When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. This keeps it 100% reader supported and free of ads or sponsorships. Thanks for your support!

Get our Survival Guides

Favorite Holiday Books for Kids

Books are such a fun, easy thing to add to your family’s holiday traditions. This year, sadly, with limited travel and family visits, there will probably be more time for this kind of thing — the building of new traditions, that is. So why not make reading holiday books as a family one of them?

Here are some of our favorite books celebrating the holiday season in all shapes, colors, and sizes (listed in no particular order.)

But first…

Celebrations Are Different This Year and That’s OK!, Julie Blair & Susan Leininger

Written by two sisters, this timely book tackles the pandemic on your kids’ level. If your children (or YOU) are bumming about missed holiday traditions, this might help them cheer up.

The Bear and the Star, Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Bethanne Andersen

This book has gorgeous winter illustrations and tells the story of a bear who works to prepare for a holiday celebration that brings people and animals from far and wide together in peace.

Queen of the Hannukah Dosas, Pamela Ehrenberg, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar

This book for 4-6 year olds mixes traditional Jewish and Indian celebratory foods and themes in a sweet story about making dosas for Hanukkah.

The Crayons’ Christmas, Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The crayons are back in town! (If you don’t know the crayons yet, get The Day the Crayons Quit.) This adorable and funny book comes complete with laughs and Christmas card inserts (kids are obsessed with these, if you don’t already know that… though they do tend to get lost in our house, hah).

The Nutcracker in Harlem, T.E. McMorrow, illustrated by James Ransome

This creative book is a retelling of The Nutcracker through the eyes of Marie, who opens a magical present at her family’s jazz-inspired Christmas party.

The Shortest Day, Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis

Derived from a poem celebrating the winter solstice and “the return of light,” The Shortest Day explores the joy of the sunrise after the dark, long days of winter.

The Jolly Christmas Postman, Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Janet Ahlberg

Another book with inserts! The postman visits all your classic fairy tale favorites — and you get to read all their letters aloud. A very interactive reading experience .

Pick a Pine Tree, Patricia Toht, illustrated by Jarvis

This cute book follows a family as they pick out a simple evergreen tree from the lot and then transform it into a glowing, cheerful Christmas tree. (It made me want to go out and get ours right now!)

The Magic of Friendship Snow, Andi Cann

This is a sweet story about — you guessed it — friendship. Jojo feels alone until she befriends Puddles, a magical snowman, and learns about the joy of true friendship.

Hanukkah Bear, Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

This story about latkes, so deliciously tempting that they lure a bear out of hibernation, has a fun and quirky plot that kids love (it may or may not involve the latke chef mistaking the bear for her rabbi).

The Christmas Quiet Book, Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Renata Liwska

I love The Quiet Book. The cadence and the simplicity of it are beautiful, IMO ( introvert here, BTW), and the Christmas edition is equally endearing. An especially great pick for those in need of calming reads, or for right before bedtime.

The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg

The book that needs no introduction. It’s an all-time Christmas classic that stands the test of time.

That’s a wrap, folks. Do you have other holiday favorites your family loves reading? Please share in the comments!

See also!

Holiday Gift Guides 2020


  1. I’m usually a big fan of your recommendations, but The Crayons’ Christmas is AWFUL. It’s just weird almost inside jokes that my 3 year old absolutely does not understand. Maybe an older kid would but even then they’re just bizarre. We threw it in the garbage after attempting to read it twice.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *