Make Christmas Magical: Uncover the Most Festive Christmas Picture Books
As the whirlwind of Christmas takes over the classroom, energetic students often bubble over with holiday excitement. This year, why not channel that enthusiasm into a downtime filled with Christmas picture books? These Christmas picture books will enhance your student's appreciation of the season, so join us as we delve into the festive world of literature.
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Christmas Picture Books
The lead-up to Christmas is an exciting time for children, and getting into the season's spirit can be even more fun with some festive picture books!
The picture books in the list below have something for everyone. Full of cheerful illustrations, vivid stories, and heart-warming messages, they'll encourage children to learn about the Christmas season and appreciate the joy of sharing.
The Benefits of Reading Christmas Picture Books in the Classroom
Reading children's books about Christmas in the classroom can have several benefits for teachers and students:
Celebrates cultural traditions: Children's books about Christmas help students learn about cultural practices associated with the holiday, such as the history of Christmas and the different ways it is celebrated worldwide.
Develops literacy skills: Reading children's books about Christmas helps students develop literacy skills such as new vocabulary and critical thinking.
Promotes creativity: Christmas picture books often feature imaginative and festive illustrations, inspiring students to engage in creative writing and art projects.
Encourages reflection: Christmas picture books encourage students to reflect on the meaning of the holiday and what it means to them and their families, promoting personal growth and reflection.
Fosters a sense of community: Reading Christmas picture books in the classroom creates a sense of community, fostering a spirit of togetherness and shared celebration.
After reading children's books about Christmas, you may want to give your students some background to global Christmas traditions, Father Christmas and the Nativity. History.com has a history of Christmas, and information about the origins of Santa can be found at National Geographic.
Questions to Pair with Christmas Picture Books
- How do the characters in the book celebrate Christmas?
- Can you find any Christmas symbols in the pictures? What do they mean?
- How do the characters show kindness or the spirit of giving during Christmas?
- How would the story change if it was not set during Christmas?
- What are some Christmas traditions mentioned in the book?
- Can you spot any common Christmas decorations in the illustrations?
- How does the book represent the spirit of Christmas?
- What Christmas foods do the characters eat in the book?
- Does the story mention Santa Claus or Father Christmas? If so, how is he described or portrayed?
- How is the Christmas tree decorated in the story?
- Does the story mention Christmas elves, reindeer, or other festive characters? How do they contribute to the story?
- Does the story mention any Christmas miracles or magic?
- Are there any acts of charity or kindness that align with the Christmas spirit?
- How does the book's Christmas portrayal compare to your experiences?
- Does the book mention how different cultures might celebrate Christmas?
- Does the story reference the nativity or the religious significance of Christmas?
- If you could add a Christmas element to the story, what would it be?
- What does Christmas mean to the characters in the book?
Christmas Picture Books
You can celebrate the festive season with these traditional, modern, funny, magical and poignant Christmas children's books. They cover various Christmas traditions, including the Nativity, family, Father Christmas, presents and much more!
The Best Christmas Present in the World by Michael Morpurgo
This is the first of two Christmas picture books by Michael Morpurgo. The narrator finds an old letter in a desk from soldier Jim to his wife, Connie, describing the Christmas Truce of World War I when enemies briefly celebrated Christmas together. Touched by the story, the narrator returns the letter to Connie.
The Best Christmas Present in the World illustrates themes of peace, connection, and the power of memory. The power of a letter can bring alive the memories of the past, evoking strong emotions and fostering connections.
The BIG Christmas Bake by Fiona Barker
Follows the Twelve Days of Christmas characters as they help bake a Twelfth Night cake. Every day, they contribute an ingredient or lend a helping hand to make the cake a success.
Through their teamwork, the cake is on its way to creating a fantastic celebration for all. This book highlights the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and the joy of coming together for a shared goal.
The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore
Learn about the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, where families exchange books on Christmas Eve and spend the night reading.
The Christmas Flood illustrates the joy of book-giving and the togetherness it encourages during the holiday season. Teachers can use this book to celebrate the love of reading, foster appreciation for literature, and inspire students to embrace the joy of giving and receiving books.
The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy
A small, crooked fir tree left unsold at a Christmas tree shop is destined to be discarded. But when a homeless boy finds it and decides to give it a chance, their lives become intertwined. Despite their difficult circumstances, they bring warmth and joy to each other, showing that a simple act of kindness can make the world a better place.
The Christmas Tree Eve sparks discussions of empathy, giving, and the importance of appreciating the small things in life.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
A gruff woodcarver, Jonathan Toomey, is known as “Mr. Gloomy” due to his sullen demeanour. His life takes an unexpected turn when a young widow and her son, Thomas, ask him to carve a new set of nativity figures. Reluctantly, Jonathan agrees, and as he works on the figures, Thomas shares stories of his father and their family traditions. Jonathan discovers the true meaning of Christmas through their shared experiences.
This book explores empathy, compassion, the power of kindness and support and connection during difficult times.
The Christmas Truce by Carol Ann Duffy
Carol Ann Duffy's poem commemorates the unexpected truce between British and German soldiers, adversaries in the trench warfare of World War I. Despite their dire circumstances, these soldiers found common ground in No Man's Land, sharing songs, stories, and a football game during a temporary cease-fire.
The Christmas Truce invites discussions on conflict resolution, compromise, recognizing shared humanity amid strife, empathy, peace, and the power of shifting perspectives.
The Crayon's Christmas by Drew Daywalt
Follow Duncan's crayons as they eagerly anticipate the holiday season. Through a series of letters, postcards, and festive surprises, the crayons share their unique holiday traditions and plans with each other.
The Crayon's Christmas encourages students to consider the happiness of giving to others and fosters a sense of community, togetherness, and gratitude.
Dasher by Matt Tavares
This is the first of two Christmas picture books by Matt Tavares. A young reindeer, Dasher, dreams of escaping her life in a travelling circus. After escaping, she gets lost and meets a man in a red suit, Santa Claus. He is struggling to deliver Christmas gifts with his horse Silverbell. Dasher offers her help and becomes the first of Father Christmas' famous reindeer.
Dasher is a tale of hope, helping others, empathy and a reminder of the power of believing in oneself and pursuing one's dreams.
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus
Santa is doubting the existence of Harold just as Harold is questioning the reality of Santa. They each embark on a quest to affirm the other's existence. On Christmas morning, their doubts are laid to rest, restoring belief for both of them.
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold inspires discussions on belief, scepticism, and the idea that sometimes, we need to trust in the unseen.
Father Christmas Heard a Parp by Olaf Falafel
Father Christmas keeps hearing a mysterious ‘parp' and is puzzled about its source. After much investigation, he discovers the unlikely culprit – a mouse concealed within a Christmas tree overindulging in Brussels sprouts.
Father Christmas Heard a Parp encourages discussions about curiosity, problem-solving, humour, and the lighter side of the holiday season.
Finding Christmas by Robert Munsch
Julie is adept at uncovering her Christmas presents before the big day, no matter their hiding spot. This year's gifts remain elusive until she spots the hidden box on the roof. But in her quest, Julie gets stuck, leading to a surprise for her family on Christmas morning.
Finding Christmas sparks discussions about curiosity, resourcefulness, surprise elements, and the spirit of holiday traditions.
Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo
This is the second of two Christmas picture books by Michael Morpurgo. Mia keeps a letter from her Grandpa, who has passed away, in her diary. He relates his wisdom and love for the environment to things they enjoyed doing together.
Grandpa Christmas reminds your students of the importance of preserving the environment for future generations and each individual's role in making a difference, fostering a sense of responsibility and compassion.