Each year a flurry of new Christmas books deck the shelves and spice up the holiday season! Here are our favorites of the year—the best new Christmas books of 2020—that spread the magic of Christmas with heartfelt tales, classic holiday cheer, and sleighs full of fun!
Picture Books, Board Books, and a Novel for Christmas
Little Red Sleigh
Written by Erin Guendelsberger
Illustrated by Elizavita Tretyakova
Ages 4-8 | 40 Pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland | ISBN-13 : 978-1728223551
Publisher’s Synopsis: Believe in the magic of Christmas with this heartwarming Christmas picture book about the little red sleigh that could, perfect for fans of The Polar Express!
The Little Red Sleigh has one big dream―to one day become Santa’s big red sleigh! But all her life, she’s been told she’s too small, she’s too young, she can’t fly, and she certainly can’t meet Santa. Well, this Christmas, with the help of some friends, she’s determined to do the impossible. Little Red Sleigh is a heartwarming children’s Christmas book you’ll want to read again and again. Full of winter joy and Christmas magic, this Christmas book for kids will remind you that no dream is out of reach if you believe.
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It’s a Wonderful Life: The Illustrated Holiday Classic
Written by Paul Ruditis
Illustrated by Sarah Conradsen
Ages 6+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Insight Kids | ISBN-13 : 978-1683839446
Relive the beloved holiday classic with this lavishly illustrated storybook the entire family can share!
It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most beloved films in cinema history. The heartwarming story of George Bailey and the guardian angel (second class) who shows George that his acts of compassion and kindness have changed his town of Bedford Falls for the better has become a Christmastime favorite enjoyed by generations of families.
This engaging illustrated storybook retells the tale of the 1946 classic film through charming original.
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Mouse’s Night Before Christmas
Written by Tracey Corderoy
Illustrated by Sarah Massini
Ages 2-5 | 32 Pages
Publisher: Nosy Crow | ISBN-13 : 978-1536214406
Publisher’s Synopsis: It’s Christmas Eve, and everyone is fast asleep except for a lonely mouse that lives in the grandfather clock. When Santa arrives, lost in a blizzard and called by Mouse’s wish, it’s Mouse who is there to show Santa the way. Together they embark on a magical sleigh ride, delivering presents all around town. But the best present of all is for Mouse: his wish to make a new friend to share Christmas Day with has finally come true.
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5 More Sleeps ‘til Christmas
Written by Jimmy Fallon
Illustrated by Rich Deas
Ages 3-6 | 48 Pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | ISBN-13 : 978-1250266477
Publisher’s Synopsis: Host of NBC’s The Tonight Show and three-time #1 New York Times-bestselling author Jimmy Fallon returns with this sweet and spirited Christmas picture book.
Just 5 more sleeps ’til Christmas!
Can you believe it’s here?
I know that Santa’s coming soon
’cause I’ve been good all year.
Everyone who grew up celebrating Christmas remembers the excitement that built up to the most magical day of the year. But why not make the last week until Christmas more fun by counting how many sleeps until the arrival of Santa and his reindeer?
Accompanied by the beautiful and energetic artwork of Rich Deas, enjoy the humor of Jimmy Fallon as he prepares readers for the most exciting week of the year in this new holiday tradition for your family―5 More Sleeps ’til Christmas.
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Jack and Santa
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Ages 4-8 | 80 Pages
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | ISBN-13 : 978-0593113981
Publisher’s Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Mac Barnett and Geisel Award-winning illustrator Greg Pizzoli, an uproarious early reader series about a mischievous rabbit, a cranky old lady, and a lovable dog.
When Jack finds himself on the naughty list, he worries that Santa will bring him coal. But Jack wants presents–lots of them. Will Jack be able to prove to Santa that he’s not so bad after all?
Welcome to the laugh-out-loud and irreverent world of Jack, a new early reader series by the New York Times bestselling and award-winning team of Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli.
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Harry Potter Christmas at Hogwarts
Written by Jody Revenson
Ages 8+ | 48 Pages
Publisher: Insight Editions | ISBN-13 : 978-1683839408
Publisher’s Synopsis: Learn all about the most magical time of the year at Hogwarts Schools of Witchcraft and Wizardry—Christmas!
The snowy Great Hall festooned with Christmas trees, the elaborate Yule Ball, Mrs. Weasley’s holiday sweaters—Christmas at Hogwarts is filled with magic and wonder. This book takes readers on a tour of Christmas in the Wizarding World, as seen in the Harry Potter films. With detailed profiles on everything from Harry’s Invisibility Cloak—received as a gift during his first Hogwarts Christmas—to Hogsmeade, these pages includes concept illustrations, behind-the-scenes photographs, and fascinating reflections from actors and filmmakers. This collectible volume also comes filled with removable artifacts, such as posters, stickers, and other extraordinary items.
Claris: Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris
Written and Illustrated by Megan Hess
Ages 3-8 | 48 Pages
Publisher: Hardie Grant | ISBN-13 : 978-1760504953
Publisher’s Synopsis: A sweet little mouse takes on a cheeky cat burglar with holiday cheer! Can Claris and Monsieur save the day – the New York way?
The fourth Claris book from acclaimed fashion illustrator Megan Hess.
The best-selling Claris series follows an adorable mouse who moves to Paris to follow her fashion dreams, for fans of Eloise and Olivia. Destined to delight fashion-obsessed readers of all ages!
A quarter of a million Claris books in print!
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Christmas Is Joy
Written and Illustrated by Emma Dodd
Ages 2-5 | 24 Pages
Publisher: Templar | ISBN-13 : 978-1536215458
Publisher’s Synopsis: An enchanting celebration of the true meaning of Christmas, featuring two adorable reindeer.
Christmas is love that lasts all year.
It’s all of us, together, here.
Christmas is peace, stars twinkling above,
a night of sweet dreams and a heart full of love.
Emma Dodd’s joyful celebration of this wonderful time of year, as seen through the eyes of two reindeer, is a pure delight.
Bookscape Board Books: Christmas Cheer
Illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
Ages 0-3 | 10 Pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books | ISBN-13 : 978-1452174914
Publisher’s Synopsis: Explore a festive winter wonderland with this enchanting addition to the Bookscape Board Books series!
Christmas Cheerfestively depicts the colorful, dynamic scenes of Christmas time—from caroling to baking, building a snowman to decorating the tree, and more.
Each uniquely shaped page overlaps with the next to create a complete landscape when closed—and an immersive world to explore with each turn of the page when open.
- Delightfully petite and chunky board book
- Begs to be picked up thanks to its tactile, toy-like quality
- Filled with simple concept-based text and bright, jubilant illustrations
With each turn of a page, step deeper into the magic and spirit of the Christmas season.
12 Days of Christmas: The Christmas Choir
Illustrated by Lara Hawthorne
Ages 4-8 | 32 Pages
Publisher: Frances Lincoln | ISBN-13 : 978-0711245396
Publisher: On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a partridge in a pear tree. Celebrate the magic of Christmas time with the beloved traditional poem The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Take a walk through each beautiful scene brimming with details that remind you of the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas. Perfect ti read with your true love.
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Elf: The Classic Illustrated Storybook
Based on the film written by David Berenbaum
Illustrated by Kim Smith
Ages 4-8 | 40 Pages
Publisher: Quirk Books | ISBN-13 : 978-1683692201
Publisher’s Synopsis: Rediscover the laughter and cheer of Buddy the Elf in this adorable picture book for readers of all ages!
Buddy the Elf has more Christmas spirit than anyone, but he’s never quite fit in with the other elves at the North Pole. Then Buddy learns that he’s really a human—and his father is on the Naughty List! Determined to bring his dad some holiday cheer, he sets out for New York City. But when Santa encounters disaster on Christmas Eve, can Buddy count on his new family to help him save the day?
Kim Smith’s adorable illustrations give a nostalgic feel to this modern holiday tale. Featuring all the iconic moments and laugh-out-loud lines from the film, this story of infectious joy in the face of cynicism is a must-have for all ages.
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My Big Wimmelbook―Christmas Village
Illustrated by Monika Parciak
Ages 3-7 | 14 Pages
Publisher: The Experiment | ISBN-13 : 978-1615197620
Publisher’s Synopsis: In these one-of-a-kind picture books, every page is bursting with life—and tons to discover! Children as young as age 2 have a blast pointing out recognizable things—a blue tricycle, a hungry dog, a piggyback ride—while older kids can follow the star characters from page to page, telling their stories along the way.
In this special holiday-themed Wimmelbook, it’s Christmas time! Christmas Eve, to be exact. From the outdoor ice rink to the bustling holiday market, a busy cast of characters is having a great time as they celebrate by skating, sledding, shopping, and singing away. But will the little boy get the tractor he wants for Christmas? And where is Santa? Kids follow along and find out in My Big Wimmelbook—Christmas Village.
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All the Colors of Christmas
Written by Matthew Paul Turner
Illustrated by Gillian Gamble
Ages 3-7 | 40 Pages
Publisher: Convergent Books | ISBN-13 : 978-0525654148
Publisher’s Synopsis: The bestselling author of When God Made You and When I Pray for You captures the wonder of Christmas and the joy of Jesus’ birth in a lyrical exploration of what makes the season so colorful, magical, and personal.
In his trademark style, Matthew Paul Turner celebrates the Christmas season, particularly the colors that infuse the holiday and all the memorable sensations and experiences—including a festive market, sledding, and nativity scene—connected to those bright hues. Matthew draws his readers into a whirling ribbon of the familiar reds and greens of Christmas, as well as other festive hues, including white, gold, blue, and brown.
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A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina
Written by Maureen McCabe
Illustrated by Anastasiia Khmelevska
Ages 4-8 | 26 Pages
Publisher: The Christmas Ornament Shop | ISBN-13 : 978-1-7347455-0-4
Publisher’s Synopsis: This children’s Christmas story is an old-fashioned, sweet tale about two engaging Christmas ornaments. Nicholas Nutcracker is a retired toy-soldier from a small village in Germany and Brittany Ballerina is a renowned prima ballerina with “The Christmas Ornament Ballet.” They are both in search of their true love. “I will find my true love with ‘word-of-mouth marketing!'” exclaims Nicholas determined to find his true love this Christmas. Or, maybe they will meet at the annual “Meet and Mingle of the Christmas Ornaments?” With the accidental help of the family’s adorable basset hound, Bellamy, with the oh-so-long ears, Brittany tumbles off the tree. When she is repositioned, it is near Nicholas. She thinks to herself, “What a brave toy soldier with so much character.” Then, it happens – they both fall in love at first sight!
One might ask, “Why a Christmas Love story for kids?” But really, who doesn’t love a story about finding true love, whether it is between two people or two engaging Christmas ornaments? We all want to love and be loved! Does it really matter whether you are seven years old or eighty-seven years old? Deep in mankind’s DNA, love is the ingredient that has given life meaning and made the world go around since the beginning of time.
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Jingle Jangle: The Invention of Jeronicus Jangle
Written by Lyn Sisson-Talbert and David E. Talbert
Ages 8-12 | 176 Pages
Publisher: Razorbill | ISBN-13 : 978-0593203804
Publisher’s Synopsis: A joyful middle grade novel based on the Netflix holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Chistmas Journey, starring Phylicia Rashad, Forrest Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose, Keegan Michael Key, and newcomer Madalen Mills, about an eccentric toymaker, his adventurous granddaughter, and a magical invention, that if they can get it to work in time for the holidays, could change their lives forever.
A delightful middle grade story based on the Netflix holiday film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey! A holiday tale set in the snow-covered town of Cobbleton, Jingle Jangle follows eccentric toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when a betrayal by a former protégé (Keegan-Michael Key) leaves Jeronicus withdrawn and down on his luck, it’s up to his bright and adventurous granddaughter, Journey (newcomer Madalen Mills) — and a singularly magical invention — to save the day. From the imagination of writer/director David E. Talbert and producer Lyn Sisson-Talbert, featuring original music by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and Michael Diskint. Jingle Jangle reminds you that anything is possible…if you believe.
Header Image Source: Little Red Sleigh Illustration by Elizavita Tretyakova (Sourcebooks Wonderland)
Bianca Schulze curated the list of best new Christmas books of 2020. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Christmas Books for Kids and Holiday Gift Guide Kids Books.
I have a new illustrated Christmas book and hope you can take a moment to look at it.
Here is a link to our website https://www.christmasinidaho.com
It is rather unusual in that this Christmas book is actually about Christmas.
It comes with an audio CD featuring a reading with full musical accompaniment.
We would be happy to send along a copy at your request. Please provide postal address.
Hoping you will like it and include in your Christmas book recommendations.
Dear Ray, You can find a link to our submission guidelines here: https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/media-kit/submission-guidelines.