9 Must-Share Picture Books Packed with Christmas Cheer

Christmas picture books

Can You Say It, Too? Jingle! Jingle! by Sebastien Braun (Ages 0-3, $8.99, board book, Nosy Crow — an imprint of Candlewick Press) A colorful Christmas book for kiddos just beginning to talk. What's by the sleigh? In the cave? Behind the door and more? Little ones repeat the sound of what's found under the sturdy flaps, whether reindeer (jingle, jingle), birds (cheep, cheep), or happy children (giggle, giggle). Fun, fun!

The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Amanda Brack (Ages 3-6, $12.99, hardcover, Sky Pony Press — an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing) The Christmas classic as you've never seen before — illustrated with pictures of whimsical LEGO® scenes! From the charming house with stockings hung by the chimney to Santa and his sleigh driving out of sight, kids will chuckle and cheer... and pull out their LEGO® to construct their own delightful scenes. A contemporary twist on the traditional tale.

Tough Cookie by Kate Louise, illustrated by Grace Sandford (Ages 3-6, $16.99, hardcover, Sky Pony Press — an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing) Little troublemakers — as well as those who avoid mischief — will relate to the naughty gingerbread man... and learn a lesson, too.

Jingle Bells: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition by James Lord Pierpont, illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat (Ages 4-8, $19.99, hardcover, Candlewick Press) This elegant book captures the magical feel of heading off to Grandma's for the holiday with exquisitely cut pages and a grand finale full-spread pop-up scene. Much of the book seems in silhouette, even on pages with no papercut details, thanks to stark black illustrations on white, accented by green and red (with smidgens of gold here and there). One for snuggling up together to enjoy.

jingle bells cut paper edition

The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story by Anne Margaret Lewis, illustrated by Aaron Zenz (Ages 3-6, $15.99, hardcover, Sky Pony Press — an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing) Will Mrs. Claus miss Santa when he decides to leave the North Pole and explore? Heck, no! She'll help him pack his bags — with all he needs to safely visit Mount Rushmore, ski slopes of the Swiss Alps, swing with the monkeys through the Amazon rainforest. As she packs, what Mrs. Claus realizes Santa needs most is a travel buddy. So off they go!

Christmas in America by Callista Gingrich, illustrated by Susan Arciero (Ages 4-8, $16.99, hardcover, Regnery Kids) Another in the Ellis the Elephant series. This time the charming pachyderm sets off to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

Casey's Bright Red Christmas by Holly Dufek, illustrated by Paul E. Nunn (Ages 4-8, $14.99, hardcover, Octane Press) A new “Casey & Friends” story. The series features photos of CASE IH equipment in real farming situations with cartoon characters to explain how modern farm equipment works. This time, Casey has a lot of chores to prepare for Christmas, but isn't feeling so hot. Her friends, including Tillus the worm, Sammy, and Big Red, team up and surprise Casey by decorating, wrapping, baking, and more. Readers will want to bake up a batch of Frosted Sugar Cookies (from the recipe on the last page) when done reading.

The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler, illustrated by Jake Parker (Ages 3-7, $15.99, hardcover, Candlewick Press) A delightfully written and illustrated story of a plucky little snowplow who joined up with the big trucks on the Mighy Mountain Road Crew. The little guy thinks he's mighty capable but must prove he's exactly that when a snowstorm spells trouble for others out and about. The little snowplow belongs on the shelf right next to The Little Engine That Could. Bonus: Download a fun (PDF) activity kit here, based on the book.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch (Ages 6-9, $17.99, hardcover, Candlewick Press) This deluxe edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of the beloved tale of the woodcarver who rarely smiles. The secret to his sadness lies hidden away in a drawer: mementos of the beloved wife and child he lost.  A request from a widow and her son warm Jonathan's heart and lead to an unforgettable Christmas miracle. The emotional story and exquisite illustrations make ensure the reading of this book will become a family holiday tradition — if it isn't already.

Disclosure: I received these books free for review; opinions are my own.