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The 24 Best Christmas Books For Toddlers

They’ll love these festive stories.

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We all know the holidays can be stressful, especially with kids. There is so much shopping, preparation, traveling, and social engagements that we commit ourselves to, and it's too easy to get caught up in it all. But even amongst the chaos, celebrating Christmas with children can — and should —be full of joy and wonder. One of the best ways to slow down and savor the good parts of the season is to pick up some of the best Christmas books for toddlers and to read them with your little ones.

Aside from relaxing and bringing some serenity to an otherwise chaotic few weeks, these Christmas books for toddlers books are a surefire way to reignite your Christmas spirit. They'll help teach your child about the history and tradition of Christmas. They will also acknowledge the emotions this time of year can bring: Wonder, impatience, frustration, and love.

Make some time to snuggle up under a blanket with some carols on. Hot chocolate isn't a bad idea either. In fact, there's no rule that you can't just get into your Christmas jammies early, slip on some slippers, build a pillow fort and read with your kids all day — that's a new Christmas tradition lots of parents and kids could get behind. These Christmas books are a great place to start, and will be fun to read with kids from one to ninety-two.

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1

'The Christmas Quiet Book' by Deborah Underwood

When you’re looking for a silent night, break out The Christmas Quiet Book. As far as the best Christmas books for toddlers, this is the gentlest, coziest read. Filled with quiet activities, honored tradition, and peaceful moments, this book shows woodland creatures decorating trees, playing in the snow and doing all the most fun things the season has to offer. It's poetic and simple, and it’s almost like you can see and hear the snow gently falling outside your window. This would be a great nap time or bedtime read, filled with pages of bunnies, bears, and owls all playing together quietly and harmoniously. Not a creature will be stirring… not even your kiddos.

2

‘Cocoa’s Cranky Christmas’ by Thomas Nelson

Not everyone is excited about Christmas. At least, Cocoa the dog isn’t in the book Cocoa’s Cranky Christmas. The book, aimed for toddlers ages two and up will get a good laugh as they sing, dance, and clap their way to helping make Cocoa content again. There’s a new task to complete on each page, and kids will have a blast as they try to find doggy cookies to hopefully get Cocoa in the mood for the holidays. Since the book is high on reader participation, it might be best to read it to your child during the day, and not at night, when you want them to settle down — and not put on a dance party.

3

‘You’re My Little Christmas Cookie’ by Nicola Edwards

You’re My Little Christmas Cookie will become a much-beloved holiday book that you’ll read to your child before bedtime. As part of the popular You’re My Little series, the book features holiday characters that we all know and love, like a gingerbread man and a snowman. But what makes this board book stand out is its sweet, simple nature, with rhymes that totally tugs on the heartstrings. (“You’re my little snowflake. You sparkle pure and true. You glisten in the winter sky. There’s no one else like you.”) Meant for little hands to turn the page, your child will the cut-outs and raised elements that make this a book to pick and read over and over again.

4

‘The Littlest Elf’ by Brandi Dougherty

All Oliver wants to know is what his job will be in Santa’s workshop. But as the littlest elf, he’s having a hard time figuring out just what he might be good at. After all, when his family takes him to work with them, he still struggles to find his true calling. It’s not until he meets Dot, a small reindeer who’s struggling to learn to fly, that he forms a friendship that helps lead him to what he’s really good at. The book comes with a page of stickers that your child can play with (if you want them to, that is). Still, with its theme of unlikely friendship and listening to your own heart to find what you truly love is what makes The Littlest Elf a classic Christmas book for toddlers.

5

‘The Most Wonderful Gift in the World’ by Mark Sperring

Imagine finding a gift under the tree — and it’s not for you. Well, in The Most Wonderful Gift in the World, pals Esme and Bear find themselves in that very same situation. Instead of getting upset, the friends set off on a quest to find Little Bunny Boo-Boo, who the present is actually for. Their journey isn’t an easy one, though, and they’ll have to face difficult (and dangerous) conditions. When they do find Little Bunny Boo-Boo’s house, they might discover what the greatest gift in the world truly is. The Most Wonderful Gift in the World is a book about friendship, loyalty, and knowing that what’s under the tree is far less important than those gathered around it.

6

‘Little Blue Truck’s Christmas’ by Alice Schertle

Your toddler’s eyes will light up when you read Little Blue Truck’s Christmas together — literally. The light-up book’s last page has flashing colored Christmas lights that are sure to dazzle your little darling. And the story of Little Blue Truck delivering Christmas trees to all the animal friends makes this the quintessential Christmas story. Your child will learn to count each green tree from one to five and then back again, and all that counting will come in handy when your kid is counting presents under the tree.

7

‘Dream Snow’ by Eric Carle

If your child is a fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, they might also love Dream Snow, another book by classic children’s author Eric Carle. In this sweet story, an older farmer is ready to take a long winter’s nap, but is worried that Christmas won’t happen if there isn’t any snow. When he dreams of a snowstorm that winds up covering not only him, but his animals, he awakens to find that it really has snowed for Christmas. Donning a red suit, he gives each of his animals a gift under the tree as a way of spreading holiday cheer.

8

‘The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer’ by Jeffrey Burton

Sure, you might have heard of The Itsy Bitsy Spider, but what about the Itsy Bitsy Reindeer? That’s right, in the book The Itsy Bitsy Reindeer, a tiny reindeer works hard to help get Santa’s toy workshop ready for Christmas. The book takes the familiar sing-song sound of the nursery rhyme and tells an entirely new tale that will be easy for little ones to remember.

9

‘Merry Christmas, Mouse!’ by Laura Numeroff

Who says you can’t squeeze a little learning into your bedtime reading with your toddler? In Merry Christmas, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff, your kid can get into the Christmas spirit as they practice their counting, too. Mouse is so excited for the holidays, and in particular, decorating the tree. But how many ornaments should be added? Your little reader will love counting along with Mouse as he adds ornaments one by one.

10

‘The Sweet Smell of Christmas’ by Patricia M. Scarry

Your childhood is about to come back to you when you read The Sweet Smell of Christmas with your kid. The book, by Patricia M. Scarry, has scratch-and-sniff scent patches that you and your child might find absolutely delicious. For starters, there are six scents like apple pie, Christmas tree, hot chocolate, peppermint candy canes, and more. Between the nostalgia vibes, the sweet story, and the stickers, reading The Sweet Smell of Christmas just might become a holiday tradition in your home.

11

Dear Santa: A Lift-the-Flap Book’ by Rod Campbell

Even Santa sometimes gets stumped as to what to get kids for Christmas. Such is the case in Dear Santa: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Rod Campbell. In the story, Santa can’t seem to find just the right gift to give a special child. You and your child will have fun trying to figure out what Santa ultimately winds up giving the child while lifting the flaps to see what presents (like a mask, a bouncy ball, and a big kite) don’t seem to be the perfect present. It’s not until Christmas Eve when Santa discovers what he was meant to give the child all along.

12

‘The Real Santa’ by Nancy Redd

So often, Santa Claus is depicted as this jolly fellow in a red suit. For Black children, though, they want to see themselves in Santa Claus, too. That’s where the book The Real Santa comes in. In addition to telling a lovely story about Santa Claus and all the wonderful things he represents, the book explores identity and shows children that there’s not just one way to view Mr. C. If you’re looking for Christmas books for toddlers that is inclusive and is a celebration of family traditions and representation, you’ll love The Real Santa.

13

“Is It Christmas Yet?’ by Jane Chapman

Replace “Are we there yet?” with “Is it Christmas yet?” and you’ll have an idea what this cute book by Jane Chapman is all about. Little Teddy is so excited about Christmas coming, and natch, he keeps asking Big Bear “Is it Christmas yet?” (And of course, it isn’t.) But as much as Teddy tries to help expedite matters to make Christmas come faster, all he winds up doing is making a big mess. With all these mishaps, will they be ready when Christmas finally does come? You’ll have to read this sweet book to find out.

14

'Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree' by Lori Nichols

Nature-loving sisters Maple & Willow (as seen in other books by Lori Nichols) are excited to be getting a live Christmas tree for the first time in Maple & Willow’s Christmas Tree. They carefully select their special tree, which they think is absolutely perfect for their family. But when they bring it home, they’re shocked to discover that Maple has an allergic reaction to the tree. They don’t want to lose their Christmas spirit, so they need to get creative and come up with a solution that will take them to new heights (literally). It's a sweet story with sibling love and teamwork at its core.

15

'The Little Drummer Boy' by Ezra Jack Keats

Most people are familiar with the story of The Little Drummer Boy, and the beautiful song as well. is illustrated beautifully in this book. A child wishes to give a gift to Jesus, but has nothing to give aside from a song. The underlying message of giving a present that doesn’t have to be a material gift but rather something from your heart is the perfect message for Christmas. It’s also pretty cool to be able to sing the song and read along as you turn the pages of this beautifully illustrated book; it’s truly a magical way of storytelling.

16

'It's Christmas, David!' by David Shannon

David of No, David fame is back and up to his usual antics. This time, it’s Christmas, and David is doing all the things that kids who wind up on the naughty list are wont to do, like playing with those delicate Christmas tree ornaments, to trying to sneak a peek at some presents and running outside with only a hat, mittens and boots on. (Now there's an image.) He even, um, pees his name in the snow. Oh, David. In It’s Christmas, David!, fan favorites will love his hilarious hijinks, maybe learn right from wrong, and discover if David will actually make Santa's nice list — or wind up with a lump of coal in his stocking.

17

'On This Special Night' by Claire Freedman

In On This Special Night by author Claire Freedman, your child will get a sweet introduction to the nativity story. A mother cat and her kitten notice the stars are burning extra bright. They join other animals traveling to a barn where they meet a very special baby. The story is peaceful, and the illustrations are photo-realistic and beautiful. As one Amazon reviewer pointed out: “If you have kids and cats, this book is for you!”

18

'A World Of Cookies For Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around The World' by M.E. Furman

Maybe your family puts out chocolate chip cookies for Santa. Or perhaps sprinkle sugar cookies are the ones that your child thinks Mr. C. likes best. Well, in A World of Cookies For Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around The World, you and your child can fly around the world with Santa and discover the cookies and the cultures he gets to experience in different parts of the world. For each place Santa visits, readers will learn customs and traditions and even what they call Santa. There are even recipes in the back, so you can sample some of the treats, like puto seko cookies from the Philippines, to Malawi for sweet potato cookies, too.

19

'Bear Stays Up For Christmas' by Karma Wilson

Bear from Bear Snores On is still in his cave, but this time, he and his friends are preparing for Christmas. You'd think it would be difficult for a bear who should be hibernating to stay awake, but excitement keeps Bear going. There are so many fun things for Bear and his buddies to do together, such as find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs for all to hear. The rhymes and painted illustrations are fun for kids of all ages. It seems like Bear’s hibernation will have to wait until Santa Claus’ arrival in Bear Stays Up For Christmas.

20

'The Little Reindeer' by Nicola Killen

The mostly black, gray, and white illustrations really help make The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen feel cozy. Ollie, who is dressed in a reindeer costume, is drawn out of bed when she hears a jingle noise. She feels compelled to follow the sound, sledding down hills and trudging through a snowy forest. Some pages have little cut outs that make reading this nighttime adventure story fun for smaller children.

21

'Pick A Pine Tree' by Patricia Toht

Traditions are so important in celebrating Christmas, and no tradition is more beloved than picking out and decorating a tree. This rhyming book goes through all the steps from finding the perfect tree, to digging out boxes of ornaments. With an emphasis on being with friends and family, Pick A Pine Tree is a great read to remind kids of the magic of the season. And when you get to the last page, be prepared for a beautiful surprise that your little sweetie will love.

22

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore

You know this iconic story, but did you know that it has a new cast of characters (i.e. your family)? Yup, the Our Family’s Night Before Christmas Personalized Book allows your peeps to become a part of the story. The book can be personalized with your family’s last name, along with Mommy, Daddy, and up to six children’s names. Take the personalization even further by adding your family’s city and family photo. Best part: You can personalize Santa’s skin tone, too.

23

‘Christmas in the Manger’ by Nola Buck

When you have a toddler who hasn’t learned to appreciate the printed word yet, it’s best to get a board book. And Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck will keep your kiddo entertained — and prevent the book from being broken or pages torn out. It tells the story of the first Christmas, and has bright colors and beautiful artwork to keep little readers captivated. It’s also small enough for little hands to help with turning the pages, and has simple text to keep your child “reading” along with you.

24

‘Christmas Is Coming!: An Advent Book,’ illustrated by Katie Hickey

Lift-the-flap books are fun for kids, but combine that with a Christmas theme and you’ve got a book that is bound to become a family favorite. That’s exactly what Christmas Is Coming! An Advent Book is all about. Your child can lift up each flap to reveal not just a countdown to Christmas, but something more, whether it’s a holiday activity, a recipe for a treat that’s totally delish, a game that can be played, or even carols to sing. If you read it at bedtime with your babes, you can make plans to do the activities the next day.

If you’re looking to make your bedtime book reading more festive, try any one of these best Christmas books for toddlers. Not only will it get your child more excited for the season (if that’s even possible!), but you’ll get extra holly jolly snuggles in before it’s lights out, too. And soon, you’ll all be dreaming of a white Christmas, even if it’s weeks away.

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