Our Christmas picture books get packed away every year. It’s like toy rotation, but with books.
So every November when I pull them out, it’s exciting to “rediscover” our favourites.
We countdown to Christmas with a book advent.
(Check out our tutorial on handsewn book bags for a Christmas book advent.)
Here are 30+ of the best Christmas picture books for kids.
The photographed books are straight from our collection. I’ve also included lots of suggestions that I’ve heard raving reviews about. These ones are on our wishlist- at this rate, I’ll be adding to my childrens’ Christmas book collection until they are well into their 40s.
Just a note: I loathe putting age categories on books, as I find this can be restrictive. Please use the age guides as just that. A guide. My preschooler still enjoys certain board books and is interested in reading early chapter books. The best books can be enjoyed by all ages.
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Best Christmas Picture Books for Toddlers
Dear Santa by Rod Campbell More lift-the-flap goodness from the Dear Zoo creator. How will Santa decide upon the perfect gift? If Dear Zoo is beloved at your place, this Christmas version will be a hit.
Dream Snow by Eric Carle In my humble opinion, Eric Carle is one of the world’s greatest picture book creators. It would be remiss of me to not have him in our Christmas picture book collection! A kind farmer, who bears a strong resemblance to Santa, drifts off to sleep on Christmas Eve dreaming of snow. When he awakens, he realises he has forgotten to lay out presents for his animals. Eric Carle’s acclaimed illustrations were made for the magic of Christmas.
Spot’s Christmas by Eric Hill A sweet snapshot of the busyness of Christmas time with everybody’s favourite canine. Another lift-the-flap!
A Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer by Jennifer Adams The BabyLit series are the most delightful board books that introduce little readers to the classics. Symbols from this Charles Dickens classic are teamed with colours.
That’s Not My Santa by Fiona Watt and Rachel Well You cannot underestimate the power of these touch and feel books with their colourful illustrations. This is a festive addition to the extremely popular series.
My Little Gifts: Growing Hearts: A Book of Sharing by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey This dream team create the most amazing books together, using such clever die cuts. This one celebrates the gift of giving.
Bob by Sandra Boynton No toddler book collection is complete without a Sandra Boynton book (or 6) in it! This book actually contains 7 Christmas tales, all accessed from colourful picture tabs.
Christmas Treasure Hunt by Roger Priddy This is a look-and-find book filled with festive pictures.
Best Christmas Picture Books for Preschoolers
Little Mouse’s Christmas by Riika Jantti Little Mouse is a cheeky preschooler and thus a very popular character here. This charming book captures the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Day.
Pig the Elf by Aaron Blabey The Pig the Pug series make for such fun read alouds. The world’s greediest pug shows his true colours (as expected) during the Festive Season.
The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas by Justine Korman The Poky Little Puppy is one of the most popular books of all time. Whilst I acknowledge that it’s not the greatest piece of children’s literature ever written, who can go past a bit of nostalgia at Christmas?
Angelina’s Christmas by Helen Craig and Katharine Hollabird This is a throwback to my childhood. That is indeed my tattered childhood copy. A lovely story about spreading Christmas cheer to those who might usually go without.
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht and Jarvis I ADORE the work of Jarvis so this one is a no-brainer. A beautiful read aloud that explores all the rituals of the Festive Season.
Macca’s Christmas Crackers by Matt Cosgrove Macca is an alpaca and Christmas is his favourite time of year. A fun story about the true gift of giving.
The Christmas Book by Dick Bruna The Miffy creator brings his whimsial style to the Nativity story.
The 12 Days of Christmas by Britta Teckentrup I can never remember the words to this carol but there is no need to when you have this beautiful book on hand. Some exquisite paper engineering enables the peep-through pages to reveal each day’s gift.
A Pussy Cat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown and Anne Mortimer Christmas from the point of view of a cat?! Purrrrrr-fect!
Santa Rex by Molly Idle There are definitely not enough Christmas books featuring dinosaurs. Thank goodness for this beauty from the creator of the Flora series.
Walk This World at Christmas Time by Debbie Powell I’ve tried to convince myself that I can’t spend any money on Christmas picture books this Festive Season. But I really, really, really want this one! Each page is an exploration of how a different part of the world celebrates Christmas.
Presents Through the Window by Taro Gomi Christmas Eve requires so many presents to be delivered in such little time. A hilarious look at how being efficient on Christmas Eve can lead to present mix-ups a-plenty!
Best Christmas Books for 6+
Tony’s Bread by Tomie dePaola This is the tale of one of my favourite Christmas treats- panettone. Or pane di Tony. Or Tony’s Bread. Tomie dePaola’s books are always so fun to read with their Italian words sprinkled through the text. This is the tale behind how panettone came into being.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg An absolute Christmas classic. Need I say more?
Samurai Santa by Rubin Pingk I never can go past a ninja book and this one has awesome graphic novel-style illustrations.
What Do You Wish For? By Jane Godwin and Anna Walker A beautiful ode to all the things that make Christmas special.
The Christmasasaurus by Tom Fletcher A sweet novel about a boy and a dinosaur and their Christmas Eve adventure.
Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R Tolkien Every November, an envelope from the North Pole would appear for the Tolkien children. This is the treasury of the amazingly detailed letters that Tolkien would write for his children under the pen name of Father Christmas.
The 12 Days of Christmas by Robert Sabuda This is the pop-up book of all pop-up books. The most amazing paper engineering!
Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo and Jim Field Michael Morpurgo. Need I say more? Mia’s grandfather writes her Christmas letters, outlining his hopes for the world she is to inherit.
Quentin Blake’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens The classic accompanied with the iconic illustrations of Quentin Blake.
The Christmas Book: How To Have The Best Christmas Ever by Juliana Foster An awesome informative text that provides a wealth of tips and tricks on how to have a memorable Christmas.
Christmas Picture Books with Beloved Characters
And sometimes you just need a Christmas picture book featuring one of your little one’s favourite characters. Peppa Pig, I’m looking at you.
I hate to make a call like “there is one book that should be in every Christmas picture book collection….” but I’m going to do it anyway. This one is a classic. So many envelopes and papery goodness to explore in this classic.
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If you prefer, you can order from Australian based online bookstore Booktopia.
Thanks for your support. Happy reading!