Holiday Reading List: Books About Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa



Gingerbread Christmas

Brett, Jan [1999, Grade Level Pre-K-3]

It’s all fun and games when Gingerbread Baby, a boy named Matti, and the gingerbread band play music—until the delightful smell of baked goods reaches the audience!   


Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve?

Brett, Jan [2002, Grade Level K-4]

Kyri lives in Norway, where the Northern Lights decorate the sky during the holidays, but her dinner is ruined every year when trolls arrive and eat it all!  Kyri isn’t worried this year, though, because a boy and his pet Polar Bear are coming to save the day!  


Snowmen at Christmas

Buehner, Caralyn [2005, Grade Level Pre-K-3]

The snowmen celebrate with a party that includes music, dancing, treats, and their own snowy Santa with presents!  


Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present 

Burningham, John [1993, Grade Level K-3]

Santa forgot to deliver a present!  And the reindeer are sound asleep!  What to do?  Santa skis, rides a motorcycle, and flies in an airplane to reach Harvey’s home in time.  


When Cows Come Home for Christmas

Chaconas, Dori [2005, Grade Level Pre-K-2]

While dancing in the family home, Moosha the cow crashes through the floor on the one and only spot the tree will fit!  Will the cows still get to celebrate?


Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas

Dean, James and Kimberly [2018, Grade Level Pre-K-2]

What better way to count down the days until Christmas than with Pete the Cat?  A jazzy, breezy rendition of the classic carol.


The Reindeer Wish

Evert, Lori [2015, Grade Level K-4]

A little girl raises a baby reindeer she names Odin.  When she realizes Odin is sad and wants to be with other deer, she takes him to Santa’s house at the North Pole.  


Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story

Howland, Naomi [1999, Grade Level Pre-K-3]

Poor Sadie and her brothers experience hunger in their Russian village, until they receive an enchanted frying pan that will cook an endless supply of scrumptious latkes until someone says magic words to make it stop.


Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story

Melmed, Laura Krauss [2000, Grade Level K-4]

Beloved milkman Moishe, who always helps his neighbors, receives a magical frying pan that can make all the delicious potato pancakes—called latkes—anyone could ever wish to eat.  Only Moishe is supposed to use the pan, but his wife doesn’t follow the rules. 


Christmas in Camelot (Magic Tree House Series Book 29)

Osborne, Mary Pope [2001, Grade Level 1-3]

Jack and Annie are invited to spend Christmas Eve in the magical land of Camelot.  When they arrive, they embark on a quest to save King Arthur’s legendary kingdom.  


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Robinson, Barbara [1972, Grade Level 2-5]

This is the story of the Herdman Family—also known as “the worst kids in the history of the world.”  When they take over the annual Christmas pageant, hilarity and mischief ensue!  In the midst of all their troublemaking, will these children learn the real meaning of the holiday?


Little Whistle’s Christmas

Rylant, Cynthia [2005, Grade Level K-3]

Little Whistle and his friends in Toytown write a letter to Santa Claus.  Will he answer it and make their dreams come true?


It’s Kwanzaa Time!: A Lift-the-Flap Story 

Saint James, Synthia [2001, Grade Level K-2]

As you read along and lift the flaps, you’ll learn about the 7 principles of Kwanzaa:  Unity; Self-Determination; Collective Work and Responsibility; Cooperative Economics; Purpose; Creativity; and Faith.


Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect

Schneider, Richard H. [1988, Grade Level K-3]

Small Pine hopes to be chosen for the royal tree, but after providing shelter for the forest animals, he’s not in perfect condition like the other trees.  Will the queen reward Small Pine for his kindness and select him to stand in the castle?  Read this one with a box of Kleenex!


A Child’s Christmas in Wales

Thomas, Dylan [1995, Grade Level 2-5]

One of the late Welsh poet’s most popular works, this is a wistful, cozy retelling of Christmas past, as seen through the eyes of a child.  


Room for a Little One

Waddell, Martin [2004, Grade Level Pre-K-2]

A telling of the true story of Christmas, where—one by one—all the animals are welcomed into the stable to witness the birth of Jesus.


Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa

Washington, Donna L. [2010, Grade Level Pre-K-3]

L’il Rabbit is afraid that Kwanzaa won’t be the same this year because his grandmother is sick, and the big feast has been canceled.  Li’l Rabbit decides to find Granna Rabbit something special to eat so she can celebrate the holiday.    When he can’t find anything for her on his own, he decides to get help from his family and friends.


Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

Wilson, Karma [2005, Grade Level Pre-K-2]

Mortimer Mouse finds a new home inside a Nativity Scene, where he discovers the true meaning of Christmas.


A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas

Yates, Philip [2008, Grade Level K-3]

Avast, me hearties, and behold a tale of visions of treasure chests, cheerful buccaneers, and eight giant seahorses!  Will Sir Peggedy bring a present for the littlest pirate, or will he make him walk the plank?


How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?

Yolen, Jane [2012, Grade Level Pre-K-2]

The dinosaurs’ celebration of the Festival of Lights includes visiting with family, lighting the menorah, and opening presents.  But will the dinos be on their best behavior?





Anderson, Sheila [2010, Grade Level K-3]

A quick look at the holiday provides information about the traditions, including food and celebrations.  


I Have a Little Dreidel

Baum, Maxie [2006, Grade Level K-2]

A re-telling of the Hanukkah song, with added verses, shows the family lighting the menorah, making potato latkes, and playing the dreidel game.  


The Family Christmas Tree Book

DePaola, Tomie [1980, Grade Level K-3]

Members of a family talk about the history of the tree as they decorate their own for the holiday.


The Legend of the Poinsettia

DePaola, Tomie [1994, Grade Level K-3]

This Mexican legend tells how a little girl’s unselfish gift to Baby Jesus resulted in the poinsettia becoming a beloved symbol of Christmas.


Christmas Is. . .

Gibbons, Gail [2001, Grade Level K-3]

The author explores the traditions of the holiday —the celebration of the birth of Jesus; waiting impatiently for Santa Claus; singing carols with friends and family; giving and receiving presents; and more!  


Las Posadas: An Hispanic Christmas Celebration

Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane [1999, Grade Level K-5]

A young girl living in Espanola, New Mexico, assists her grandparents while they make preparations for hosting one night of the nine-day commemoration of Joseph and Mary’s visit to Bethlehem.


Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting

Murphy, Jim [2009, Grade Level 4-8]

With World War I in its 5th month, most of Europe was consumed with fighting, but on December 25, 1914, soldiers on the Western Front disobeyed orders and put down their arms.  Troops that were enemies the day before now celebrated the holidays together.


Hanukkah Sweets and Treats

Randall, Ronne [2013, Grade Level K-3]

A great accompaniment for a Hanukkah picture book!  Here you’ll find recipes for latkes, applesauce, cookies, and more!  Celebrate the Festival of Lights with a cupcake menorah!


Silent Night: The Wonderful Story of the Beloved Christmas Carol 

Weninger, Brigitte [2018, Grade Level K-3]

With the church’s organ out of order, Father Joseph is worried that his parishioners may not have any music on Christmas Eve.  The need for a song inspires the priest to write one of the most beloved carols of all time.


Franklin & Winston: A Christmas that Changed the World

Wood, Douglas [2011, Grade Level 4-6]

Fourteen days after the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill traveled to visit American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the White House, where he stayed for three weeks and even joined the President at the annual White House Christmas Tree Lighting.  But it wasn’t all fun and games; the two leaders joined forces to plan a successful outcome for the Allied Forces of World War II.


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