If ever there was a month to get cozy with the kiddos and read a million books, it'd be December. Holiday season is pretty bonkers for most folks, especially those of us with little kids who require more Christmas planning than any non-parent could begin to comprehend (presents; trying to keep them from un-decorating your tree; sticky candy cane hands; difficult bedtimes when they know Santa will arrive any minute). But to slow down just a bit, and enjoy all the season has to offer, I like to read
a lot of books with my kids. In fact, one year, I wrapped a holiday children's book for every day in December leading up to Christmas, and every night my kids got to open a present and enjoy a new book.
I'll be honest, that was a lot of work! But, still, this year, I've already begun to stockpile my favorite new Christmas books to make for a magical Christmas Eve night. In case you are an overachieving parent who does the book-a-day thing every year, have no fear! We've done the heavy lifting. (No, these don't arrive wrapped.) All of these books are hot off the presses and ready to be devoured as 2018 winds down. Get your slippers and egg nog, and let's drink to snuggly bedtimes and quiet nights.
1 'We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga' by Traci Sorrell, Illustrated by Frané Lessac by Traci Sorrell, illustrated by Frané Lessac ($17.99, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga Charlesbridge)
Start off the holiday season with a dose of gratitude. This book is great all year round, talking about the seasons and introducing Cherokee culture and language. But if you want to set your intentions for the month, this is a great place to start. Check out the
pronunciation guide here! 2 'Plum: How The Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings' by Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle, illustrated by Robin Thompson by Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle ($17.99, Plum Simon and Schuster)
Actor Sean Hayes and his husband wrote this cute backstory of the Sugar Plum Fairy. It's got all the trappings of a classic Christmas story: an orphan who wants a family, a little magic, and a big dose of caring and sharing.
Bonus: the dust jacket is glittery. I feel like that's important to add.
3 'The Snowy Nap' by Jan Brett by Jan Brett ($18.99, The Snowy Nap Penguin Random House)
When I think of winter + kids' books, Jan Brett's art just jumps into my mind. Her illustrations are always detailed and gorgeous and snowy. This is her latest, which features Hedgie, who wants to stay awake for winter so he can experience the magic, instead of sleeping through it as usual.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House 4 'Construction Night On Christmas Night' by Sherri Dusker Rinker, illustrated by AG Ford by ($10.90, Construction Sit On Christmas Night Barnes and Noble)
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site rejoice! This is the perfect Christmas Eve book. The construction vehicles are busy preparing for Christmas, and plenty of surprises await them! 5 'I Got The Christmas Spirit' by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison by Connie Schofield-Morrison ($16.99, I Got The Spirit Bloomsbury)
This story of a little girl feeling the Christmas season is full of onomatopeic delight. Every page has a gorgeously painted scene, starring an exceptionally expressive little girl.
6 'A Christmas Advent Story' by Ivy Snow by Ivy Snow ($14.99, A Christmas Advent Story Bloomsbury)
No Advent calendar? No problem. This book will satisfy all your lift-the-flap cravings. Lovely Christmas scenes of sledding, shopping, and baking have flaps numbered one through twenty-five.
7 'All Is Merry And Bright' by Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Don Clark by Jeffrey Burton ($24.99, All Is Merry And Bright Simon and Schuster)
This is a book you'll want to put on display. It's like Christmas exploded all over this book, and I am here for it. It's a keepsake board book that you and your kids will want to run your fingers over all the embossed pages and admire the shiny foil.
8 'Merry Christmas, Pookie' by Sandra Boynton Courtesy of Simon and Schuster by Sandra Boynton ($5.99, Merry Christmas, Little Pookie Simon and Schuster)
Sandra Boynton's charm now with 100-percent more Christmas. If you've got a kid who already makes you read other of Boynton's books over and over again, perhaps they will allow you to put this in rotation.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster 9 'Jingle Bells, At The Zoo' by Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Emma Trithart by Jeffrey Burton ($7.99, Jingle Bell At The Zoo Simon and Schuster)
Another lift-the-flap book for busy hands. This one has all the animals in the zoo celebrating Christmas. It's adorable. I mean, look at the baby sloth in the stocking. I'm dead.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster 10 'Winter Is Here' by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Droznek by Kevin Henkes ($17.99, Winter Is Here HarperCollins)
This is an exciting look at the season of winter. It invites kids to make observations and engage their senses. It puts a lovely spin on what can be a dreary time of year. (I'm not a fan, OK?)
11 'The Broken Ornament' by Tony DiTerlizzi by Tony DiTerlizzi ($17.99, The Broken Ornament Simon and Schuster)
If you need a dose of Christmas magic, look no further. This book about what's really important in Christmas and the joy of gift-giving is destined to be a classic. I got actual goosebumps reading it.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster 12 'This Is Christmas' by Tom Booth by Tom Booth ($17.99, This Is Christmas Simon and Schuster)
A mom and a baby chipmunk go out for a woodland walk and find all the ways the other animals are celebrating Christmas. There's room in Christmas for all the traditions!
13 'One Christmas Wish' by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Emily Sutton by Katherine Rundell ($18.99, One Christmas Wish Simon and Schuster)
Looking for a read you can enjoy snuggled under a blanket by the fire (or if you're like me, and you don't have a fireplace, you can always put a video of a fireplace on your TV. #lifehack), this one would be perfect. It's a longer tale
à la It'll hit you right in the Christmas feels. The Velveteen Rabbit. 14 'The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains' by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Paolo Zakimi by Annie Silvestro ($17.99, The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains HarperCollins)
A tree who loves growing next to the train tracks becomes a Christmas tree. It might miss the
whoosh of the speeding trains, but there are a lot of things to love about being a Christmas tree. 15 'Ecclesiastes' by Cynthia Rylant by Cynthia Rylant (17.99, Ecclesiastes Simon and Schuster)
Those wishing to include some spirituality to their winter reading should check out this gorgeously illustrated book based on The King James Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes. It's not about Christmas per se, but it invites discussions about the seasons and about patience and peace, which we could all use more of during the holidays.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster 16 'The Night Before Christmas' by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Lindsay Dale-Scott illustrated by Lindsay Dale-Scott ($11.99, The Night Before Christmas Barnes and Noble)
I might have a few copies of various editions of
The Night Before Christmas, but, guys, this one LIGHTS UP! I can't get enough of things that light up at Christmas. Courtesy of Running Press Kids 17 'The 12 Pets Of Christmas' by Taylor Garland 18 'Small Walt And Mo The Tow' by Elizabeth Burdick by Elizabeth Verdick ($17.99, Small Walt and Mo the Tow Simon and Schuster)
Walt is set to save the day plowing during a blizzard, but when a car drives off the road, his driver has to call in a helper. This book is packed with action and winter charm.
Courtesy of Simon and Schuster 19 'The Cat Who Ate Christmas' by Lil Chase, illustrated by Thomas Docherty by Lil Chase ($13.99, The Cat Who Ate Christmas Barnes and Noble)
Jingle is a delightfully naughty cat who can't resist eating the Christmas turkey. When his family gets (justifiably) angry at him, he runs away, but then misses his family and his family misses him. I'm sure there's a moral in there somewhere.
Courtesy of Running Press Kids 20 'Little Christmas Tree' by Jessica Courtney-Tickle by Jessica Courtney-Tickle, ($15.99, Little Christmas Tree Barnes and Noble)
A solitary tree in winter is seemingly all alone, but soon, you discover all the life that it holds. This is a sweet lift-thhe-flap book for animal lovers and Christmas lovers.
21 'Crafty Llama' by Mike Kerr, Illustrated by Renata Liwska by Mike Kerr ($16.99, Crafty Llama Bloomsbury)
This story is about the joy of making things for other people. Reading this with your kids will definitely make you want to break out the craft supplies.
22 'I Love The Nutcracker: My First Sound Book' by Marion Billett by Marion Billet (9.99, I Love The Nutcracker Barnes and Noble)
A good interactive book to busy tiny hands when all they want to do is snag ornaments off the tree. Kids familiar with the ballet with instantly recognize the six iconic pieces featured in this book.
23 'Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas' by Kimberly and James Dean Courtesy of HarperCollins by Kimberly and James Dean ($12.99, Pete The Cat's 12 Groovy Days Of Christmas HarperCollins)
I think we all have a Pete the Cat lover in our lives who will appreciate this funny new (dare I say, improved?) version of that never-ending song. I mean, five onion rings? Sign me up!
24 'I Love You Through And Through At Christmas, Too!' by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak ($5.99, I Love You Through And Through At Christmas, Too! Barnes and Noble)
This is sweet and super-readable board book for our littlest Christmas loves. I know, I've personally read
I Love You Through And Through probably hundreds of times to my kids, so I'm excited to put this one in rotation as well! 25 'The Christmas Eve Tree' by Delia Huddy, illustrated by Emily Sutton by Delia Huddy ($9.99, The Christmas Eve Tree Barnes and Noble)
A spindly tree is the last one in the shop, but magical things happen when he's chosen by a boy who doesn't care that it's smaller or sparser. This book is another that will hit you in the feels and warm you up better than a mug of hot chocolate.
26 'Where's Santa Claus' by Nosy Crow, illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius by Nosy Crow, illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius ($8.99 Where's Santa Claus Indiebound)
For kiddos who look playing peekaboo, this book has all the felt flaps you could hope for (harder to rip out than paper!). A true treat.