25 Best Christmas Picture Books for Kids: Fun & light-hearted

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A Collection of Christmas Picture books for kids arranged on the background with a cute cartoon reindeer, fun Christmas lettering and colorful twinkling lights for decorations.

Best Christmas Picture Books for Kids. This list of Christmas books features lighthearted and fun picture books pointing to the true meaning of Christmas. Reading time with my girls with cups of hot chocolate and cozy blankets is one of my favorite things about this time of year. This year, I am creating a new Christmas tradition for our home by wrapping 24 Christmas picture books and allowing the girls to lead up to Christmas morning. I believe it’s called the Christmas Picture Book Advent. Most of the books for our picture book advent are from my Best Books to Read Around Christmas to Kids Booklist, but many of the books listed below will be tucked into our book baskets and on our bookshelves (starting November 1st).

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Free Printables for Free Christmas Scavenger Hunt Bundle with three examples of picture finds, booklists, and lists, including indoor and outdoor hunts, decorated with watercolor Christmas-themed images.

25 Best Christmas Picture Books for Kids: A Festive, Fun, and Lighthearted Booklist

1. Bear Stays up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

Bear’s woodland friends do not want him to miss Christmas. Sleepy Bear helps them find a Christmas tree, bake, and decorate his lair. This sweet story teaches the value of friendship, kindness, and cheerful giving. The rhythmic text and charming illustrations will have young children begging you to read it again, or in my house, they shout in unison, “Again, Again!” If you love this one, there are more Bear books, and we love them ALL.

2. A Christmas For Bear by Bonny Becker

This is Bear’s first Christmas party, but he has never celebrated Christmas. He prepares his home, serves pickles, and reads a difficult poem, but little Mouse keeps secretly scurrying around the house to search for his gift. Eventually, the two friends realize that it’s not about pickles and presents but about the love and friendship they share that makes the holiday season so special. If you love this Christmas picture book and friendly duo, their story starts with “A Visitor for Bear.”

3. Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson

Our favorite fall book is Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, so we were thrilled to find a sweet Christmas story featuring the beloved Fletcher. Fletcher, the fox, is concerned that Father Christmas won’t be able to find the rabbit’s new burrow. Being the helpful little fox, he devises a plan with the help of his woodland friends. But there is a snowy problem. The full-page illustrations are enchanting and sure to grab your little one’s attention. If you adore Fletcher, check out Fletcher and the Falling Leaves and Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms.

4. A Simple Christmas on the Farm by Phyllis Alsdurf

Her parents informed her that this year we will have a simple Christmas, “we’ll focus less on getting and more on giving.” She’s not so sure about this. I love the message of selflessness and contentment woven throughout the story. The focus is not on an elaborate plot, but rather on an ordinary family choosing to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas, rather than the consumerism that often surrounds the holiday season. The author includes instructions for homemade gifts and crafts in the back of the book.

5. Christmas in the Big Woods

If you adore the Little House books, this is a little snapshot of the Christmas story in Little House in the Big Woods. It’s a condensed picture book version that young readers will love. This book is a perfect addition to the Best Christmas Picture Books for Kids Booklist.

6. Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray

This sweet picture book provides a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes- of a Christmas tree farm. In search of a new beginning for the garden, she starts with sixty-two dozen balsam seedlings with the help of her five-year-old neighbor. Perfect for a pre-trip read before heading out to pick the perfect tree at your local Christmas tree farm.

7. The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola has authored many Christmas picture books. This is a sweet Christmas story from the perspective of curious birds. Simple text and brightly illustrated pictures make it a beautiful book for young children as you introduce the story of the first Christmas.

8. Pick A Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

This Christmas picture book is a sweet rhyme that follows a family picking out the perfect pine tree. It begins at a Christmas tree farm and follows them home as they care for it, decorate it, and share it with their friends. It’s a simple book to read before picking the perfect Christmas tree for your home.

9. Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

This poetic and thrilling tale follows Stick Man’s unexpected journey against his will.

I’m not a stick! Why can’t they see?
I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man, I’M STICK MAN, that’s me,
And I long to be back in the family tree

All he wants is to return to his Family Tree with his wife and children. This book is for children of all ages.

10. The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore

Have you heard of the Icelandic tradition on Christmas Eve called Jolabokaflod (translated in English as Book Flood)? It’s a fantastic way to kick off the holiday season and start the celebration of your own book flood tradition on Christmas Eve.

11. Babushka by Dawn Casey

This great book is a retelling of a Russian folk tale. Dear Babushka is always busy tidying her home. One day, three unexpected travelers arrive at her house. They are traveling from afar to bring gifts to the newborn King. They invite her to come along. But she is too busy. The next morning, with a basket of gifts, she tries to follow their snow-covered tracks. Along her journey, she gives away her gifts. The beautiful colors and whimsical illustrations are what first caught my eye, but the message is the reason it’s on the best Christmas picture books for kids booklist.

12. Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

In this fun book, Maria and her cousins try to eat themselves out of trouble after losing her mom’s diamond ring while making tamales on Christmas Eve.

13. Cranberry Christmas by Wende and Harry Devlin

Devlin’s story Cranberry Thanksgiving is one of our favorite picture books to read around Thanksgiving Day. My girls loved seeing familiar characters. A lot is going on for Mr. Whiskers. Does he own the pond? Can he prove he can care for himself, or will he move to the city to live with his sister?

14. Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger

The Little Red Sleigh dreams of helping Santa. She decides to make a trip to the North Pole to prove herself. She finds some help along the way and a new purpose when she’s picked up by a little girl. It’s like a Christmasy version of The Little Engine That Could and a beautiful story to share with your kids.

15. Mistletoe by Tad Hills

This Christmas picture book is about two friends and the true meaning of Christmas. A little snow-loving gray mouse named Mistletoe longs for Norwell to come and enjoy the snow-covered wonderland, but Norwell fears the snow. So, Mistletoe gets to work making the perfect present for Norwell.

16. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Santa's sleigh flies across the snowy night sky, pulled by his famous reindeer on the beloved golden book "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

This classic Christmas story first appeared in a booklet in 1939 written by Robert L. May. I have included the Golden Book edition. I have seen a few other editions at local bookstores. If I find one that I love, I’ll come back and link it.

17. A Christmas Sweater for Nina by Cecilia Heikkila

Nina lives in a house made of cardboard in the middle of a big city. She has a red sweater to keep her warm but one day during a walk her sweater begins to unravel until there is nothing left. Nina follows the yarn, leading her to an unexpected place. The story is truly a gem!

18. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

Is consumerism the true meaning of Christmas? Charlie Brown searches for the spirit of Christmas. He is not impressed by the big, shiny aluminum trees and picks out a scraggly pine tree for the play. But the tree is not well received by the others. In the end, Charlie Brown and his friends discover the true meaning of Christmas.

19. Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star by Petr Horacek

This sweet story is about Suzy Goose and her determination to get the bright star for their Christmas tree. Her many failed attempts to reach the star have her far from home, and her only wish is to be with her friends again.

20. Sounding Joy by Ellie Holcomb

This cute Christmas picture book answers the question “What does joy sound like?” Spoiler the answer, the sound of angels singing that Jesus has been born.

21. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson

Karma Wilson’s Bear books are a favorite in our home. Mortimer, the little brown mouse, discovers the real meaning of Christmas. Mortimer finds the perfect place to rest and pushes the statue of baby Jesus out of the manager. No room for you here. But Mortimer has a second encounter with Jesus.

22. The Legend of Papa Noel: A Cajun Christmas Story by Terri Hoover Dunham

This funny Christmas picture book always gets my whole family giggling. Maybe it’s my attempt at a Cajun accent. Rather than a sleigh pulled by reindeer, Papa Noel rides in a riverboat pulled by eight alligators along the Mississippi River.

23. Finding Christmas by Lezlie Evans

This sweet little story is about Mouse, Hare, and Squirrel discovering the true Christmas spirit as they give up their presents and nurse Swallow back to health.

24. Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer

Oh, silly Humphrey. This is a wildly imaginative story of the three wise men’s journey. This story always gets my girls giggling. While not biblically accurate, it’s a fun story that shares the importance of gift-giving.

25. The Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo (OOP)

A lady rides a gray donkey staring at the perfect Christmas tree in the middle of the woods on the book cover of "Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel."
Cobweb Christmas by Shirley Climo

This Christmas picture is now out of print. I found our copy at a secondhand book store. It’s a fun story about the holiday tradition of tinsel, a story of web-spinning spiders, and the magical touch of Santa.

Interested in More Booklists for Kids: Check These Out!

25 Best Books to Read Around Christmas to Kids

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Get the complete booklist of the best Christmas books to read aloud around the Christmas season HERE.

27 Books about Snow: A Picture Book Collection

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Get the complete booklist HERE.

Food & Story Picture Booklist

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Get the complete list of favorite books HERE.

More Booklists Coming Soon!

Thanks for Stopping By!

Lastly, thank you for stopping by! Please say Hi in the comment section and share your favorite Christmas classic to read or your favorite Christmas memory. Throughout December, our bookshelves and book baskets will be filled with fun, meaningful, and light-hearted Christmas books and a few board books, such as Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and Charlie Brown Christmas for my youngest. But I will also read a few of my Christmas favorites like Little Women, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I might try to read Sherlock Holmes this year. I hope you and your children find a favorite book from this Best Christmas Picture Books for Kids Booklist.

P.S. I’ll keep adding new titles!


– With Great Joy, Katie


A Collection of Christmas Picture books for kids arranged on the background with a cute cartoon reindeer, fun Christmas lettering and colorful twinkling lights for decorations.

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