Did you know?  Check our Rare Books Page

Top 10 Children's Books for the Holiday Season

By Katie Behrens. Dec 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Christmas Books

Whether you’re eight years old or eighty, there’s something magical about receiving a children’s book as a holiday gift. Whether it's a story you knew and loved as a child, or one you're passing on to a new generation, children's books stir old memories and create new. You open up the wrapping paper to find a beautiful story that transports you to a different place and time.  It is also a meaningful experience for the gift giver, wanting to pass along a character or story that they loved as a child. And for those merely ‘young at heart’, what a joy to receive a rare copy of a book that you haven’t seen in years!

Collectible children’s literature is a fantastic gift idea for book lovers of all ages. Here are ten of our favorite children's books for the holidays:

Eloise Christmastime

Eloise at Christmastime

Eloise, the six-year-old girl who lives in the penthouse at the top of the Plaza Hotel in New York City turns the place upside down during Christmastime. Be charmed by Kay Thompson's inimitable heroine, laugh at her antics and spunk. "Here she is at Christmastime/ Complete with tinsel and holly/ Singing fa la la la lolly."

See more.

The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

Clement C. Moore’s famous Christmas poem is a staple in any holiday book collection, and many illustrators have created their own interpretations, from miniature books to pop ups. Browse our varied collection of this Christmas classic.

See more. 


Fairies Christmas, Van Sandwyk

The Fairies' Christmas

This lovely book is a beauty to behold.  Charles van Sandwyk creates new books in the style of 19th century illustration, inspired by the tales of Tolkien and the art of Arthur Rackham. This story will bring you back in time as a boy and his grandfather encounter a gathering of fairies at Christmastime. "When I was a boy, it was a long, long time ago. I lived with my grandfather who was a very old man, but in our hearts we were exactly the same age. Life was more simple."

See more.


Santa Calls

William Joyce wrote Santa Calls in 1993 and the book was given the Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text. Joyce's protagonist, Art Atchinson Aimesworth (described as a "whiz kid"), journeys to the North Pole with his sister and friend at the request of Santa himself. Art wonders why Santa called him North, but he must set aside his wonderings to deal with the issues that come up on their journey.

See more.

 Twain: Letter from Santa Claus

A Letter from Santa Claus

Written by Mark Twain to his daughter Susie in 1877, this 1990 printing with red velvet boards and handset letterpress type is certainly a keepsake and the perfect size for little hands.

See more.

 Knight: Nutshell Library

The Christmas Nutshell Library

Our classic Christmas tales from Hilary Knight housed together in a charming slipcase. Now out of print, these tiny books will enchant young readers and delight those who grew up with them.

See more.

 Polar Express

The Polar Express

Winner of the 1986 Caldecott Medal, Chris Van Allsburg's story of the adventurous magical train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve has become a classic read for the holiday season with an unforgettable last sentence: "Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe."

See more.

 Knight: Firefly in Fir Tree

A Firefly in a Fir Tree

Hilary Knight found mice in his studio and began imagining an outdoor home for them for Christmas. "Sing out the old! Sing in the new! May all your Christmas dreams come true." This 2004 reprint of the original is revitalized for new readers and signed by the author.

See more.


The Nutcracker

Another classic Christmas children’s story, this time illustrated by the late Maurice Sendak. The gift of this book paired with a production of The Nutcracker ballet or a viewing of the newly released film would be an incredible experience for any child.

See more.

 Angela Baby Jesus

Angela and the Baby Jesus

Frank McCourt's first Christmas book, set in 1910s Ireland, is the story of six year old Angela (of Angela's Ashes) who takes pity on the naked baby Jesus in the church’s nativity display and takes him home to be warm.  The parishioners are less than pleased to discover his disappearance.

See more.

Browse Children's Books

Katie Behrens
Avid consumer of books, media, and general nerdery. Ready to dig deep into a story and match the right books with the right readers.


comments powered by Disqus


  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.

About this blog

How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

Get blog notifications per email:

Download the James Bond Dossier

Recent Posts

Book Glossary
Get your free Guide to Book Care

Blog Archive

> see older posts
A Guide to Historic Libraries Part I