We love reading Christmas picture books in the weeks leading up to Christmas. They really get our family excited for Christmas and are a great way to spend time together. Here are a wide variety of books, some spiritual, some funny and playful that represent the Christmas season to us.
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20 Favorite Christmas Picture Books
1. “When Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem” by Joseph Brickey. Gorgeous paintings used in the scripture telling of Christ’s birth. Every page is filled with full color, beautiful art along with scripture verses.
2. “The Night before Christmas” by Clement Moore. We have two versions, one illustrated by John Gurney and the other by Jan Brett. This is a classic that must be part of every Christmas time.
3. “Olive, the other Reindeer” by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold. This is a hilarious story about Olive the dog, who thought she was the “other” Reindeer and her adventures when she heads to the North Pole to help Santa.
4. “Bear Stays Up for Christmas” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. We love the “Bear” books. Adorable illustrations and fun messages. In this book, Bear wakes up out of hibernation so he can see Santa and enjoy Christmas with his friends. But can he stay awake?
5. “The Christmas Sweater” by Glenn Beck, illustrated by Brandon Dorman. All Eddie wants for Christmas is a bike so when he gets a sweater instead, he is far from grateful, until his grandpa teaches him the true meaning of Christmas and his heart changes. A little Christmas magic doesn’t hurt either.
6. “Snowmen at Christmas” by Carolyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner. Snowmen come to life and have fun while everybody is sleeping. They decorate the tree, play games, and get to meet Santa.
7. “The Night Before the Night Before Christmas” by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Mike Lester. Funny poem about Mom having the flu, the tree that lost all its needles, the holes in the stockings, and all the silly things that go wrong for this family on the night before the night before Christmas. In the end, Dad saves the day as Mom is tucked into bed to rest and Christmas turns out just right.
8. “I Believe in Santa Claus” by Diane Adamson, illustrated by M. Chad Randall. A cute book about the symbols of Christmas and how even Santa Claus can remind us of the true meaning of Christmas.
9. “Biscuit’s Christmas” by Alyssa Capucilli, illustrated by Pat Schories. Cute story that’s perfect for toddlers and preschoolers starring Biscuit, the beloved dog. Biscuit helps choose and decorate the tree and get ready for Christmas.
10. “Kipper’s Christmas Eve” by Mark Inkpen. We love Kipper the dog. This is another book geared toward toddlers and young children. It’s about Kipper discovering the difference between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and fun with his friends getting ready for Christmas.
11. “I Spy Little Christmas” by Jean Marzollo. “I Spy” books are so much fun. This one is a board book perfect for the little ones. Search for fun Christmas items.
12. Clubhouse Christmas (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse) by Disney Book Group and Susan Amerikaner. Mickey and Friends are having a Christmas party and involve the kids in getting ready for the fun event. This is another board book.
13. Richard Scarry’s Christmas Mice. Two little mice wander the house on Christmas Eve night waiting for Santa. This book is for younger children.
14. “Only a Star” by Margery Facklam, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Beautiful pictures and words showing the quiet moments surrounding Christ’s birth. This tells a story about the dragonflies, beetles, doves and other simple creatures that were there and helped trim the stable for that Christmas night.
15. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss. This is a classic that we all know and love. How can you celebrate Christmas without spending a little time in Whoville?
16. “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. A young boy’s exciting adventure on the Polar Express train full of children on their way to the North Pole. Lots of Christmas magic and fun in this story.
17. “Can You See What I See? The Night Before Christmas: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve” by Walter Wick. We love “Can You See What I See” books. Awesome pictures with fun Christmas items to search for.
18. “The Tiny Star” by Arthus Ginolfi, illustrated by Pat Schories. Starlet is the tiny star that wishes she could twinkle and shine brighter like all the big stars around her. She gets her wish when she becomes a falling star and lands on the roof of the stable where Christ was born. She shines brightly so all can find Him.
19. “Mooseltoe” by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Henry Cole. A funny story about Moose’s attempt to make sure Christmas is perfectly perfect for his family. But he forgets one thing, the tree!
20. “The Three Bears’ Christmas” by Kathy Duval, illustrated by Paul Meisel. Cute twist on the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but this time Santa is the star. Find out if Baby Bear can catch Santa.
What are your favorite Christmas picture books?