‘Tis the season for Christmas children’s books! It’s time to pull out holiday books about snow, generosity, and Santa Claus! I love the idea of a Christmas Picture Book Advent celebration in which 25 picture books are wrapped individually. Starting December 1st, one book is unwrapped and read at bedtime … right up to Christmas!
There are some classic Christmas picture books that seem to hit the heart of the holiday spirit. Some of my favorites include:
We also think these Christmas picture books are funny:
And there are still room for snowy picture books like:
I tried a Random Acts of Kindness Advent celebration and found it much easier to pull off that I thought. It also helped me to create a daily RAK habit.
If you want to track a RAK Advent celebration, I have included a DIY calendar that is fun and easy to make with the kids.
How about you? What Christmas advent traditions do you celebrate? If you have done the advent picture books, what are a few of your favorites? Thanks for sharing!
New Cozy Winter Picture Books
Snowy Race by April Jones Prince, illustrated by Christine Davenier
This is “bring your daughter to work day” meets Katy and the Big Snow but told in spare rhyme! I love the ending in which the reader learns why there is such urgency to clear the roads! The charming illustrations give a clue on the first page that this is a long-anticipated day! I also like how this depiction challenges the norm of who is staying home to care for the children. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
The Luckiest Snowball by Elliot Kreloff
This reminds me of four seasons of Frosty the Snowman but instead of a snowman, it’s a snowball. Collage illustrations depict this story of Izzy saving a lucky talking snowball from melting so it can experience the four seasons. The snowball spends quite a bit of time in the freezer where it makes new friends. Pair this with Josh Funk’s Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast series for freezer picture book fun! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Snow Still by Holly Surplice
If Bambi were not a Disney movie but a charming board book instead, this would be it. Here, a baby fawn explores a snowy world for what seems like the first time. It’s a safe and welcoming world with a happy ending. [board book, ages 2 and up]
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New Winter & Christmas Picture Books
Dasher by Matt Tavares
Rudolph gets all the limelight but there are other reindeer in the sleigh pulling line up. Dasher has her own story and Matt Tavares weaves this tale of the time when Santa’s sleigh was pulled by a single horse. This feels like an “instant classic” to be enjoyed every December! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Santa’s Secret by Denise Brennan-Nelson, illustrated by Deborah Melmon
This rhyming story is perfect for kids who think that the Santas they see at the mass or ringing a bell are not the real Santa. The rhyme pattern breaks at times which makes it more difficult to read aloud, but I’d add it to my Christmas Advent calendar list because my kids are a little cynical. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Little Robin’s Christmas by Jan Fearnley
This is a story for kids who like predictable stories. Little Robin has seven warm vests. The week before Christmas, Little Robin leaves his nest only to find a shivering animal. Little Robin gifts the animal his vest until he has none left. On Christmas day, Little Robin gets a surprise from Santa. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Peppa Pig and the Christmas Play by Candlewick Entertainment
The jacket cover doubles as a coloring poster so this is a 2 for 1 entertainment deal for fans of Peppa Pig! Peppa Pig and her friends put on a Christmas play and she really wants Santa to come. He’s pretty busy since she and her friends spotted him at the supermarket, the tree shop, and other retail locations. Will he make it to the play? [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May.) by Barbara Park, illustrated by Denise Brunkus
We think Junie B. Jones is hilarious but not all parents appreciate this series because they find her “fresh” or don’t like her grammatically incorrect English. With more than 60 million copies sold, the Junie B. Jones series gets kids reading! This special Deluxe Holiday Edition is the perfect gift to kids who like funny books, and it has a holiday message of generosity even to one’s arch enemy. [early chapter book series, ages 6 and up]
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis
Personally, I dread the shorter winter days here in the Northeast when it gets dark around 4:oo pm! But Susan Cooper brings a new perspective on this winter solstice. She wrote a poem to celebrate it, bringing us back to our early history as Neolithic people whose traditions viewed light as a part of the life cycle. Her endnote draws in the celebrations of light from around the world including Diwali, Chanukah, and the Yule. This is a lovely way to celebrate the shortest day of the year with a multicultural and inclusive perspective. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.