The Best Picture Books for Christmas

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Our Best Picutre Books for Christmas.

One of our lovely customers told us last year that it was clear that “not all Christmas books are created equal” and she was so very right. Reading aloud stories that have a Christmas theme during December is a lovely tradition and will help build anticipation and excitement about the big day. Lots of Christmas books get published, but a truly beautiful one becomes a family treasure.

Many of them have lessons about greed, about sharing and looking out for others which can be well needed during a time when kids are obsessing over toy catalogues and dreaming of sleighs full of toys just for them!

Here are our favourites of the Christmas Themed picture books for kids.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore 

Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.   This classic traditional story has beautiful illustrations by Helene Magisson.  It’s a great Christmas gift to be treasured. We love this story, which I remember fondly being read to at bedtime during Christmas in my own childhood and we are continuing the tradition in the Story Mama house. This is a lovely edition, with beautifully soft and detailed illustrations.  We think this one fits into the category of every child must own! For ages 1-5


The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg for ages 4+

This is the award winning classic Christmas tale of midnight steam train rides, Santa, and keeping the faith in the magic of Christmas. We especially love the originality of this one.

I Love You Father Christmas by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd for ages 2+

Told with enthusiasm and joy, this letter to Santa by a young child is full of Christmas spirit.

We especially love the child who tries to share their toys and acts especially helpful in the lead up to Christmas. With a great description of Santa with his beard and belly, this would be a good picture book for young children who are not quite sure whether they love him yet……….

Wombat Devine by Mem Fox

Wombat loves the Nativity Play. He loves it so much that he tries out for every part. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to be quite right for any of them. But wise Emu knows the perfect role for a sleepy wombat, one that might just make him the star of the show! This is a Christmas book without a single mention of Santa, or Reindeers or even presents. It has a lovely Australian flavour.

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allen Ahlberg

It's Christmas Eve and the Jolly Postman is delivering greetings to various fairy-tale characters - there's a card for Baby Bear, a game appropriately called 'Beware' for Red Riding Hood from Mr Wolf, a get-well jigsaw for hospitalised Humpty Dumpty and three more surprise envelopes containing letters and cards and games.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

The Grumpy Grinch tries to steal Christmas from the citizens of Whoville.  He soon realizes that Christmas is more than just presents, tinsel and mistletoe. 

If you have a little one who thinks Christmas is just about getting presents?  Then it might be time to roll out this Dr Seuss classic.  There is a fantastic message that Christmas is more than just the loot and the trimmings. 

Russell’s Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton

When Santa and his broken sleigh are stranded in Firefly Wood, Santa is sure that Christmas will have to be cancelled. That is, until Russell the Sheep comes to the rescue! With a clatter and a bang, Russell shows that hard work and a little imagination can make a magic that is all his own.

The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Britta Teckentrup for ages 3-6

The classic Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is brought to life by Britta Teckentrup for a new generation. With two sweet little Christmas elves, peep through cut outs and festive sparkle this is a Christmas book to treasure.

With silver and gold in the art work and a peep through cut out that gets bigger with every addition to the song, this is a lovely Christmas book to keep. It’s a great way for little kids to learn the traditional song. With lots of repetition and counting, it is also a good one for building on early numeracy and literacy.

(Note to parents – this version of the verse includes 4 Colly Birds which is from a 1700’s version of the verse and may be different to the version you grew up with)


The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nicky Greenberg

Poor Rudolf is sick so his naughty sister Ruby helps out Santa instead. This is a book about a cheeky reindeer who always finds herself in lots of trouble. Will Christmas be a disaster?

We love this happy and heart-warming tale which has a slightly unusual end. Told in rhyme with an easy to read rhythm, this is bound to become a Christmas read-aloud favourite.

Christmas Wombat by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley

Christmas comes but once a year, and it's just as well for Santa's reindeer, who have to fight with Mothball for the carrots left out for them by the local children. And when Mothball takes an unexpected sleigh ride, it's not just Santa who faces the prospect of getting stuck in the chimney.

So there you go, that is our 12 favourite books for the Festive Season. We are looking forward to getting them out of their hiding spot because otherwise Master 5 would have us read them all year. Do you have a favourite Christmas book? Tell us about it in the comments below. 


What do you WISH for? by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker

Christmas always made Ruby feel excited. There was so much to look forward to! All the children in the street are writing down a special Christmas wish. But what is Ruby's wish? What does she wish for at Christmas time? Ruby thinks of all the things that make Christmas special . . . 

This is a sparkling and beautiful story, full of the wonder of Christmas, the magic of wishing, and the timeless dreams of being a child.

We love how Anna Walker and Jane Godwin have captured the magic of an Australian suburban Christmas without being too “ocker” about it.  Long sunny days and swimming at the beach. Street parties and  Ruby wishes for Christmas to always be special. What a perfect sentiment!  Some of the other children’s wishes are also really cute, like to meet a reindeer or to go to their teachers wedding. This is a gorgeous Christmas book to keep and treasure. We recommend for ages 3-8


So there you have it, our favourites books to be reading at Christmas time. Do you have a favourite Christmas book in your family? We would love to hear about it in the comments below. 


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Last update: Nov 17, 2017


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