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Beautifully Illustrated Holiday Books

Did you see my Holiday Books for Babies and Toddlers list? I really like the idea of a holiday book advent calendar where you read a different holiday book at bedtime on the nights leading up to Christmas! My babies are still a bit too young for most of the holiday books that aren’t board books, but I still wanted to share the Beautifully Illustrated Holiday Books I found while making my list of holiday books to purchase in the future.


Some of the these books are traditional Christmas holiday books, but I’ve also decided to celebrate Winter Solstice or Yule this year. My husband keeps teasing me that it’s a “pagan” holiday, and he’s right, it is, but a lot of Christmas traditions come from Yule celebrations and it’s less corporate/capitalistic and more about celebrating nature and the earth, so I’ve included some books that touch on those themes such as Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter, The Wish Tree, and Over and Under the Snow .

And I know the The Cookie Advent Cookbook isn’t really a “holiday book,” but the cover is gorgeous and I think it would be fun to make a different cookie recipe everyday.


Pick a Pine Tree // This book is gorgeous! I’ve already purchased it hoping I might be able to safely flip through the pages this year without the twins tearing it up, but I’m really looking forward to reading it to the babies next year! It’s about the tradition of picking out and decorating the Christmas tree.

Nutcracker Popup // There is no way I would get the twins a pop up book just yet, but I can’t wait to get this one in a few years.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street // The artwork in this book is absolutely gorgeous! It also contains twins and while the story isn’t a traditional Christmas story (landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home), it takes place during Christmas-time.

The Little Reindeer // This cute little book is about the unlikely friendship between a little girl and a lost reindeer.

Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico // Now, I would recommend getting a vintage version of this book on eBay. The new prints of this book use the same artwork, but it just isn’t as pretty. The story is of a little Mexican girl’s excitement at the approach of Christmas as she eagerly awaits Las Posadas, the traditional nine-day series of yuletide celebrations.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman // Mrs. Goldman is a knitter, and she uses her talents to show love and affection for everyone in her neighborhood by making them all hats. Sophia receives her first hat from Mrs. Goldman when she is a tiny baby, and she grows up to spend time helping Mrs. Goldman add the finishing touches to her knitted hats by making pom-poms. During a cold prewinter walk, Sophia notices that Mrs. Goldman’s head is bare because she spends all of her time knitting for others. Sophia makes it her mitzvah (good deed, as Mrs. Goldman taught her) to use her limited knitting skills to make Mrs. Goldman a hat. Sophia works hard but finds that her finished product has a few holes in it. Feeling discouraged for a moment, the child remembers Mrs. Goldman’s praise of her pom-poms, and she adds red pom-poms to any areas that are bare; Mrs. Goldman is delighted.

Over and Under the Snow // This is one of my Winter Solstice themed books! It takes readers on a cross country ski trip through the winter woods to discover the secret world of animals living under the snow.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter // Another book more about winter than about the holidays. Join a brother and sister as they explore nature and take a stroll through their twinkling town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with everything from the setting sun to curious deer, they say goodbye to autumn and welcome the glorious first snow of winter.

The Wish Tree // Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don’t believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.

A Year Full of Stories // This treasury of 52 stories collects together a rich resource of myths, fairy tales and legends from around the world, with a story for every week of the year. The book is broken into 12 chapters, for each of the 12 months of the year, and throughout, stories are matched to internationally celebrated dates, including Valentines Day and the International Day of Friendship, as well as seasonal events and festivals.

The Cookie Advent Cookbook // Like I said, I know the The Cookie Advent Cookbook isn’t really a “holiday book,” but the cover is gorgeous and I think it would be fun to make a different cookie recipe everyday.

Last Stop on the Reindeer Express // Sorry, I forgot to include this one in my collage, but it is a gorgeous book! Christmas is coming but Mia has no time to send the card she made to Grandpa, who lives far away. But when she stumbles across a magical mailbox, Mia finds herself inside the Reindeer Express and is whisked away on an exciting voyage over many exotic lands, reaching Grandpa just in time.

Roger Duvoisin’s The Night Before Christmas // Again, not included in my collage, but all of Duvoisin’s books are beautifully illustrated and this The Night Before Christmas is no exception! It’s a really tall book, I saw it on the shelf at our local bookstore sideways because it didn’t fit vertically.

The Lost Christmas // Sorry, this book was not included in my collage, but it looks like it would be a lot of fun for a 2-4 year old, it’s a Seek-and-Find style book, kind of like a Where’s Waldo of Christmas. It’s time to decorate the tree for Christmas–but Grandad can’t find any of his ornaments! The hunt for the missing decorations takes the children up and down in Grandad’s bric-a-brac-filled house and out into a winter wonderland. And when every ornament is on the tree at last, Grandad has a wonderful holiday surprise in store.

Did you see my Holiday Books for Babies and Toddlers list? It has more traditional holiday books on it with Santa and reindeer themes. It also includes several board books for babies!

Still looking for some gift ideas? Be sure to check out my other gift guides:






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