Monday, December 07, 2015

My Family's Favorite Christmas Picture Books

We read a lot of picture books together when my kids were little (and even once they were not so little). Some of our favorites were the ones we read at Christmas time.

There is something extra special about Christmas-themed things. Music, movies, even commercials!

But the best Christmas-themed things of all, I think, are picture books. Whether you believe in the truth of the Christmas story or not, it's hard to ignore the miraculous way the birth of one little baby has affected the world, especially at Christmas time.

So, in the spirit of Christmas and miracles, here is a list of my family's very favorite Christmas picture books!

This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten, illustrated by Delana Bettoli

Told in a step-and-repeat style, this is a simple and lovely rhyming story of the birth of Jesus. And the illustrations are stunning!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

How could any family get through the Christmas season without reading this book? Or at least watching the animated movie? It's a Christmas classic that everyone should have on their shelf.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore

We had the Little Golden Book version, but there are lots of other great versions of this classic children's poem. I especially like the one illustrated by Jan Brett. 

Good Night, Manger by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Jane Chapman

Published in the fall of 2015, this is an adorable story of a noisy stable and a mother who is trying to get her newborn baby (Jesus, of course) to sleep. The illustrations by Jane Chapman are gorgeous too!

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

A fun story of a too big Christmas tree and how it becomes a part of many families' Christmas celebrations. 

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

This book is part of Karma Wilson's "Bear" series of books, and this one is every bit as good as the original, Bear Snores On. One of the best non-religious Christmas books I've ever read!

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, illustrated by Liz Bonham

Not only are the oil painting illustrations in this book completely breathtaking, but this story is very sweet too. A little crippled lamb feels useless until he has the chance to warm the baby Jesus. A story that subtly teaches that we all have a purpose. 

Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh

My kids got a big kick out of this book, and it is still (and probably always will be) in my fourteen-year-old son's stack of favorite picture books. 

What are some of your favorite Christmas picture books?


  1. I'm going to print out this list and take it to the library with me; we've read several of them, but the others sound fabulous!

  2. I do the same thing when I come across a great book list. Enjoy!

  3. Anonymous7:05 PM

    Thanks for including "Goodnight, Manger" on the list! I'm familiar with some, but not all, of your titles. We too like to read Christmas picture books each December even though my kids are now, gulp, eleven and fifteen. How is that even possible? It seems like just yesterday they were little. Picture books, however, are timeless. =)

  4. Of course, Laura. I adore your little book!


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