Christmas books are a genre of their own. And even though there hundreds (thousands?) of them, there are just a couple of days per year when they make sense. So, choose wisely. We know we did.
Dream Snow (0+)
No list of children’s books would be complete without an Eric Carle’s book. This one’s got all the trademark elements, including textured collages, a simple and effective story, and even interactive flaps for toddlers to play with. What more do you need?
Bear Stays Up for Christmas (2+)
Well-meaning, but somewhat arrogant forest animals wake their hibernating bear-friend up and give him a bunch of tasks so he won’t fall back to sleep. Surprisingly, it does work out quite well and some positive lessons are learned all around. A cute story with all the attributes of what makes a good children’s book.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (3+)
A little boy is not convinced that Christmas is about gifts and decorations and all that commercial stuff. He does play along, albeit grudgingly, until he discovers the meaning of Christmas that he can actually relate to. And all is well.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (4+)
There is just no way you would skip a book that’s managed to permanently introduce a whole new Christmas character. And it’s got the unmistakable rhyme and art of Dr. Seuss, and a positive message to top it all off.
The Polar Express (4+)
The plot is so simple that there is no way to tell anything about it without giving all of it away. It’s an enchanting story dedicated to true believers, and it makes you appreciate the childishly naive part of who you are. A must read with a strong appeal to adults as well as their kids.
Olivia Helps with Christmas (4+)
For a change of pace, here is a book that’s all laughs and barely any life lessons, perhaps none. In anticipation of the most important part of Christmas, Olivia tries to move things along, but fails in the cutest fashion. It’s both hilarious and endearing and could be the best Olivia book in the series.
The Snowy Day (4+)
Not a Christmas book per se, The Snowy Day follows an African-American boy as he discovers the simple pleasures of being outside on the first day of snow. The book features a calm, but dynamic story and powerful minimalist art.
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (6+)
Did you know it existed in the book form?! Tim Burton did both the story and the illustrations, and, although it does differ from the movie, it’s just as great and way more suitable for younger children than the movie would be. Start with the book and give your kids a head start on Tim Burton universe.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (8+)
One of those books they call an instant classic. It’s a comforting read about a family of seven plus pets facing an unimaginable eviction from a home that became so very dear. It’s got heart, and humor, and style, and you can’t help but feel a part of their family as well.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (9+)
The Herdmans, aka the worst kids in the world, go in to crash a Christmas pageant, but end up participating in the nativity play. Having never heard the story before, they challenge the elements everyone takes for granted. Long story short, it works out much better than anticipated and you’ll end up crying.
Can’t get your kids to read?
Try Nicola! We’ve developed an app with the sole purpose of getting your kids to read. Install it on their devices and they won’t be able to access their favorite apps until they’ve done some reading. The app uses eye-tracking technology to log how much reading has been done, so there is no way around it 😉