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19 Of The Best Christmas Books For Children Of All Ages

Christmas books for children all ages
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Get your excited little elves into the festive spirit by introducing some Christmas books into their reading collection! From tots to teens, there’s a Christmas-themed adventure for every age.

Storytime is often children’s (and their parents’!) favourite part of the day, but sometimes it may feel like you’re reading the same books over and over again. One way to prevent boredom is to give the bookshelf a quick refresh every month, by adding or taking away some items and saving them for later. Of course, another option to inject some more life into the bookshelf is to add seasonal or themed reads, and with Christmas on the horizon, there’s no time like the present as an early Christmas gift for your young reader!

To narrow down the festive options, here’s our list of favourite Christmas books for children (Disclaimer: You can’t hold us responsible if any of these books cause excitement levels to reach fever pitch!). The ages we have listed are just a suggestion and don’t have to be strictly adhered to. It may vary on the reading ability of your child or indeed what mum or dad is in the mood to read aloud.

Read more: Christmas In Hong Kong: All You Need For The Festive Season In 2021

Best Christmas Books For Babies And Toddlers

Christmas books babies toddlers

Dear Santa, by Rod Campbell – Lift-the-flap Christmas book for tots

This colourful offering from the author of the ever-popular “Dear Zoo” (which is still going strong after being originally published in 1982) will appeal to even the youngest of children. They’ll love being able to lift the flaps as Santa struggles to find the perfect gift and there’s even a sensory surprise on the last page! It’s a great way to encourage toddlers to name each present and talk about the colours and shapes on the wrapping paper.

Available at Book Depository

That’s Not My Santa, by Fiona Watt – Touch and feel Christmas book for baby

Most parents will be familiar with the much-loved “That’s Not My….” series. But did you know there are also several Christmas books, including Reindeer and a Snowman? We love them all, especially That’s Not My Elf – though sadly that one isn’t available to arrive before Christmas. That’s Not My Santa is also a great festive read for little bookworms. Plus, the touchy-feely patches will help develop sensory awareness in babies and toddlers.

Available at Baby Central

The Christmas Bear, by Ian Whybrow – Rhyming Christmas book for little ones

This is another lift-the-flap offering sure to hold the attention of little ones as they wait to discover if Bear (who got left behind in the workshop) will manage to catch up with Santa’s sleigh in time for Christmas morning. It’s written in rhyme and has illustrations by Axel Scheffler, of “The Gruffalo” fame, so you know the pictures won’t disappoint either! Older children will enjoy the added extras, with wheels to turn and tabs to pull.

Available at Book Depository 

Bear Stays Up For Christmas, by Karma Wilson – Sturdy festive board book

This board book also features a bear, but this is a bear who usually misses Christmas because he is hibernating. So this year his forest friends make it their mission to keep him awake no matter what. At its heart, this is a sweet story about friendship and giving. Make sure to buy the board book version as little hands will love being able to hold it and turn the pages themselves, as they wait to discover if the bear makes it until morning.

Available at Book Depository 

Kipper’s Christmas Eve, by Mick Inkpen – Well-known children character with a Christmas book special

Kipper the dog books are always a hit in our houses and this seasonal offering is no exception. Follow Kipper as he ponders whether Christmas Eve (waiting for presents) or Christmas Day (getting the presents!) is better. With all the magic and anticipation of the festive season, this is a great read for excited kids and parents alike!

Available at Bookwise

Father Christmas Needs A Wee, by Nicholas Allen – Funny Christmas story for children

As the title suggests, this is a rather tongue-in-cheek book about how Father Christmas needs the toilet as a result of eating and drinking all the goodies left out for him. The problem is, he’s forgotten his house key! Toddlers (and older children) will love the silly humour and rhyme, plus it’s a great way to teach them numbers without them even realising they’re learning.

Available at Book Wise

Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Christmas Wish – A Christmas story from this iconic cartoon character

A familiar face for parents and kids alike, this sturdy board book sees Peppa, George and their friend take a trip to Santa’s grotto to tell him what they would like for Christmas. While making a Christmas pudding with Granny Pig on Christmas Eve, Peppa makes a very special wish. Will it come true? Find out in this festive tale.

Available at Book Depository

Read more: Free Downloadables: Santa Letter In Hong Kong And “Nice List” Certificate

Best Christmas Books For Children Aged 3 To 8 Years

Christmas books 3-8

The Jolly Christmas Postman, by Janet & Allan Ahlberg – Classic Christmas story for children

This is an oldie but a goodie. It’s a magical book that you and your kids will never tire of reading. Join the Jolly Postman on his Christmas Eve rounds to see which familiar nursery rhyme characters he has post for. Part of the charm lies in discovering what’s inside the envelopes being delivered, which include a game for Red Riding Hood and a jigsaw for Humpty Dumpty (just make sure you factor time in for your child to complete these activities if you’re reading it at bedtime). On the cover it’s described as “first-class” and, despite the pun, we agree!

Available at Book Depository 

Mog’s Christmas, by Judith Kerr – Festive feline adventure

You may well be familiar with Mog the cat books from your own childhood and, in our opinion, they’ve lost none of their appeal over the years. Here we learn about how Christmas might look through a cat’s eyes, as the house becomes a hive of activity and a strange tree is dragged indoors. Mog finds it all a bit much and decides to take some time out by escaping to the roof. Children will be captivated as they wait to find out whether or not the cat can be coaxed down!

Sassy Mama tip: We recommended checking out Twinkl’s excellent free online “Christmas Cat” teaching resources for children after reading this book. Our favourites are the role-play masks and the pencil control worksheets.

Available at Book Depository

Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers, by Lynley Dodd – funny festive rhyming story

This is another Christmas story about a cat, but this one features the slightly more mischievous Slinky Malinki (from the Hairy Maclary series). This funny rhyming story is sure to amuse, as the temptation of the Christmas tree proves too much for Slinky Malinki to resist. This is a lively and light-hearted read that’s sure to bring a smile to the faces of the whole family. This one might not arrive in time for Christmas but it’s worth the wait!

Available at Book Depository 

Alfie’s Christmas, by Shirley Hughes – Simple Christmas story with beautiful illustrations

For those who grew up in the UK, it’s likely you’ll be familiar with Shirley Hughes’ much-loved characters of Alfie and his little sister, Annie Rose. These books have stood the test of time and are just as enjoyable for adults as they are for kids. This one features Advent calendars, trees and carols, so may well conjure up memories of your own childhood Christmases. Children will love the simple story and the beautiful illustrations that accompany it.

Available at Book Depository 

Read more: The Best Children’s Books That Celebrate Diversity

Stick Man, by Julia Donaldson – Heartwarming children’s Christmas story about the importance of family

Julia Donaldson books tend not to need much introduction, so let’s just say that you can expect Stick Man to be a hit on your bookshelf! Follow Stick Man on an adventure through the seasons to see whether he will make it back to the family tree in time for Christmas. At its core is a lovely, heartwarming message about the importance of family. Just don’t blame us when you get the rhyming words stuck in your head!

Sassy Mama tip: There’s a great Stick Man website where you can download activity sheets to keep youngsters occupied after Christmas dinner as well.

Available at Bookazine 

One Snowy Night, by Nick Butterworth – Winter tale with snowy scenes and lots of animals

This winter’s tale is from the Percy the Park Keeper series and is a firm favourite in many households. It’s all about kind-hearted Percy trying to make sure the animals he cares for are kept safe and warm one very snowy night. It may not specifically be about Christmas, but it’s a very sweet read for this time of the year. As an added bonus, lots of versions contain a pull-out poster so your child can look for hidden items in Percy’s house.

Available at Book Depository

The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore – A classic children’s Christmas story, perfect for Christmas Eve

Most of us can probably recite the opening line of this classic Clement C. Moore poem without having to give it too much thought: “’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…”

You’ll find many different versions of this book. We love the beautiful illustrations by Richard Johnson that accompany the verse in this version, though while Blackwell’s online book store ships to Hong Kong for free, it might not arrive in Hong Kong in time for Christmas Eve. Whichever you choose, this is the perfect story to read on Christmas Eve when excitement and anticipation are building. It appeals to all ages so try reading it aloud to younger children or letting older children read it themselves.

Available at Book Depository 

Read more: Christmas Dinner: Festive Brunch, Lunch Or Dinner In Hong Kong

Best Christmas Books For Older Children

Christmas books older children

The Christmas Pig – Heartwarming page-turner from J.K. Rowling

When Jack’s favourite toy pig DP disappears, an adventure ensues to get it back. Joined by its annoying replacement, The Christmas Pig, Jack sets out on Christmas Eve for a magical quest to retrieve his best friend. A heartwarming page-turning adventure that all the family will love from the woman who gave us Harry Potter.

Available at Bookazine

The Snowman, by Michael Morpurgo – Classic Christmas tale

Speaking of Christmas classics, we had to feature The Snowman. But rather than the original Raymond Briggs picture book version, we’ve chosen to highlight this Michael Morpurgo one which is perfect for older readers. It was released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original and stays loyal to its namesake, but reimagines it as a novel. As you would expect from Morpurgo, it’s beautifully written and well-considered and deserves to become a classic in its own right.

Available at Book Depository

Enid Blyton’s Christmas Stories, by Enid Blyton – A selection of Christmas short stories

With 25 Christmas short stories to choose from, young readers will love taking themselves off to bed with this book. It’s a great way to introduce Enid Blyton’s inimitable storytelling (The Famous Five and Malory Towers, anyone?) to the next generation and is sure to have them hooked from start to finish. Our bet is they’ll race through more than just one of these tales a night. 11 of the chapters are based around the same family and set about explaining how certain Christmas traditions came about, so there’s also a learning element to it. It’s good for ages 9 and up.

Available at Book Depository

Letters From Father Christmas, by J.R.R.Tolkien – Personal letters from Santa

This great book gives you a glimpse into the mind of the man who brought us The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, and the lengths he would go to for his family. When Tolkien’s children were young, he wrote to them every year in the guise of Father Christmas and detailed exactly what was happening in the North Pole at the time. From lost reindeer to a polar bear falling through the roof, the tales are entertaining and vividly described. You’ll notice he tailors the tone and the content as his children get older. It’s a lovely book for young readers to savour and enjoy.

Available at Book Depository 

The Young Oxford Book Of Christmas Poems, edited by Michael Harrison and Simon Stuart-Clark

This book is tricky to get hold of so you may have to satisfy yourself with a second-hand version but if you can track it down for the kids, it’s well worth it. It’s an anthology of poems from famous authors such as Dylan Thomas, Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Christina Rosetti and covers all elements of Christmas from the advent season through to the new year. Expect elements of humour and celebration, amidst some more thought-provoking pieces.

Available at Amazon 

Read more: Christmas Activity For Kids: A Word Search To Print And Colour In

Looking for more Christmas ideas?

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in December 2020 and updated in December 2021.

Please note that this article contains some affiliate links to products and we may receive commission for select purchases. Featured image courtesy of Getty images, images 1, 2 and 3 courtesy of Sassy Media Group with images courtesy of respective publishers.

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