This time of year is perfect for curling up with a good book and with so many holiday books for kids to choose from, you’ll find one for every winter eve. From snowy escapades to animal antics, the following new releases are sure to become favorites for your family year after year. Scroll down to see our picks.

New This Year in Board Books

photo: Candlewick Press

Christmas ABC

Jannie Ho’s bright illustrations feature a ton of smiling little faces and iconic holiday imagery, this board book is a perfect way to learn the ABCs all year long.

Ages: 0-3

Get it here. $7.48

photo: Candlewick Press

Little Christmas Tree

Jessica Courtney-Tickle’s lift-the-flap adventure is not your average board-book! With gorgeous illustrations, your little reader takes a journey through a wintery wonderland of nature, discovering woodland creatures along the way.

Ages: 2-5

Buy it now. $11.06

ADVERTISEMENT

photo: Little Brown

Snow Kisses

Judi Abbot’s sweet board book is like a snuggle in a story, full of cozy winter images. A perfect book to read over a cup of cocoa this winter!

Ages: 2-4

Get it here, $7.99

Looking for more holiday books for babies and toddlers? Check out this list.

New in Preschool & Early Elementary

photo: Chronicle Books

Construction Site on Christmas Nite

From the author (Sherri Duskey Rink) and illustrator (A.G. Ford) who brought you Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, this holiday book is an instant-classic for kids of all ages, but especially that preschool aged, construction loving crowd. Join Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck andCement Mixer as they get ready for Christmas. They're in for a few surprises, too!

Ages: 3-5

Buy it now, $11.88

photo: Penguin Random House

The Snowy Nap

The newest book by acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator Jan Brett revists Hedgie from The Mitten as he travels around the farm preparing to hibernate. All the farm friends tell him how much he will miss out on in the winter so Hedgie tries to stay awake. Full of lavish illustrations with Brett’s signature detailed margin drawings, this is a story that can be read again and again.

Ages: 4-8

Get it here, $13.37

photo: Penguin Random House

Little Owl’s Snow

Celebrate the winter season with this perfect book by Divya Srinivasan, the latest in her enchanting Little Owl series. Follow Little Owl as he experiences the first snow and the longing for old friends.

Ages: 3-5

Buy it now, $12.55

photo: Candlewick Press

Oliver Elephant

Little Noah heads out for a day of Christmas shopping with his mommy, his baby sister and his beloved stuffed elephant, Oliver. But then suddenly, Oliver is gone. Will they find him? (Spoiler alert: yes.) Rhyming text takes kids through the sights and sounds of a vintagey-feeling department store during the holidays.

Ages: 2-5

Buy it here. $14.29 (hardcover)

photo: Simon & Schuster

This Is Christmas

“What’s Christmas, mama?” asks the little chipmunk as he and his mama visit all of their forest friends. Is Christmas all about the decorations, the cards or the presents? The answer, you will find, is one that will make your heart three sizes bigger just by reading it. It’s all about the love. Tom Booth’s gorgeous retro illustrations make this a treasured book you'll read year after year. 

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now. $12.75

photo: Simon & Schuster

Plum: How the Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings

Husband-author-dynamic duo Sean Hayes & Scott Icenogle inventive origin story of how the Sugar Plum Fairy came to be is the perfect new holiday book for any kid. Richly illustrated by Robin Thompson, find out how little Plum goes from orphan to magical creature, thanks to the her compassionate heart and the love of her dads.

Ages: 4-8

Buy it now. $14.88

photo: Gibbs-Smith

Sherlock's Night Before Christmas

"'Twas the night before Christmas/on old Baker Street/and Watson and Sherlock/were quick on their feet..."This clever take on Clark Clement Moore's classic Christmas poem is just a slim little book, making it perfect as a stocking stuffer. Julie Peterson (author) and Sheryl Dickert (illustrator) have teamed up before on Mr. Darcy's Night Before Christmas and Scrooge's Night Before Christmas. 

Ages: All ages, best for 5 and up 

Get it here. $9.99

New Chapter Books

photo: Simon & Schuster

Mistletoe and Murder (a Wells & Wong Mystery)

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending their Christmas holiday in snowy, quiet Cambridge. But just before Christmas a terrible accident takes place—or is it murder? It looks like their Detective Society is the only one around to solve it. And their lives (and their Christmas dinner) are at stake!

Ages: 10 and up

Get it now here, $12.32

photo: Simon & Schuster

A Nancy Drew Christmas

Just in time for the holidays, your favorite girl detective is on the case! While spending her winter vaycay in Montana at a picture-perfect ski resort, Nancy soon discovers that all is not as perfect as it seems. A string of destructive crimes are riddling the resort and Nancy must solve them before Christmas is ruined!

Ages: 8-12

Get your copy here. $12.32

photo: Simon & Schuster

The Polar Bear Explorers Club

The first in Alex Bell’s imaginative new series, The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club, takes your kids on a daring adventure full of winter magic, faraway places and a few outlaws. Stella Starflake Pearl wants to be an explorer, but girls are forbidden. To prove herself, she sets off on an excursion. When she and three other junior explorers are separated from the group, she gets her chance. 

Ages: 8-12
Get it here. $16.35 hardcover, $7.99 paperback 

Other Favorites We Love

photo: Candlewick Press

Elf in the House

Forget that Elf on the Shelf, there’s a sweet but mischievous elf on the loose in a little girl’s house. Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette and illustrated by Adam Record, who previously teamed up for the popular Ghost in the House, this will be a treasured classic year after year.

Ages: 3-7
Cost: $13
Buy it now.

photo: Amazon

If Picasso Painted a Snowman

What would a snowman look like if Picasso created it? What about Georges Seurat, Marc Chagall, or Vincent Van Gogh? This clever book takes a winterscape and teaches children about many famous artists, and how different styles and points of view can illustrate the same thing: a snowman! By Amy Newbold, illustrated by Greg Newbold.

Ages: 4-8
Cost: 
$12.29
Buy it here.

photo: Candlewick Press

Pick a Pine Tree

This enchanting, rhyming book by debut author Patricia Toht is best read by the light of your Christmas tree! You’ll love the gorgeous illustrations by Jarvis as you read all about the ritual and excitement of decorating the Christmas tree.

Ages: 3-7
Cost: $15.29
Get your copy here

photo: Candlewick Press

Red and Lulu

Meet two cardinals Red and Lulu, who make their nest in a very beautiful evergreen. It acts as their home and protects them from the sun in the warm months, and keeps them cozy and warm in the winter months. And once a year, the tree is decorated. Then, one day, the tree is gone. Set in New York City at Christmas time, will Red & Lulu find their home again? Written and beautifully illustrated by Matt Tavares.

Ages: 3-7
Cost: $10.95
Snag it here.

photo: Simon & Schuster

The Little Reindeer

Written and illustrated by Nicole Killen, the kids will love the story of a little girl befriending a lost reindeer and their magical adventures. The illustrations are mostly black and white with pops of red, and the book itself has lots of bells and whistles, like die-cut pages and foil.

Ages: 4-8
Cost: $10.92
Get your copy here.

photo: Amazon

The 12 Sleighs of Christmas

Santa’s sleigh is in a terrible state, and the elves try all manner of options—think zeppelins, big rigs and motorcycles for starters. Perfect holiday story for your vehicle loving crew. Fun, rhyming prose by Sherri Dusky Rinker and lively, colorful illustrations by Jake Parker.

Ages: 3-6
Cost: $13.47
Get your copy here.

photo: Candlewick Press

A Christmas for Bear

On a chilly night Bear hears a tap at his front door and discovers Mouse is there to help Bear throw a Christmas party. Curmudgeonly Bear and hopeful Mouse make a hilarious pair as they rummage about for party supplies to throw the best possible party (and Christmas) for Bear. Written by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton.

Ages: 5-9
Cost: $8.47
Buy it now.

photo: Simon & Schuster

The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story

Befana, the witch who is always sweeping, always sweeping. She rewards good little boys and girls, just like a certain jolly old elf. From Tomie dePaola, the author of Strega Nona (of course!).

Ages: 4-8
Cost: $16.19
Buy it here.

photo: Amazon

Let It Glow: A Winter's Walk

 

A winter wonderland of die-cut landscapes, this truly unique book will bring you right into a snowy landscape with lit-up windows, carols singing and shining stars. This rhyming book by author and illustrator Owen Gildersleeve will delight the kids for years.

Ages: 4-8
Cost: $16.50
Buy it now.

photo: Amazon

The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker

The classic story of The Nutcracker comes to life with music in this exciting book that allows children to not only follow along with the storyline, it has press buttons to play excerpts from the corresponding music, composed by Tchaikovsky. Incredibly unique, for any fan of The Nutcracker or as an excellent introduction to the holiday classic. Written and illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle.

Ages: 6-9
Cost: $20.69
Buy it now.

photo: Alladin

Silent (but Deadly) Night

For your older kids, this fart-friendly story will have them giggling the whole way through. Dr. Proctor, Nilly and Lisa are on the case again: this time they’re going to save Christmas. But what they need is a sleight, some flying reindeer, time-travel soap and—you guessed it—fart powder. By Jo Nesbo, illustrated by Mike Lowery.

Ages: 8-12
Cost: $14.24
Get your copy here.

You’ll also love:

The Best Holiday Books for Babies & Toddlers 

8 Holiday Books That Are Also Movies 

The Best Books to Give Kids This Year 

Brag-Worthy Gifts for Book Lovers 

picture books

 

What is your favorite holiday story? Let us know in the comments!

— Amber Guetebier

x