25 CHRISTmas Books for Preschoolers

A few years ago we started a tradition of wrapping up a book each day of Advent leading up to Christmas, and I shared a list of books we used to go along with Truth in the Tinsel.  Every year I’ve added a few new Christmas books to our collection (with more kids to open them), and this year we’ll be opening 2 books each day: one geared toward my preschoolers, and 1 for my older kids.  So I thought it was about time I organized the books into two lists and shared them.  (In other words, there are several repeats from the old list this time around, but the books with longer stories have been replaced with more preschool-friendly choices.)

Preschool Christmas Books
Everywhere we go at Christmas our kids tend to be bombarded with messages about Santa and elves, so we try really hard to counter those with Christ-focused stories, songs, and decorations.  These books are a reflection of our family’s choice to keep Jesus at the forefront of all our Christmas activities.

I’ve listed them in subject groups rather than the order I pass them out.  I do tend to give most of the books about symbols early on so that the kids will recognize them and make the connection to Christ as we go through the season, but as a general rule I try to mix them up a bit so we don’t end up with all the stable/animal stories in a big clump.  I just thought these groups would be more helpful for anyone not familiar with the books.

Books about Christmas Symbols

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Jesus, Me and My Christmas Tree by Crystal Bowman (A little girl goes through various ornaments on her tree that relate to the Christmas story.)

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J is for Jesus by Crystal Bowman (rhyme about the symbolism of the candy cane)

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Christmas Angels by Crystal Bowman (rhyming story about angels in the Christmas story so children think of the Bible when they see angel decorations)

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A Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman (rhyming story about the Christmas star)

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The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs (a story about a farmer and his wife who make a sacrifice that brings great joy.  Bible verses throughout.)

Books Based on Songs

6.

Mary, Did You Know? by Mark Lowry, illustrated by Phil Boatwright (beautiful illustrations and accompanying Scripture verses)

7. We Three Kings

We Three Kings traditional carol illustrated by Gennady Spirin (The pictures are probably more pleasing to adults, but I like the chance to expose my children to beautiful art.)

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The Animals’ Christmas Carol illustrated by Helen Ward (beautiful pictures to go along with the medieval carol “The Friendly Beasts”)

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The Little Drummer Boy
illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats (a favorite song of ours, with pictures by the author of The Snowy Day)

10.

12 Days of Christmas beautifully illustrated by Laurel Long (in the right order, which is surprisingly hard to find!)

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Away in a Manger illustrated by Thomas Kinkade (all three verses, with paintings of both the manger scene and an old-fashioned village)

Books About the First Christmas

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This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotton (full of repetition and rhyme, similar to “This is the House That Jack Built”)

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Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck (simple rhymes about those present at Jesus’ birth)

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The Christmas Star by Marcus Pfister (beautiful watercolor and glitter illustrations by the author/illustrator of The Rainbow Fish)

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Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones (full of excitement about the arrival of Jesus–I like to save this one for Christmas morning because it captures the joy when the wait is over)

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Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer (about a self-absorbed donkey who goes with the three kings to find Christ and realizes that he alone is worthy of praise)

17.

Baby Jesus is Born by Juliet David (Very simple retelling of the whole Christmas story, starting with the angel visiting Mary and ending with the family returning to Nazareth.)

18.

The Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith (I am not a fan of the Brick Bible in general, and I hesitated even to buy this because I didn’t want to support the anti-Christian author, but several trusted friends recommended it and I knew my boys especially would love it, so I decided to find a used copy for our family.  If your kids are sensitive, be warned that it does include the part of the story where Herod orders the baby boys of Bethlehem killed.)

19.

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell (about the animals in the stable when Jesus was born)

20.

The Animals’ Christmas Eve by Gale Wiersum (a counting book about the animals in the stable)

21.

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate (about the animals getting ready to welcome baby Jesus to their stable)

22.

Bethlehem Night by Julie Stiegemeyer (story of the night Christ was born, told in rhyme–good fit for Christmas Eve)

Other Family Favorites

23.

Baboushka and the Three Kings by Ruth Robbins (An old Russian story about a woman who meets the wise men on their way to visit the Christ child.)

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Mouskin’s Christmas Eve by Edna Miller (classic story about a mouse who finds his way into a house at Christmastime and finds peace in the shelter of a manger scene)

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Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson (also about a little mouse exploring a manger scene, but a more detailed story)

If you have kids in school check out 25 CHRISTmas Picture Books for Older Children.  I hope your family finds some new favorites to enjoy this Christmas!

(NOTE: As I’ve discovered new books, I’ve replaced some of the titles in the original post.  I’m keeping them around for when I want to wrap up books for more kids each day, but these are currently my 25 favorites for preschool-age children.)