Christmas gifts for kids: The best children’s books to give this Christmas

Are you looking for gift inspiration for the little ones in your life this festive season? Look no further. Here’s our pick of the best gift books which will make perfect Christmas presents for kids.

6 minutes to read

Are you looking for the perfect gifts for the young readers in your life? From lift-the-flap children’s Christmas stories for younger readers, to beautifully illustrated classics and interactive tales the whole family will enjoy, discover the books that children will love to find under the Christmas tree this year. ​

Christmas gift ideas for babies and toddlers

From lift-the-flap children’s Christmas stories to The Gruffalo gift sets, these books for babies and toddlers will make perfect Christmas gifts.

Dear Santa

by Rod Campbell

Book cover for 9781447261551

A festive treat with bright, bold illustrations from the creator of Dear Zoo. With Dear Santa, little hands can unwrap a present on each page by lifting the flaps to discover what Santa has sent. This children’s Christmas book is a festive classic.

The Christmas Bear

Book cover for 9781405053105

When Santa sets off in his sleigh to deliver his presents, poor Bear is left behind. This charming and very funny picture book by Ian Whybrow follows Bear on his travels as he tries to get to Tom’s house in time for Christmas morning. Beautifully illustrated by Axel Scheffler, with flaps to lift, wheels to turn and tabs to pull, this is a Christmas book full of fun for babies and toddlers.

The Gruffalo

Book cover for 9781509851867

The Gruffalo Book & Toy Gift Set is sure to light up any child's face on Christmas day, and give them their very own cuddly Gruffalo too. Add the My First Gruffalo: The Gruffalo Puppet Book to their collection this Christmas as well, and act out the story as you read it together.

Busy Nativity

by Emily Bolam

Book cover for 9781509828951

Join Mary and Joseph on their long journey to Bethlehem and see beautiful baby Jesus in his crib in this sturdy board book ideal for little hands. With gentle rhyming text and push, pull and slide tabs, toddlers will enjoy this story of the First Christmas.

Busy Reindeer

by Samantha Meredith

Book cover for 9781529004922

Children will have fun playing with the push and pull mechanisms in Busy Reindeer, which tells the story of Ruby Reindeer who flies through the sky helping Santa deliver presents. With its rhyming story and bright, colourful illustrations, Busy Reindeer makes the perfect Christmas Eve bedtime story for babies and toddlers.

The Snail and the Whale Festive Edition

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781529017205

The classic story of adventure and friendship from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is coming to BBC One this Christmas! This special new festive edition of The Snail and the Whale is a brilliant Christmas stocking filler for fans of the tale.

Tales From Acorn Wood Treasury

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509894772

This bumper collection of Tales of Acorn Wood stories, featuring Fox, Bear, Rabbit and other beloved characters will make an excellent gift for animal-loving toddlers this Christmas. With sturdy lift-the-flaps on every spread, plus Julia Donaldson’s trademark rhyming stories and Axel Scheffler’s bright illustrations, this treasury is bound to become a favourite in any home.

Find more inspiration for gift ideas with our list of the best baby books and best toddler books.

Christmas gift ideas for kids aged 3-5

Beautiful gift books, hilarious Christmas stories about angry Brussels sprouts and charming festive tales, these are books any child would be delighted to receive this Christmas.


by Sharon King-Chai

Book cover for 9781509899562

This stunning gift book shimmers with silver foil and stunning illustrations throughout. The original fable about freedom and love tells of the magical Starbird. Starbird’s song delights all that hear him, but when the Moon King traps him in a cage, the colour and life in his voice begins to fade away.


by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509801633

This illustrated exploration of the animal kingdom is also an interactive guessing game from Julia Donaldson, with stunning artwork by Sharon King-Chai. Do you know who can fly better than a pig or who is more wobbly than an iguana? This charming book deserves pride of place on every child’s bookshelf.

Christmas Comes to Moominvalley

Book cover for 9781529003628

This beautiful picture book will become a Christmas classic, and is the perfect gift for Moomin fans big and small. A stunningly illustrated retelling of Tove Jansson’s The Fir Tree, the Moomins wake up from their winter sleep to find that Christmas is coming  but the Moomins have no idea who, or what, Christmas is . . .

The Return of Sproutzilla

by Tom Jamieson

Book cover for 9781509894611

You thought having to eat them for Christmas dinner was terrible enough, but what could be worse than a mean, green sprout who hatches a dastardly plan to destroy Christmas! The fantastically funny sequel to Sproutzilla VS Christmas, this picture book will have the whole family laughing out loud this holiday season. These are brilliantly funny Christmas books for kids. 

Meerkat Christmas

by Emily Gravett

Book cover for 9781509857296

Join Sunny the Meerkat on his search for a white Christmas in this interactive and heartwarming festive story from the creator of Meerkat Mail. This tale of family and festive fun is full of Christmas cards to read as you follow Sunny’s journey from the Kalahari desert as he looks for his perfect Christmas.

I Am Perfectly Designed

by Karamo Brown

Book cover for 9781529036152

I am Perfectly Designed is the perfect story for families of all shapes and sizes to share this festive season. Embodying the kindness and love of its creator, Queer Eye star Karamo Brown, it’s an empowering story about loving who you are and a celebration of the bond between a parent and a child.

The Night Before Christmas in Wonderland

by Carys Bexington

Book cover for 9781509879885

This festive mashup of two classic children’s books begins with Santa, not Alice, falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Join the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and a few of Santa's reindeer for a tea party and find out if Santa can charm the Queen of Hearts (who hates Christmas, naturally) and put the Merry back into Christmas in Wonderland. If you’re looking for a fun Christmas tale with a twist, here it is!

The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child Gift Slipcase

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509802142

Take a trip into the deep dark wood this Christmas with the ultimate present for fans of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s modern classic. This limited edition gift set published to celebrate the book’s twentieth anniversary includes beautiful hardback editions of The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child. With special foil detailing and a limited edition slipcase to keep the books in, this is a Christmas gift for young Gruffalo fans to treasure.

Christmas gift ideas for kids aged 5-9

These books for children aged 5-9 are full of delightful Christmas stories, hilarious jokes and fascinating facts to keep them entertained through Christmas and beyond.

How Winston Delivered Christmas

by Alex T. Smith

Book cover for 9781509851522

Join little Winston the mouse as he embarks on his mission to deliver a last-minute letter to Santa that got lost along the way. It’s packed with colourful illustrations and a different Christmas activity idea in every chapter: we recommend reading it together on Christmas Eve while you’re getting ready for Santa to stop by.

Christmas With Princess Mirror-Belle

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509838929

In this chapter book for young readers, magically mischievous Mirror-Belle comes popping out of the mirror to sweep Ellen into two hilarious Christmassy escapades – from joining in with the Christmas ballet show to attending Ellen's friend's fancy-dress party and trying to catch Father Christmas!

The Real Family Christmas

by Sue Mongredien

Book cover for 9781529006933

A funny festive story collection for young readers, The Real Family Christmas will get everyone in the holiday spirit. Featuring three stories about the Christmas family and their hilarious escapades, it will have independent readers laughing out loud at these fun Christmas stories.

The Misadventures of Frederick

by Ben Manley

Book cover for 9781509851539

The Misadventures of Frederick is the story of a cautious little boy and his newfound fearless friend. A tale of friendship and celebrating differences told through letters: a joyful book for young readers packed with beautiful illustrations and heartwarming moments.

The Treehouse Joke Book

by Andy Griffiths

Book cover for 9781529030440

Give the gift that any Treehouse fan needs this Christmas – The Treehouse Joke Book! Kids will love telling their new jokes at every Christmas gathering and entertaining friends and family with silly one-liners. With topics ranging from bears to birds, penguins to pirates, school to space, you won’t find any of these jokes in your Christmas crackers.

The Curious Book of Lists

by Tracey Turner

Book cover for 9780753444870

An essential stocking filler for inquisitive young minds, The Curious Book of Lists is packed with eye-popping information on hundreds of topics – from the world’s fastest animals to history’s most fearless female warriors!

The Nutcracker Colouring Book

by Macmillan Adult's Books

Book cover for 9781509853601

This gorgeous colouring book is filled with detailed black line illustrations just waiting to be brought to life with colour. Based on E. T. A. Hoffmann's original short story 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King', there are captions that tell the story, and a festive cover decorated with red foil. The perfect Christmas gift for creative children and young ballet fans.

Find ideas to keep children of all ages entertained this holiday season with our list of the best indoor activities for kids.

Christmas gift ideas for kids ages 9 -12

From beautifully illustrated magical adventures to a festive collection of Christmas poems, these books for children aged 9-12 make perfect Christmas gifts.

Christmas Poems

Book cover for 9781447254638

This collection of classic and contemporary Christmas poems celebrates everything about the festive season, from snow and stockings to the Nativity story. Why not take it in turns to pick a poem to read as a poetry advent calendar of sorts in the run-up to the big day?

Shadows of Winterspell

by Amy Wilson

Book cover for 9781529018967

Deep in the forest, magic is waiting . . . If you’re looking for a gift idea for a child who loves magic and mystery, Shadows of Winterspell might be just the ticket. The story of a young girl dealing with the presence of dark ancient magic and set in the depths of winter, this children’s fantasy tale makes a great gift for independent readers.

Guardians of Magic

by Chris Riddell

Book cover for 9781447277972

A brand new magical quest story from the creator of Goth Girl, this illustrated hardback will make a special gift for young bookworms. Guardians of Magic is the first title in a brand new series from Chris Riddell, and this hardback edition also includes a full-colour guide to the giants who feature in the story.

Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year

by Allie Esiri

Book cover for 9781509890323

Weave a little bit of Shakespeare’s wisdom into every day with this beautiful hardback anthology of his works. With each day featuring a Shakespeare poem, extract or sonnet, chosen and introduced by Allie Esiri, this gift will give young readers an introduction to the wit and humour of the greatest writer in the English language.

The Lotterys More or Less

by Emma Donoghue

Book cover for 9781509803224

The story about a thoroughly modern family from bestselling author Emma Donoghue. In The Lotterys More or Less, nine-year-old Sumac is determined to make sure all of the family’s Christmas traditions are upheld. But from uninvited guests to weird weather and mysterious power cuts, it seems like everything is against the Lotterys having a ‘normal’ family Christmas.


Christmas gift ideas for kids aged 12+

These children’s books, from the YA book everyone’s talking about to a festive story collection from much-loved author Eva Ibbbotsen will be treasured by children aged 12+.

The Christmas Star

by Eva Ibbotson

Book cover for 9781447287346

A collection of three festive stories from Eva Ibbotson. In the first story – 'Vicky and the Christmas Angel' – a young Viennese girl discovers, to her horror, who really brings the children's presents at Christmas.

Wayward Son

by Rainbow Rowell

Book cover for 9781509896882

The sequel to her bestselling novel Carry On, in Wayward Son Rainbow Rowell returns to the world of Simon, Penny and Baz and asks, what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day? This new novel from the author of Fangirl will delight YA fans everywhere.

Poems to Fall in Love With

by Chris Riddell

Book cover for 9781529023237

A collectable anthology to be treasured, this collection of poems about love has been chosen and illustrated by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. With works from poets including Kate Tempest, E. E. Cummings, Carol Ann Duffy and more, it's a brilliant introduction to poetry for young readers.