It doesn’t snow where I live. I have to take the kids into the mountains quite a distance away in order to go sledding or to make a snowman, and that’s only if we’re lucky and we’ve had rain in California. It’s a good thing we can still snuggle up during the holidays and read some of the best classic and new Christmas books for kids! Our favorites in the past have been Polar Express and The Snowman, both of which have been made into excellent kid movies, too.
We also adore keeping an advent calendar, decorating our tree and putting nativity scenes around the house. We love the candlelit Christmas caroling down the main street of our sleepy neighborhood. Of course, the kids love gift-giving and the family get-togethers, the church dinner, and the holiday photos. It’s a magical time of the year to celebrate in a hopeful and cheery spirit.
Here are some of the best new Christmas books for kids, many of which are recent releases. Enjoy picking out some favorites to read together or as holiday gifts for the kids in your life. Some of them look intriguing like the Christmas Truce, a true story about the Christmas eve ceasefire during World War I. (But I’m a history nut, so it makes sense that I’d love a historical Christmas story.) Another interesting one is a World of Cookies for Santa. Who wouldn’t want to have fun making cookies from all over the world? Whatever catches your eye in these new Christmas books for kids, I hope it helps you make some new holiday memories.
New Christmas Books for Kids
Charlotte and the Nutcracker: The True Story of a Girl Who Made Ballet History by Charlotte Nebres and Alea Marley
This is the true story of Charlotte Nebres, the first Black girl to play Marie in the New York City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. What an inspiring story of a 12-year-old ballerina who, through persistence and the support of her family, finds success and plenty of holiday spirit.
Saint Nicholas the Giftgiver by Ned Bustard
For a look into the origins of Saint Nicholas, here’s a delightful picture book written in verse. Kids will learn about the life of this saint and why he is celebrated during Christmas time as one of the greatest gift-givers to emulate.
Santa in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson and Reggie Brown
Follow Deja, a city kid who is afraid that Santa won’t be able to visit her during Christmas. She doesn’t have a place for Santa to park his sled nor she does have a chimney for him to slide down. With a lot of Christmas spirit from her family, community, and Santa himself, she discovers the joy of the holidays.
The Finest Christmas Tree by Ann and John Hasset
In a nostalgic style reminiscent of The Little House or The Oxcart Man comes this picture book that tells what happens to the Christmas tree farmer when people stop buying real Christmas trees. Indeed, what happens when everybody buys artificial trees? Just as the Farmer Tuttle is about to go out of business, a request comes for his finest tree.
The Real Santa by Nancy Redd and Charnelle Pinkney Barlow
Discover who the real Santa is in this picture book about identity and family traditions. A Black family celebrates Christmas with a Santa Claus who looks more familiar to them.
Christmas Truce: A True Story of World War I by Aaron Shepard and Wendy Edelson
On Christmas Eve in 1914, an extraordinary incident happened between enemy lines during World War I. The shooting stopped on the battlefields and war-weary soldiers celebrated Christmas together. Written as a fictional letter, this picture book draws from firsthand accounts of frontline soldiers on that legendary day.
Construction Site: Merry and Bright: A Christmas Lift-the-Flap Book by Sherri Duskey Rinker and AG Ford
From the Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site series comes this lift the flap picture book perfect for a bedtime read-aloud during the holidays. The rhyming text is especially fun for kids as they hear and discover what each truck is bringing to the Christmas Eve celebration.
The Animals Speak: A Christmas Eve Legend by Marion Dane Bauer and Brittany Baugus
This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the legend of the hour all the animals rejoiced at the birth of Jesus. At midnight on Christmas Eve, they spoke and proclaimed his coming.
Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger and Elizaveta Tretyakova
An inspiring story about a little red sleigh who has been told she is too small, too young, and too unskilled to achieve her big dream. She wants to become Santa’s big red sleigh one day, but is her dream out of her reach? I love the empowering message of this picture book.
A Christmas Tree for Jesus: Celebrating God’s Gift to Us by Susan Jones and Lee Holland
Part of a series of Christmas storybooks, this picture book features lovable forest creatures who discover the greatest gift of all: God’s love.
Joy to the World!: Christmas Around the Globe by Kate DePalma and Sophie Fatus
For a multicultural Christmas, explore this picture book with your kids. See what Christmas looks like in 13 different countries around the world, and how kids celebrate the holidays on the other side of the globe.
‘Twas the Season of Advent: Devotions and Stories for the Christmas Season by Glenys Nellist and Elena Selivanova
Written in prose and poetry, here is a great family advent devotional to prepare for Christmas. The illustrations and words tell the story of the birth of Christ.
Merry Christmas, Anne (Anne of Green Gables) by Kallie George and Genevieve Godbout
A great holiday gift for L.M. Montgomery fans, this picture book features Anne celebrating Christmas in Avonlea with kindred spirits.
New Mexico Christmas Story: Owl in a Straw Hat 3 by Rudolfo Anaya and El Moises
Snow Days by Deborah Kerbel and Miki Sato
This picture book captures the wonder of snow and the beauty and magic of a snow-covered landscape. Written in rhyming couplets, the book contains beautiful collages of snowflakes that invite readers to pause and enjoy the season.
Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins and Sara Palacios
A heartwarming story of a family traveling to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico during Christmastime. They have not seen her in years and only have a few minutes to exchange gifts and stories. This picture book shows how small moments and little gifts can speak volumes.
A World of Cookies for Santa by M.E. Furman and Susan Sal
Head to Malawi for a sweet potato cookie, or the Philippines for ginger tea left out for Santa. How do children in Russia leave treats for Santa on Christmas Eve? The recipes are fun and invite the kids to a multicultural celebration of the holidays.
The Christmas Carrolls by Mel Taylor-Bessent and Selom Sunu
In this middle grade story about the world’s most Christmassy family, 9-year-old Holly wishes it could be Christmas every day. When she realizes not everyone shares her enthusiasm for spreading cheer, will she lose her Christmas cheer?
The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve and Ellen Beier
Based on an event from the author’s own Sioux childhood, this picture book tells the story of what Christmas meant to her during the freezing South Dakota winters. She recounts an act of simple kindness and the significance of generosity.
The Giving Manger: A Christmas Family Tradition by Allison Hottinger and Lisa Kalberer
To cultivate a spirit of loving and giving during the holidays, this box set helps to establish a family tradition. The picture book explains the joy of giving while the other items in the box help the kids to participate in a new tradition of giving.
Discover more classic and new Christmas books for the little ones in 25 Wondrous and Festive Christmas Books for Kids.