There are as many Christmas books as there are days in the year, but these are some of my favorites.

Appelt, Kathi. Merry Christmas, Merry Crow. New York: Harcourt, 2005.
A wonderful rhyming story of a crow gathering up little things for a holiday celebration.

Barry, David. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree. New York: Dell, c1991.

I love this book! The wealthy and jovial Mr. Willowby puts up his giant Christmas tree and finds it’s too tall for his living room. So he cuts off the top and gives it away as a smaller tree, setting off a chain reaction of tree trimming and giving. The trimmed tree gets smaller and smaller until the mouse family in Mr. Willowby’s house has their own tree just like his.

Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline’s Christmas. New York: Viking, c1956.

The little Parisian schoolgirl tends to a sick house of school friends and a frozen carpet salesman in this simple but delightful holiday story.

Carle, Eric. Dream Snow. New York: Philomel Books, c2000.

A farmer dreams of snow falling on all his animals and wakes up to celebrate Christmas with them.

DiCamillo, Kate. Great Joy. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2007.

A young girl sees a musician and his pet monkey living on the street and the holiday spirit makes her reach out to them.

Falconer, Ian. Olivia Helps With Christmas. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007.

Another hilarious Olivia adventure features the precocious piglet enjoying Christmas festivities.

Gackenbach, Dick. Claude the Dog: A Christmas Story. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1974.

Claude the dog has everything at Christmas, including a big heart for a friend in need.

Hobbie, Holly. I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2001.

Toot tries to get home to Puddle for Christmas, but he faces snow and canceled flights. Will he make it back? A fun addition to the Toot and Puddle series.

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. My Penguin Osbert. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, c2004.

A young boy asks Santa for a pet penguin and finds it’s not always fun to get what you wish for.

London, Jonathan. Froggy’s Best Christmas. New York: Penguin Putnam Books, 2000.

Froggy is usually taking his long winter’s nap when Christmas comes, but this year his friend Max wakes him up and they have the best Christmas ever!

Moore, Clement Clarke. The Night Before Christmas.

There are several different illustrated versions of this classic poem, all of them delightful.

Numeroff, Laura. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies. New York: Harper Collins Children, 2000.

A holiday version of Numeroff’s If You Give… series that is as much fun as the others.

Seuss, Dr. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. New York: Random House, c1957.

The classic holiday story of a grumpy Grinch who tries to stop Christmas from coming.

Stevenson, James. The Worst Person’s Christmas. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1991.

The holiday version of Stevenson’s Worst Person books is fantastic, with subtle humor and big cheer. The book is out of print, but check it out at your library.

Thompson, Lauren. Mouse’s First Christmas. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1999.

Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse who enjoys his first Christmas. Great for younger children.

Van Allsburg, Chris. The Polar Express. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

Beautifully illustrated story of a boy who gets on a magical train to meet Santa.

Walsh, Vivian. Olive, the Other Reindeer. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1997.

Olive the dog thinks carolers are singing about her (“All of the other reindeer…”) and decides she must be a reindeer. She rushes to the North Pole to help Santa in this fun pop-up book.

Wilson, Karma. Bear Stays Up for Christmas. New York: MK McElderry Books, c2008.

The hibernating bear from Wilson’s series tries to stay awake to enjoy Christmas with friends.