I’m excited to share so many excellent 2017 Christmas books with you and with my own kids, a new start for our family’s Christmas books which we lost to mold. You’ll find festive picture books, nonfiction books, and even a chapter book to enjoy. Don’t miss the chapter book, The Girl Who Saved Christmas, it would be a lovely read aloud.
ALSO READ: 2017 Winter Picture Books
2017 Christmas Picture Books
Musical Christmas Tree!
Shaped like a pine tree, the pages of this sturdy board book are filled with delightful Christmas scenes. Read what’s happening, look for the search and find items, and press the button to play Jingle Bells. The animals and people work together to get ready for the big day, talking to each other in word bubbles.
Jingle Bells by Susan Jeffers
Gorgeous illustrations tell of a delightful snowy adventure. Two siblings ride in a sleigh through the snowy woods where they see their white dog frolicking with other winter animals. They arrive at Santa’s house where they give Mrs. Claus ice skates. Then they all go ice skating together. A beautifully imagined story using familiar carol lyrics.
The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli
Trust me, you’re going to LOVE this book. The illustrations are to die for! Pizzoli tells the story of an exasperated father elephant as the mom keeps giving him more and more gifts. By four calling birds, he’s downright annoyed. What’s even funnier is the little kid elephant is having the time of his life while his dad is getting more and more annoyed. Soon the room is filled with ladies dancing, pipers piping, turtle doves, and all the gifts. Hilarious!
The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Jake Parker
This Christmas story is an entertaining spin off The Twelve Days of Christmas. Santa needs a new sleigh to the elves work in teams to make something special. It’s a sleigh build off! From day 1 to day 12, the elves show off their tricked-out, customized sleighs — a floating ship, a blimp, a big rig, a snowplow, and on it goes. What fun! Of course, you know what Santa will pick, right? The fixed up old sleigh. Sure to be a read aloud favorite.
The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow, illustrated by James Ransome
I love the artwork and the story in this new adaptation of The Nutcracker! Set in the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance, Marie feels unmusical in her musical family. When her nutcracker comes to life in the middle of the night, the rats attack looking for sweet potato pie. Marie finds the music inside her to stop the rats. And when she wakes the next day, she embraces her inner music for good.
The Santa Thief by Alane Adams, illustrated by Lauren Gallegos
A little boy wants skates but his dad says Santa might not bring them. His mom notices how he’s moping and reminds him that Christmas is about giving to others. That changes the boy’s attitude. He makes his parents gifts and dresses up like Santa Claus, getting into the spirit of giving. He’s very surprised to discover he did get skates after all but it almost doesn’t matter, he’s already had the best Christmas ever. Set on a 1920’s farm, this is a meaningful story with inviting, warm illustrations.
Waltz of the Snowflakes by Elly Mackay
Surreal, magical illustrations tell everything in this wordless picture book about a girl whose grandmother takes her reluctant granddaughter to see The Nutcracker ballet. As the performance begins, the color contrasts with the sepia tones of the girl’s story. The girl and the boy in the seat next to her become entranced with the magic of the story.
A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman, illustrated by Susan Gal
Starting at Christmas Island, see how children around the world welcome Christmas and Santa. In Australia, Santa uses a magic key to open the front door. Kids leave him crispy, fruit-filled “White Christmas” treats with a cool glass of milk or beer. In Indonesia, children put their shoes near the door and leave him nastar cookies filled with pineapple jam. Read about the various traditions in South Africa, Malawi, Egypt, Russia, Norway, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and many more countries. Then, find delicious cookie recipes to make that will give you the taste of countries around the world. YUM! I can’t wait to try these recipes.
Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares
Red and Lulu are birds who live together in a beautiful evergreen tree until the tree is cut down and moved into New York City for Christmas. Unfortunately, when the tree is moved, Red gets left behind. He searches and searches until he finally finds his beloved Lulu in the now festively decorated Christmas tree. Together they enjoy the holidays, then find a new place to live in the city afterwards. This lovely story and illustrations capture the beauty of Christmas in NYC and how love prevails.
Santa’s Workshop illustrated by Michelle Todd
In the accompanying book Rudolph Saves the Day, Santa has the flu and Mrs. Claus needs help. The elves and reindeer entertain Santa with a Christmas Spectacular that makes him feel better so he’s ready for Christmas morning. The use the sturdy pieces to build Santa’s Workshop full of elves, Santa, and reindeer.
Press Out and Color Christmas Ornaments by Kate McLelland
We can’t wait to color these beautifully pattered three-dimensional paper ornaments! Each ornament comes in separate pieces that you slide together.
Make & Play Nativity by Joey Chou
Most of this amazing little book consists of adorable punch-out pieces of the Nativity — Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the manger, the 3 wise men, shepherds, an angel, and plenty of animals. There’s a short secular Nativity story along with a few craft ideas and the words to Christmas carols. I have mixed feelings about this book because it will have a lot of empty pages after you punch out the figures and I don’t care for the secular version of the story.
It’s Christmas! by Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tim Warnes
Little Otto is SO excited to make everything more Christmassy that he makes quiet a mess with too much frosting on the cookies and a tipped-over tree. So his mom gives him an important job: watch for snow. Until Otto makes that messy, too when he tries to make his own snow. Even when he mixes up everyone’s presents, it all turns out to be the most Christmassy Christmas ever. What a silly, fun story for young kids.
Santa, Please Bring Me a Gnome by An Swerts and Eline van Lindenhuizen
Tess knows what she wants for Christmas — a real gnome! She and her family get busy making a little bed, table, chair, and wardrobe. She’s so excited, imagining everything she and her gnome will do together. When Christmas morning comes, Santa leaves Tess a note and a very special gift in the perfect ending. Cheerful illustrations and a heart-warming story.
Captain Bling’s Christmas Plunder by Rebecca Colby, illustrated by Rob McClurkan
Kids will love this funny story told in rhyme! The pirates search for loot and find the Santa’s workshop toys. Santa runs after the pirates, giving each of the pirates gifts. But they still won’t give the toys back to Santa? You’ll never guess why — they want to help deliver the toys.
The Nutcracker a Papercut Pop-Up Book by Shobhna Patel
This is the traditional story of Clara and her nutcracker with incredible three-dimensional papercut art. It’s text heavy and the illustrations are difficult to access but beautiful once you do.
2017 Christmas Books for Older Readers
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig