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I have a confession to make.
It’s not even Thanksgiving and I’ve already started singing Christmas tunes. Typically, I hold out until after Thanksgiving to start all things Christmas, but I’m just so excited this year. Maybe it’s because my toddler is at the perfect age to really appreciate all the festiveness of the holiday season.
So, yes, my toddler and I have already started caroling. He has been requesting “jenga bell, jenga bell” every night before bed. In addition to Christmas songs, I have also pulled out a few of our Christmas books.
There are so many wonderful, classic Christmas stories with beautiful, colorful pictures. From How the Grinch Stole Christmas to Eric Carle’s Dream Snow, your toddler will be requesting these books long after the holidays are over.
For even more seasonal books for children, be sure to head over to The Jenny Revolution to check out the rest of the Holiday + Winter Book Series. Over 30 awesome bloggers got together to share some really fun winter and holiday books you’ll want to add to your collection.
10 Classic Christmas Books for Toddlers
1. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: Nothing beats this classic tale of a skeptical boy’s trip to the North Pole on a magical train. Your toddler will love all the beautiful artwork. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a train involved!
2. A Christmas Carol: Little Master Dickens by Jennifer Adams: A Christmas Carol is one of my absolute favorite stories to read around the holidays. It’s a classic for good reason! If your toddler won’t sit for the original version, I just love these cute classic book board books for the little ones.
3. Dream Snow by Eric Carle: Notoddler’s library would be complete without at least one Eric Carle book. Toddlers go crazy for his simple stories and fantastic pictures. My toddler loves opening the flaps in this one and counting the farmyard animals.
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss: I don’t know what it is about the Grinch, but the kids go crazy for him! Maybe it’s because he’s green… maybe it’s because he’s mean? I couldn’t help it. The Grinch special was (and still is) my favorite Christmas special to watch. I’m fairly certain I could recite this one by heart… in my own Grinchy voice of course.
5. The Nutcracker: The Nutcracker is so much fun because you can play the music before, after or even while you read. You can play guess which scene goes with which song. Your toddler can dance to the music and pretend they are dancing with the sugar plum fairy or fighting large mice.
6. The Night Before Christmas by Charles Santore: I like to read this Christmas classic before bed on Christmas Eve. This is the poem that started many of the wonderful Christmas traditions we practice today. The pictures are really wonderful in Charles Santore’s edition.
7. It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon: Okay, this one may not be considered a classic, but it is one of my toddler’s absolute favorites. When I taught Kindergarten, the children couldn’t get enough of David and all of his antics. Your toddler will laugh right out loud at David and all his “naughty” behavior.
8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May & Illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo: Most people know Rudolph from the adorable claymation film, but I love to read the story of Rudolph too. The pictures are gorgeous, the rhyming is fun and your toddler will be cheering Rudolph along as his saves Christmas.
9. The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert Photographs byPer Breiehagen: This one is slightly long for a toddler, but my son loves books with real pictures in it. The photographs are absolutely beautiful and the story of a little girl who wishes to be Santa’s elf is super cute too.
10. The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson and Illustrated by Eloise Wilkin: You can’t have a classic Christmas book list without the ultimate classic. The Nativity story is the reason we celebrate Christmas. There are many versions out there, but I have always liked this golden book version.
What is your favorite classic Christmas book to read to your toddlers? Leave me a comment below!
Tricia is a Kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom. You'll find her writing about simple, nutritious recipes, fitness tips and workouts, and all the fun she has with her dinosaur-crazy toddler and sweet baby girl.