10 Best Christmas Books for Kids Reviewed in 2020
Christmas is a special time of the year that we can relax and take the time to read a Christmas-themed book with kids of all ages. Reading about this holiday not only teaches them the reasoning behind the celebration but also gives us time to enjoy each other’s company in a treasured moment. We feature in this informative buying guide the best-rated and the most-reviewed Christmas books for kids that manufacturers are currently offering online. Buyers have judged these as the top books that they would purchase again because of their excellence. Whether your child is a toddler or grade school aged, he or she will love reading these incredible holiday stories. You can read the tales to them if their reading level is not that high yet or make a family event out of reading together and taking turns!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research
Artwork is radiant
Text is poetic and fun to say
Ideal for even the youngest of kids
Relates the nativity scene in animation
Embraced by grandparents and parents
10 Best Christmas Books Reviewed
1. Christmas in the Manger
Artwork is radiant
Text is poetic and fun to say
Ideal for even the youngest of kids
Relates the nativity scene in animation
Embraced by grandparents and parents
Might not give a good explanation of the nativity
Explanation of the scene is not very detailed
Christmas in the Manger was published in 1998 and authored by Nola Buck. The graphics were created by Felicia Bond whose artwork is radiant and beautiful. Available as a hardcover, paperback, and board book versions, the text is poetic and fun to say in this gorgeous little book.Read more
Ideal for even the youngest of kids, it relates the tale of the first Christmas with the nativity scene in animation. Embraced by grandparents and parents alike, Christmas in the Manger is sixteen pages long and perfect for two to four-year-olds to read themselves or to hear read aloud from adults.
Both parents and grandparents like this little book that shows the characters of the nativity. For young kids, it is the best way for adults to explain why we celebrate this holiday. When you want to explain in the simplest terms to toddlers and young children the first Christmas, this is a terrific way to do that. The book is small, short, and simple for little minds to grasp.
With the lowest cost of all items listed, this cute nativity book has adorable graphics, is short and to the point, and introduces all the members of the nativity scene of the first Christmas.
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Offered in five written or audio versions
Is all about the Christmas spirit of giving
Ideal story for the old and the young
Teaches kids to do good deeds for others
Perfect for ages five to nine-years-old
Some people had books with binding problems
A few buyers received the incorrect format
How the Grinch Stole Christmas is written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss. It is offered in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook, and audio cassette versions and is 64 pages long. Re-published in 2013, it relates the story of the Whos in Whoville that are tricked out of their Christmas presents by the Grinch. As we all know, they get them back in a joyous celebration in Whoville.Read more
Perfect for ages five to nine-years-old, it is all about the Christmas spirit of giving in a heartwarming way. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is an ideal story for the old and the young, as it teaches kids to do good deeds for others. It is the perfect read-aloud tale for everyone in the family.
Offered in five formats to suit your lifestyle and needs, this incredible tale can be experienced in several ways. Kids can explore the printed pages of the written copies or have the story read aloud to them with the audio formats. If you purchase any Christmas book this year for your child, this should be the one, if they don’t already have it. Dr Seuss is one of the best storytellers of all time, and this one is a classic.
This terrific book has a below-average cost. It is valued for its long-standing reputation as a classic Christmas story, the famous author of children’s books, and the lovely graphics in the printed versions.
3. Olive, the Other Reindeer
Sweet, friendly story
Olive uses her own unique skills to help
Silly, easy to follow plot
Difficult to read on the iPad Kindle App
Everyone loves a good Christmas jingle! And how cute is it when your kids don’t quite get the words right? This is a story based on a similar premise. When Olive the dog hears the “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” song played over and over again on the radio, she starts humming along until she gets to “Olive, the other reindeer.” She’s always thought she was a dog but she doesn’t want to let Santa down so she heads straight to the North Pole to help deliver presents. A flurry of unfortunate events nearly leave Santa and his sleigh stranded on Christmas Eve but Olive’s many puppy-prone talents help the team deliver gifts to all of the good children and still make it back to the North Pole in time for breakfast!Read more
This beautiful picture book is targeted towards children between the ages of 5 and 7. Younger children will love the plot and you can read aloud with them if the vocabulary is too much for them. There’s also a short animated movie you can look into if your family wants to see this story told in a different medium!
This is a sweet holiday tale from start to finish. Olive is immediately accepted by Santa and the reindeer, even if they do notice that she doesn’t quite fit in. They help to secure her in the line-up and the other reindeer are so curious about her they crash the sled straight into a tree. Olive has to chew them free, fetch some sticks, and bark over the sounds of the storm. Lastly, she has to sniff their way back to Mrs. Claus’ cookies! Full of beautiful illustrations and a fun, fluffy plot about playing to your strengths, this will have sugar plum puppies prancing through your little ones’ heads all night.
This Christmas book falls right around the average price of our guide. It’s available in both hardcover and paperback and the price difference is only about a dollar. It’s also available on audio cassette and it’s free if you have the Kindle Unlimited subscription.
4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
In full color as a gift edition
The classic story of Santa’s sleigh team
Ideal for reading aloud
Heartwarming and fun story
Perfect for four to eight-year-olds
Was smaller and thinner than some people expected
A few received damaged books
It has forty pages and lets kids know that when you are different, it means that you are wonderfully and uniquely special. This cute story should be in every school library and each child’s home to read with their parents during Christmas.Read more
Published in 2014 and offered in hardcover and board book versions, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Classic Story is written by Thea Feldman. Illustrated by Erwin Madrid in full color as a gift edition, it tells the classic story of Rudolph the Reindeer of Santa’s sleigh team. Ideal for reading aloud, Rudolph is a heartwarming and fun story that is perfect for four to eight-year-olds.
Kids learn with this beloved Christmas tale that when people are different, they should not be ridiculed. Rudolph shows them that our differences is what makes us so special and valued. Everyone loves the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It has been popular and well-loved for generations of children who like to sing the song, watch the movie, and read the tale.
Having an average cost, Rudolph is valued for the timeless classic story loved by generations, is depicted in full-color, and comes in a board book version for small kids.
5. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
Written by Eric Litwin
Offered in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook
Very colorful and interesting pictures
Teaches how we should help others
Continues the antic of Pete the Cat
Might not be as good as the other Pete books
Copies a bit from Night Before Christmas says some buyers
Written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean, Pete the Cat Saves Christmas was published in 2013. Offered in Kindle, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook editions, it is a very colorful book with interesting pictures and an interesting plot.Read more
Pete comes to the rescue of Santa who is suddenly down with a cold for Christmas. He must help Santa deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve to save the holiday. Kids love Pete the blue cat and will continue to do so in this forty-page long Christmas-themed story, best for ages four to eight.
Many children and parents are already familiar with some of the other Pete books that feature this cute blue cat. Kids will want to follow him in this one too as he lends a helping hand to Santa. Sometimes the colorful pictures are more exciting than the story itself for kids. They love looking at the beautiful illustrations that help them understand the story better, much like a still movie.
This charming Christmas book has a price that is above the calculated average. It features the famed blue cat of other stories, is offered in several great formats, and is a colorful picture book for young children.
6. Mortimer's Christmas Manger
Available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover
Written by Karma Wilson
Colorful, bright, and interesting
Perfect for ages two to eight-years-old
Wonderful tale of the nativity
Might be too religious for some families
Is similar to a few other books with the same idea
Children two to eight-years-old will best appreciate this lovely story of the meaning of Christmas. They should be able to read it themselves, or it can be enjoyed with adults. This amazing book tells the story of the nativity in a sugar-coated way for kids. It lets them know why we celebrate Christmas and uses a cute little mouse and his house as the main idea.Read more
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger is available in Kindle, paperback, and hardcover versions. It is written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. Colorful, bright, and interesting, this superb story is perfect for ages two to eight-years-old, has 40 pages, and was published in 2007.
It is a cute story of Mortimer the Mouse who tries to live in the Christmas manger scene of a family’s living room. He moves the statues out and the family moves them back in until he finally gets what the display means. Mortimer then finds another home, which is a gingerbread house. This is a wonderful tale of the nativity for small children.
With a below-average price, this cute story is offered in several reading modes, relates the story of the nativity in a simple way, and has wonderful illustrations that kids will love.
7. Snowmen At Christmas
Available in Kindle, hardcover, paperback, and audiobook
Authored by Caralyn Buehner
Is colorful and entertaining
Is a good companion to the previous Snowmen books
Has 32 pages of illustrations and storylines
Might follow the rhyme of the Night Before Christmas
A few kids were not interested in the story
Available in the formats of Kindle, hardcover, paperback, and an audible audiobook, Snowmen at Christmas is authored by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by her husband, Mark Buehner.Read more
It tells of the celebration of the snow families on Christmas Eve night, as they go into town to welcome the arrival of the snowman Santa with caroling and dancing. It is a good companion to the Snowmen All Year and Snowmen at Night books. This item was published in 2005, is best for ages three to seven, and has 32 pages of colorful illustrations and storylines.
You and your child can enjoy this book in several ways. Whether they like to listen to the books in audio or look at the colorful pictures as you read, you have your choice of reading modes. This lovely book puts the emphasis of Christmas on the often-forgotten snowman character. Many Christmas stories are about Santa Claus, but this one focuses on the jolly snow people of this small town.
Having an above-average price, this wonderful story is offered in several formats, is colorful and bright, and is a great companion book to two other snowmen books of the same author.
8. The Christmas Wish
Available as hardcover and Kindle
Written by Lori Evert
Is part of the Wish Books series
The photos are magnificent
Everyone in the family will enjoy it
Is an oversized book that could be hard to read for small kids
Was boring for some children
The Christmas Wish is available as hardcover and Kindle versions that are written by Lori Evert and illustrated by Per Breiehagen. This tale is part of the Wish Books series that tells of a little girl’s trip to Santa to become one of his elves.Read more
She receives help from all of the animals along the way who direct her in her travels. The photos are magnificent, and the story is a Christmas treasure that everyone in the family will enjoy. It is forty-eight pages long, best for children ages three to seven, and was published in 2013.
While there are Christmas stories that are too childish for all ages to enjoy, this one is perfect for everyone. It has gorgeous pictures, an interesting storyline, and an adorable main character. For those children who already own the rest of the Wish Book series, they will want to have this one too. It would make a wonderful gift to add to a kid’s collection of these unique stories.
This charming book is one of the two most expensive items that we feature on this list. It is valued for the excellent photos, the large format of the printed version, and for being a part of the Wish Books series.
9. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree
Perfect for five to eight-year-olds
Set in the 1920’s in the Appalachian Mountains
Tells what Christmas was like a long time ago
Touching, beautiful, and meaningful
Some parents feel the book is outdated
Small kids may be bored with this long story
Both the writer and the illustrated have worked on many books in their professional careers. This experience shows in this story that is told so well and has the perfect images to illustrate the meaning. When children wonder how their grandparents and great-grandparents spent their Christmas holidays, they can easily visualize it with this wonderfully illustrated book set in the 1920s.Read more
Re-published in 1996 and gorgeously illustrated, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story is written by Gloria Houston. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney and available in the formats of hardcover and paperback, it is perfect for the ages of five to eight-year-olds.
This magnificent tale has 32 pages and is set in the 1920’s in the Appalachian Mountains. It tells what this holiday was like a long time ago in a touching, beautiful, and meaningful way that everyone in the family will enjoy. Grandparent and great-parents will be able to relate to the story if they came from the mountains. They will be able to add a personal element to the story and give details of their own life to young kids.
This is one of the two most expensive books featured in this buying guide. It is written and illustrated by two veteran professionals, ideal for middle-aged kids, and is a meaningful and touching story.
10. Dream Snow
Fun, interactive elements
Simple to follow storyline and vocabulary
Great for very young audiences and fans of “The Hungry Caterpillar”
Not much of a story arc
The “snow effects” pages are implemented poorly (they would work better in reverse) and the board book doesn’t have the light-up feature
Eric Carle, author of “The Hungry Caterpillar” is back with another interactive and vividly-illustrated children’s book. This Christmas tale for kids stars a farmer and his five farm animals (which he names One, Two, Three, Four, and Five). The story is simple and very straightforward. The beautiful collage-like illustrations flesh the scenes out and the hardcover edition has a few features that allow children to engage with the story in a hands-on fashion. The farmer dreams of snow and when he wakes up, he realizes that it snowed while he was napping! He quickly dons a Santa suit and sets up a little tree outside the animals’ stalls with presents for one and all.Read more
This is meant for very young children, between the ages of three and seven. We think six and seven-year-olds are probably a little too old for this book but kids on the younger side of that scale will enjoy it! The vocabulary is pretty easy, the plot is very basic, and the animals named after numbers gives you the chance to work on animal names and counting together.
The main draw of this book is the illustrative beauty and the interactive features. The hardcover includes a little button at the end that lights up the Christmas tree. (This is a crowd favorite and the perfect big finale if you’re buying this to read it to a group of children.) There are also snow effect pages where you can lift the “snow blanket” to see the animals and the farmer underneath.
The hardcover edition is one of the most expensive items on our list due to its more interactive features. The board book model is below the median price point of our guide.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Children of many ages can read these books that are aimed for the younger crowd of kids. Even two to four-year-olds will find that they can read some of these great books. Others are wordier and more difficult being more appropriate for older children. If your child is not yet old enough to love reading a book, then they will have the pleasure of you reading the book to them. This is ideal quality time to spend with children, as they learn from you how to enjoy a book. As you read to them, you teach them how to sound out words, how fast to read, how to hold a book, how to flip the pages, and how to enjoy reading to others. these are all lessons they will hand down to their own kids one day. We teach much more than we realize by simply spending time with our children in the relaxed activity of reading a book together.
All of these delightful books have Christmas in common as their main focal point. Whether it is snowmen, Christmas trees, mice, cats, or reindeer, children will enjoy reading about the various characters and storylines that all relate back to the Christmas holiday. In order to understand why this holiday is celebrated and what all of these different things mean, kids must read books that are simplified for their knowledge base. The colorful bright graphics and pictures help them absorb the plot and words of the tales, plus make them more interesting. Many times these books will be read by them over and over again. children like to simply look at the pictures by themselves to see everything in them. The illustrations in these wonderful books are all professionally done with great results.
Because we do not quote online prices in our buying guides to tell you of a product’s cost, we calculate an average using the current prices to use for comparing to each individual price. You will see in the Cost and Value sections that an item is either average, below-average, or above-average in price. Also, in this section, we list the best qualities or features of the product that makes up the value. These kids’ Christmas books do not vary much in their costs, so the price range is somewhat small. The book with the highest price is a tie between The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story and The Christmas Wish. The least expensive is the Christmas in the Manger book.
The kids’ Christmas book with the most reviews is How the Grinch Stole Christmas with over 850 reviews online.
The book that has the highest and nearly perfect rating is Mortimer’s Christmas Manger. All of these books have an exceptionally high rating that is just separated by only a few tenths of a point.
Other Factors to Consider
Each of these stories relates to the child a message to make them more considerate and caring of others. Whether it is about the Grinch, the nativity, or the shrinking Christmas tree, it shows little ones that giving is much better and more fulfilling than receiving. Bear gives to his neighbors, the Grinch gives to the Whos, and Mr. Willowby gives to those around him. Two of these tales relate the story of the first Christmas in a simple way that kids can understand. The point is for children to understand the meaning of the messages in these, so they can live richer lives with purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can children read these stories themselves or should they be read by an adult to them?
This answer really depends on the individual child. if they are old enough to read by themselves, then they can enjoy all of these books. If their reading level is not to the point of reading some or all of them, then an adult or older child can read to them, so they can hear the story. Some of the books were offered in an audiobook version if that would be more suitable for kids that cannot read yet. It is always pleasurable to read to a child or have them read to you. It is the time together that counts the most.
q: Are these good for quality time with the kids to read together?
Every one of these terrific books is ideal for spending quality time with your kids. They learn so much from watching adults do normal everyday things, such as reading a book. Being near your child to show them you want to take time out of your day to make them feel special is important. They will remember their fun story times with you for the rest of their lives.
q: What is the most common complaint about these books from online customers?
Parents complained the most about the stories being boring or not interesting for them and their children. They might not have liked the storyline or thought that it did not make a good point. Some people received damaged books that may have been purchased as used items.
q: Are these all for very young kids, or are some of them for older children who can read on their own?
This is a good mixture of reading levels because a few of them are for beginning readers, while others are for more established children. The simpler books with the least number of pages would be the best for small children. The storylines that are longer with more pages are ideal for older kids that can read on their own. Even children that are not that good at reading yet would still enjoy an adult reading the longer stories to them if they like long books. A few of the longer books are How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Classic Story.
q: Do any of these books have activities in them for the child to do?
No, these are all reading books that do not have any buttons to press or pop-up images to explore. The illustrations and photos are magnificent in some of them because the illustrators are all professionals who have created other books besides these. Just looking at the illustrations can be a pastime in itself for some kids with great imaginations.
q: Are any of these short books that would be good for a child with a short attention span?
Yes, some of them are shorter and less wordy than the others. Good choices for this would be Mortimer’s Christmas Manger, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, Christmas in the Manger, and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas. These can be read in just one sitting to not be too long for a child with attention issues. The pictures for any of these are great for such children to look at. They do not have to be involved in the reading alone to enjoy the books.
q: Are any of these good for travel or away from home for the holidays?
Sure, any of them would be great for kids to read while they travel to relatives’ homes during the holidays or on vacation. The shortest ones are Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, Christmas in the Manger, Bear Stays Up for Christmas, and Mortimer’s Christmas Manger. These can probably be read in just under an hour by a child or in less time by an adult. Looking at the illustrations in these books can be enjoyed too while traveling or while away from home. The best part about bringing a book along is that it does not take up much room in a suitcase, bag, or backpack.