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Top Ten Christmas Picture Books for Kids

Updated on March 30, 2011

With the kids out of school for a long winter break, it’s a great time to snuggle up with a good picture book. Reading with and to your kids fosters a lifelong love of books. Here’s a Top Ten List of wonderful picture books for kids. (Sorry, I couldn’t rank them – they’re all #1!) Try my picks, but don’t take my word for it. Add your own choices in the comments!

Wenceslas: The Eternal Christmas Story

The story is adapted from the well know Christmas song. It teaches warmth, compassion and Yuletide spirit. Christian Birmingham’s illustrations are created with pastels in gorgeous blues, and purples, yellows and oranges. Parents and children will page through it over and over.

The Polar Express

This modern classic Christmas story was made even more popular by the major motion picture starring the voice of Tom Hanks. Kids and adults will be enchanted by story and subtle, gorgeous artwork.

Dream Snow

Eric Carle’s book of magic and mystery will delight parents as they read. Kids absolutely love the transparent page that blankets the landscape in snowflakes. The best part is the musical button at the end that plays an enchanting little tune! (We press it many, many times per read!)

Maurice Sendak's Christmas Mystery

No picture book list is complete without a selection from Maurice Sendak. The Christmas Mystery comes box set features a charming picture book and  jigsaw puzzle with 50 jumbo pieces. Kids put the puzzle together to discover the surprise solution to Sendak's merry Christmas mystery.

The Night Before Christmas

Jan Brett’s version of the classic tale is a must for any family who likes to recite the Night Before Christmas. Children who are familiar with Brett’s work will beg to flip through the pictures again and again.

Christmas in the Manger Board Book

This is the perfect first picture book about the first Christmas. The board book style is great for the youngest ‘readers’. The simple text and radiant artwork introduces young children to the wonder of the Nativity.

Not Enough Beds: A Christmas Alphabet Book

There are 26 members of the family expected for Christmas. This rhymed story recounts their arrivals with whimsy and rich detail. Of course, there are not enough beds for everyone! The illustrations are bright and cartoon-ish.

Humphrey's First Christmas

The art work is amazing in this touching story about Humphrey, cranky but lovable camel who ends up giving his most prized possession away to the baby Jesus. This beautiful story of giving serves as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad

Mercer Mayer's quirky, comical style is always a hit with kids. In Merry Christmas Mom and Dad, Little Critter wants to be a good helper. For every mistake he makes there is always a good explanation. All his foibles add up to a sweet and funny Christmas tale.

Doing Christmas

The family is getting ready for Granny’s Christmas visit. Things get crazy while shopping for presents, baking goodies, and decorating the tree, Doing Christmas reminds us that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Books for young Children 

    7 years ago

    What a great books list. I have another book to add to the list in case others were interested in good books.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Some great books to choose from for my little guy. I love Eric Carle books. Always one of my first choices in the preschool I work in.


  • Triplet Mom profile image

    Triplet Mom 

    9 years ago from West Coast

    Thanks these are some great books a few we have read but some I will check out. Thank you!

  • white atlantic profile image

    white atlantic 

    9 years ago from INDIA

    ya.i will try to suggest this


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