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Best Christmas Books and Holiday Books for Kids

  • Elf on the Shelf Book and Doll

    The Elf on the Shelf
    How exactly does Santa keep tabs on who's naughty and who's nice? Turns out he's got a mole—the elf on the shelf—who comes packaged with a companion book. The elf mysteriously changes locations overnight, and kids love looking for him as soon as they wake up in the morning. Bonus for parents: Since the elf's always watching, you should be able to milk major good behavior out of your kid. Is it any wonder this made our list of best Christmas books for kids? ($28;

  • The Night Before Christmas

    The Night Before Christmas
    We all know the magical, evocative words of Clement C. Moore's traditional holiday poem. This gorgeously illustrated version, which uses collage papers and oil paints, adds a modern twist: Santa wears funky pants, sports dreadlocks and leaves the children traditional African gifts. This is one of the classic children's Christmas books for a reason. ($12;

  • Fancy Nancy

    Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
    Nancy's psyched about the holidays until her ultra-fancy tree topper breaks. Can the ultimate girly-girl learn to love plain old DIY tree decorations? As always, the detailed, sparkly illustrations in this Christmas book make it a fave among the princess set. ($10;

  • Pete the Cat

    Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas
    Looking for appropriate Christmas books for 5-year-olds? If you’re kiddo is a Pete the Cat fan, then this is a must-have stocking stuffer. Pete and his pals put their cool spin on the famous Christmas carol...five onion rings are better than five golden rings, right? ($9;

  • Dear Santa: I Know It Looks Bad, But It Wasn’t My Fault

    Dear Santa: I Know It Looks Bad, But It Wasn’t My Fault
    This is one of those Christmas stories for kids who can be naughty at times. In his letter to Santa, Scalawag wants to clear up a few misunderstandings about incidents that took place during the year and adds what he would like for Christmas. However, when someone he loves ends up in the emergency room, Scalawag writes another letter to Santa asking for a different gift, one that shows he learned the true meaning of Christmas. ($14;

  • Eric Carle Christmas book

    Dream Snow
    Lovers of Eric Carle's classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar will recognize the same iconic collage illustrations in this wintry tale about a farmer who dreams about a white Christmas. Like Caterpillar, the pages hold extra interest for young readers, with cutouts and counting. One of our must-have Christmas books for babies and young readers. ($22;


  • Brer Rabbit Kwanzaa

    Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa
    Kwanzaa is another important celebration that takes place during the holiday season. Brer Rabbit meets African tradition in this tale of a rabbit looking for something special to give his sick grandmother for Karamu, the Kwanzaa feast. ($10;


  • The Grinch

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas
    Dr. Seuss's classic is probably one of the most popular Christmas stories for kids. After all, what would Christmas be without the Grinch? Your kids will be delighted by the dastardly character, who plots to cancel the holiday, only to find it happens anyway, even without the presents. ($13;

  • Olivia Helps with Christmas

    Olivia Helps With Christmas
    The plucky piglet gets her house ready for Christmas, "helping" her parents in the most unhelpful ways possible. The charming black and white illustrations — punctuated with green and red accents for the holidays — play off the spare words to tell the whole story. Perfect if you're looking for books for 5-year-olds. ($7;

  • Nightmare Before Christmas

    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    You may think that Oct. 31 is way too early to start thinking about Christmas, but the two holidays collide in this book based on the movie of the same name, both by Tim Burton. Bored with the tricks of Halloween, a skeleton sets out to take over as Santa — a story told in rhyme and illustrated with spooky drawings. Definitely one of the most unique Christmas stories for kids. ($12;

  • Latke Hanukkah

    Meet the Latkes
    This is an instant classic holiday book for children. When Lucy Latke’s grandpa tells the story of Hanukkah, it’s obvious the potato pancake family needs to learn a thing or two about the holiday— (Maccabees, not Mega Bees). It’s up to the family dog to teach them the true story about Hanukkah. ($13;

  • Snowmen Christmas

    Snowmen at Christmas
    Snowmen are essential characters in most children's Christmas books, and their secret life is revealed in this gorgeously illustrated tale. Snow families gather in the town square, sing carols and get their own visit from "the snowman Kris Kringle" before reassuming their positions in the front yard as dawn breaks. ($11;

  • Christmas Story

    Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale
    This is one of the most perfect Christmas books for kids and babies. The beautiful story tells the tale of Kind Ox, Old Dog, Stray Cat and Small Mouse, who make room for one another in the small stable next to an inn. Whenever a smaller animal enters the inn, the larger one states, “There’s always room for a little one here.” When Tired Donkey stops in carrying Joseph and Mary and asks for room, the response is still the same. ($12;

  • Olive the Other Reindeer

    Olive, the Other Reindeer
    Christmas stories for kids don't get any cuter! When Olive the dog hears the phrase from the popular Christmas tune "all of the other reindeer," she concludes she is "Olive, the other reindeer" and heads to the North Pole to join Santa's team. Doggie high jinks ensue. ($12;

  • Polar Express

    The Polar Express: 30th Anniversary Edition
    All aboard! This tale of children hopping on a night train to visit Santa at the North Pole is pure holiday magic. ($18;


  • The Christmas Dinosaur

    The Christmasaurus
    Do you have a dinosaur lover in your home? If so, grab this Christmas book for kids. When Santa finds an egg in the North Pole, he sits on it to see if it hatches — and ho, ho ho, it’s a dinosaur! Then, Santa accidentally gives dinosaur fan William Trundle the real dinosaur instead of a toy for Christmas! However, a naughty man named Hunter wants the dinosaur for himself. ($10;

  • Hanukkah Book

    All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah
    Take a trip back to 1912, on the Lower East Side of NYC, where five girls prepare for Hanukkah. When Gertie throws a tantrum because she isn’t allowed to help them, she is punished and sent to her room. But when Papa arrives home, he gives her the best gift of all, which is lighting the first candle on the menorah. ($12;

  • Wild Christmas Reindeer Book

    The Wild Christmas Reindeer
    The highlight of this tale about an elf charged with training Santa's reindeer for their annual Christmas ride is the rich artwork by author-artist Jan Brett. Intricate scenes of elf workers busily prepping for the big day frame the main story, so kids discover something with each reading. Add it to your list of Christmas books for 5-year-olds and up. ($7;

  • Junie B Christmas Book

    Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bell, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May)
    Kids love Junie B. because she speaks their language—grammatical errors, G-rated bad words and all. The irrepressible Junie B. tangles with class tattletale May in this holiday version of the popular series, and then it gets "worser:" she finds out she has to be May's secret Santa. Will she get into the Christmas spirit? ($5;

  • Construction Site on Christmas Night

    Construction Site on Christmas Night
    Vroom! If your child loves Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, then they will adore this Christmas book. Excavator, Bulldozer and friends are building a special gift on the construction site, but they don’t know there is a surprise waiting for each of them! ($15;