Here are 20 books for Christmas for you!
2020 has been a bizarre year to say the least. But it has its constants – like the holiday season and cozy reading with your kids.
There really is no better excuse than a global pandemic to cuddle with a cup of cocoa and these great books:
The Tree That’s Meant to Be
by Yuval Zommer
First on my list of Christmas books for kids is this delightful one about a group of friends coming together.
We love Zommer’s books in this house – always so beautifully illustrated with sweet lessons. And we certainly like that he has a book about sausages.
A little pine tree starts as a seed and as he grows – he doesn’t focus too much on his height. When people come to his part of the forest to pick their Christmas trees, our stunted tree is left alone.
Luckily he’s not lonely for long as all the forest animals decorate him and celebrate the holiday. He grows taller every year with his new friends and is never lonely again.
There’s an Elf in Your Book
by Tom Fletcher with illustrations by Greg Abbott
This was our favourite book about Christmas last year.
It’s an interactive story about an Elf making sure you are on the nice list. He asks you to sing a Christmas song or blow a Christmas kiss.
He also loves to play tricks so kids have to be careful! Like repeating “I’m a wisenheimer sparkle butt” or challenging your reader to do their ‘loudest, stinkiest pizza burp’. I change this last one to ‘toot’ and my kids were in peals of laughter.
Really fun and your kids will be asking to read it over and over again.
Tom Fletcher has many of these types of books about monsters or aliens in your book – they are all fun!
How to Hide a Lion at Christmas
by Helen Stephens
This was one of my favourite books about Christmas last year.
Iris and her family are getting ready to head to Auntie Sarah’s for Christmas. Iris is sad that she has to leave her lion behind. She’s had him ever since he arrived in town and all the townspeople love him – but a new town might be afraid of a gigantic lion.
Iris is so sad to leave him and lion doesn’t like to see her unhappy. So he sneaks out and makes the train journey with them. He accidentally falls asleep and ends up going on a Christmas adventure looking for Iris.
I love the randomness that British authors seem to capture so well and I love the illustrations. It makes me want to spend Christmas in a small village in the UK.
The Princess and the Christmas Rescue
by Caryl Hart with pictures by Sarah Warburton
Princess Eliza lives in a secluded palace way up north and has no one to play with. She likes to invent handy gadgets but her parents want her to act more ‘princessy’ and make some friends. But who lives nearby?
Eliza follows chimney smoke into the forest and is suddenly lost until she meets a helpful reindeer with bells on his head. He takes her to a cottage full of busy (and very stressed) elves who are worried they won’t be ready for Christmas because they have a sick Santa.
While they sleep, Eliza builds machines to help ease their workload – like a gift sorter, a letter reader and a gift wrapper. Her ingenuity and kindness grabs the attention of the big guy and she spends Christmas night on his sleigh delivering presents.
Construction Site on Christmas Night
by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ag Ford
#5 on our list of 20 books Christmas for kids is a beloved one.
If you have small kids, I am sure you are already familiar with Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
This is the long-awaited Christmas story starring our favourite construction vehicles. The trucks have been working very hard building something new and as each finishes their work for the day, they find a gift and a thank you card.
Bulldozer gets a new carbon steel blade, Dump Truck gets new tires, etc. But who could have given the trucks these wonderful gifts?
The fire trucks whose new house the tucks have been building! Well, I think anyways. A great book for any truck-loving kid!
by Lou Peacock with pictures by Helen Stephens
This has to be one of the most delightful books about Christmas for kids. And for parents. I adore this one.
I now know why I loved the illustrations in How to Hide a Lion at Christmas so much – both were done by Helen Stephens.
Noah is a little boy who has a stuffed elephant named Oliver – both my kids carry around their elephants everywhere so this was the main reason they loved this book so much.
Noah goes Christmas shopping with his mom, his sister and, of course, Oliver. In a delightful British department store (I told my husband we are spending Christmas with our families in the UK next year), the family shops and Oliver has his own little adventures in each department.
When Noah realizes that his beloved stuffy is missing they must retrace their steps. Will they find Oliver Elephant?
A lovely, gentle story perfect for Christmas.
Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas
by Julian Rawlinson with pictures by Tiphanie Beeke
We highly enjoy Fletcher the fox and his other seasonal books like Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms
In this festive version, Fletcher is worried Santa Claus won’t find the rabbits in their new burrow so works with his forest friends to make a clear trail for Santa to find. Unfortunately, on Christmas Eve there is a snowstorm and all their clever trail is covered. Fletcher tries to stay awake so he can tell Santa where they live, but he falls asleep.
On Christmas morning, the gang rushes to the burrow to find that Santa had no problem finding the new home and everyone has a wonderful time celebrating the day.
by Diana Hendry with pictures by Jane Chapman
Little Mouse is so excited for Christmas and sets out to get holly for Big Mouse and their tree.
When snow starts to fall, Little Mouse in convinced that the sky is coming undone. He begins to race home because Big Mouse will know what to do. What he finds is a world new to him and he thinks his reflection is a mouse that looks just like his in the water named Mouse Ness. He thinks his foot prints are the Mouse Ness Monster following him. And then is shocked by the snow mouse waiting for him at his door.
He’s overwhelmed and frightened, but his mama, Big Mouse, explains the magic of snow to him. Then snuggle up by the fire and wait for Christmas. It’s really sweet and my kids love saying “holly jolly, jolly holly’ with Little Mouse.
Jane Chapman’s illustrations are always warm and comforting like this one.
One Wild Christmas
by Nicholas Oldland
We love Oldland’s books and his portrayal of Canadian animals learning fun lessons in the forest.
It’s Christmas and bear, moose and beaver are very excited. They have everything ready: the food, stockings by the fire, and presents wrapped. But they have forgotten the most important thing: The tree!
The trio sets off to find the perfect tree and when they do, beaver prepares to chew it down.
But bear, the tree loving bear from Big Bear Hug, gets so upset with the prospect of chopping down a tree for Christmas. He has a brilliant idea and brings all the Christmas things to the tree. And the friends have a wonderful celebration.
I love the idea of conservation in this one!
The Christmas Wind
by Stephanie Simpson McLellan with illustrations by Brooke Kerrigan
This is one for slightly older kids (maybe 6 and up). It’s a really lovely story about a little girl named Jo and a cold Christmas wind.
On a cold and windy Christmas Eve, Jo must find shelter for her sick mother and baby brother. Her only option is the unfriendly farmer, Murdoch. But he ends up being much less fierce than the wind and the family finds the perfect sanctuary.
This story has similar themes to the nativity story without being about, you know, the little baby Jesus (even though I am not religious I still feel is a good story). Gorgeous illustrations and a perfect message for Christmas – plus it’s Canadian!
This is Christmas
by Tom Booth
This deliciously illustrated book is about a little chipmunk who asks a big question: what is Christmas?
His mama asks him what he thinks it means so he explores the forest to discover the parts that make up Christmas. It’s decorating burrows with red berries, small presents wrapped in blades of grass, and sharing notes. Overnight it snows and chipmunk wakes up to find his world covered in white. When all the animals of the forest gather to play, chipmunk finally understands what Christmas is all about.
A very sweet and gorgeous book that looks at the holiday with the curious eyes of a child.
Just Right for Christmas
by Birdie Black & Rosalind Beardshaw
I love this book – it is all about reusing and thinking about what your loved ones need. I love any book by this duo of Birdie Black & Rosalind Beardshaw
It starts with the king finding a bolt of red fabric that would make the perfect cloak for the princess. With the leftover fabric, the castle’s kitchen maid makes a jacket for her mother.
It keeps going and the fabric keeps getting smaller until Milly the mouse finds the last scrap and makes a scarf for her son.
Each gift is given and received with love and declared ‘just right for Christmas’.
Emily Brown and Father Christmas
by Cressida Cowell and Neal Layton
Emily Brown is the star of a really cute picture book series
In this one, Emily Brown and her stuffed bunny Stanley hang up their stockings and hear a cry for ‘Ho Ho Help’.
Santa is hanging upside down from the roof after trying out the very latest in climbing equipment. Emily Brown suggests that maybe good old fashioned magic is the way to go. He needs her help again when his high-tech sleigh won’t start. Again, she suggests the good old fashioned reindeer might be better.
Santa has too much new technology with each aspect of delivering Christmas and on top of that: he has a bad winter cold!
Emily Brown tucks Santa in for a nap and her and Stanley tackle delivering presents the old way: using magic.
So cute and a good reminder that the newest tech might not always be the best or what we need.
by Nicola Smee
Starring the animals of Clip-Clop this book takes the farm animals on a wintery, jingly sleigh ride.
Of course the animals want to slide down the hill and of course they all fly out of the sleigh. Landing in the soft snow, the animals agree that was the coolest thing ever and do it again and again.
Simple text and pictures with all the fun spirit of a winter afternoon spent tobogganing.
by Will Hillenbrand
Santa is ready to get in his sleigh on Christmas Eve but he can’t find his reindeer anywhere!
Dancer is, well, dancing. Comet is watching the shooting stars. And Donner is dozing.
None of the reindeer come when Santa blows his horn or jingles his bells. Then he remembers their Christmas Eve tradition: Storytime! Suddenly all the reindeer are present and accounted for so they can listen to a story. Once the story is read, they are ready to fly.
We love to read all the time but there is something extra cozy on Christmas Eve when we snuggle up and read the same books every year. This one will definitely be included from now on!
Will Hillenbrand always writes with such wit, humour and kindness – check out his adorable book series: A Bear and Mole
by Matt Tavares
Tavers’ other Christmas story, Red and Lulu, is also on this list. He writes a darn good Christmas book! He also has the most beautiful illustrations.
Dasher is a young reindeer with a wish in her heart. While she travels with her family in a circus, she dreams of snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head.
She is brave and journeys to the North Pole where she meets a nice man in red. You know the rest of the story and we love how this is an origin story of one of the reindeers that is not Rudolph.
Red and Lulu
by Matt Tavares
This book is an ode to the tree at Rockefeller Plaza and the little birds who make it their home.
Red and Lulu are cardinals living in a beautiful evergreen tree. One day, while Red is out getting food, some people come to take the tree away. Red is just in time to see Lulu disappearing and follows her.
His journey takes him from the country to New York City. Sadly, he lost sight of her and searches high and low. When he finally hears her sweet song, he finds their tree now lit with Christmas Lights surrounded by hundreds of people.
Reunited, the birds spend Christmas in their nest and when it’s time for the tree to go – they decide to make New York their home and find another tree in Central Park.
If you know me, you know I love New York. And the best time to be in New York? CHRISTMAS! This is one of my favourite books to remind me of the magic feeling NYC has during the holidays.
The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas!
by Tom Fletcher & Dougie Poynter with pictures by Garry Parsons
I won’t lie: this book is gross.
But kids LOVE gross things and my kids thought this book was hilarious. Not to mention, it has a great message. Albeit a disgusting one.
Danny is a greedy little boy who keeps asking for more things. Santa decides to leave him an unpleasant present: a dinosaur egg. Danny is of course angry especially when the egg hatches and the dinosaur eats everything it sees.
And I mean everything. He eats all the Christmas decorations, then the rooms, and finally Danny’s family.
Without his family, Danny is heartbroken and realizes that Christmas is nothing without his family. Luckily (or unluckily?) the dinosaur poops everything out and Danny celebrates Christmas with those he loves most.
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
by Jane O’Connor with pictures by Robin Preiss Glasser
Oh how I love Fancy Nancy. I overlooked this book series for a long time but should not have let its popularity sway me. It’s popular for a reason!
Nancy is such a fun, spirited little girl who has BIG heart. In this Christmas book, Nancy is so excited for the holidays. It’s the one time of the year her house in fancy!
She can’t wait to decorate the tree and put her beautiful angel on the top. She used all her birthday money to pay for her angel – it’s never too early to prepare for Christmas.
Nancy can’t decorate her tree until grandpa arrives and he’s taking forever. While she waits, she plays with Frenchie her dog and when things get rambunctious her angel is broken.
Grandpa arrives just in time and teaches Nancy that when life gives you broken eggs you make egg nog! Meaning that they work together to create a new tree topper. One that Nancy will treasure forever.
So cute and sweet. And so Nancy. It’s time you start reading this series!
by Jon Agee
The final book on my list of 20 books about Christmas is this sweet little origin story.
Little Santa loves the North Pole but the rest of his family is tired of how hard their life is. They decide to move to Florida.
The night before they are going to move a blizzard hits the North Pole. Everything is buried – including their house. Little Santa goes up the chimney in search of help. He finds a buried reindeer that can fly and then a house full of little elves who quickly build a sleigh so they can all go save the Claus family.
Even though Little Santa’s family has a wonderful time with Little Santa’s new friends they still want to move to Florida.
But Little Santa? Well you know the rest. . .
Jon Agee writes with such simple text and such moving illustrations. We love his book Life on Mars
Have a happy reading season with all these Christmas reads! And as always,