By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd

I have always loved bringing out holiday books to enjoy this time of year. When my children were young, they would eagerly rush to the bookcase and take out every holiday title they could find. They piled them high and took great joy in selecting books from the stack to read each night during the last two months of the year.

Today, there are so many holiday books from which to choose. I have selected several that you may already have on your bookshelf and others that may be new to you. Enjoy this special time of year with your children and make treasured memories by building your stack of holiday favorites to return to for years to come.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Keats was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1963 for this beautifully illustrated book. This story follows a young boy named Peter who explores his city after the season’s first snowfall. A true classic.

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper and illustrated by Carson Ellis

When a Newberry Medal winner and a Caldecott Honor winner team up to create a book, it just has to be good! Such as the case for The Shortest Day, a lovely book based on the poem by the same name. It is about the Solstice, the shortest day, and how our Yuletide traditions have played a role in this time of year.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

The Grinch is likely a character your children already know and love from the movie, but reading the original book will bring the story to life for them in another way. Visit Whoville and watch the spirit of Christmas fill the Grinch and his heart grow exponentially as the true meaning of the season overcomes him. This is definitely a “feel good” book your children will read over and over again. Do not be surprised if they spontaneously quote parts of it!

Dream Snow by Eric Carle

This beautiful book by long-beloved author Eric Carle captures the magic of Christmas while sharing an encouraging message about dreams coming true. This book is perfect to read before bedtime as it has a “quiet” feel and evokes a sense of calm.

Snow Kisses by Judi Abbot

Cuddle up and enjoy the beautiful images in this adorable board book. The images of the winter season bring on a sense of calm and feeling cozy.

Twas’ the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

This classic is a long-time favorite that never gets old. It is fun to read aloud and really puts you in the spirit of the holiday. The gorgeous illustrations help bring the story of this magical night to life.

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights by Bonnie Bader

This title may be a newer title, but it was published under the time honored and loved imprint, Big Golden Book. Children will learn about the meaning of the holiday and how it is celebrated — from lighting the menorah and exchanging gifts to spinning dreidels and eating latkes. Beautiful illustrations fill the pages and the text also shares why this special holiday is celebrated, including the story of the miracle of the little bit of oil that lasted for eight nights. A perfect book to share with your children this Hanukkah!

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

This book helps children understand and really believe that the magic of Christmas lies in your heart. It features a mysterious train that appears out of nowhere and travels door to door to pick up children to see Santa in the North Pole. It is such a wonderful, classic story that fills readers with the spirit of the season.

A Christmas Carol: A Young Reader’s Edition by Charles Dickens

This is a shortened version of the classic Christmas story that helps introduce children to this wonderful holiday staple.

The Story Orchestra — The Nutcracker by Jessica Courtney-Tickle

This classic holiday story is brought to life with music in this wonderful book. Children can press buttons to play excerpts from music composed by Tchaikovsky. Fans of The Nutcracker will love this book.

Christmas Parade by Sandra Boynton

Sandra Boynton is famous for her cute board books that capture the essence of all aspects of childhood. This story is full of high energy, repetition and, of course, Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer

Well-loved character, Little Critter, is back in this humorous story about him preparing for this festive season. He bakes and eats gingerbread cookies, and helps his parents decorate the tree. Be prepared for your children to request to do the same!

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle

Chances are, your children are familiar withThe Little Blue Truck, so this spirited book will be a welcomed addition to your reading list. The Little Blue Truck and other cheerful characters will help fill your children with holiday spirit in no time!


Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.

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