Magical and Wholesome Christmas Picture Books for Kids

Filled with adorable illustrations and kid-friendly storylines, these Christmas picture books can definitely make the holiday season even more magical for children.

Here are the best Christmas picture books that you can get for your kid, grandchild, niece, and nephew:

1. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree emphasizes the importance of sharing via lyrical rhymes. This message is especially important during the Yuletide season. By giving away part of his oversized Christmas tree, Mr. Willowby helps others discover the joy of Christmas.

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

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2. Bear Stays up for Christmas (The Bear Books) By Karma Wilson

You do not need to be familiar with The Bear Books to enjoy Bear Stays Up for Christmas. When Bear’s friends wake him up, each must take a turn to help him stay awake. The woodland friends then share classic Christmas traditions. Some of these include bringing a Christmas tree home, decorating it, and hanging stockings.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas (The Bear Books) by Karma Wilson

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3. Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sheri Duskey Rinker

Sheri Duskey’s Construction Site on Christmas is one of the best Christmas books for preschoolers. As you might have probably guessed, it is a construction-themed book bursting with enchanting Christmas details. In fact, one of the characters looks like a candy cane. 

In the story, a team of construction equipment races to finish a special project. Readers learn that everyone plays a unique role on a team. To show that every job is important, each vehicle receives a Christmas gift and a thank you note.

Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sheri Duskey Rinker

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4. The Littlest Reindeer (Littlest Series) By Brandi Dougherty

Although Dot is the smallest of Santa’s reindeer, she shows that courage and persistence can make anything possible. Dot yearns to join Santa’s magical herd of flying reindeer but is too small to join the flying team this year. Her friends and family try to help her with varying success. 

This heartwarming tale is perfect for younger children who are frequently frustrated at feeling too small. If you have an older child, this book will help him/her learn how to encourage his/her younger peers or siblings to achieve their dreams.

The Littlest Reindeer (Littlest Series) by Brandi Dougherty

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5. Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker

This story begins with Christmas canceled and no hope of any holiday joy. Then, one little mouse’s big faith ignites a community. By lighting a single candle, Mouse inspires his community to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Mouse’s Christmas Gift touches on complicated themes like illness and poverty. Despite this, the book remains joyful and sweet. Plus, its beautiful illustrations add warmth to the touching story. Also included are scripture and the lyrics to “O Holy Night.” 

Children of all ages will enjoy this gentle introduction to the true reason to celebrate Christmas. They will also learn that small actions can make an enormous difference.

Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker

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6. Walk This World at Christmastime by Big Picture Press

If you prefer an educational Christmas book for your kid, pick up the Walk This World at Christmastime. This book offers a captivating and fascinating peek into other countries’ Christmas traditions. Your child will learn about food, toys, clothes, and more in this holiday book.

Walk This World At Christmastime

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7. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

From the author of The Wizard of Oz comes a Christmas fairy tale that details Santa’s past. It opens as a lioness and wood nymphs adopt an abandoned infant named Santa. He grows up in a mythical forest with mythological creatures as his guides. 

This book is more text-heavy and best suited for older children.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

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8. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Expansive illustrations and an enduring message are two reasons why The Polar Express is a classic Christmas story. The text features full sentences sprinkled with poetic phrases, promising a literary journey beyond simple rhyming couplets. Plus, with its awe-inspiring illustrations, children will love rediscovering the magic of Christmas every year.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

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9. Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner 

What do snowmen do on Christmas Eve when all the children are asleep? Snowmen at Christmas answers this captivating question. Filled with swinging Southwestern flair, this book pairs catchy rhymes with imaginative illustrations. 

Readers of all ages will enjoy peeking into a snowman celebration, including snowman treats and a rambunctious dance. The illustrations also contain a scavenger hunt: each picture includes five hidden elements for readers to find. With themes of joy and community, this story is everything Christmas picture books aspire to be.

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner 

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10. Goodnight Manger by Laura Sassi

Any parent who has struggled to get a baby to sleep will resonate with Mary’s struggles in Goodnight Manger. This picture book is a captivating adventure story about who can keep newborn Jesus awake, and hilarity ensues.

Goodnight Manger by Laura Sassi

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11. Mistletoe: A Christmas Story by Tad Hills

At its heart, Mistletoe: A Christmas Story is a heartwarming tale of friendship and generosity. Norwell the elephant and Mistletoe the mouse do not enjoy doing the same things all the time. Norwell prefers to be warm in his cozy house while Mistletoe is ready for a snowy adventure. 

During Christmas, the friends find ways to use their talents to make wonderful gifts. Each gift gives the other the opportunity to enjoy time with the other.

Mistletoe: A Christmas Story by Tad Hills

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12. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King is an expressive retelling of the classic short story in graphic novel form. This book’s lively illustrations capture the magic that inspired Tchaikovsky to write his iconic ballet. 

Written about 70 years before Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, Hoffman’s story is darker and more sinister. So, do not expect any ballerinas. However, Andrewson’s magical artwork acts as the perfect introduction to a beloved Christmas tradition. Reluctant readers might find the graphic novel format less intimidating than prose.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman

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13. Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer

This picture book is about the camel who bears gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Bethlehem. Immersive illustrations bring this flippant camel to life. 

Humphrey begins the book with a hilarious self-serving inner monologue. When he meets the newborn Jesus, his heart changes. Between expressive camel grimaces and ridiculous shenanigans, Humphrey’s First Christmas is about discovering generosity. The camel’s unforgettable personality makes this a laugh-inducing book to read aloud.

Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer

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14. The Little Red Sleigh by Eric Guendelsberger

If your child’s dreams seem too big to come true, it might be time to read The Little Red Sleigh. After all, what dream could be bigger than becoming Santa’s sleigh? In the story, the titular character learns that dreams develop slowly, one piece at a time. Sometimes, they lead you on unexpected adventures. Bursting with bright illustrations, this story conveys a powerful message through color.

The Little Red Sleigh by Eric Guendelsberger

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15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

Dr. Suess’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas hardly needs an introduction. A few of the paragraphs might intimidate new readers, but this classic is fun for parents to read aloud. Accented by fanciful rhyming, this story’s heartwarming message is perfect for the holiday season.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

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16. The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen

When most Christmas books for preschoolers are a color explosion, The Little Reindeer showcases a subdued palette. Splashes of silver and red elevate restrained grayscale. The soft illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to this enchanting story. There are also cut-outs in the pages to add a sense of wonder. And, with only a paragraph per page, it will not intimidate new readers. 

As the story unfolds, your child will follow the adventure of a curious child, Ollie, who helps one of Santa’s reindeer. As a reward, Ollie experiences a reindeer flight.

The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen

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17. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey opens with a character in too much pain to feel any holiday cheer. When he meets a widow and her young son, his heart thaws as he recognizes reasons to be joyful. Kids will find a relatable main character and entrancing artistic illustrations. Told with an abundance of well-chosen words, this should be on every family’s list of Christmas picture books to read.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

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Magical Time for Children

Christmas is, without a doubt, for children. And reading or giving any of the mentioned Christmas picture books will certainly bring joy!

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