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The Magic Of Santa Lives In These 10 Picture Books

And you're going to want all of them for your kid's Christmas reading.

I am a huge reader, so reading with my children is obviously one of my favorite things to do. This time of year, our books tend to be mostly related to Christmas and Hanukkah, and Santa is a particular favorite topic. I mean, he's so mysterious, right? There are children's picture books about Santa covering all topics of his life and history, and because "no one really knows for sure," kids have a fun time trying to piece together what they think he's really like.

There's literally a Santa story for every child and every family, and they range from the silliest picture books, to more serious, social justice stories that get to the heart of what the holiday is about. The best stories amplify all that is good about the idea of Santa, and why his myth has such a power to create positive energy and how he became a centerpiece in all of our lives.

The books I've chosen are some of the absolute best out there, and represent a huge range of subjects, age, and reading levels. Some of these are also available in audiobook format or on eBook if you're pressed for space. No matter which you choose, I guarantee, you'll be entertained.


How To Catch Santa by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

This book is a laugh riot. Every kid who celebrates the holiday has stayed up to "catch Santa," right? Well this book gives you clever instructions to do just that. My kids tried many, and I'll be damned if they didn't almost catch Mommy kissing Santa Claus.


Santa and the Goodnight Train by June Sobel, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

My kids love the whole Goodnight Train series, and this one is even more magical thanks to Santa getting to ride the train as well. It's a sweet, fun series that the whole family will get swept up within.


A World of Cookies for Santa by M E Furman, illustrated by Susan Gal

I love this multicultural celebration of the Christmas tradition of leaving cookies out for Santa. Follow children around the world and learn about their heritage and what they leave out for Santa. You can even make some of the cookies yourself, thanks to the recipes provided.


The Berenstain Bears' Night Before Christmas by Mike Berenstain

Admit it, you had this version of The Night Before Christmas, and your parents probably still have the tattered copy. It's a classic for a reason, and your kids deserve it.


Santa's Underwear by Marty Rhodes Figley, illustrated by Marty Kelley

OH NO! Santa doesn't have his favorite underwear. Whatever will he do? First, he'll try on every single pair he has. It's a silly, goofy book that romps through a fun story with Santa, and it's wonderful.


When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Geneviéve Godbout

It turns out that Santa was an awesome baby, but maybe just a little bit strange. For instance, why does he sound like a fully-grown man? Why does he give away his birthday presents? It's all a bit weird if you ask Santa's parents.


Santa Mouse

Santa's littlest helper is really little. The poor chap has no name, his house is big and lonely, and he's a bit down, until he becomes one of the most important people to the big guy in red.


How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Ever wonder how St. Nick got his position as the gift giver extraordinaire that he is? This is the adorable tale of how that came to be. The illustrations on this are really gorgeous, and remind me of the books I read as a child.


Santa's Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas by Hisako Aoki, illustrated by Ivan Gantschev

This is possibly the most beautifully drawn Santa story that I've ever seen. I vaguely remember seeing this in the library when I was younger, but it wasn't until I was gifted it when my son was a baby that I really soaked it in. Santa tells the story of the first Christmas to woodland creatures, and it's just lovely.


Santa's Husband by Daniel Kibblesmith, illustrated by A.P. Quach

This is one of the most wonderful Santa stories I've ever read. It imagines Santa as a black, gay man whose husband, David, helps him throughout the year. It's easily my kids' favorite, and mine as well. It helps teach children about acceptance and making assumptions in a sweet, short tale.