Our Favorite Holiday Books for Kids

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All of the magic and wonder and celebration that surrounds the holidays is beautiful, and books are the perfect way to explore all of those special parts of the season.

It can be hard for young kids to understand the abstract parts of the holidays. Most of what we celebrate can’t be held or seen. Books allow us a bridge between the realistic and fantastical and let kids understand things that otherwise are sight unseen.

We hope this variety of books suits every family—whether you focus on the imaginative or whimsical parts of the holiday, there are plenty of options that are accessible to a wide range of kids. Through the characters in these books, your holiday lessons will be just that much easier to impart. And sitting down to read together as a family is always a good tradition, especially as the chaos of the season can be truly overwhelming to kids (and parents!).

Let us know the favorites in your family, and have fun spreading the holiday cheer!

 

Holiday Board Books

Amazon

The ABCs of Christmas

This sparkly board book teaches little ones the ABCs of Christmas with fun and clever word associations.

Amazon

Llama Llama Jingle Bells

The Llama Llama rhyming board books are perfect for learning toddlers. In this edition, little llama and his friends do all sorts of holiday activities, from baking cookies to giving gifts.

Target

Hanukkah Baby

This book introduces babies to cherished holiday traditions like lighting the candles, spinning the dreidel, and making latkes. Plus, the "Indestructibles" series is known for being durable for babies and toddlers.

Amazon

Christmas in the Manger

Introduce little ones to the original Christmas story with this lyrical book and sweet illustrations.

Amazon

Christmas in 100 Words

A perfect pick for toddlers and young kids, this fun book introduces 100 festive words, intentionally chosen to help reinfornce feelings and actions.

Target

Happy Hanukkah, Curious George

This tabbed board book of poems follows Curious George along on the eighth night of Hanukkah. He lights the menorah, spins the dreidel, makes latkes, and more!

Target

Grover's Hanukkah Party

Grover is a big fan of Hanukkah, and a big fan of the number eight. Join him as he celebrates the holiday by counting his candles, his guests, his latkes, and more.

Target

Hanukkah (Bright Baby Touch and Feel)

This touch-and-feel board book introduces babies and toddlers to the traditions of Hanukkah. With bright images and clear labels, this book is a perfect first step to celebrating the festival of lights.

Amazon

Merry Christmas, Little Pookie

Sandra Boynton brings her fun illustration to the holiday season with this board book. Follow Pookie and her mother as they prepare for the holiday season together.

Amazon

Dear Santa: A Lift-the-Flap Book

In this lift-the-flap board book, Santa is looking for the perfect gift to give a very special child. Nothing seems quite right, but on Christmas Eve, Santa comes across the perfect gift.

Amazon

Merry Christmas, Ollie!

Father Christmas Goose is coming, and Ollie is getting impatient. Gossie and Gertie and Peedie and BooBoo are all hanging their stockings in anticipation, but Ollie is still stomping through the snow.

Bookshop.org

Good Night Hanukkah

This educational board book introduces children to the magical traditions of Hanukkah. Follow along through the practices of lighting the candles, eating jelly donuts, and more.

Amazon

Little Blue Truck's Christmas

To spread Christmas cheer, Little Blue Truck is delivering Christmas presents to all of his animal friends. Rhyme along with the characters in this heartwarming holiday book.

Amazon

The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

Mr. Fish is very stressed out about finding the perfect gifts for his family and friends in time for the holidays. Follow him along as he learns that the best gifts come straight from the heart.

Holiday Picture Books

Amazon

The Polar Express

This holiday book is an absolute classic, sure to be beloved by generations. A young boy boards a mysterious train headed for the North Pole. When he finally meets Santa, he asks for a reindeer's bell — which turns out to be a more special gift than he ever could have imagined.

Amazon

The Toys' Christmas

New this November, this sweet story can help ease the minds of little ones whose favorite stuffed animals have gone missing.

Amazon

Where Would Santa Go?

If you could travel the world with Santa, where would you go? This book explores the globe, from Antarctica to Egypt, with Mr. Claus on his magical sleigh on Christmas Eve.

Target

My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa

Sit down with this cozy holiday book and enlighten your little ones about the origins of Kwanzaa during the American Civil Rights movement. Young Kevin describes his family's traditions and defines key terms.

Bookshop.org

The Sweet Smell of Christmas

Little ones will love following little bear's family holiday with scratch-and-sniff discoveries along the way.

Amazon

Christmas Farm

This cozy book tells the heartwarming story of Wilma and her young neighbor Parker, as they work year after year to transform Wilma's garden into a Christmas tree farm.

Bookshop.org

Pick a Pine Tree

Holiday traditions are the best part of the Christmas season, and this book details all of the rituals for picking out the perfect Christmas tree. It is a celebration of family, friends, and customs.

Amazon

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

The classic Christmas tale gets a modern update with bright and cheerful illustrations that will look adorable on a bookshelf and be a delightful read with kids.

Amazon

The Magic of Friendship Snow

Jojo is is struggling to make friends, and she feels sad and alone. Luckily, Jojo meets Puddles, a magical snowman made of frienship snow. Suddenly, making friends doesn't seem too hard.

Amazon

Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever

Dasher, a young reindeer, lives with her family and travels around with them as part of a circus, but she longs for a different life. When she meets a nice man in red with a big sleigh, she takes her chance.

Bookshop.org

Construction Site on Christmas Night

On a chilly night at the construction site, Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck and Cement Mixer are busy building a new home for some fire engines. When the night is over, they receive their own Christmas surpises.

Bookshop.org

The Little Reindeer

A little girl and a lost reindeer make an unlikely pair of friends in this darling Christmas story. The two set off on an unforgettable, magical Christmas adventure.

Amazon

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

Poor Mr. Willowby is facing a problem. His Christmas tree has arrived, but it is too tall for his living room! When he cuts off the top to make sure it can fit, the top gets passed around to all the animals in the forest.

Amazon

When Santa Was a Baby

Santa is a bit of an oddball baby. Although his parents are bewildered when he stands in front of the refrigerator and gives away his birthday presents, they love him all the same.

Target

Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa

Li'l Rabbitt is excited to celebrate Karamu, the greatest feast of Kwanzaa, with his family. However, when Granna Rabbitt is sick in bed for the holiday, Li'l Rabbitt sets out to make sure she can have an amazing holiday, too.

Bookshop.org

Santa Bruce

Bruce is a very grumpy bear who likes to cook. He is definitely NOT Santa Claus. However, in a case of mistaken identity, Bruce is suddenly responsible for the Christmas wishes of the entire forest.

Amazon

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?

Little dinosaurs love to celebrate Hanukkah! However, the festival of lights can go awry when young dinosaurs misbehave, leading to tumbling dreidels and melting gelt.

Amazon

The Tree That's Meant to Be

When all of the other trees in the forest around a small, crooked fir tree are taken to homes for Christmas, it feels lonely. Luckily, the forest animals show the tree what it really means to be loved.

Amazon

A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree

An overgrown pine tree always seems to be passed over for Christmas, leaving him droopy and blue. The woodland animals help the tree gain back his Christmas spirit and make his wish come true.

Amazon

The Legend of the Poinsettia

In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuenao flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside.
This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child.

Amazon

Hanukkah (Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme)

This song book tells the ancient story of Hanukkah, a miracle that happened more than two thousand years ago. The hardcover version of this book comes with a CD.

Amazon

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

Sleepy Bear is struggling to stay awake for Christmas, and his friends are determined to keep him awake. Join Bear in baking cookies, hanging stockings, and giving gifts to stay awake!

Amazon

The Lost Christmas

Grandad is facing a dilemma: he has lost all of his Christmas ornaments! The children are tasked with exploring Grandad's house and a winter wonderland in search of the missing decorations.

Amazon

Tree of Cranes

As a young Japanese boy recovers from a bad chill, his mother busily folds origami paper into delicate silver cranes in preparation for the boy's very first Christmas.

Amazon

The Family Under the Bridge

Armand, an old Parisian living on the streets of Paris, relished his solitary life. He begged and did odd jobs for money to keep himself warm and fed, and he liked his carefree life.

Then one day just before Christmas, a struggling mother and her three children walked into his life. Though he tried to ignore their troubles, Armand soon found himself caring for the family and sharing his unusual home under the bridge with them. It did not take Armand very long to realize that he had gotten himself ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than the bridge.

Amazon

The Christmas Eve Tree

An adorable pop-up book about Christmas cheer and last-minute surprises.

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