Christmas Books for Children

These are truly wonderful books—I love all of them! Many are out-of-print, but are only listed if they are readily available on the secondary book market. Copies in good condition can often be found at reasonable prices.

Out-of-print books may be found in libraries or the used book market. Both Amazon and are helpful sources.

Nativity Stories
Other Christmas Stories
Christmas Carols
= some of our special favorites
Nativity Stories
  • Santa's Favorite Story

    Aoki, Hisako and Ivan Gantschev
    Picture Book Studio
    Simon & Schuster, 1982, 2007

    Natick, Massachusetts
    New York, New York

    A tired Santa explains to the animals that even if he can't deliver presents, Christmas will come because "Christmas hasn't got anything to do with me." Then he tells the true Christmas story; nice illustrations.

    Purchase from,,

  • Christmas

    Bruna, Dick
    Doubleday (undated)
    Big Tent Entertainment, 1964, 2010

    New York, New York
    London, UK

    This book is great for Dick Bruna fans and anyone with its clear, warm illustrations. In an earlier edition the text was a poem by Eve Merriam. The later text is okay, but the older simple rhyme is better. The newer text was originally titled "The Christmas Book."

  • Prepare O Bethlehem: The Feast of the Nativity

    Chocheli, Niko
    St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2000
    Crestwood, New York

    All ages

    Texts from the Orthodox Church's hymns of the prefeast and feast of the Nativity; beautifully illustrated

    Purchase from,,

  • Bright Christmas: An Angel Remembers

    Clements, Andrew
    Clarion Books, 1996
    New York, New York

    All ages

    Evocative story of Christmas night and the coming of truth to the earth, told by a wise angel

    Purchase from,,

  • Silent Christmas

    Goffin, Josse
    Boyds Mills Press, 1991
    Honesdale, Pennsylvania

    Beautiful, simple wordless nativity story; gentle illustrations encourage a child to tell the story

    Purchase from,,

  • The Cure for the Christmas Crazies

    Hartmann, April
    WestBow Press, division of Thomas Nelson, 2015
    Bloomington, Indiana

    Boy elf Norbert gets Santa to help get his family escape from holiday craziness to focus on what is really important

    Purchase from April Hartmann Shop

  • Can It Be True?

    Hill, Susan, illustrated by Angela Barrett
    Viking Kestrel, 1988
    New York, New York

    All ages

    Picture book for older children with poem inspired by William Blake's "The Oxen." Brings peace to all the warring creatures, who come see, "It is true! It is true! And knelt down."

    Purchase from,,

  • That Baby in the Manger

    Neuberger, Anne E.
    Paraclete Press, 2017
    Brewster, Massachusetts

    What did baby Jesus really look like? Like the blond statues we see? Children wonder if he looked like them. This is a good conversation starter about diversity and all God's people.

    Purchase from,,

  • The Christmas Star

    Pfister, Marcus
    North-South Books, 1993
    New York, New York
    Also available in board book and Advent calendar/book editions

    All ages

    Unusual story focuses on the Star—the star leads shepherds, kings and animals to the Holy Child; lovely illustrations and shining silver stars on each page

    Purchase from,,

  • Christmas: The King James Version

    Pienkowski, Jan, illustrator
    Alfred A. Knopf, 1984

    Amazing silhouette paper-cut illustrations with traditional King James text

    Purchase from,,

  • Nativity

    Rylant, Cynthia
    Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster, 2017

    All ages

    Fabulous nativity book with simple, evocative illustrations, King James text. Unusual in moving to grown-up Jesus and the Beatitudes. Highly recommended.

    Purchase from,,

  • For All the World

    Simcox, Helen Earle
    Augsburg Fortress, 1994
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Picture book shows that Jesus came for everyone and what it might have been like if he'd been born in different places

    Purchase from,,

  • Who is Coming to Our House?

    Slate, Joseph
    G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1988, 2001
    New York, New York

    Ages one to four

    The animals rush around getting ready; a nice early nativity story, providing opportunity to talk about the animals and the Holy Family

    Purchase from,,

  • A Christmas Story

    Wildsmith, Brian
    Alfred A. Knopf
    Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 1998

    Preschool and up

    Sweet story with sumptuous illustrations; told through the story of a little girl with a donkey

    Purchase from,,

  • B Is for Bethlehem: A Christmas Alphabet

    Wilmer, Isabel
    Dutton Children's Books, 1990

    Delightful, rhyming alphabet book with mixed media illustrations; each letter relates to the Nativity story

    Purchase from,,

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Other Christmas Stories
  • Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights

    Barth, Edna
    Seabury Press
    Houghton Mifflin, 1971, 1981

    New York, New York

    Traces the story and development of many Christmas symbols: Christmas star, Christmas tree, ornaments, plants, candles and lights, Yule log, Santa Claus, gifts, manger scenes, the three kings, angels, shepherds and creatures, feasting, bells and cards.

    Purchase from,,

  • The Sugar-Plum Christmas Book

    Chapman, Jean
    Hodder and Stoughton, 1977, 1982

    Elementary age and up

    A nicely illustrated anthology of story, song, background information and craft ideas, too.

    Purchase from,,

  • The Family Christmas Tree Book

    de Paola, Tomie
    Holiday House, 1980
    New York, New York

    Everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas trees told with facts and imagination as two children and their parents get a tree and put it up. Information about symbols drawn from Christian tradition and more.

    Purchase from Kindle

    Purchase from,,

  • Merry Christmas, Strega Nona

    dePaola, Tomie
    Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986

    Four to eight years

    In this beloved book Strega Nona is getting ready for Christmas, lighting the Advent wreath is part of her preparations. However, many mishaps happen—how will it all end?

    Purchase from,,

  • The Night of Las Posadas

    dePaola, Tomie
    G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1999
    New York, New York

    Elementary age

    A beautiful and sensitive telling of Las Posadas tradition, with a bit of mystery in, too

    Purchase from,,

  • The Legend of the Poinsettia

    dePaola, Tomie
    G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1994
    New York, New York

    Poinsettias are everywhere and in most churches at Christmas; here is the lovely legend from Mexico that tells of their origin and relationship to Christmas

    Purchase from,,

  • Baby's First Christmas

    dePaola, Tomie
    G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1988, new edition 2008
    New York, New York
    New edition: My First Christmas

    Ages two to three

    Simple introduction to the season's symbols with clear, vivid illustrations

    Purchase from,,

  • Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico

    Ets, Marie Hall and Aurora Labastida
    The Viking Press, 1959
    New York, New York

    Ages four and up

    Caldecott Medal winner tells the story of little Ceci and her first Posada party

    Purchase from,,

  • Joy to the World: Christmas Stories from Around the Globe

    Pirotta, Saviour, illustrated by Sheila Moxley
    HarperCollins, 1998
    New York, New York

    Beautifully illustrated less familiar Christmas stories drawn from early Christian folklore in Syria, Malta, Mexico, Ghana and Russia

    Purchase from,,

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

    Robinson, Barbara
    HarperCollins, 1972, 2005

    Ages eight to twelve

    Classic Christmas book; a fun read and can be read a chapter a night

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Schulz, Charles M.
    New American Library & many others, 1965
    Many editions available

    All ages

    Classic Christmas special with Charlie Brown looking for the true meaning of Christmas; you may want to read as well as watch it

    Purchase from,,

  • The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

    Sojciechowski, Susan, illustrated by P. J. Lynch
    Candlewick Press, 1995
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Ages elementary to adult

    Poignant story shows how even grudging giving can transform a heart

    Purchase from,,

  • 46 Days of Christmas: A Cycle of Old World Songs, Legends and Customs

    Spicer, Dorothy Gladys
    Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1960
    New York, New York

    A collection of songs, poems and customs from usual European countries and beyond: Armenia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Syria.

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

    Suess, Dr.
    Random House, 1957
    New York, New York

    Elementary age

    Classic tale of what Christmas is really about; especially good for kids who aren't very churchy

    Purchase from,,

  • Saint Francis Celebrates Christmas

    Walsh, Mary Caswell, illustrated by Helen Caswell
    Loyola Press, 1998
    Chicago, Illinois

    Elementary age

    Picture book story of the first crèche; nice illustrations

    Purchase from,,

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Christmas Carols
  • Make a Joyful Noise: A Pop-Up Book of Christmas Carols

    Crespi, Francesca
    Little Simon, Simon & Schuster, 1997
    New edition: "Ding Dong! Merrily on High: A Pop-Up Book of Christmas Carols"

    All ages

    Especially beautiful pop-up book with an additional moving part on three of the scenes.

    Purchase from,,

  • The Huron Carol

    de Brébeuf, Father Jean; Frances Tyrrell, illustrator
    Dutton Children's Books, 1926 (text) 1990 (illustrations)
    New York, New York
    Now in Kindle

    The Huron Carol was written by Jesuit missionary Fr de Brebeuf in the early 1600s for the Huron people. It was later translated into French and into English in 1926. Beautiful carol from Canada.

    Purchase from,,

  • Tomie dePaola's Book of Christmas Carols

    de Paola, Tomie, illustrator
    G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1987
    New York, New York

    All ages

    32 carols exquisitely illustrated

    Purchase from,,

  • The Friendly Beasts: an old English Christmas Carol

    dePaola, Tomie, illustrator
    G. P. Putnam's Sons
    Puffin, 1981, 1998

    New York, New York

    Perfect illustrations from Tomie dePaola illuminate this lovely carol—each animal brings its own gift to the Christ Child; music included

    Purchase from,,

  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas: Songs of the Season for Young People

    Fox, Dan
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Arcade Publishing, Little, Brown and Company, 1989

    New York, New York

    All ages

    25 easy to play Christmas carols, nicely illustrated

    Purchase from,,

  • The Carolers

    Guback, Georgia
    Greenwillow, William Morrow & Company, 1992
    New York, New York

    The is my very favorite book of carols—it is hard to find, but the cut-paper collage illustrations are a complete delight. The music goes along the bottom of the page under the illustrations.

    Purchase from,,

  • Christmas Carols

    Willcocks, David
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1983

    New York, New York

    All ages

    41 popular Christmas carols illustrated with art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Purchase from Metropolitan Museum of Art Store

    Purchase from,,

More Books About St. Nicholas
Basic Books about St. Nicholas
Picture Books for Younger Children (and all ages)
Picture Books for Older Children
Books for Older Children
Saints Books for Adults
Saints Books for Children
Activity & Resource Books
Christmas Books with St. Nicholas
Related Books
Books in Other Languages
Children's Books in Other Languages

Digital Media

Books for the Church Year and more
Church Year General Resource Books
Advent, Christmas & Epiphany Resource Books
Lent, Easter & Pentecost Resource Books
Children's Books
Church Year & Holiday Cycle Books
Christmas Books
Spring & Easter Books
Story Bibles for Children
Children's Books about God and Faith
Books of Prayers