52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Gather around the fireplace with hot chocolate in hand and read these classic Christmas tales to your kids!

By Today's Parent

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins

Written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Mark Chambers, Two Lions (ages 4-7). Oh no! It’s Christmas Eve and Santa is still sick in bed. Will Chirstmas be cancelled? Not on Mrs. Claus’s watch! She might not have his magic, but she’s ready to take his place and deliver the presents with her own holiday sparkle. $25,

Cover art for Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins showing Santa's reindeer being steered by Mrs. ClausPhoto: Two Lions


Written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Barry Gott, Carolrhoda Books (ages 5-9). It’s Dino-Christmastime and all the dinos are having tons of holiday fun. WKids will love seeing all the different species deck the halls as they prep for the arrival of Santa Claws! $24,

Cover art for Dino-Christmas showing a T-rex Santa bring presents at ChristmasPhoto: Carolrhoda Books

A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas

Written and illsutrated by Amy Young, Farrar Straus Giroux (ages 2-6). It's Christmas and Lucy has a bunch of ideas for what gifts she'll get for her unicorn, Sparkle. But what gifts will Sparkle give her in return? $15,

Cover art for A Unicorn Named Sparkle's First Christmas showing a goat playing with christmas decorations and a little girlPhoto: Farrar Straus Giroux

Elf in the House

Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Adam Record, Candlewick Press. (Ages 3-7). Follow a child on this snowy Christmas Eve as she follows the sound that woke her up. Little do you know, she will meet new friends on this magical night. $18,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Candlewick Press

Pig the Elf

Written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey, Scholastic Canada ltd. (Ages 4-8 ). The world’s greediest pug—named Pig—will stay up all night to make sure he gets every present he’s asked Santa for. Yes, Pig loves Christmas for all the wrong reasons. Wait ’til you find out what happens to Pig for all his Christmas greed. $17,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Scholastic

How to Catch an Elf

Written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton, Sourcebooks Inc. (Ages 4+). Have you ever caught an elf before? They are quite fast and hard to get your fingers on. Follow along as Santa’s #1 elf tries to escape the series of traps set out to catch him. There may be a tinsel net or a Christmas maze, but there is one trap that he and Santa can’t get out of. You won’t believe which one finally gets them. $16,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Sourcebooks

Rory the Dinosaur Needs a Christmas Tree

Written and illustrated by Liz Climo, Little Brown and Company. (Ages 5-6). Join Rory this Christmas as he tries to decorate his island home with a perfect tree. However, his daunting quest is harder than he thought and time is running out. Will Rory find the tree he has been searching for? $22,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Little Brown and Company

River Rose and the Magical Christmas

Written by Kelly Clarkson and illustrated by Lucy Fleming, Harper Collins Canada Ltd. (Ages 4-8). This new holiday story captures the spirit of the season. River Rose has written a letter she can’t wait to give to Santa, but she’s fallen asleep before he arrives. She gets magically swept away to the North Pole to tell Santa what she really wants, and while she’s there she discovers what the North Pole is like. $25,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Harper Collins

Santa Selfie

Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Anna Chernyshova, Publishers Group Canada. (Ages 3+). Santa decides to skip christmas this year, but going on Holiday is not as fun as Santa thought. $13,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Publishers Group Canada

Love, Santa

Written by Martha Brockenbrough and illustrated by Lee White, Arthur A. Levine Books. (Ages 8-12). Join Lucy this Christmas in her heartfelt journey as she finds out the real magic behind Santa Claus. This Christmas tale will bring joy and warmth into your heart. $23,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Arthur A. Levine

Merry Christmas, Peanut!

Written and illustrated by Terry Border, Penguin Young Readers Group. (Ages 3-7). This story has heart and humour with a side of punny holiday cheer. Peanut is going to his grandmother’s for Christmas but getting there is a food-filled journey. How will this little nut make it over the river and through the woods in time? $24,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Penguin Young Readers Group

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

Written by Matt Haig , illustrated by Chris Mould, Harper Collins Ltd. (Ages 8-12). If magic has a beginning, does it also have an end? The magic Emilia believes in isn’t as strong as it once was because this year Santa has his own worries to think about. Discover how this not-so-ordinary young girl will help save Christmas for everyone. $26,

52 jolly Christmas books for kidsPhoto: Harper Collins

That’s Not My Elf…

Written and illustrated by Fiona Watt, Usborne (0-5). Little ones will enjoy touching the different textures on each page and reading along with the repetitive text in this colourful quest to find the right elf. $13, 

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Fly Guy’s Ninja Christmas

Written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, Cartwheel (4-7). It’s Christmazzz Eve and Fly Guy is buzzing around searching for a present for his best friend. But when he meets a stranger in a house he has to use his ninja moves to fight him. Kids will love this action packed zany tale about a fly who meets Santa Claus for the first time. $10,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The 12 Days of Christmas

Written by Jane Cabrera, Holiday House Publishing Inc. (Ages 0-3). “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…three cute cats, two drumming dogs, and a party in a pear tree!” This adorable board book is the perfect intro to numbers and counting with charming illustrations that will get them into the Christmas spirit. $23,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Santa Pups

Written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Will Terry, Scholastic (3-5). What if dogs pulled Santa’s sleigh instead of reindeer? What breed would be best? Santa tries poodles, pit bulls, Dalmatians, dachshunds and more but no dog can replace his special reindeer. Young dog lovers will enjoy this canine Christmas tale. $9,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell!

Written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared D. Lee, Cartwheel (4-6). In this Christmas spin on the classic “There Was an Old Lady” song, the old lady swallows a bell, bows, a sleigh and even some reindeer! But what happens when Santa needs to go for a ride? Little ones will giggle with glee when they read this silly and festive tale. $10,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

You Are My Merry Little Christmas

Written and illustrated by Joyce Wan, Cartwheel (0-3). Get into the holiday spirit with a cheerful reindeer, a sweet sugar cookie and a dancing sugarplum. This glittery and colouful board book is packed with iconic images of the festive season; it’s a wonderful first introduction to Christmas for your little one. $10,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Penguin’s Christmas Wish

Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Bloomsbury (1-3). Sometimes you can find holiday magic in the most unexpected places. In this delightfully festive tale, Penguin discovers the importance of friends and family when his Christmas plans change. $18,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Carry and Play Christmas

Edited by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury (1-3). From Christmas trees to Santa’s visit, this book is full of all the things little ones love about the festive season. And the handle makes it easy for your child to carry around. $8,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Baby Reindeer: Finger Puppet Book

Written and illustrated by Yu-Hsuan Huang, Chronicle Books (0-3). Experience a day in the life of a baby reindeer. Follow along as he searches for food beneath the snow and tries to stay warm in the frosty weather. $10,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Presents Through The Window: A Taro Gomi Christmas Books

Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi, Chronicle Books (2-5). To finish delivering his presents on time, Santa tries a new tactic: peeking in each window and then tossing a gift quickly. The only problem is he’s going way too fast to make sure the right person gets the right gift. Your little ones will giggle with glee when they read all about Santa’s gift mix-ups. $23,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Nutcracker

Written by Jack Wang and Holman Wang, Chronicle Books (1-3). This board book reimagines and simplifies a Christmas classic for budding bookworms. Your little one can defeat the Mouse King and journey to the Land of Sweets in only twelve child-friendly words accompanied by twelve needle-felted scenes. $15,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

A Boy Called Christmas

Written by Matt Haig and illustrated by Chris Mould, HarperCollins (7-9). Discover the true story of Father Christmas in this adventure set in eighteeth-century Finland. Kids will love this exciting tale of kidnapping, elves, snow and an eleven-year-old boy named Nikolas who isn’t afraid to believe in magic. $17,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold

Written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Cale Atkinson, Penguin Random House (ages 3-7). We’ve all heard the stories of kids who start to doubt that Santa exists but in this hilarious role-reversing tale, Santa stops believing in one of the children on his list. Can Santa work through his skepticism and rediscover the magic of Christmas? $22,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree

Written and illustrated by Lori Nichols, Nancy Paulsen Books (ages 3-5). Maple and Willow are finally getting a real tree for Christmas and they’ve picked the perfect one. But once they start decorating, Maple discovers she’s allergic to it. A kid-powered solution and a little sisterly love will turn this into the best Christmas yet. $23,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Jingle Baby

Written and illustrated by Kate Merritt, Workman Publishing (0+). Indestructibles board books were made for the way babies read: with their mouths. Little ones can drool all over the pages and squeeze the cover with sticky candy-cane-covered fingers while Mom and Dad read the simple prose that introduces Baby to classic Christmastime traditions. Not to mention the book can be rinsed off in the sink too without damaging it. $8,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Pippin the Christmas Pig

Written by Jean Little and illustrated by Werner Zimmermann, Scholastic (ages 0-3). The classic tale of Pippin has now been adapted for little ones in this new board book. All the barn animals want to talk about the role their ancestors played the night Jesus was born. Pippin’s relatives were not at the manger and she’s informed that “Pigs have nothing worthy to offer.” Pippin eventually learns that everyone has something to offer when she gets a chance to save the day. $10,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Fox and Squirrel: The Best Christmas Ever

Written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi, Scholastic (ages 2-7). Fox and Squirrel can’t agree on how they want to celebrate Christmas. They soon learn that the most important thing about the holdiay season is getting to spend time together. $13,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Deck the Halls: A Canadian Christmas Carol

Written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Werner Zimmermann, Scholastic (ages 3-8). The Canadian critters are getting ready for Christmas: loons are wearing skates, polar bears are cozy in their slippers and the beavers are busy building a suprise. This Canadian take on the classic Christmas carol will make the whole family giggle. $17,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Christmas Stories

Written by Julia Donaldson, Malorie Blackman, Philip Ardagh, Adèle Geras, Richmal Crompton, Robert Westall, Anna Wilson, Karen McCrombie, Rumer Godden, Martin Waddell and Shirley Climo. Illustrated by Hannah George, Macmillan Children’s Books (ages 7-9). A collection of 11 festive short stories written by popular children’s authors that will bring holiday cheer. $18,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

All I Want for Christmas Is You

Written by Mariah Carey, illustrated by Colleen Madden Random House (ages 3-7). One of Mariah Carey’s most beloved songs is now a Christmas book for kids to enjoy. The lyrics of the song tell the story with beautifully illustrated pictures to go with them. $24,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Best Christmas Present Ever!

Written by Ben Mantle, Pan Macmillan Children’s Books (ages 3-6). Bear wants to give his friend Squirrel the perfect Christmas gift. After trying to knit a sweater, paint a masterpiece and build a rocking chair, Bear learns that he might just be able to give Squirrel the best gift of all. Little readers will love this holiday sequel to the beloved book, ”The Best Present Ever!” $12,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Busy Santa

Written and illustrated by Ag Jatkowska, Campbell books (ages 0-3). It’s going to be a busy day when your job is to deliver gifts to all the kids in the world. Your little one will love helping Santa get ready in this colourful, interactive board book. $10,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Charlie Brown

Written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, Running Press Kids (ages 3 and up). In this Christmas classic, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang go on an adventure to find the true meaning of the holiday season. $16,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Jingle Bells

Illustrated by Jill Howarth (ages 3-5), Running Press Kids. Equipped with jingling bells and cute  illustrations, singing along to this Christmas classic has never been so fun. $14,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Merry Christmas, Squirrels!

Written and illustrated by Nancy Rose, Puffin Books Canada (Ages 3-7). Mr. Peanuts loves Christmas and can’t wait to share it with Cousin Squirrel. Join these funny furry pals as they get into the festive spirit. $19,  

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Little Christmas Tree

Written by Rachel Elliot, illustrated by Vicki Gausden and paper engineering by Corina Fletcher; Egmont Publishing UK (Ages 3-6). All the trees in Emerald Wood are decorated for the holidays, but the children seem to have forgotten one. Will the animals have enough time to make the tree spectacular before Christmas morning? This wonderful story also includes a magnificent pop up tree and fun play pieces. $17, 

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

When Santa Was a Baby

Written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Genevieve Godbout, Tundra Books (ages 3-7). Santa’s parents think their little one is absolutely wonderful, even though he has a booming voice instead of a baby’s gurgle, gives his birthday presents away, trains his hamsters to pull a matchbook sleigh and has an unsual interest in chimneys. $20,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Canada

Written by Ellen Warwick and illustrated by Kim Smith, Sterling Children’s Books (ages 5-9). Juliette and her ”crazy Canuck cousin” spend their holiday season travelling all over Canada. From Prince Edward Island to Ontario, to Vancouver, Juliette is lucky enough to get awesome Canadian gifts like 9 sled dogs howling, 8 bears a-swimming and 7 streetcars ringing. $13, 

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Baby Touch and Feel Christmas

DK Publishing (ages 0-2). Little ones will have fun touching Santa’s fluffy beard and a reindeer’s squishy nose, and seeing their reflections in shiny ornaments in this cute board book. $8,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

Written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean, HarperCollins Publishers (ages 4-8). In this modern version of the classic tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat is Santa’s go-to guy when he catches a cold. Pete gets right into the groove with the Christmas spirit in order to save everybody’s favourite holiday. $12,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit

Written by Emma Thompson and illustrated by Eleanor Taylor, Puffin Books (ages 3-5). Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny are very excited for Christmas, but when their turkey pal William is in danger, they must save him before he gets eaten at McGregor’s holiday feast. $21,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Night Before Christmas

Written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora, Puffin books (ages 3-6). In Isadora’s rendition of the the classic holiday poem, the story takes place in Africa and Santa is busy getting ready for Christmas Eve. Kids can awe at the colourful artwork and learn that Christmas doesn’t have to be portrayed the traditional way–Santa can sport-leopard print pants and dreadlocks, too! $9,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Written by Barbara Robinson and illustrated by Laura Cornell, HarperCollins Publishers (ages 4-8). Everybody knows that the Herdman kids are the worst, but when they decide to take over the church’s Christmas pageant, it turns out to be the most interesting one the town has ever seen. $8,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, HarperCollins Publishers (ages 4-8). The Grinch really hates Christmas. He hates it so much that he decides that he’s going to steal all of the Who’s presents by impersonating Santa Claus. But come Christmas morning, something strange starts to happen to him… $22,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

The Wild Christmas Reindeer

Written and illustrated by Jan Brett, Puffin books (ages 4-8). Teeka thinks that the best way to prepare Santa’s reindeer for Christmas Eve is by yelling and being bossy. She soon finds out that it might not be the best way and decides to try a new approach. $12,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad

Written and illustrated by Mercer Mayer, Random House (ages 3-7). Little Critter tries to prepare for Christmas by being helpful. He means well, but he can’t seem to do anything right. $7,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Frosty the Snowman

Written by Diane Muldrow, illustrated by Golden Books, Golden Books (ages 2-5). This timeless tale of the snowman that comes to life. $6,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

’Twas the Night Before Christmas

Written by Celement C.Moore and illustrated by Jon Goodell, Accord Publishing (ages 3-6). “’Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.” Pass this poem of Santa, sugar plum fairies and reindeer on to your kids by reading them this book. $11,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Written and illustrated by  Charles M. Schulz, Running Press Kids (ages 4-8). Celebrate Christmas through the eyes of Snoopy in this board book as he decorates his dog house, helps Charlie Brown prepare for Christmas and observes the Peanuts gang as they discover what the holiday really means. $10,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids

Finding Christmas

Written by Robert Munsch and  illustrated by Michael Martchenko, Scholastic Canada Ltd. (ages 3-7). Every year, Julie likes to take a sneak peak at her presents. Her parents hide them, but she always finds them. This year she’s worried because she hasn’t found anything. As she sets out on her own adventure to find the gifts turns into a much bigger suprise for everyone. $13,

52 jolly Christmas books for kids


This article was originally published on Nov 30, 2020

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