Best Christmas books for kids
You've likely seen the ballet version of this amazing story, but have you brought it home? Follow a young girl as she helps her wooden nutcracker friend defeat an army of scary mice and explore a land of toys. Ages 4–8.
Illustrated by renowned artist Charles Santore, this oversized heirloom edition of your favorite Christmas poem is the perfect pick for reading in front of a cozy fireplace. Journey through the rooms of a colonial home as you read the rhymes together! Ages 4 and up.
Smith branches out from her award-winning young adult books to bring us a delightful middle-grade reimagining of the Nutcracker. Readers join Stefan Drosselmeyer on an adventure through Germany (after his toymaker father is kidnapped) and when he’s charged with saving a princess who has been turned into a doll. Throw in some talking mice and magical curses, and you have the ideal recipe for a holiday quest story. Ages 10–14.
This much-lauded middle-grade mystery has got it all: a deceptively peaceful snowy setting, an old house concealing secrets, and two teens that must unravel a complex web of stories. Snuggle up around the fire with your loved ones, then join Milo and Meddy at Greenglass House during the inn’s winter season. You’ll gladly get entangled in their detective plot as the two try to discover if any oddball guests are actually harboring wicked plots. Ages 10 to 12.
This nontraditional tale shares the story of two magical men (Kris and his brother, the powerful King Kringle) who have a very, very different idea of what Christmas means for all. The story is told by Manusol, an elf who hopes that joy and celebration will return to the North Pole.
If you’re always pushing Jan Brett’s books into your kids’ hands, you will be enamored of this Nordic story and its stunning winter scenes and animals. The simple but powerful story follows little Anja, who leaves her family, straps on her skis and ventures into the snowy landscape to become one of Santa’s elves. Get ready to gawk at the photographic illustrations, ooh and aah over the reindeer and cheer on ambitious Anja. Ages 3 to 7.
Middle-grade kids (and their parents) will appreciate the legendary horrormonger’s twist on the most popular Christmas story of the last few centuries. In this retelling, a Scrooge-like young boy, who particularly dislikes watching A Christmas Carol every year, gets visited by a few ghosts himself. But you’ll have to read it to see if they bring him over to the bright side of the season…or if they’re a different type of ghost entirely. Ages 9 to 12.