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 children’s Christmas books and gift books for kids.

26/11/2020
8 minutes to read

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

Looking for more Christmas gifting ideas?  Don't miss our Christmas gift guide for book lovers. 

If you're looking for something to keep the little ones busy while you wrap presents, don't miss our Christmas activities for kids.

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.

The Snail and the Whale: A Push, Pull and Slide Book

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781529040753

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

The perfect introduction to The Snail and the Whale, little hands will love the push, pull and slide mechanisms which bring this classic story to life. This is a great Christmas gift for fans of the original story. 

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.

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.

Tales from Acorn Wood Treasury

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509894772

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

This bumper collection of Tales from Acorn Wood stories, featuring Fox, Bear, Rabbit, Pig and other beloved characters will make an excellent gift for animal-loving toddlers this Christmas. With sturdy flaps to lift 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.

The Christmas Bear

by Ian Whybrow

Book cover for 9781509806966

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

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,  this is a Christmas book full of fun.

Merry Christmas, Gus

by Chris Chatterton

Book cover for 9781509854370

This hilarious Christmas book for kids stars the wonderfully grumpy Gus. Gus doesn’t like carols, or cake, or Christmas jumpers. And he certainly doesn't like mistletoe. To Gus, a tree is only good for one thing, and it's not for hanging baubles on. Will Gus ever learn to love the festive season? 

Counting Creatures

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781529040517

Illustrated by Sharon King-Chai

This stunning picture book is a fun, interactive counting book with peep-through pages, fold-out flaps and bright, beautiful artwork. Little ones will love comparing the creatures, exploring their habitats and learning the proper names for all the baby animals.

Sugarlump and the Unicorn and The Singing Mermaid Board Book Slipcase

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781529043952

Illustrated by Lydia Monks 

This gorgeous slipcase contains two of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’s best-loved stories – the perfect Christmas gift for little mermaid and unicorn fans. 

The Gruffalo

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509804757

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s original story of a brave little mouse and a scary monster has been read and loved by millions of children all over the world. A must-have on any child’s bookshelf, this paperback edition of the classic story has a beautifully redesigned new cover.

The Gruffalo Carousel Book

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781529023640

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

This amazing pop-up carousel book is the perfect Christmas gift for fans of The Gruffalo. Press out the play pieces and join in the fun with the three pop-up play scenes. Little ones can discover Fox’s underground house, Owl’s treetop and Snake’s logpile – but can you spot the Gruffalo hiding in the woods? 

Starbird

by Sharon King-Chai

Book cover for 9781509899579

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.

The Snail and the Whale Festive Edition

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781529017205

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

The classic story of adventure and friendship from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler has been brought to life on BBC One in an animation starring Sally Hawkins, Rob Brydon, Cariad Lloyd and Dame Diana Rigg. This special festive edition of The Snail and the Whale is a brilliant Christmas stocking filler for fans of the tale.

Animalphabet

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509801640

Illustrated by Sharon King-Chai

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

by Alex Haridi

Book cover for 9781529003635

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

Illustrated by Mike Byrne

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 9781509857302

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 9781529036145

Illustrated by Anoosha Syed

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 9781509882212

Illustrated by Kate Hindley

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

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Take a trip into the deep dark wood this Christmas with the ultimate present for fans of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s modern classics. This limited edition gift set published to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of The Gruffalo 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.

How Winston Delivered Christmas

by Alex T. Smith

Book cover for 9781529010862

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.

Get crafty this Christmas with Winston's festive activities for kids.

Don't miss our edit of the best picture books for more Christmas gift inspiration. 

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.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

by

Book cover for 9781529043372

The Twelve Days of Christmas: Or Grandma is Overly Generous is a witty new take on the festive classic The Twelve Days of Christmas, accompanied by beautiful full-colour illustrations. In this gorgeous gift book Grandma's presents start off sensibly – a partridge is easy enough to take care of – but her generosity soon gets wildly out of hand . . .

Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll

Book cover for 9781529002461

This beautiful edition presents Costa Award and Kate Greenaway Medal winner Chris Riddell's gorgeous new visual interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic story. Featuring a foiled jacket, head and tail bands and a ribbon marker, and with lavish colour illustrations throughout, this gorgeous hardback will be treasured for years to come. This is an Alice in Wonderland book every Alice fan should have on their bookshelves.

Wild City

by Ben Hoare

Book cover for 9780753446102

Illustrated by Lucy Rose

Little readers can travel the globe and meet the creatures that share our urban spaces in this beautifully illustrated gift book. With lyrical and factual text written by award-winning natural history journalist Ben Hoare and stunning illustrations by Lucy Rose, budding natural historians will be enthralled. 

Santa gets A Second Job

by Michele D'Ignazio

Book cover for 9781529051520

Illustrated by Sergio Olivotti

This hilarious and heartwarming Christmas book for kids aged six to eight sees Santa find the perfect second job – as a bin man! Santa finds plenty of gifts hidden amongst the rubbish, and soon he’s back on his sleigh delivering recycled gifts. 

Christmas With Princess Mirror-Belle

by Julia Donaldson

Book cover for 9781509838929

Illustrated by Lydia Monks 

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
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Illustrated by Kate Pankhurst

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.

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The Misadventures of Frederick

by Ben Manley

Book cover for 9781509851546

Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

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

Illustrated by Terry Denton

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

Illustrated by Caroline Selmes

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!

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

Find more gifting inspiration with the best books for five and six-year-olds

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.

A Poem for Every Winter Day

by Allie Esiri

Book cover for 9781529045253

This beautiful collection is full of verses that will transport you to sparkling winter scenes, with poems for Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. The poems are selected from Allie Esiri’s bestselling poetry anthologies A Poem for Every Day of the Year and A Poem for Every Night of the Year, including poems by  Mary Oliver, Edgar Allan Poe, Thomas Hardy, E. E. Cummings, Robert Burns, Joseph Coelho, George the Poet, Benjamin Zephaniah and Jackie Kay. 

Owl and the Lost Boy

by Amy Wilson

Book cover for 9781529037845

This sparkling seasonal fantasy is perfect for reading by the light of the Christmas tree. Owl is fed up of being stuck in a perpetual summer – it’s not fun when you’re the daughter of Jack Frost. So she embarks on an adventure deep into the world of time itself to find her friend Alberic, the Earl of Autumn’s son, and end the eternal summer. 

Christmas Poems

by Gaby Morgan

Book cover for 9781529024395

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

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
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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.

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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
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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.

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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+.

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community

by

Book cover for 9781529041446

Channel Kindness is a collection of fifty-one stories of kindness, bravery, and resilience from young people all over the world collected by the Born This Way Foundation and introduced by Lady Gaga.

Poems to Save the World With

by Chris Riddell

Book cover for 9781529040111

This charming anthology is full of poems to ignite your inner activist and provide comfort and inspiration, all chosen and illustrated by Chris Riddell.

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
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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.

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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.