30 Holiday Books to Get Kids in the Spirit of the Season
The holidays are a magical time for little kids; the treats and decorations, family traditions and presents. There is so much to look forward to. The best part, though, are all the stories. If your child is delighted by sugar plum fairies, Jewish superheroes, or golden spools of thread, then don’t miss these holiday books for kids.
Hanukkah Books for Kids
Written by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Lydia Nichols
The Llama family is about to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah by lighting the menorah, spinning dreidels, and eating latkes. Follow along and learn about the importance and special meaning behind this festive Jewish holiday.
Written by Suzanne Wolfe, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
Follow a very busy young rabbi who is working hard to prepare for Hanukkah. Through a rhyming story, kids and parents will delight in learning all the details and traditions on how to celebrate Hanukkah.
Written by Arthur A. Levine, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Nate Gadol is a spirit with shiny eyes and a bright smile who helps pull off miracles—like stretching some oil to last for eight nights. During a rough winter, a Jewish family and Christian family must work together to share what little they have…but thanks to Nate Gadol and Santa, everyone gets exactly what they need. This is a lovely holiday book for kids that blends Hanukkah and Christmas for families that celebrate both.
Written by Sheryl Haft, illustrated by Jill Weber
You probably know Goodnight Moon, but have you met Goodnight Bubbala? This funny and sweet parody teaches kids Yiddish words as one little bunny is hushed to sleep by his very loving (and funny) Bubbala (grandmother.)
By Yellow Sun Publishing
Kids will love spying for objects through 14 colorful puzzles over 28 pages. Part activity, part guessing game; I Spy Hanukkah is a great way to teach kids all about the holiday.
Written by David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber
Have your little ones ever asked you what Hanukkah is or when it started? This Hanukkah book for kids will answer those questions in a charming way.
Written by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Hershel is a traveler who comes upon a village on the first night of Hanukkah but no candles are lit. He quickly discovers that horrible goblins have taken over the synagogue so, he devises a plan to get rid of them but can do it? Kids will love this riveting folklore that is sure to become a family favorite.
Written by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Galia Bernstein
On the last night of Hanukkah, a terrible dragon called Dreadful terrorizes the countryside hoping to put an end to festivities. But when Lady Sadie calls upon the Eight Knights of Hanukkah, Dreadful the dragon realizes that he’s met his match.
Written by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Bubba Brayna makes the best latkes in the village, so it’s no surprise that the delightful smell of her cooking attracts a curious and hungry bear. When Bubba Brayna mistakes the bear for her rabbi, hilarity ensues. This sweet holiday book for kids is a wonderful story to share during Hanukkah.
Written by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Melissa Iwai
This is a magnificent story about a boy and his sister who count the lights in windows of homes for eight festive nights. Along they way, they discover the joy and meaning of Hanukkah.
Christmas Books for Kids
Written and illustrated by Ludwig Bemelmans
The beloved storybook girl, Madeline, with her never ending curiosity and zest for life, will enchant readers both young and old in this sweet Christmas book for kids. When everyone is sick on Christmas Eve, she finds a way to keep the magic of the holiday alive.
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
In this classic Christmas book for kids, the mean old Grinch hatches a plan to stop the Whos in Who-Ville from celebrating Christmas. But in the end, he has a magnificent change of heart that captures the true spirit of the holiday.
Written by Jane Werner Watson, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
Little Golden Book first published The Christmas Story in 1952 with beautiful illustrations and poetic writing to help children imagine what the first Christmas might have been like. This is a traditional Christmas book, perfect for any family who celebrates the holiday.
Written by Rumer Godden, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
This timeless tale about a little orphan girl looking for a loving home will give you all the feels. With gorgeous writing, enchanting illustrations, and a focus on the meaning of love and family, Holly and Ivy perfectly captures the spirit of the season.
Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
When a little boy goes to bed on Christmas Eve, he wonders if Santa is real. Then, a magical train pulls up in front of his house and beckons him for a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the North Pole. Will he finally believe?
Written and illustrated by Jan and Mike Berenstain
America’s favorite bear family is always learning! In this much-loved Christmas book for kids, the Berenstains discover the true joy of giving—and in doing so, they learn the real meaning of the holiday.
Written by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean
Who doesn’t love Pete the Cat? This groovy feline is back with a snappy story about helping the Big Man on the big day. With lots of bright, cheery colors, and rhyming text, kids will love following Pete as he travels the globe trying to help Santa save Christmas.
Written by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Andy Elkerton
Have your kids ever asked how to catch an elf? If so, this instructive book will give them all the big ideas they need to capture a real Christmas elf. This delightful and hilarious Christmas story will surely become a family favorite.
Written by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
If you loved The Day the Crayons Quit then you will absolutely adore this Christmas book for kids. Duncan and his box of crayons are thinking about their Christmas letters, and your kids will get to pull the letters out of envelopes and read what each color has to say.
By Raymond Briggs
This wordless holiday story has captivated the hearts and imaginations of children all over the world since its first publication in 1978. A little boy builds a snowman, and later that night he dreams that the snowman comes to life.
Kwanzaa Books for Kids
This debut picture book comes from the award-winning and bestselling author Ibi Zoboi...ad it is a treasure! The People Remember is a beautiful and lyrical book for kiddos age 4 to 8 that leans on the principles of Kwanzaa to share the history of African Americans. Not to be outdone by the powerful words, the lush digital images will surely keep all children (and their grownups) engaged.
Written by Angela Shelf Medearis, illustrated by Daniel Minter
Seven Spools of Thread is a classic Kwanzaa story that teaches the children the value of family and community. When a father passes away, he leaves his seven sons with instructions to make gold out of seven spools of thread by sundown. If they do not, then they will be turned into beggars. The boys quickly learn that they must overcome their differences and work together.
Written by Donna L. Washington, illustrated by Stephen Taylor
If your kids are curious to learn about where Kwanzaa comes from and the meaning behind the celebration, then this is the perfect holiday book.
by Donna L. Washington, illustrated by Shane W. Evans
Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa is a brightly colored holiday book that shows kids the true meaning of Kwanzaa through Li’l Rabbit’s adventure with his pals. The end of the story includes “The Nguzo Saba––The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa” to help kids learn the full meaning of this festive holiday.
by Lisa Bullard and illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo
Kevin is helping his family celebrate the seven days of Kwanzaa by decorating, learning a new word each day, and working together as a family to solve problems. Follow along with this fun and instructive holiday story perfect for the littlest of kids.
Written and illustrated by Karen Katz
This is a perfect picture book for toddlers to learn more about the seven days of celebrations that make up Kwanzaa. In it, kids can learn about the ways that Kwanzaa teaches the importance of friends, family, and community.
By Special Memories Journals
Kids learn best when they can play, which is why we love this holiday book so much. Through coloring and activities, kids get the chance to learn about Kwanzaa and are encouraged to ask lots of questions.
Written by Lisa Bullard, illustrated by Constanza Basaluzzo
This is a wonderful holiday book to help little kids understand the traditional activities that happen over the course of the seven days of celebration. It is a perfect book for parents and grandparents to read to very young children.
Written by Juwanda G. Ford, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max
This beautifully illustrated alphabet book teaches little kids all about Kwanzaa in a joyful way. It would make a great gift for toddlers and preschoolers.
Written by Garen Eileen Thomas, illustrated by Guy Francis
When Santa returns to the North Pole after delivering all the Christmas presents, he’s met with a wonderful surprise—a Kwanzaa celebration! This is a wonderful story that elegantly blends two holidays to show kids that you can celebrate both Kwanzaa and Christmas.
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