The Very Best Holiday Books to Read with Kids

As you might have noticed, we have a few kiddos between our two families, and our children's reading lives are very important to us. With all the holiday reading happening with the adults, we have been really intentional to carry the seasonal magic into our kids' books as well. Over the years we've cultivated a few favorites for all ages, both classic and contemporary. 


Little ones

The Polar Express | Chris Van Allsburg- Such a treasured classic book for the holiday season, perfect to follow up with hot cocoa and the movie! Our children adore this one.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas | Clement Clarke Moore- A classic poem, with modern illustrations that still feel true to it's timeless nature. We read this one every year and I love it more and more each year.

Walk This World at Christmastime | Debbie Powell- This is an ultra modern, colorful explosion of a book, filled with little opening doors (my son is OBSESSED with these) and takes a look at how the holidays are celebrated around the world and in different cultures. 

Bear Stays Up For Christmas | Karma Wilson- Really, the whole series of Bear books are adorable, but this one has a particularly sweet message about friendship and giving during the holidays. Plus, you get a little peek at St. Nick! 

The Nutcracker | New York City Ballet- If going to see the Nutcracker is a beloved tradition for your family (it was in mine!) you'll love this book put out by the New York City Ballet. Fluid, modern illustrations mimic the choreography of the ballet accompany the classic text. 

Olive, the Other Reindeer | Vivian Walsh- A really humorous twist on the Rudolph story, Olive is a dog who thinks she should be one of Santa's reindeer, with zany and endearing results. 

The Twelve Days of Christmas | Alison Jay- The classic song, in book form, with the best illustrations I've found. Need I say more? It's a truly beautiful version, and a favorite in our house.


Bigger kids

A Christmas Carol | Charles Dickens - For the middle grade readers, or to read aloud, classic seasonal, holiday novels are never a disappointment. We love this edition for extra little ones and this coloring book too!

Miracle on 34th Street | Valentine Davies - This is hands down, one of my very favorite holiday books and films to read and watch. A charming, warm story to enjoy with your children.

The Children's Christmas Carol | Johanna Spyri - We all know Spyri as the author of Heidi. She also has this classical story that will sweep you off to the Swiss mountains, in it's equally rich and charming prose about a mother and her two kids.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus | L. Frank Baum - My son and I were able to buddy read this one, it's an imaginative, well told story that is so perfect for this holiday season!

The Night Before Christmas | Nikolai Gogol - This is a unique, yet classic Russian tale with a bit of a dark twist and a love story. It's common tradition in Ukraine and Russia, to read this aloud on Christmas Eve.

What books do you love to read to your kids during the holidays? We'd love to expand our libraries!