Books About Santa

christmas books for kids

I love Santa. My kids love Santa and nothing gets us more excited for his arrival than books. Here are some of our very favorite books about Santa to share with your kids. All books lists include affiliate links.

Babar and Father Christmas

Babar and Father Christmas  by Jean De Brunhoff was one of my very favorite Christmas stories as a child. As an adult I have had some great belly laughs at some of it’s writing .Babar books in general beg to be pre read , just trust me. In this book  Babar goes looking for Father Christmas because he wants to ask him to visit Elephant country. He searches all over Paris and finally ends up in the North Pole and finds after much effort Father Christmas. I love the details in this book, as a child I would lay looking at the pictures of Santa’s workshop and imagine what visiting it would be like. As an adult I appreciate the smallest details like how Father Christmas’s flying machine ( not a sled) has P.N #1 on it , meaning of course Pere Noel #1.

Peter Claus

Peter Claus and the Naughty List by Lawrence David. Peter Claus hopes to follow in his dad’s footsteps someday. But then he ended up on the naughty list. Peter doesn’t think the naughty list is fair. He takes his dad’s sleigh and gathers all the kids on the list and bring them to the North Pole to explain to Santa why they did some of the not so nice things. One-by-one Santa takes the kids home while listening to their tales. He agrees if the kids do one nice thing to make up for a naughty thing they still might find a gift under the Christmas tree. This is a great story that realizes it’s hard to be good all the time, but that doesn’t make them bad. ‘All people do naughty things once in a while. It can’t be helped,” Santa explained. “Saying you’re sorry is what matters most.” ( review by Carrie Anne )

guess_whos_coming

Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? by Tomie dePaola is a funny book about the classic family gathering. I don’t know about you but our family Christmas dinners were more comical than Norman Rockwell and I related so well to all the different family personalities, and quirks. My son thought the fact that one of Santa’s friends brought a polar bear was hilarious, but was perplexed by the absence of any elves.  I like that Santa is exhausted by his family but in the end happy he hosted such a large family gathering.  My son liked it, and loved the illustrations  but it is a longer book so take a flip through it to see if your child is ready yet.

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Oh, What a Christmas!by Micheal Garland is a sweet story about how Santa made do when the unexpected happened. As we all know reindeer pull Santa’s sleigh but when the reins break and Santa comes crashing down they are nowhere to be seen! Luckily a rag tag group of farm animals step in and save the day. The message that it’s not the reindeer but rather the magic that makes the difference is loud and clear . I like how this book can also open a dialog about how even special days can have unexpected bumps and you make do with what you have , just like Santa in this story.Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning by Cheryl Ryan Harshman  wasn’t what I expected , it was more. It’s written in the spirit of ” The House That Jack Built” and the text builds and builds starting with snow falling on a house as children sleep and ending with Christmas morning. What I wasn’t expecting is that the author tells the story of The Nutcracker , albeit a very simplistic version, in the rhyming text as well.  The illustrations of the Rat King is a little frightening but nothing that will prevent you from reading it.

How Santa Got His Job

How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky is a fun and surprisingly practical story about Santa and how he developed the skills needed for his one of a kind job.  It starts with Santa as a young man and as he keeps bouncing from job to job he acquires skills like going in and out of chimneys as a chimney sweep with ease and without getting dirty,  develops a relationship with reindeer as a zoo worker and gets chubby eating all the food at a all night diner gig!  There are more but i don’t want to spoil the story. My son loved it, especially once the elves showed up, which was when the toys did too! I know when i was a kid I wanted to know how Santa got his job, and there are movies dedicated to this so this book  jumped on the bandwagon and did a great job , it’s very cute!

Santa Duck Cover

Santa Duck and His Merry Helpers by David Milgrim is really funny. Santa duck is the duck liaison to Santa and he goes around to find out what all the other ducks want for Christmas. His younger siblings want in on the action too and start telling ducks that they can get them bigger and better gifts in an effort to out Santa Santa Duck.  Santa Duck explains that bigger and better gifts is not what Christmas is about . Christmas is about giving and sharing with your family. My son who is 6 and I both laughed at the smart alec ducks and while rude and annoying in many ways they were right when they said Santa Duck was hogging all the fun by being the only duck allowed to dress as Santa and be his helper.  Cute book !

Santa Kid

Santa Kid by James Patterson is a favorite library book in our house this year . My son inherited his love and curiosity of the inner workings of the North Pole from me and this book feeds that wonder. It also taps into something preschoolers are often seeking, power and a voice that gets heard. In the story Santa’s daughter saves the North Pole and Christmas from a corporate take over. I liked this book, and my son did too. It doesn’t focus on the religious celebration but rather on Santa and it doesn’t take a very sophisticated kid to know it’s make believe, 3 pages in my son said ” Mommy, this is a made up story right? Santa isn’t a regular Daddy, that’s silly!”  What it does is focuses on giving kids power to save something. Maybe it’s just my 4 year old but he spends all day pretending to save the day and this book spoke right to that desire to be powerful and good!

Santasaurus

Santasaurus by Niamh Sharkey is my new favorite Christmas book.  It’s perfect for all the dinosaur crazy kids and ones not even into dinosaurs will still enjoy the sweet story. Ollie, Molly and Milo are dino siblings who are getting prepared for Christmas by making decorations, eating treats and writing letters to Santasaurus. Milo asks for a trip on Santasaurus’s sleigh and on Christmas Eve he sneaks down to find Santasaurus waiting for him. I love this book because as a child I couldn’t think of anything more magical than going with Santa on his sleigh, well maybe hanging out in his toy shop, either way this brought back that wonder. The illustrations are bright , fun and add to the magical feeling of this book.

How Santa Really Works

How Santa Really Works by Alan Snow is a great book to go along with this activity. The book is styled as an expose about how Santa and his many many elves get all the work for Christmas done. I will caution you now that this is a long book, with even longer asides. I made my son head up to bed with me and the book early in order to get it read and still have time to chat about it after. I love the “insider” feel about this book and so did my son. There were many asides that made both of us giggle especially the comment about how many requests Santa gets for ponies each year. I loved that it encouraged kids to write to Santa but I have to say I sorta miss that it didn’t include much about magic. Still I can’t tell you how much my son loved this book ( I knew he would) and how impressed I was when he asked me if I thought this was how it worked. That opened a great discussion about how we imagine the North Pole and how stories and movies are just one person’s imagination and no one knows the truth .

hurry santa Hurry, Santa! by Julia Sykes is an okay book. I wanted to like it more than I did. The pictures are cute, the idea of Santa being late for Christmas morning has a lot of potential and the author tried but it just never gelled for me. I would still check it out from the library and test it out with your child, but I won’t be adding this to my must buy list.

McDuff_s_New_Friend

McDuff’s New Friend by Rosemary Wells was a classroom classic in my last year teaching. I think I read it every day for 3 weeks straight and then a few weeks after Christmas too! In it McDuff the little Westie dog saves the day finding Santa stuck in the snow! I love Susan Jeffer’s retro illustrations and the little details like the dad feeding the baby, the doggy sweaters the McDuff wears in the snow, and how Santa gave them all gifts they needed in the story .

A-Small-Christmas

A Small Christmas by Wong Herbert Yee is about as perfect a Christmas book as my son could ever read. My son is obsessed with firefighters, he rescues his baby sister all day long and the sound of sirens are pretty much a given day or night in our house. Fireman Small is a tiny firefighter that children immediately relate to because he is little. His heart is big though and so is his courage. In this installment though it’s not a fire he rushes to but Santa’s aid.  Your child doesn’t need to be as nuts about firefighters as my son is to enjoy this sweet holiday book.

What book about Santa is a favorite at your house?

 

LEGO printed wrapping paper – Easy Christmas Craft

lego print wrapping paperOn Monday we went to my son’s school book fair and while each of my kids chose a book to read right away they also chose one for each other to wrap up and put under the Christmas tree. Instead of using plain old bought wrapping paper my daughter made some using LEGO Duplo and paint.  I love how simple this easy Christmas craft is, it let her explore with abandon , mix colors ,and create something fun to give to her brother.

 

Gather your materials. You will need some paper ( easel paper works great), LEGO Duplo, a dish, paint, and painter’s tape. When it’s time to wrap you’ll also need scissors, tape and a ribbon. lego print wrapping paper for christmas

Start by taping paper to the table with painter’s tape and pouring some paint onto the dish. lego printed wrapping paper for kids

Invite your artist to come explore and make some wrapping paper. Lego wrapping paper

My daughter started slowlego painted wrapping paper but when she warmed up she was off her chair and banging the Lego down to make a fun sound on the table.lego painting wrapping paper craft

We let it dry by peeling the tape off the table and using it to hang the painting on the wall. Let dry. lego wrapping paper craft

When it’s dry trim the tape off and wrap up something special! lego painted wrapping paper craft

 

Read & Make Christmas – 25 Christmas Books With Crafts To Match

Christmas crafts for preschool Are you ready for another Read & Make post? I have so much fun doing these because they bring together so many of my older ideas with newer books or vice versa. I love creating great resources and this post is so easy to take to the library and grab whatever book they still have left on the shelf and know that you will have a great craft to activity to go with it. We have about 60 Christmas crafts on the site so if you don’t see something rad here check out our archives too.

Each pair includes a link to the full post for the craft or activity tutorial and a link to amazon.com for the book. I have read and reviewed most of these books and have paired crafts that would work not only with the book but with the book’s target age group as well. All book titles are affiliate links.

christmas crafts and books for kids

The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup is the perfect book to go with our Paper Bag Gingerbread Men craft.

llama llama holidya drama craft idea

Our Mess Free Ornaments are don’t need a lot of patience which is great if your child is like the little Llama in Llama Llama Holiday Drama .

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Santasaurus by Niamh Sharkey and our Roll and Count Santa Math Game will keep your kids busy and learning!

snow playdough

In McDuff’s New Friend by Rosemary Wellsthe puppy makes tracks in the snow. Your child can make their own with our Tracks In The Snow Playdough activity even if you never get the real stuff in your area.

bear stays up

Bear Stays Up for Christmasby Karma Wilson includes all the traditional pre-Christmas activities like hanging stockings. These Scrap Paper Stockings can be hung up year after year.

nativity game and book

Play our Find & Fill  Nativity Game and then read What Is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams to further the lesson.

toddler christmas craft

This Handprint Christmas Tree was my daughter’s first craft and Counting Christmas by Karen Katz was one of her first Christmas books too.

Our Snow Globe Snowman craft is a great match for Snowmen at Christmas by Carolyn Buehner .

gingerbread playdough

Create gingerbread men that don’t need to be baked with our Playdough Gingerbread Men and read Mini Merry Book: Gingerbread Joy by Julia Woolf.

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Merry Christmas, Ollie (Gossie & Friends)by Olivier Dunrea will be loved by your little one just as much as they will love the Sticky Wall Christmas Tree .

wise men craft

This Three Wise Men craft is even more meaningful when you read it with The Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith.

madeline's christmas

Madeline’s Christmas is set in Paris and while I don’t expect you to jump on a jet and take your kids there you can imagine with your won Eiffel Tower and other Landmark Blocks.

christmas ornaments

Count your way through Merry Christmas, Mouse! (If You Give…) by Laura Numeroff then make ( and count) these Letter Ornaments were a cinch to make and after many years they still look great.

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo is a touching book and it goes perfectly with this Angel Craft. 

santa craft

This Paper Plate Santa is just right, much like Santa Claus and the Three Bears by Maria Modugno .

littlest elf

Elves don’t live in the toy shop they need houses to live in and these Elf houses are easy to create after reading The Little Christmas Elf (Little Golden Book) by Nikki Shannon Smith.

Rudolf craft

Read The Night Before Christmas  by Clement C Moore and then create your own Handprint Reindeer , you don’t have to make Rudolf!

christmas lights craft

Mooseltoe by Marge Pallatini is a hilarious read that you can follow up with these Sponge Painted Christmas Lights.

xmasreadandplay5Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin is a cute book about giving and these cute kid made gift boxes are a great craft to complete after reading.

ornament craft Even David couldn’t break this unbreakable ornament craft which is why after you read It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon they are a perfect craft to make.

xmas read and play 23

SantaKid by James Patterson is a great read to dive into the North Pole and a great addition to any North Pole play using this DIY  playmat.

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Christmas Eve with Mrs. Claus by M.P. Hueston is a sweet book about sweets and the perfect companion for this easy candy cane craft .

tree craft

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston is a great book for older children and this Button and Nail Tree is craft that they can really get into as well.

french christmas sign

Read Babar and Father Christmas  by Jean De Brunhoff then create this NOEL banner for a French celebration!

xmasreadandplay1Last but not least read all about How Santa Got His Job in this book by Stephen Krensky and then let your kids test out the jobs for themselves with this  Workshop play idea.

 

What is your favorite Holiday read?

Paper Bag Gingerbread Men

shape paper bag ginger man craftMy daughter and I made these a while back but I forgot to post them. We’ve been learning all about shapes and in the same week that we made the Shape Wreaths my daughter and I made these simple paper bag gingerbread men with paper shapes .  I love using grocery bags and other recyclables for crafts because it’s cost effective and it teaches my kids to think creatively and to use items over and over before discarding them.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper or thin card board ( think grocery bags or cereal boxes) , a glue stick, shape punches , scissors, thin paper like the origami paper I used, googly eyes and a pencil.      paper bag gingerbread men craft for toddlers
  2. Start by drawing a gingerbread man or two and cutting them out.gingerbread men craft
  3. Punch or cut out some shapes.shape gingerbread men
  4. Add glue .gingerbread craft
  5. Add your shapes  and eyes to the gingerbread man. Even though I pre cut many shapes she wanted to cut out more herself. ginger craft for kidsWho can blame her those punches are fun! gingerbread craft for toddlers Talk about the shapes, about the textures of the items ( our colored paper was really silky vs the rough paper bag) , about the colors and body parts too. There is so much to learn in such a simple activity.ginger bread craft for kids and toddlers
  6. Don’t forget to add your googly eyes.  My daughter has started pushing out her bottom lip when she is concentrating on a task it makes me giggle and I am forever trying to capture it . Do you see it?shape ginger bread man

Gingerbread Books

ginger

The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup was an instant hit with my son but it was too long for my daughter who sat and listened but wasn’t engrossed in it. The story was all about pirate gingerbread men who come to life on Christmas Eve and faced Santa even though most of them were left for him to eat. There is adventure, there is humor and a whole lot of Christmas magic. What made this book for me were the illustrations by Matt Tavares. I loved that they were from the perspective of the gingerbread pirates . Love this book.

fairytale books

The Gingerbread Man (Easy-to-Read Folktales) by Karen Schmidt is just such a silly story . What I do like about this tale is that while it still packs the punch of one character eating another like many fairy tales it’s just a gingerbread man so when the fox eats him it doesn’t seem so bad really.  My son loved the repetition of the text and sang along with me as we read. It’s a good story to talk about taunting, and showing off. We also played gingerbread man tag later that day, but we skipped the whole cannibalism bit. { Since writing this review my daughter had made this one of her very favorite books }.

This post contains affiliate links

Alphabet Activity – Christmas Tree Alphabet

alphabet christmas tree alphabet for starters no time for flash cardsI thought I was done with Christmas crafts ( I have a few more ready to post)  but when I found these little checkers pieces I knew just what I wanted to do with them. It’s a fun, easy Alphabet For Starters activity but can be adapted for older kids as well. Alphabet for Starters is our series of fun and playful ideas for teaching children the alphabet. See the end of the post for ideas of how to play with this alphabet activity in a more structured way .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of construction paper ( any color and green) , glue, velcro dots, star sticker,  checkers pieces ( these are from the dollar store checkers games) , marker, scissors and possibly contact paper * see below for my explanation of why.alphabet christmas tree craft for toddlers
  2. Start by cutting your green paper into a Christmas tree. alphabet letter tree activity
  3. Glue to the other paper , add the star and add velcro dots. ** If you are making this for a class or for kids that might be anything but really careful I would laminate or cover with contact paper before adding the dots so that the velcro doesn’t simple rip the paper when it’s pulled.  I made sure my kids only gently placed the letters and prayed it didn’t rip. I was lucky. alphabet christmas  letter activity
  4. Write the alphabet on the checkers pieces. alphabet craft
  5. Add the other half of the velcro dots on the checkers pieces.
  6. Let all the velcro set for at least 30 minutes. We practiced cutting alphabet christmas tree craft cuttingand did puzzles while we waited.  alphabet christmas tree craft puzzle
  7. Add some garland and lights ( aka some silver sharpie) . alphabet letter tree craft for kids
  8. Add the letters! alphabet christmas tree letter recognitionMost children will narrate as they go especially if they are used to you labeling letters for them. My daughter searched for letters in her own name and those of her family. alphabet christmas tree letter activity for kids26 letters are a lot of r a 2 year old so I asked her to choose some to give to mommy to add. Of course she grabbed some labeling each before handing them to me. Then finished it herself.alphabet xmas tree
  9. Later that afternoon when we showed her brother what we did while he was at school he took each off and added them in alphabetical order . He can also spell words with it and my favorite is to fill in the blanks. alphabet christmas tree craft for kids