The 7 Best Christmas Books for Toddlers of 2023

Cute little girl reading christmas book.

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  • Toddlers love Christmas books because they bring two of their favorite things together—holiday magic and quality time with loved ones.
  • A great Christmas story should leave you smiling, entertained, or deeply touched.
  • The best Christmas books include plenty of describing words, rhyming sequences, or poetic language. 

We are all big readers in our house. As a homeschooling family, devouring great books is part of the culture of our home. I am always scouring the aisles of the library and local bookstores to find books that will engage the multiple ages of my children. 

When it comes to Christmas books, I’m picky about which ones we select. I like to find Christmas books that are engaging, lively, colorful, and worthy of making memories with. We like to read books that do more than just present words on a page with a cute picture. 

My toddler is just as big of a fan of books as the rest of us. So this year I wanted to find toddler Christmas books specifically for her attention span. After maxing out my library card and scouring the internet, I found a large selection of beautiful Christmas books for toddlers.

If you’re looking to make Christmas memories with your tiny tots, I suggest giving these books a try. You’ll find that sharing a sweet story by the Christmas tree is more magical than anything money can buy. Some of these books come in a board book version as well, making them great toddler stocking stuffers. 

So make a cup of tea, pull your toddler and their favorite lovey in your lap, and read one of these books from our list of the best Christmas books for toddlers of 2023.  

Best Choice
Bear Stays Up for Christmas (The Bear Books)
Best Christmas Classic
Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition: A Christmas Holiday Book for Kids
Best Household Favorite
Mortimer's Christmas Manger
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
$8.49
$10.49
$7.39
Best Choice
Bear Stays Up for Christmas (The Bear Books)
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
$8.49
Best Christmas Classic
Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition: A Christmas Holiday Book for Kids
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
$10.49
Best Household Favorite
Mortimer's Christmas Manger
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
$7.39

Our Choice: Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

Sale
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Karma Wilson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Karma Wilson books are always a hit with my toddler. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson is one we read over and over each year. Here’s why we love it: 

  • Animals: The woodland creatures in this story are just adorable. Each of them has a cute face and a kind heart, making this a clear winner. 
  • Plot Twist: We like stories that have exciting twists to keep us guessing. My toddler loves the surprise visit from Santa at the end of this book, as well as the surprise gift. 
  • Short, Repetitive Text: Repetitive text is great to keep toddlers engaged in a story. If your toddler knows what’s coming, they can join in the reading. 

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht

Sale
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht
  • Hardcover Book
  • Toht, Patricia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages – 09/19/2017 (Publication Date) – Candlewick (Publisher)

This was my first time reading Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht and it will not be the last. This beautiful book perfectly captures the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree

Throughout the story, the text will expose your toddler to rich describing words like slim, spiky, rusty, and sappy. Each page introduces a new step in the Christmas tree decorating process. From the tree farm to the lighting of the tree, your toddler will find the process familiar and fun. 

My toddler especially loved the big surprise at the end. The hardcover version includes a large, pop-up Christmas tree on a 2-page spread. This will leave your child begging you to read it again. 

You’re sure to be in the Christmas spirit after reading this book. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season and also get your toddler excited about picking out a tree. 

Pages: 40 pages | Reading Age: 2-6 years
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Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson

Sale
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Karma Wilson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

If you’ve never heard of the Bear Book series by Karma Wilson, you’re in for a treat. These adorable books are a delight to toddlers, and Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson is no exception. 

In this sweet rhyming book, Bear’s woodland friends try and keep him awake so he doesn’t sleep through Christmas. They entertain him with holiday traditions like singing Christmas carols, decorating the Christmas tree, and baking holiday treats. Your toddler will be surprised with a twist of events and a surprise visit from Santa. 

The text is short and sweet and follows a rhythmic pattern. Your toddler will likely join in the reading each time the book says “but Bear stays up.” The illustrations are just adorable and have a cozy, Christmas feel to them. 

The lovable characters, rhythmic text, and Christmas cheer portrayed in this book make it one of the best Christmas books for toddlers. 

Pages: 40 pages | Reading Age: 2-5 years
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Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle

Sale
Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle
  • Schertle, Alice (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages – 09/23/2014 (Publication Date) – Clarion Books (Publisher)

The Little Blue Truck is no stranger in the world of toddler books. Both boys and girls alike love this classic character and his adventures. The Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle is a must-read for fans of this series. 

This perfect toddler Christmas book follows the little blue truck as he delivers Christmas trees to his friends. As he loads and unloads the trees, your child can count along both forward and backward. The trees are also numbered so your child can point and say each number along with you. 

The colorful illustrations are full of animals and fun details. The text is rhythmic and the story is short. This will likely be one board book your toddler asks for over and over again. 

Pages: 24 pages | Reading Age: 1-3 years
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The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Sale
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  • Hardcover Book
  • Van Allsburg, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages – 09/15/2015 (Publication Date) – Clarion Books (Publisher)

It doesn’t even feel like the Christmas season without reading this Christmas classic. The Polar Express is a beloved children’s book that has stood the test of time and made the New York Times Bestseller list. 

Though this might seem a bit advanced for a toddler, I highly recommend starting to read this to them while they’re young. They might pay more attention to the pictures than the words at first, but year by year they will grow to love this tale of adventure and Christmas magic.

This story follows a young boy who isn’t sure if Santa Claus is real. After boarding the Polar Express, he makes new friends, drinks hot chocolate, and journeys to the North Pole. It’s at the North Pole that he finds the answers he’s been looking for and gains a new perspective on Christmas. 

As your child gets older, you can start a holiday tradition of a Polar Express-themed evening. Each year, we read the book, make hot cocoa, and go for a pajama ride in the car to look at Christmas lights.

Pages: 32 pages | Reading Age: 2-7 years
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Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson

Sale
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wilson, Karma (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages – 10/02/2007 (Publication Date) – Margaret K. McElderry Books (Publisher)

From the author of the Bear Book series, comes another household favorite. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson is a sweet story that highlights the true reason for Christmas. 

Among religious Christmas books, this one stands out for combining Christmas fun with the story of baby Jesus. My toddler loves following this heartwarming tale of the naughty little mouse who pulls the figurines out of the nativity scene every night. To make a place to sleep, he unknowingly removes baby Jesus from his bed. 

Our hearts are always warmed when we read how Mortimer learns the story of Jesus on Christmas eve. In our home, we have a toy mouse we bring out at Christmas time and move around the house. We love pretending that he moves the figurines out of the nativity every night until we read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve.

This charming story is a delight and has been one of my favorite Christmas books for toddlers for years. 

Pages: 40 pages | Reading Age: 3-6 years
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Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell

Sale
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
  • Hardcover Book
  • Martin Waddell (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 32 Pages – 10/03/2006 (Publication Date) – Margaret K. McElderry Books (Publisher)

If you’re looking for a nativity Christmas story for younger toddlers, this might be all you need.  Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell is a Christmas book that portrays the holiday season through furry animal friends and the story of baby Jesus. 

Most nativity Christmas books focus on the people in the story. This Christmas book focuses instead on the story from the point of view of the animals. Each page introduces a new animal who is invited into the stable by an unlikely friend. 

If your little one loves animals, as mine does, they’ll enjoy the beautiful illustrations that feature a mouse, cat, dog, donkey, and ox. The story builds as the animals enter the stable, leading up to the moment a pregnant couple with a donkey comes looking for a place to stay. Will there be room for one more little one?

The text is short and simple enough to keep your toddler’s attention. However, the message of the story is clear and rich. I’m confident you and your toddler will love this sweet book as much as we did.

Pages: 32 pages | Reading Age: 2-4 years
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The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore

Sale
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore
  • Hardcover Book
  • Moore, Clement (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 48 Pages – 10/11/2011 (Publication Date) – Applesauce Press (Publisher)

Of all the Christmas books that children adore, this classic poem might be the most popular.  The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore is a beautiful version of the classic poem that brings in the holiday spirit each time it is read. 

All of my children love the sing-song text this poem includes. Though it might be over my toddler’s head, she doesn’t mind hearing it again and again. Reading poetry to toddlers is a great way to introduce rhyming and new vocabulary words. 

This is one of our favorite versions of The Night Before Christmas because the pictures are gorgeous. There are plenty of versions to choose from including a hardcover with a 4-page foldout picture of Santa and his sleigh. 

It’s never too early to start reading this childhood classic on Christmas Eve. If you had this story read to you as a child, you’ll likely enjoy each page just as much as your toddler does. 

Pages: 48 pages | Reading Age: 1-5 years
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Recommended Accessories

As you make traditions out of reading these Christmas books for toddlers, here are great elements to add to your routine for a very merry Christmas:

Christmas Books Collage

Why Do Toddlers Love Christmas Books?

Toddlers love to celebrate Christmas. From visits to see Santa to the bright lights and ornaments, there is so much to enjoy. Toddlers love Christmas books because they bring two of their favorite things together—holiday magic and quality time.

When you hold your toddler in your lap and read to them, you’re giving them your undivided attention. Pair this with a Christmas-themed book, and your toddler will want you to read for hours. This is why Christmas books for toddlers make a great gift idea! 

Christmas Books Collage

How to Choose the Best Christmas Books for Toddlers

I’ve probably read through dozens of Christmas books by this point in motherhood. Some were favorites from the start while others left us disappointed. I’ve now realized the key to finding the best Christmas books for toddlers is to look for these elements:

Beautiful Illustrations 

For the toddler age range, this might be the most important factor. A great book with dull pictures will quickly lose the attention of little ones. When I look for Christmas books, I flip through the pages and look for pictures that are bright, interesting, or full of details. 

I like pictures that also lead to great questions such as, “Where do you think the animal is going?” or “How do you think that little boy feels?” If there’s depth in the illustrations to draw from, it will lead to great discussions. 

Engaging Story

A great story should leave you smiling, entertained, or deeply touched. Toddler books are often more entertaining than deeply moving, but you’ll still find some that have rich storylines. The true test of a great toddler Christmas book is if your toddler asks it to be read again. 

Rich Vocabulary 

Reading is a great way to expand your toddler’s vocabulary. Reading aloud for even just a few minutes a day will expose them to language that you might not use often in your home. A great Christmas book will include plenty of describing words, rhyming sequences, or poetic language. 

FAQs

What are the best ages for Christmas books for kids?

It’s never too early or too late to start reading Christmas books to your kids. Many classic Christmas stories come in board book versions, making them excellent for little hands. If you’re looking for recommendations for the best board books to start your reading collection, your local librarian will likely have plenty of suggestions.

Best Christmas Books for Toddlers


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