27 Picture Books for Advent and Christmas

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

27 Picture Books for Advent and Christmas // Carrots for Michaelmas

It’s been a couple of years since I wrote about picture books for Advent and Christmas and we have acquired so many more good ones to share with you! This year I’m going to wrap each book with wrapping paper so that the kids can unwrap one each morning of Advent. And we will probably keep using our Story of Christmas Advent Calendar of little storybook ornaments because Benjamin loves it so much and the little Christmas storybooks are the only decoration on our tree (except for lights) until Christmas Eve. Here’s some of the other books we’ll be enjoying:

1. Home for Christmas by Jan Brett

2. Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett

3. The Mitten by Jan Brett

4. God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergen

5. The Donkey’s Dream by Barbara Helen Berger (If I had to choose just one favorite Christmas children’s book, it would be this one!)

6. Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

7. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

8. The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown

9. Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

10. A Little House Christmas by Laura Ingalls Wilder

11. The Night of Las Posados by Tomie dePaola

12. The First Christmas by Tomie dePaola (This is a pop-up book that I found in great condition at a used bookstore. Like all of dePaola’s books, it’s just beautiful!)

13.  Jingle the Christmas Clown by Tomie dePaola

14.  The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

15.  The Friendly Beasts by Tomie dePaola

16. Mary, the Mother of Jesus by Tomie dePaola

17.  Our Lady of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola

18.  The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman

19.  The Nutcracker Doll by Mary Newell DePalma

20. An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco

21.  Saint Francis and the Nativity by Myrna Strasser

22. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson

23. The Wee Christmas Cabin by Margaret Hodges

24. The Legend of St. Nicholas by Demi


25. Brigid’s Cloak by Bryce Milligan

26. Lucia Saint of Light by Katherine Bolger Hyde

27. The Story of Christmas by George Brundage

What are some of your most beloved Advent and Christmas books? Share in the comments!

If you’re interested in more ideas for observing the seasons of Advent and Christmastide, check out our book: Feast! Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year. It includes recipes and reflections for Advent and Christmas.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+


    • Haley says

      Thank you, Laura Catherine! I don’t think I’ve ever read Angela and the Baby Jesus, but The Christmas Miracle rings a bell. We’ll have to check them out at the library!

  1. says

    Why am I not surprised to see so many Tomie dePaola books? We just got a few books from the library tonight by him: Strega Nona’s Harvest, My First Thanksgiving, and Song of Francis. He’s just the best! I would love to have a collection of all his books for Lucia.

    I don’t own a single book on your list except the Legend of the Poinsettias, which my elementary school teacher gave everyone in my class (2nd grade I think). I keep hearing about The Donkey’s Dream and it’s already on my wish list!

    • Haley says

      Yes! The entire Tomie dePaola collection! I want it, too. And the Donkey’s Dream is SO good. A friend introduced me to it when I was pregnant with Benjamin and I remember thinking: I can’t wait to read this to my baby.

  2. Jane says

    We Love “What the Little Fir Tree Wore to the Christmas Party.” So sweet. Such a great message. Can’t read it without crying! lol

  3. Angela says

    Some little board book stories that we love are “Who is coming to our house?” by Joseph Slate and “Room for a little one” by Martin Waddell. They are both such cute little stories. My boys still like listening to them.

  4. Alicia says

    Some of the Amazon reviewer comments for the Storybook Advent Calendar indicate that the stories take a good deal of liberty with the Biblical account of Christ’s birth. Would you mind commenting on that? If true, what’s your perspective? Thanks!

    I’ll have to come back to share our favorite picture books–they haven’t come out of storage yet, and my brain is foggy. We’ve been working on our collection, too, and wrapping them for Advent likewise. I recognize a few from your list that we love. . .and a few that I’ve seen recommended numerous other places, but haven’t been able to acquire! Our library has many great options, but is often missing older and more faith-minded titles.

    • Haley says

      Hmmm, I just went back to look at them because I didn’t remember that. I can see some people having a problem with dialogue that isn’t in the Scriptures. For instance, Melchior or Caspar will say something on their way to find Baby Jesus. Or Mary will say, “Look, Joseph! The manger can be a crib for the baby!” That sort of thing. So, I get that some people would rather just have the biblical text itself (that’s why I LOVE Tomie dePaola’s illustrated Children’s Bible Stories). But I didn’t see anything when I glanced at it this evening that seemed like over-the-top liberties were being taken.

    • Haley says

      I love the Clown of God! I didn’t remember it’s a Christmas book, though? We should order it from the library again.

  5. says

    So many great ones! I’m going to use a couple of these for St. Nicholas’s day. Also, diPaola was signing books at my local grocery store a month or two ago. I took a not-so-subtle paparazzi photo of him like a total creeper. Love those books.

  6. says

    I had the Tomie DePaola pop up book as a girl and it was my favorite Christmas book 🙂 I’ve been waiting to see if my mom would be able to dig it out of the garage but I think you’ve pushed me over the edge to just buy a new one–well a new old one!

    • Haley says

      The kids found it while I was trying to wrap up the books and I’m trying to pry it out of their grasps until Advent, haha. It’s so good!

  7. says

    The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell has been read in my family on Christmas Eve every year since before I was born.

    It is still my favorite, although I have some others too. Great list!

  8. Laura Savage says

    We love “Humphrey’s First Christmas” by Carol Heyer, very sweet about the donkey that was with the wise men.

  9. Sue says

    One of our favorites is The Christmas Story illustrated by Jane Ray. She takes texts from Matthew and Luke, the King James Version. Her illustrations are so lovely and engaging. She has also done Creation and Noah’s Ark as well as folk and fairy tales. I think you would like her work.

  10. Lydia says

    Oh I LOVE “The Mitten” It has been a favorite of our family for years! Tomie de Paola we love too. You know you might like the book Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ wrote about the Holy Land http://j.mp/fmphlap . It’s for adults but is a LOT of beautiful pictures and kids could see where Jesus and Mary walked.

  11. says

    Dear Haley,

    A complimentary PDF of the Kindle edition of our book The Night Before Christmas… The Gift is available for review. May we send it to you?

    Since this is a Christmas title, we would not have time to get a print edition to you for review this year.

    Link to PR, Teaching Our Children the Gift of Giving: Crosland Hill Publishing Releases The Night Before Christmas… The Gift: http://www.ereleases.com/pr/teaching-children-gift-giving-crosland-hill-publishing-presents-night-christmas-gift-181621


  12. Claire Shea says

    You would love A Dozen Silk Diapers by Melisa Kajpust. Its abput the family of spiders who live the stable that Jesus was born in, and it is jus the sweetest thing. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful too. 🙂
    my little one is only 7 months old, and its been so fun thinking of different traditions we’re going to do with her, this is such a great idea!

  13. says

    Thank you for this, Haley! And may you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Blessed Merry Christmas! J and sons 🙂

    • laura mckenzie says

      Ditto!! Thank you for this list & thanks to our local library, we have a great stack to start with this first Sunday of Advent….can’t wait!!! blessings to you family-

  14. Sabra Lowe-Zedick says

    Love your list! We also have many of the same in our list. A wonderful book is A Northern Nativity, also, The Legend of the Candy Cane, The Crippled Lamb, and JRR Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas. God bless you!

  15. Carolyn says

    Haley, I LOVE your book lists. Thanks for the time you put into them!

    Question: My oldest is 15 months so I was wondering if you had a particular recommendation for that age. I just bought “The Story of Christmas” by George Brundage through your link because that looked good (and perfect for our mass bag!). Any other recommendations? Thank you!

    • Haley says

      Hi Carolyn! It really depends on the kid. Different kids like different books. Many 15 month olds don’t have a long enough attention span for longer picture books but you can always order a couple, give them a try and if they’re too much, save them for next year 😉

  16. Laura says

    I checked out The Donkeys Dream from the library and my 2 and 3 year old boys love it. I just went to Amazon to look into buying it and it’s a minimum of $40 for a used copy! They don’t like it that much. :/ Love this list though. We have checked out several of these from the library.

  17. Delilah says

    It is well and all for some to say “money isn’t everything.” And that is true. But money is something. Our family cannot afford to buy even one of these used on Amazon. It hurts so much that I can’t give them any extras in life.

    • Haley says

      Hi Delilah! I’ve definitely been there. This post isn’t meant with the intention that everyone should purchase all of these books. It’s a good list to take with you to your local library (100% free), the used book store, Christmas list for extended family, or whatever works for your family.

  18. Amy says

    My kids are older now, but I enjoy your posts as a reminder of earlier days!

    I’m not sure if these have been added to your wonderful list by other readers, but two of our all-time favorites, which we often give as gifts:

    Advent Storybook: 24 stories to share before Christmas– October 1, 2005
    by Antonie Schneider (Author), Maja Dusikova (Illustrator), Marisa Miller (Translator)

    This is a beautiful book, with one story to read per day in Advent. It is likely one to purchase rather than obtain from the library, but used copies are as little as 1 cents on Amazon. The stories are told by a mother to her son Benjamin Bear (so your family may really enjoy it!), leading the small bear in the story to the Christ child, with beautiful morals. Illustrations are wonderful – a treasure.

    Also, Wombat Divine by Mem Fox is one of the most charming and delightful books – again, a family favorite that my teenagers still want to reread! Filled with a wonderful cast of characters (all Australian animals) the story centers on a Nativity play, with a very sweet message.

    Happy reading!


  1. […] We will be decorating the home with a lot of simple greenery and placing lights on the house and tree to remind us that we are waiting for the life and light of the world. We will be repeating often that Jesus is birthday is coming and that we are excited about this, offer the story of Jesus to Anna. Lastly we will be adding a few new books in to the mix over the next 4 weeks. Here is a few great lists of Advent and Christmas picture books from Haley and Kendra. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *