It’s our favorite Christmas tradition! A time of cozy read alouds with magical Christmas Picture books, snuggled together with a cup of hot chocolate. You’ll find both secular and sacred stories, cherished classics and new favorites on our list this year. So let’s get started with our Advent countdown, full of giggles and heart-warming tales as we journey towards a very special day.
Our Christmas Picture Book Advent Calendar
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Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares
Red and Lulu are a pair of cardinals who live in a large Norway Spruce. One day Red is out foraging when the evergreen tree is cut down and sent away on a truck with Lulu still inside! He embarks on a journey to find Lulu in a heart-warming journey that will have you captivated all the way through.
The True Meaning of Crumbfest by David Weale
We picked up this story when visiting Prince Edward Island and it has become a Christmas favorite ever since. A curious mouse named Eckhart goes on a quest to find the true meaning of “crumbfest”, a time when lots of crumbs suddenly appear in the farm house where they live. In his search, he finds a Christmas tree, and comes before a Nativity scene that fills him with wonder. A beautiful and touching story for kids of all ages.
The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Teeka is in charge of getting the reindeer ready for their great flight on Christmas. She thinks she needs to be strict and bossy but ultimately finds a kind heart and gentle touch is the best way to treat our animal friends. We always love Jan Brett’s beautiful Scandinavian artwork.
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson
We can’t do a Christmas picture book countdown without including Stick Man! Quirky and fun, we follow Stick Man’s journey as he is carried off by a dog, put into a bird’s nest, used as the mast on a sandcastle, and even a snowman’s arm. Will he ever find his way home? Lucky for him, he meets a jolly fellow in a red suit that is able to help.
Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard Schneider
A beautiful story about the true kindness of Christmas. Long ago, in the royal forest, trees competed to be chosen as the Queen’s Christmas tree. Little Pine tried to be perfect hoping he might be honored some day. Until a little rabbit needs to hide, a wren needs shelter from the storm, and a fawn needs a meal. The tree shows compassion even though its boughs now droop and are nibbled here and there. Will his generosity be rewarded?
A Simple Christmas on the Farm by Phyllis Alsdurf
This story invites us to return to a simpler Christmas with handmade gifts, cookies shared among friends, and community gathered together. This lovely book includes 3 tutorials for hand made gifts to share with your children.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
After losing his family to illness years ago, Jonathan Toomey has no joy. That is, until a widow and her son ask him to carve a nativity set for Christmas to replace their family heriloom that was lost in their move. The boy comes to watch as the woodcarver reluctantly begins his work, but then finds new hope and healing through the relationship.
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Maggie Testa
Is Christmas really just about presents, lights, and parties? Join Charlie and his friends has they discover the real meaning of the holidays and find the true Christmas spirit.
Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones
A nativity story following different animals, from owls to great whales, as they anticipate the much awaited birth of Jesus and rejoice on his arrival.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree has arrived, but it’s too tall! He cuts off the top and it gets passed along, from one woodland animal to the next, who each take a piece to use as their own Christmas tree. A fun and charming story to share with our little ones.
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlberg
A postman delivers Christmas letters from all our favorite fairy tale characters. This book has pocket envelopes to open with each special card or puzzle to read in the story.
The Legend of the Poinsettia byTomie DePaola
Explore this Mexican legend that tells how the poinsettia, through a little girl’s humble give to Jesus at the Church on Christmas Eve, was transformed from a green weed into the brilliant red bloomed plant that has become a part of Christmas celebrations ever since. A wonderful addition to any Christmas Around the World study.
The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel
During the depression, an 8-year boy named Henry and his father are selling Christmas trees. With one left over, they give the tree to the workers at the Rockefeller Center. In return, Henry’s wish for a new, warm home is granted. He plants a seed from the original tree which grows into the grand tree that he later donates as the Rockefeller Christmas Tree years later. After the holidays, the wood from the tree is used to give another family in need a new home.
The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story by Tomie dePaola
Old Befana keeps busy sweeping and re-sweeping her home. One day a magnificent procession passes her home, with three kings seeking a beloved child born in Bethlehem. She refuses to follow, thinking she has too much work to do. Later she regrets the decision, and baking gifts for the newborn, embarks on a journey to find him.
A Christmas Carol by Adam McKeown
A beautifully illustrated retelling of the classic by Charles Dickens for young readers. Follow Scrooge’s journey and witness how his heart is transformed with the Christmas spirit.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
No Christmas list would be complete without this classic, quirky tale. Another wonderful story about how the Christmas spirit can grow in even the coldest and smallest hearts. Read the book and then watch the movie adaptations to discuss which you liked best!
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
A very old pine tree wishes to be chosen as a Christmas tree but knows he is too big. His woodland friends come together to show him just how important he is to them with decorations and a celebration. A story about how its okay to be different and what it means to be valued.
The Message of the Birds by Kate Westerlund
The Message of the Birds begins with an owl telling the tale of Jesus’ birth to a flock of birds. The birds decide to share the story across the world and its message of peace that brings everyone together. The final pages of the book includes a list of the word ‘peace’ written in different languages.
Dasher by Matt Tavares
Dasher’s family worked for a traveling circus under not so nice conditions. Her Mama told her of a place she once lived with sparkling snow and the brilliant North Star overhead. When the pen gate is left open, Dasher takes a chance and sets out to find and follow the star. Along the way she comes across a tired horse, a heavy sleigh, and Santa. She offers to help pull the sleigh and their life is changed forever. A sweet read with beautiful illustrations.
Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble
Katrina, her younger sister Josie, and their family all love the apple tree on their farm. Josie loves the swing attached to the tree and Katrina enjoys sitting in the branches to draw. The family is devastated when a blizzard destroys the tree. But on Christmas day, her father has a few surprises to keep the memory of the tree alive in their home.
Last Stop on the Reindeer Express by Maudie Powell-Tuck
What an adventure! Mia is out to send her grandfather a letter when she finds a strange postbox that opens into a festive shop, then leads into a forest with a friendly reindeer, who flies her all the way to see her grandfather and deliver her letter in person.
The Nutcracker by New York City Ballet
This timeless holiday story is retold based on George Balanchine’s ballet production. The storyline is inspired by its choreography and the breathtaking illustrations adapted from the actual backdrops and scenery used in the production. The perfect Christmas picture book to complement any Nutcracker study!
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Another classic holiday story following a young boy who is invited onto a magical train ride to the North Pole and a very special Christmas wish.
The Little Drummer Mouse by Mercer Mayer
Based on the traditional carol “The Little Drummer Boy” retold. The smallest mouse, who just loves playing an acorn drum, makes a discovery that will change everyone’s life forever.
Room for a Little Room by Martin Waddell
The heart-warming telling of the nativity from the perspective of the animals in the stable. The Kind Ox invites in a dog, a cat, a mouse, and a tired donkey carrying Mary into the warm stable to shelter on a cold winter’s night. “There’s always room for a little one here,” says the Ox as they lovingly look upon the birth of Jesus.
Wishing your family a wonderful time of story sharing this holiday season,
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