’s family does in the book.
I’m thinking I’ll wrap up 25 of the books that I have as many suggested on my post about Christmas Traditions. It will be so fun to open up and read a new book each day as a family! We have a plethora of Christmas books from my days as a first grade teacher, but if you don’t have many consider wrapping up some you check out from the library!

What are your favorite Christmas books???

Our Very Favorite Christmas Books

And check out our fun Christmas activities for kids!  


Originally published November 30, 2010


  1. I'm a first grade teacher who loves your blog! Can't wait to use so many great ideas when God gives me children of my own someday.

    Some Christmas books I love:
    The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
    Annika's Secret Wish
    Peef: The Christmas Bear
    Jacob's Gift
    The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree

  2. I have a one year old, so all my experience is with the baby/toddler books. Last year, my Mom bought my son the book, "This is the Stable" by Cynthia Cotten. It is beautifully illustrated, has a wonderful rhythm, and we just love it!

  3. Room for a Little One is one of my favorites! And each year, my family listens to a dramatic reading of The Christmas Carol. It's too much for us to read aloud, but this tradition has been going for 15 years now!

  4. Some of my favorite Christmas books are ones that I have trouble getting through without crying. Sometimes my husband tag-team our reading of them. When one of us gets too choked up to read, the other takes over. Some of our favorites are: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey; A Small Miracle by Peter Collington; and Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck. Among those that don't make us cry are: Wombat Divine by Mem Fox and Follow that Star: A Christmas Story by Elizabeth Raum. For a family read aloud we love The Best Christmas Pageant Ever… though that makes me cry at the end as well.

    At least my children are amused by my inability to read straight through a story.

  5. I posted about this tradition on my blog on the exact same day!! How funny! I'm still a couple of books short, so I requested some of the ones you have listed from the library. Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. I’m going to get the Christmas Tree one; thanks for the reminder about the Crippled Lamb! I didn’t see Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo on your list. It’s got breathtaking illustrations and is a beautiful story for young and old alike.

    Merry Christmas! Barbara

  7. We have many Christmas books, but the one we read aloud together every year is “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. My kids and hubby all love it. This year my 10-year-old son has decided he’s too cool for it, and that makes me sad.

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