The best fun and festive Christmas picture books

Who am I?

I write funny picture books. Since some of my best memories include reading to my kids while they were plopped in my lap, giggling at silly, fun picture books, I want to bring that same joy to families everywhere. I’m in awe of clever humor, and I’m especially fond of wordplay, puns, and jokes. Of all the holidays, Christmas is my favorite. The tree, the décor, and the traditions bring so much merriment. When my kids were young, reading Christmas books was a huge part of our holiday. Once Upon a Christmas gave me the chance to write a humorous, fun, and festive story that families can enjoy together.


I wrote...

Once Upon a Christmas

By Dawn Young, Kenneth Anderson (illustrator),

Book cover of Once Upon a Christmas

What is my book about?

Once Upon a Christmas, a zany picture book featuring Santa, Bigfoot, Little Red Riding Hood, unicorns, dragons, and more, brings familiar fairytale and mythical characters together and turns "Ho ho ho" into "Ha ha ha." 

The Three Bears’ Christmas Eve party is filled with traditions and festivities, but it gets off to a rocky start when Bigfoot won't stop photobombing, the dragon burns the fruitcake, and Jack Frost inadvertently triggers the storm of the century–knocking Santa's sleigh straight into a lake! A soaked St. Nick finds eager helpers in the partygoers, but will the team be able to rescue the sleigh in time to get Santa on his merry way? Find out in this fun and festive holiday tale the whole family will enjoy.

The books I picked & why

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Santa Bruce

By Ryan T. Higgins,

Book cover of Santa Bruce

Why this book?

The whole Mother Bruce series is hilarious, especially Santa Bruce. I love the juxtaposition of Bruce’s grumpy attitude and the other characters’ enthusiasm. The characters’ facial expressions and body language are priceless. The animals get so excited when they see Bruce in his red suit, and they act just like kids do when they see Santa at the mall. Higgins even throws in some humor for the adult readers—in the ask of each of the animals—and near the end Bruce looks as exasperated as a parent trying to keep up with their holiday to-do list. To me this book has everything: great illustrations, an adorable cast of characters, and loads of humor. Higgins has captured the energy and excitement of the holidays perfectly.

Santa Bruce

By Ryan T. Higgins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Santa Bruce as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bruce is a lot of things. He is a bear. He is a grump. He is a pretty decent cook. And he is a mother. One thing Bruce is not? Santa Claus. But that doesn't stop the whole forest from lining up to give him their Christmas wishes when he becomes the victim of mistaken identity—again. Kids will howl with laughter as award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins delivers another hilarious story about this bear who just can't catch a break.


Turkey Claus

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Book cover of Turkey Claus

Why this book?

Turkey Claus is part of the Turkey Trouble series and my favorite of the set. Turkey’s attempts to disguise himself in order to see Santa are clever and fun, and his facial expressions are animated and spot on. Turkey’s Mrs. Claus costume is the best, and the earrings are a hoot! I love clever wordplay, and Turkey Claus is filled with some of the best – “Ho Ho Hold it” “Wait a merry minute!” and “Snow way!” Santa’s Village, the trees, and décor add to the Christmas spirit, and the humor makes it fun to read. 

And spoiler alert – count me in for pizza on Christmas!

Turkey Claus

By Wendi Silvano, Lee Harper (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Turkey Claus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Turkey is in trouble. Again. He made it through Thanksgiving without becoming a turkey dinner, but now it's almost Christmas, and guess what's on the menu? Turkey decides the only thing to do is to ask Santa for help. He sets off for the North Pole, but getting in to see Santa at Christmastime isn't as easy as Turkey expected. It's going to take all his ideas-and his clever disguises-to find a way into Santa's house. After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise, and Santa has the perfect solution!

In this holiday treat, a companion to…


Santa Duck

By David Milgrim,

Book cover of Santa Duck

Why this book?

This book pulled me in right from the start. When duck knows that he needs to tell Santa what he wants or else it’ll be another year of socks and underwear, we get it because we all know that no one wants socks and underwear for Christmas. Duck’s little tune, “Jingle Quack, Jingle Quack” is so cute and fitting. After Duck is mistaken for Santa, the requests pour in, and they are over-the-top funny and reminiscent of any kid’s Christmas list. I find myself reading them over and over again, smiling every time. In the end, I love that I’m left believing Duck was set up to be Santa’s helper after all.  

Santa Duck

By David Milgrim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Santa Duck as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nicholas Duck loves Christmas, and he is happy to try on the new Santa hat that's mysteriously delivered to his house. But when his friends see him and immediately launch into their Christmas lists, he doesn't know what to do . . . until he runs into Santa himself.


Construction Site on Christmas Night

By Sherri Duskey Rinker, AG Ford (illustrator),

Book cover of Construction Site on Christmas Night

Why this book?

Construction Site on Christmas Night is part of the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series and my favorite of the set. The cover, with its snowy and festive scene, immediately sparks the Christmas spirit. The illustrations continue to keep the Christmas spirit alive throughout, from red-rimmed tires and candy cane drums to ornament-like wrecking balls and a red and white fire crew. I love rhyming picture books, and this one does not disappoint. The clever couplets and smooth rhythm make it a joy to read. What’s especially great about this book is how after all the fun and surprises, the story ends on a tender note. This book is both fun and sentimental.

Construction Site on Christmas Night

By Sherri Duskey Rinker, AG Ford (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Construction Site on Christmas Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series. More than two million copies have sold across the series!

Created for lovers of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, as well as fans of Sherri Duskey Rinker's storytelling and AG Ford's art, this beautiful holiday picture book shows Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck and Cement Mixer building a new home for fire engines. As they finish their big, important job, they get their own Christmas surprises. Your kids will have fun discovering the special surprise awaiting each vehicle as much as they will love rhyming along…


Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!

By Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin (illustrator),

Book cover of Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!

Why this book?

This book is part of the Click, Clack series and just humorous as the others. The snow and lights and Duck in a Santa hat on the cover create a festive winter scene, full of Christmas spirit. The text is sparse and easy to read. The story also has a bit of rhyme in it which is always a favorite for me. The rhyme makes the story energetic at just the right time. The repetition of “Ho! Ho! Uh-oh!” and “unstuck duck” are fun to read. The accumulation of animals adds craziness and chaos which further heightens the humor. The ending is perfect with everyone joyfully gathered around the tree. 

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!

By Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Santa comes to the barnyard in this holiday addition to the award-winning Click, Clack series from the New York Times bestselling and Caldecott winning team who brought you Click, Clack, Moo and Click, Clack, Peep!

It's the night before Christmas and all through the farm, not a creature is stirring, not even a...duck?

Farmer Brown is busy decorating his home in preparation for Santa's arrival on Christmas Eve! All seems calm in the barnyard, but Farmer Brown isn't the only one who is getting ready...

Ho

Ho

OH NO!

Once again, Duck has gotten the whole barnyard STUCK in quite…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Christmas, Santa Claus, and bears?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Christmas, Santa Claus, and bears.

Christmas Explore 161 books about Christmas
Santa Claus Explore 19 books about Santa Claus
Bears Explore 52 books about bears

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Letters from Father Christmas, Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Polar Express if you like this list.