The Most Festive Christmas Books for Kids Ever!
It’s that time of year again! The Christmas trees are going up, kids are rehearsing for their annual school plays, and we’re already engaged in heated discussions with our partner over who is (and isn’t!) invited over for Christmas dinner on the day itself!
Enjoying a festive reading treat over this period is a tradition—and one that goes back a long way. Charles Dickens’ seasonal classic, A Christmas Carol, was originally published in 1843 to be read aloud by families gathered around a cozy fireplace, who were eagerly awaiting the newest story from their favorite author.
Whether you’re looking for a fun Christmas book to enjoy with the youngest member of your family or a contemporary classic that a teenager will appreciate, below, you’ll find the very best Christmas books for kids of all ages!
- The Best Choices
- Classic Christmas Books
- Modern Christmas Stories
- The Best Christmas Books for Toddlers
- Christmas Books that Pre-Schoolers Will Love
- Great Christmas Books for School-Age Kids
- Christmas Books that Teens will Love
The Best Choices
Age rating: 2+
This beloved picture book has been part of Christmas since it first appeared in 1978. The Snowman contains no text: the 175 beautiful illustrations tell the story by themselves, weaving a wonderful winter tale that will capture the hearts of young and old alike. There’s a board book version of the tale available too, so you can share the story with your baby.
The boy in the tale wakes one morning to discover it’s snowed! He promptly builds a snowman, which is left standing proudly in his garden as the boy is sent off to bed later that evening. However, magic is afoot as the snowman comes to life during the night and, along with the boy, embarks on an epic adventure!
Age rating: 7+
From the imagination that brought the world Harry Potter, The Christmas Pig is a heart-warming story that makes for wonderful holiday reading. It’s Christmas Eve, and disaster strikes: Jack loses his beloved stuffed pig, DP, who has been his friend and companion since babyhood. But we all know that Christmas Eve is the most magical time of the year… Christmas Pig is DP’s replacement and on this most special of nights, he comes alive and tells Jack he’s hatched a daring mission to track down DP and bring him home!
A number one New York Times bestseller, and beautifully illustrated by Jim Field, the whole family will fall in love with this charming festive tale.
Age rating: 2–6 years
Each tale and song included is sumptuously illustrated, making this stunning collection a family Christmas essential. Cozy up together by the winter fire and enjoy the traditional stories, carols, and songs, such as The Nutcracker, The Fir Tree, and the Twelve Days of Christmas—there are eighteen in all to enjoy.
This high-quality hardback, foil-treated treasury is rich in seasonal magic and will make a gorgeous addition to your festive library for years to come.
Age rating: 8+
Already being hailed as A Christmas Carol for our generation, James Patterson’s thought-provoking, heartwarming tale is simply made to be shared by the family over the Yuletide holidays. The story follows a family of three who are missing a very special person when Christmas rolls around. The father isn’t in the mood to celebrate the festivities, but his children have other ideas…
As the Christmas countdown continues, unexpected guests begin to arrive at the family home, bringing with them memories that will last a lifetime.
Classic Christmas Books
Age rating: 7+
No list of seasonal books would be complete without mention of Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol! This book not only concerns the festive season but has profoundly influenced how we celebrate Christmas today.
Traditions such as caroling were considered old-fashioned and barely observed in 1843 when the book first appeared—Dickens’ tale was largely responsible for their revival. Feasting, too, at Christmas was considered decadent and had largely been discarded. A Christmas Carol, however, with its depictions of wonderful festive food and merry meals shared by family and friends, transformed all this.
Age rating: 4+
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house…’ Everyone knows the opening lines of this classic little holiday tale. Kids and adults alike love Clement C. Moore’s famous poem that details what happens one Christmas Eve when a wakeful dad, while his wife and children are asleep, witnesses Santa Claus delivering gifts!
Accompanied by gorgeous full-color illustrations by Antonio Caparo, this book has been a seasonal favorite in homes around the world for generations: why not start your own family tradition of reading it with your kids before bedtime on Christmas Eve for a truly magical start to celebrations?
Age rating: 2–7 years
For millions of children worldwide, The Polar Express is an inherent part of the magic of Christmas. On Christmas Eve, a boy wakes to discover a magical train has arrived in front of his house! Once on board, he’s whisked into an enchanting adventure as the locomotive speeds towards its destination: the North Pole!
Young and old alike adore this wonderful tale that’s now been made into both a hit movie and a major theatre production, and it’s required reading for any child (or adult) who is confident that they, too, will hear the silver tinkling of a reindeer’s bell on Christmas Eve…
Age rating: 4–9 years
Based on the original festive classic, this picture book edition is a lovely way to share the magic of the original tale with your children this holiday season: it’s a perfect pick to read together on Christmas Eve, after leaving out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for the big man, himself!
For Susan, Christmas Day is just like any other. She doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or the magic of any kind. That is, however, until she meets Kris Kringle, and finds herself beginning to hope that her Christmas wish might just come true…
Modern Christmas Stories
Age rating: 6–10 years
Great for middle graders, The Christmasaurus has already become a Christmas classic! Written by singer-songwriter Tom Fletcher, well known for his books for younger kids, including There’s A Monster in Your Book, the tale concerns a boy who is delighted to discover that Santa has delivered him his very own dinosaur!
But there’s a problem. A villainous character known simply as The Hunter gets wind of the existence of the Chirstmasaurus and decides that such a special dino would make a fantastic trophy to add to his collection…
This wild and hilarious new festive adventure story offers everything you want from a Christmas tale: it’s heartwarming, magical, and full of the fun of the season.
Age rating: 7–12 years
Recently turned into a Netflix movie, A Boy Called Christmas is written by the author of the modern classic kids’ book The Midnight Library. In this story, readers will learn how eleven-year-old Nikolas becomes Santa Claus after traveling to the North Pole in an attempt to find his missing father.
Along the way, he meets a grumpy reindeer, has to contend with a troll, and discovers the enchanting residents of Elfhelm. But the elves living in this village are distraught: Christmas spirit is at an all-time low. Nickolas could be the only person in the world able to turn things around…
Age rating: 4–9 years
Everyone loves Buddy, the star of the movie Elf—and kids can rediscover his adventures in this charmingly illustrated book that tells his tale. As well as featuring all the belly-laugh, iconic moments from the film, the storybook perfectly conveys the film’s message of acceptance, love, and kindness.
Both those new to the movie and fans for years will enjoy Elf’s carnation in book form: and you’re likely to find older members of the family chuckling as they sneak a read, too!
The Best Christmas Books for Toddlers
Age rating: 2–5 years
Toddlers will love this fun and beautifully animated counting book with its cute animal pictures and textured snowflakes.
Read together with your little one as the snowflakes count down from ten to one as the furry woodland creatures prepare to play their favorite winter games! This is likely to become a much-requested household read in the run-up to Christmas.
Age rating: 1–3 years
Little Owl experiences his very first winter in this charming board book that very young kids will adore. Read with your toddler about Little Owl’s excitement at the changing of the seasons as he notices the leaves begin to fall and many of his animal friends begin their long hibernation.
Available as a hard or paper cover and as a board book for extra durability, Little Owl’s Snow is a gentle, whimsical take on the festive season that makes for the perfect relaxing bedtime read.
Age rating: 1–5 years
The New York Times bestselling author is back with this cute holiday tale about Dot, the littlest reindeer in the North Pole! But what Dot may lack in stature, she more than makes up for in heart, and she is determined to help pull Santa’s sleigh come Christmas Eve.
However hard Dot tries, though, she just can’t seem to get the hang of flying. Will she figure it out in time? This sweet seasonal story is great at reassuring kids that, however tough things may seem, they’ll get there in the end.
Christmas Books that Pre-Schoolers Will Love
Age rating: 2–6 years
The sequel to the New York Times bestseller, The Biggest Pumpkin Ever, here comes a wonderful festive tale for preschoolers about the efforts of Mouseville residents Clayton and Desmond, to win the town’s snowman contest!
Teamwork is the name of the game, and the book contains an important lesson about how working together needn’t mean compromising individual flair. Don’t be surprised if your young child asks for this book over and over again—and even your older kids may well enjoy it, too!
Age rating: 4–8 years
Green Crayon is convinced that he’s the only Christmas-colored crayon in the box… but Red, White, and Silver have something to say about this! From the pen of the bestselling book, The Day the Crayons Quit is a new festive story full of humor and warmth. Children will appreciate the bright, vivid pictures and meeting up with their Crayon pals from the previous installment.
This cute little seasonal tale is sure to become an instant classic in your household. And if you’re wondering about the author’s own favorite crayon? It’s Black!
Age rating: 3–7 years
The winner of the town’s snowman contest needs to be crowned… but the victor has run away! Follow our hero as he makes chase, needing to run, skate and even bounce over a ton of obstacles in his attempts to catch the errant winner.
With its snappy rhymes, bright illustrations, and fun storyline, this wintry installment in the popular How to Catch A…. series will have kids asking to read it time and time again.
Great Christmas Books for School-Age Kids
Age rating: 3–7 years
One Christmas tree brings joy to many in this gorgeous book that celebrates the spirit of the holidays. Mr. Willowby is delighted when his Christmas tree arrives in time for the season’s festivities—but uh oh! It’s too tall to fit into his parlor!
Fun, cozy, and with charming pictures that kids will enjoy, follow the story of Mr. Willowby’s tree as it moves from house to house, spreading Christmas cheer far and wide. This book is perfect to read aloud and is just right for young readers ready to take the next step on their solo reading adventure.
Age rating: 7+
Every December, an envelope would arrive at the Tolkien residence, addressed to the children of the household. Inside, a letter in spidery script featuring beautiful color drawings and sketches—these missives were from Father Christmas and detailed magical tales of life at the North Pole.
From reindeer getting loose and causing chaos to the Man in the Moon tumbling into the Claus’ back garden, there is real enchantment within this special collection of letters from the man himself.
Age rating: 4–8 years
Bunny wants to find the most perfect Christmas tree of all, but all her friends seem to have very different ideas of what constitutes this. Love, cooperation, friendship, and new perspectives are what this tale is all about.
The Perfect Tree is full of stunning pictures rich in jewel tones that glow vividly against the snowy backdrops and is sure to become a much-loved part of your family’s Christmas library.
Christmas Books that Teens will Love
Age rating: 12–17 years
Sweet Christmas romance abounds in this cute festive story from Wendy Loggia. Bailey Briggs loves everything about the holidays—the music, the sleighing, the fun clothes, the baking, all of it!—but one thing’s missing: she doesn’t have anyone to kiss beneath the mistletoe! But after bumping into Charlie, a charming mystery stranger with a British accent, she hopes her Yuletide dreams might be about the come true…
Pitched perfectly for teen readers, with plenty of relatable characters and holiday magic, All I Want for Christmas is a great choice for an older child keen to enjoy a festive book.
Age rating: 13–17 years
A great way to help teens relax and unwind over the manic holiday season, this activity book is jam-packed with festive-themed word searches, cryptograms, brain teasers, Sudoku, mazes, and more, all geared toward this age group.
Whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift for a teen who is tricky to buy for, or are planning on using this book to enjoy some fun activities together over the holidays, it’s sure to hit the spot!
Age rating: 13–17 years
The Christmas Clash was rated the PopSugar Best New Holiday Romance Book of 2022, and it’s not hard to see why! This laugh-out-loud romance is a contemporary take on the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet—with added sass and seasonal magic!
When the mall where their parents own separate businesses is snapped up by a developer and looks set to close, Chloe Kwon and Peter Li must work together to try to save the day—despite their personal differences! Teen readers will race through this cozy Christmas treat.
Enjoy a Peaceful Yuletide with the Best Christmas Books for Kids
Whatever traditions you and your family have to mark and celebrate this special time of year, incorporating the magic of a new book is a wonderful way to come together and enjoy the holidays. Hopefully, the list above has inspired you and given you plenty of ideas, whether you’re looking for festive stories for a very young child or a longer read for your middle grader.
The beauty of Christmas books is that, in general, they can be enjoyed by young and old; the festive stories that your kids cherish now will likely form a part of the Christmas traditions they create with their own children in the future. Just as, for many of us, the special books we read with our families over Yuletide are the same we loved, ourselves, as kids.
Have fun choosing and creating some brand-new Christmas traditions this year! We’d love to know what books form part of your own Christmas festivities—is there a special volume that you open as a family before bedtime on Christmas Eve, or a seasonal classic that you share with even the very youngest members of your family every year? Drop us a line and let us know in the comments below!
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