Friday, December 8, 2023

35 Picture Books for the Holiday Season

Christmas is such a special time of the year and one of my favorite times to snuggle up and read with little ones. Today I'm sharing some of our favorite holiday picture books that we have enjoyed over the years.

1.  The Story of Baby Jesus by Mary Kelly  - A gorgeous picture book that covers the true meaning of Christmas. It's written simply for little ones to appreciate.

2.  The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert  - A breathtaking book with beautiful photographs all about a little girl who wants to be one of Santa's elves.

3.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Barbara Shook Hazen - A classic in every sense of the way.

4.  The Littlest Elf by Brandi Dougherty - This book is so cute! It's about a little elf, who although small, finally finds his purpose amongst Santa's elves. 


5.  The Christmas Baby by Marion Dane Bauer - This book not only celebrates the birth of Jesus, it also celebrates babies everywhere.

6.  It's Christmas! by Tracey Corderoy - This is a delightful picture book all about a little reindeer's excitement for the holiday. He can't contain himself and he ends up in some predicaments.


7.  The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan and Mike Berenstain - I love that this book reminds us that it is better to give than receive.

8.  The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore - Another classic that cannot be missed.


9.  Strega Nona's Gift by Tomie dePaola - Of course there's Big Anthony getting himself into trouble in this book, but it also covers Italian Christmas traditions as well as feast days. 

10.  Frosty the Snow Man by Annie North Bedford - I love this story, but I especially appreciate this 1950s classic.

11. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss  - A favorite in our house! Who doesn't love the Grinch?

12.  The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg - Another modern classic that is much loved in my house.


13.  A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz - Another modern classic that is a must-read for the holiday season.

14.  The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett - I especially love the illustrations in this book covering the famous Christmas carol. 

15.  The Gingerbread Pirates by  Kristin Kladstrup - This is such a fun Christmas story about a little boy who makes gingerbread men and at night they come to life as pirates and encounter Santa. 

16.  Night Tree by Eve Bunting - I love this story of a family who decorate a Christmas tree with treats for the animals in the forest.


17.  The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers - A beautifully illustrated version of the classic tale.

18.  My Treasury of Christmas Stories by Caroline Pedler - This treasury includes many Christmas classics, such as A Christmas Carol, The Snow Queen, and more. 


19.  Jingle Bells by Kathleen N. Daly - This book is one of my favorites from my childhood. I love how the animals help Santa deliver the gifts and the lyrics of Jingle Bells are throughout.

20.  Over the River & Through the Wood: A Holiday Adventure by Linda Ashman - Kids can especially appreciate this one if you have a busy holiday of traveling to visit family.

21.  The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne - A beautiful book set in the 1800s that will be sure to bring a tear to your eye as it reinforces the importance of kindness as well as the origin of Christmas stockings.

22.  Room for a Little One by Marin Waddell - The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful! I love this nativity story and some of the new animals in this heartfelt tale.
23. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs - A beautifully illustrated picture book about a snowman coming to life.
24.  The Mitten by Jan Brett - This is a much loved classic that is perfect for wintertime.
25.  The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski - This tale of kindness is about a Scrooge-like woodcarver.
26.  The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever by Stephen Kroll - The mice are at it again and on the hunt for the biggest Christmas tree.  
27. A Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruel - This laugh out loud picture book follows Kitty after she doesn't get all the gifts she wanted for Christmas. Cue the hilarious antics.

28. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin and James Dean - Everyone's favorite cat proves it's cool to be giving. 

29.  The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola - I loved learning more about this Mexican legend and the origins of one of our favorite holiday plants.

30.  Green is for Christmas by Drew Daywalt -  This is a cute story and is perfect for fans of The Day the Crayons Quit. Green thinks he is the only holiday color in the box, but red, white and silver think otherwise!

31. Merry Christmas, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola - You can't go wrong with Strega Nona at the holidays as she prepares for her Christmas Eve Feast.

32.  Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry - This picture book is a classic holiday tale about the joys of a Christmas tree and spreading holiday joy. 
33.  The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - While this isn't necessarily holiday related, it is wintertime fun at its best and a classic that shouldn't be missed. 

34.  Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle - Little Blue Truck fans won't want to miss this holiday edition as he spreads Christmas joy. 

35.  Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Richard B. Smith - Who doesn't love this classic holiday song?

On Our TBR List:

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Sleigh by Mo Willems 
Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger
5 More Sleeps 'til Christmas by Jimmy Fallon
The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling
Dasher by Matt Tavares

What are some of your favorite picture books to read during the holiday season? Any of your favorites that I missed? Let me know in the comments below.



  1. And now of course I want to go out and buy all of these! I love that there are so many classics, as well as some new ones. Little Blue Truck's Christmas has been on repeat at our house lately, mostly because of the flashing lights at the end, I think!

    1. Aww! You can't go wrong with Little Blue! We love some oldie-but-goodie picture books in our house, but slowly checking out some of the new ones. I hope you enjoy them with your little guy! Thanks for visiting!


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