This post contains sponsored inclusions from Candlewick and Quarto but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.
All of the magic and wonder and celebration that surrounds the holidays is beautiful, and reading holiday books for kids is the perfect way to dig deeper into those special parts of the season. It can be hard for young children 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 help kids understand things that otherwise are sight unseen.
We hope this variety of holiday books—with stories about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa—will have something to suit every family. And whether you focus on the imaginative or whimsical parts of the season, there are plenty of options for a wide range of kids. Through the characters in these books, your holiday lessons will be that much easier to impart. And sitting down to read together as a family is always a good tradition, especially because the chaos of the season can be truly overwhelming for kids (and parents!). Scroll down to check out 40+ of our favorite holiday books for kids.
Holiday Picture Books
While Rudolph may get most of the attention this time of year, our favorite doe, Dasher, is just as lovable. In this charming tale, follow along as Dasher finds her way back to the North Pole with some unexpected help.
This cute tale explains how Santa became the man so many kids around the world know and love today. In Kid Christmas, Nicky Claus is a little boy who works alongside his three uncles at the Claus Brothers Toy Emporium. When Nicky notices a group of kids who can’t afford toys, he vows that, for one night only, every child will have the toy of their dreams—and, with that, Santa Claus is born!
Winter brings the holiday season and, in this adorable book, a spirited little puppy explores some of the funny traditions that come with winter like inflatable snowmen, millions of little lights, and more.
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.
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 could have ever imagined.
This sweet story can help ease the minds of little ones whose favorite stuffed animals have gone missing.
Holiday traditions are the best part of the Christmas season, and this book details all the rituals for picking out the perfect Christmas tree. It’s a celebration of family, friends, and customs.
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.
If you could travel the world with Santa, where would you go? This book explores the globe, from Antarctica to Egypt, with Mr. Claus and his magical sleigh on Christmas Eve.
Little ones will love following Little Bear’s family holiday with scratch-and-sniff discoveries along the way.
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.
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.
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 surprises.
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.
Poor Mr. Willowby is facing a problem. His Christmas tree has arrived, but it’s 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.
Santa is a bit of an oddball baby. Although his parents are bewildered when he gives away his birthday presents and shows an unusual interest in chimneys, they love him all the same.
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.
Li’l Rabbit is excited to celebrate Karamu, the greatest feast of Kwanzaa, with his family. However, when Granna Rabbit is sick in bed for the holiday, Li’l Rabbit sets out to make sure she can have a special holiday, too.
Little dinosaurs love to celebrate Chanukah! However, the festival of lights can go awry when young dinosaurs misbehave, leading to tumbling dreidels and melting gelt.
This book tells the ancient story of Hanukkah, a miracle that happened more than 2000 years ago, through song. The hardcover version comes with a CD.
Lucky Latke was rescued from an animal shelter on the very first night of Hanukkah. Although he might have some trouble learning the house rules, he celebrates the holiday all the same.
When all the other trees in the forest are taken to homes for Christmas besides a small, crooked fir tree, it feels lonely. Luckily, the forest animals show the tree what it really means to be loved.
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.
In Mexico, the poinsettia is called “flor de Nochebuena” (flower of the Holy Night). At Christmastime, the flowers bloom and flourish, like 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.
Sleepy Bear is struggling to stay awake for Christmas, and his friends are determined to help him do so. Join Bear as he bakes cookies, hangs stockings, and gives gifts to keep from falling asleep!
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.
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.
This adorable pop-up book is all about Christmas cheer and last-minute surprises.
Armand, an old Parisian living on the streets of Paris, relished his solitary life, even as he begged and did odd jobs for money to keep himself warm and fed. 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.
Based on the true story that made headlines in 2020, this is the story of a little owl named Rocky (short for Rockefeller) who was found living in New York City’s iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
Holiday Board Books
This sparkly board book teaches little ones the ABCs of Christmas with fun and clever word associations.
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.
This popular pick, released in 2021, comes with cutouts and raised elements that make it perfect for snuggling up and reading with babies and toddlers.
This book introduces babies to cherished holiday traditions. Plus, the Indestructibles series is known for its durability for babies and toddlers who like to chew.
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!
Introduce little ones to the original Christmas story with this lyrical book and sweet illustrations.
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.
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.
Sandra Boynton brings her fun illustrations to the holiday season with this board book. Follow Pookie and her mother as they prepare for the holiday season together.
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 finds just what he’s looking for.
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 just stomping through the snow in anticipation.
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.
To spread Christmas cheer, Little Blue Truck is delivering Christmas presents to all his animal friends. Rhyme along with the characters in this heartwarming holiday book.
Mr. Fish is very stressed out about finding the perfect gifts for his family and friends in time for the holidays. Follow him as he learns that the best gifts come straight from the heart.