Best Holiday Books By Age to Read

This post is sponsored by Johnson County Library.

Reading and storytelling are important for a child’s learning and development. A good book will entertain, excite and inspire. Holiday stories, new and old, add a personal touch to the season, become treasured heirlooms and traditions, but most importantly provide a way to connect with the many profound feelings brought about with the season through the magic of the written word.  

Check out these books, available at Johnson County Library, to connect with your children through reading. 

Chapter Books for Older Children

Whether these books are read independently or aloud by a parent, the stories are full of hope, humor and the magic of the Christmas spirit. They are sure to enchant everyone in the family. 

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

The story of how Santa came to be, a boy goes on a life-changing quest to the North Pole. 

Father Christmas and Me by Matt Haig

Another one by Matt Haig, this book reveals how the only human in Elfhelm must fight off the Easter Bunny and his rabbit army to save Christmas! 

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

“Winterhouse” is a Christmas-time mystery of a little girl who discovers she has magic powers.

The Vandebeekers of 141st Street by Karin Yan Glaser

When four siblings are told they are being evicted out of their Harlem brownstone just after Christmas, they decide to win over and change the mind of their reclusive landlord. 

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

This is a heartwarming story of finding family in the most unlikely of places. 

The Naughty List by Michael Fry and Bradley Jackson

For kids with a funny bone, this chapter book will keep kids engaged and laughing at every turn.

The Christmas Pig by J.K. Rowling

Touching on hard subjects and raw emotions, this book tells a story of a boy who loses his most treasured possession and the lengths he will go to recover it. 

Beautiful Stories for Elementary Aged Children

While the allure of the holiday is still present, read these outstanding stories to connect to the wonder of the holidays. 

The Christmas Owl by Gideon Sterer

This book is a true story of an owl named Rockefeller, who is saved after her home is cut down to use as a Christmas tree.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

A classic tale with beautiful illustrations, “The Polar Express” is one you will read for years to come. 

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

The most classic of tales, meant to be read year after year on Christmas Eve. 

The Sound of Kwanzaa by Dimitrea Tokunbo

Hear the words, sing the songs, dance to the beat, and shout “Harambee!” as you jump into this joyful celebration of the sounds of Kwanzaa!

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Illustrated letters by the author to his children capture the events of the preceding year.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Thomas Dylan

Captures a child’s-eye view, and an adult’s fond memories, of a magical time of presents, aunts and uncles, the frozen sea, and in the best of circumstances, newly fallen snow.

The Santa Trap by Johnathan Emmett

This is a funny tale of a boy who sets an elaborate trap for Santa, who has brought the boy nothing but socks year after year. 

How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney? by Mac Barnett

A comedic tale, answering the age old question of how Santa makes it down the chimney to deliver presents. 

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

This is a story from the author’s childhood of a fruitcake making tradition with his elderly cousin. 

Holiday Stories for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Small children relish in the big and small delights of the holiday season. Keep the anticipation and wonder alive with these cute, age appropriate stories. From classic to modern tales, enjoy reading aloud and capturing the love of the holiday season. 

A Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruel

After destroying all of the gifts and decorations at home, Bad Kitty escapes from the car on Christmas Eve and finds a new friend, who helps her learn the true meaning of Christmas.

5 More Sleeps ‘Til Christmas by Jimmy Fallon

Make the anticipation of the big day even more fun by reading this clever book. 

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins

In 1912 New York, Gertie feels left out while Mama and her four older sisters cook Hanukkah dinner, but Papa comes home and asks her help with an important task.

The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present by Harriet Muncaster

Clementine’s life is ordinary in every way except that she is very tiny, a fact that Santa Claus does not seem to understand.

Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Truck admirers will go crazy for the Christmas specific story of this popular series. 

The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story by Kallie George

Four animal friends deliver a package for Santa on Christmas Eve.

The Crayon’s Christmas by Drew Daywalt

If the other versions of this book crack your kids up, the Christmas one is sure to be a hit. 

Grace at Christmas by Mary Hoffman

When her grandmother takes in a stranded family at Christmas, Grace is reluctant to share her favorite holiday with strangers, even though the visiting family includes a “real live ballerina.”

Dasher by Matt Tavares

This is a story of how a brave little doe changed Christmas forever. 

Kristin Ruthstrom
Kristin is a Lee’s Summit suburb transplant, after living in the Brookside and Plaza areas for over eight years. Raising three young boys with her husband, Jake, has helped her to embrace the messy, wild side of life where love is expressed in bear hugs and body slams. Professionally, she can be found teaching classes as an adjunct professor in the areas of Business, Marketing and PR. She is able to provide her students with applicable, real-life knowledge as she draws from several years working in the corporate sector. “Free time” (ha!, what's that again?) is spent on an occasional date night to favorite local restaurants, reading blogs on everything from home design to politics, riding her sweet beach cruiser bike and thinking of ways to convince her husband to do yet another home improvement project.