A handpicked collection of fiction and nonfiction topic books about Christmas, the nativity story, and stories set during the festive period. Suitable for children in EYFS, KS1 and KS2, the titles include books by Raymond Briggs, Fiona Watt, Dawn Casey, Kate Saunders Graham Oakley and Catherine Doyle. This selection of books has been designed to complement resources for topic work about Christmas, classroom libraries and KS1 & KS2 school libraries.
Christmas topic books for EYFS, KS1 and KS2 – our recommendations
Merry Whatmas? by Eoin McLaughlin
Join Hedgedog and Tortoise for their first ever Christmas. Fox, Badger, Magpie, Squirrel and Rabbit all have very different ideas about the day but it’s Owl who reassures them and explains the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Whatmas is 32 pages of endearing Christmas fun – a joy to read to preschool children.
Pink Santa by Tanya Hennessy and Ben Whitehouse
Santa’s look gets a 2020s refresh when selfie-posing Rudolph fails to notice the washing machine setting in this quirky, rhyming and up to the minute Christmas picture book story. With a vibrant pink theme, bold pictures throughout, and a happy ending, Pink Santa is perfect to read to 3-6 years olds again and again.
Santa’s New Reindeer by Caroline Crowe, illustrated by Jess Pauwels
Rudolph is injured – out for the whole of Christmas – and Santa needs someone new in front of the sleigh. When no other animal seems quite right for the job, the elves hatch a plan to use technology. Find out if it works in this hilarious new rhyming Christmas picture book! A great festive bedtime story for younger children.
Where Björn Belongs by Samuel Langley-Swain
When Arthur loses his precious polar bear toy he wishes Father Christmas would bring him a new one. But the huge and very real bear that appears in the garden is not exactly what Arthur had imagined. Can he help the bear get back home? A charming and thought-provoking Christmas story to discuss with children in lower KS2 in PSHE lessons. The illustrations are outstanding.
Clarice Bean Think Like an Elf by Lauren Child
Clarice looks forward to noise and family at the festive end of the year, but this year she remembers the importance of the Christmas Spirit, and she’s determined not to let it float away. With some poignant and funny observations about family members, Christmas present obsessions, and Christmas cards, this is a great book not just for children aged 9-11, but also for their parents. The beautifully illustrated hardback format will make this a perfect gift or a book to share around KS2 classrooms for reading aloud.
Father Christmas and the Donkey by Elizabeth Clark
When a hungry donkey searches for food and shelter in the cold, nothing seems further away than a warm happy Christmas. But then he hears the sound of distant hooves and a spellbinding story of family and hope begins. This favourite Christmas story is brought to life with evocative and enchanting new illustrations by Ari Jokinen. A wonderful festive bedtime story, this picture book is also ideal for KS1 circle time, with teacher resources available on the Pikku publishing website.
Winter Tales by Dawn Casey
A beautiful and diverse collection of highly illustrated winter and Christmas themed tales. Including versions of the Snow Queen, The Mother of the Sea, The Little Black Cat, The Nutcracker and A Cloak for the Moon, this lavish hardback explores winter through magic, fable and wonderment from around the world. The ultimate book of bedtime stories to read in the run-up to Christmas.
We Disagree About This Tree by Ross Collins
In this sequel to There’s a Bear in My Chair and There’s a Mouse in My House, Brian and Mouse have reconciled – until they try to work together to decorate the Christmas tree. Can they find a way to agree in time for the big day? Highly original with a heartwarming message of hope, resolution and friendship. this picture book hardback is an addictive and memorable rhyming Christmas story that younger children will want to read again and again. In particular, the illustrations are delightfully funny. I must wear sunglasses when I turn on the Christmas tree lights this year.
The Church Mice at Christmas by Graham Oakley
Parents who read this during their childhood will remember this book instantly, through the distinctive and absorbing narrative illustrations. With Arthur and Humphrey in despair that Christmas might not happen this year unless they can make some money, Father Christmas comes to the rescue in a spectacular and unexpected fashion. A modern Christmas classic.
Christmas in Exeter Street by Diana Hendry
A timeless story about a house filled with Christmas guests and Father’s Christmas’ comical difficulties in finding and catering for all of them. With lively ink illustrations, this is great fun to read and share with your children, or class, in the run-up to Christmas.
Little Santa by Jon Agee
This charming story tells the life of young Santa, growing up as the youngest member of the Claus family in a cold North Pole cabin. Despite the hard life, Santa is distraught when the rest of the family decide to move to Florida. Determined to stay in the land of pine trees and icicles, a captivating and heartwarming story develops. A memorable Christmas bedtime story for children aged 0-5.
One Wild Christmas by Nicholas Oldland
When Moose and Beaver chance upon the perfect Christmas tree, Bear has other ideas and won’t let them chop it down. An argument breaks out and Bear takes charge before finding a cunning and diplomatic solution. A quirky story with fun illustrations that 3-7-year-olds will enjoy in the run-up to Christmas.
Trouble on Planet Christmas by Kate Saunders
When hooves appear in the Trubshaw family’s kitchen it’s clear something has gone wrong. Soon they find themselves whisked away by reindeer to the distant planet Yule-1 – to help save Father Christmas. This fast-paced, madcap, illustrated chapter book adventure is a perfect easy reader for children in years 5&6 at the end of the autumn term.
Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever by Matt Tavares
A heartwarming story about a young doe who dreams of a better life away from the circus. When she seizes her chance to escape she meets a large man in a red cape, and so a Christmas story begins. A great story for EYFS and KS1 children, and a good starting point for Xmas literacy ideas.
Peter Rabbit: Christmas is Coming by Beatrix Potter
A compelling Christmas countdown book that follows Peter Rabbit in a different adventure on each day in the lead up to Xmas day. The stories and ideas in this book can be used year after year and will enchant all ages.
100 Christmas Things to Make and Do by Fiona Watt
A practical and inspiring activity book full of achievable and exciting festive craft activities. These include decorations, a stunning advent calendar idea, Christmas cooking goals and many other projects to engage the whole family. Highly recommended.
The Christmas Story: Experience the magic of the first Christmas by DK
An engaging and vibrant first Christmas storybook suitable for younger children up to 5. There’s a lot to look at and discuss in the illustrations and plenty of opportunities to share and talk about the story.
Let it Glow: A Winter’s Walk by Owen Gildersleeve
A visually stunning die-cut picture book complete with glowing lights! Full of yuletide awe and wonder, this story – told in evocative verse – captures the seasonal spirit and is ideal to share by a festive tree.
Dear Santa by Rod Campbell
A classic board book for early readers. The absorbing and addictive lift the flap format will captivate toddlers as the story slowly reveals all the presents Santa has sent. Beautifully illustrated and presented – this is a book to treasure.
The Queen’s Present by Steve Antony
Follow Santa and the Queen on a roller-coaster quest around the planet to find the perfect present. World landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower are visited in this cracking Christmas story suitable for EYFS children.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
An unforgettable and moving picture book that encapsulates the spirit of Christmas. When a boy embarks on a mysterious train, he begins a journey that will culminate in him meeting Santa and receiving a very special gift. This book also inspired a classic festive film.
Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs
It’s Christmas Eve and Father Christmas has woken up in a mood. It’s cold and he certainly doesn’t want to go outside. Can he battle the wind, snow cold and his dreams of a warm summer holiday to deliver all the presents in time? A funny and memorable story to read with younger children.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Y Moore
A classic story that needs little introduction. With timeless verse and evocative pictures, this book will continue to mesmerize children over the festive period for generations to come.
The Christmas Joke Book for Funny Kids by Imogen Currell-Williams
A great book full of festive jokes for children to share with each other, with friends and classmates or with relatives around the Xmas meal. With tongue twisters, puns, knock-knock jokes and quick quips, this book will keep children absorbed.
LEGO Christmas Ideas by Elizabeth Dowsett
Loads of inventive and imaginative Lego building ideas for the festive period. With games, builds, ornaments and challenges, this will keep children engaged for long periods of time.
The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle
A spellbinding and atmospheric chapter book – ideal for children in KS2 – that combines magic, mystery and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in an unforgettable time-travel adventure. This would make a great class reader in the last few weeks of term, or a great book to read in the first week of the holidays.
The Christmas Story by Ian Beck
A beautifully realised retelling of the Nativity, with accessible language and vibrant illustrations. This is an ideal book for early readers, and perfect for KS1 topics about Christmas and classes performing a nativity play.
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Christmas topic resources and activities
- and more Xmas teaching resources from the BBC here.
- BBC Teach resources for KS1 and KS2 about the festive period and nativity.
- BBC Teach KS2 Xmas resources.
- A series of festive resources suitable for use in primary schools.
- A fun collection of activities for KS2 that explore language and festive traditions from around the world.
- EYFS, KS1 and KS2 RE resources from The Grid.
To buy all the books in this Christmas topic book list, see our bulk order page.
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