The best Santa books

4 authors have picked their favorite books about Santa Claus and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Ok. L. Frank Baum. The dude who wrote The Wizard of Oz? Also happened to write this really cool book about Santa Claus. It’s a great one to sit and read at bedtime with the kiddos. It’s Baum’s creative mind spilled across the pages as he reimagines the origins of many of the traditions we celebrate today. Great children’s literature!

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

By L. Frank Baum,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written by the fascinating author of The Wizard of Oz, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus tells the captivating story of Claus, a child found and raised in the magical Forest of Burzee by a wood-nymph. Among the imortals, Claus grows an innocent youth, until the day when he discovers the misery that rules the human world and hovers, like a shadow, above the heads of the children. Now, in the attempt of easing human suffering, he, with the help of his imortal friends, will have to face the forces of evil and of resignation, in order to bring…


Who am I?

I was such a die-hard fan of Santa Claus as a kid, my mom had to debunk the myth two years in a row! Because, yeah, I heard you, but surely that was a bad attempt at humor last year. I won’t lie. It was traumatic. I wrote this book as a way to ease kids into the knowledge without anyone in the family feeling bad about it. It puts a great positive spin on this childhood rite of passage and empowers kids to get the info when they’re ready for it.


I wrote...

The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

By D.W. Boorn,

Book cover of The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

What is my book about?

Ok, if you too have fallen into the parental Santa Claus trap, how DO you come clean with your kid when questions start? This book will A) Save you B) have you smelling like a rose and C) save the legend for younger siblings that still believe. Sheesh! That’s a tall order but multiple awards later and it is a must-have for every parent’s library. Share with the sprouts when the time is right.

The True Story of Santa Claus

By Janet Giovanelli,

Book cover of The True Story of Santa Claus: The History, the Traditions, the Magic

This is a beautiful book that delves into the origins of the Big Guy but also chronicles the contemporary images to which kids have been exposed. It’s filled with short magazine-like articles about pretty much anything you can think of that’s Santa related. Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer? Miracle on 34th street? How about Santa’s favorite cookie recipe? All there and SO much more! Clear a prime spot on the coffee table and wipe those fingers before you turn the page.

The True Story of Santa Claus

By Janet Giovanelli,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

He's a symbol of hope and hapiness, of generosity and benevolence. Santa Clause is simply one of the most beloved legends ever embraced. The Story of Santa explores the history of Father Christmas. Who is he, really? Where did he come from? (His origins may surprise you!) Why does he fulfill our wishes? And what can we learn from him? 

He's become a ubiquitous figure during the Christmas season with his white beard, red suit, and prominent belly, but just how much do those celebrating the happy holiday really know about Santa Claus? Here is the whole story from the…


Who am I?

I was such a die-hard fan of Santa Claus as a kid, my mom had to debunk the myth two years in a row! Because, yeah, I heard you, but surely that was a bad attempt at humor last year. I won’t lie. It was traumatic. I wrote this book as a way to ease kids into the knowledge without anyone in the family feeling bad about it. It puts a great positive spin on this childhood rite of passage and empowers kids to get the info when they’re ready for it.


I wrote...

The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

By D.W. Boorn,

Book cover of The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

What is my book about?

Ok, if you too have fallen into the parental Santa Claus trap, how DO you come clean with your kid when questions start? This book will A) Save you B) have you smelling like a rose and C) save the legend for younger siblings that still believe. Sheesh! That’s a tall order but multiple awards later and it is a must-have for every parent’s library. Share with the sprouts when the time is right.

Book cover of Letters from Father Christmas

Yes, that J.R.R. Tolkien. Each year he took a break from Middle-earth to write and illustrate incredible letters from Father Christmas to his and Edith’s four children, John, Michael, Christopher, and Priscilla. Being Tolkien, he created an entire polar world and history in the letters, which feature elves, goblins—who launch a major attack one year—and Father Christmas’s great assistant and companion, North Polar Bear. Here is a high Yuletide adventure from the fantasy Master, himself. And somehow reading it makes you feel more creative yourself.

Letters from Father Christmas

By J.R.R. Tolkien,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Letters from Father Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This beautiful, deluxe slipcased edition of Tolkien's famous illustrated letters from Father Christmas to his children includes for the first time every available letter, picture and envelope that he sent them, reproduced in glorious colour. The perfect Christmas gift for Tolkien lovers of all ages.

This classic festive book of Tolkien's amazing Father Christmas letters written to his children between the 1920s and the 1940s has been reworked into a sumptuous, new deluxe edition. It contains brand new high-quality digital reproductions of his wonderful letters and pictures, including a number of them that have never been printed before, a revised…


Who am I?

When our two boys hit their difficult years around age seven or eight and the other kids at school were starting to doubt Santa Claus, they began to ask questions about how he operated. Luckily I had answers, which became, eventually, The Christmas Chronicles. Now that I was outed as a Santa supporter, I started doing Christmas readings here and there, including every year on a radio holiday show for Access Utah, a PBS affiliate. That’s given me the delightful task of seeking out all kinds of Yuletide literature. These are a few of my favorites. 


I wrote...

The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus

By Tim Slover,

Book cover of The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus

What is my book about?

In this new holiday classic, Tim Slover crafts a marvelous, magical novel about how Santa Claus became the man he is today. After reading The Christmas Chronicles, you’ll believe all over again in the magic of the season.
 
Snow is falling, and the clock ticks toward midnight on Christmas Eve while countless children, too excited to sleep, anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus. But in Tim Slover’s deeply charming and utterly thrilling new novel, that’s the end rather than the beginning of the story. In this richly imagined tale of Santa’s origins, the man in full finally emerges. The Christmas Chronicles is at once an action-packed adventure, an inspiring story of commitment and faith, and a moving love story.

Santa Claus Worldwide

By Tom A. Jerman,

Book cover of Santa Claus Worldwide: A History of St. Nicholas and Other Holiday Gift-Bringers

If you’re into investigating the origins and mythos of Santa from other cultures, this is the book to find. It is a well-researched look at the international history of the legend from the pagan god Odin to the present day Father Christmas, Weihnachmann, Père Noël, Ded Moroz, and Santa Claus. While not for young children it is a great and thorough historical study of the evolution of the various legends through time. A must for history buffs with great illustrations and documentation.

Santa Claus Worldwide

By Tom A. Jerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a comprehensive history of the world's midwinter gift-givers, showcasing the extreme diversity in their depictions as well as the many traits and functions these characters share. It tracks the evolution of these figures from the tribal priests who presided over winter solstice celebrations thousands of years before the birth of Christ, to Christian notables like St. Martin and St. Nicholas, to a variety of secular figures who emerged throughout Europe following the Protestant Reformation. Finally, it explains how the popularity of a poem about a "miniature sleigh" and "eight tiny reindeer" helped consolidate the diverse European gift-givers into…


Who am I?

I was such a die-hard fan of Santa Claus as a kid, my mom had to debunk the myth two years in a row! Because, yeah, I heard you, but surely that was a bad attempt at humor last year. I won’t lie. It was traumatic. I wrote this book as a way to ease kids into the knowledge without anyone in the family feeling bad about it. It puts a great positive spin on this childhood rite of passage and empowers kids to get the info when they’re ready for it.


I wrote...

The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

By D.W. Boorn,

Book cover of The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

What is my book about?

Ok, if you too have fallen into the parental Santa Claus trap, how DO you come clean with your kid when questions start? This book will A) Save you B) have you smelling like a rose and C) save the legend for younger siblings that still believe. Sheesh! That’s a tall order but multiple awards later and it is a must-have for every parent’s library. Share with the sprouts when the time is right.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

By Clement C. Moore, Charles Santore (illustrator),

Book cover of Twas the Night Before Christmas

This is the whole fantasy…Santa Claus in action. The man, The myth, The Big Guy, doing what he does. Every kid should be read this book at least once on Christmas Eve before being shooed off to bed. And this is a gorgeous edition. Beautiful illustrations throughout capture the imaginations of young and old.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

By Clement C. Moore, Charles Santore (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Twas the Night Before Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since it was first published anonymously in 1823, the poem "The Night Before Christmas" has enchanted children with the story of St. Nicholas climbing down the chimney and filling all the stockings before springing back to his sleigh. Many families read the poem every year, and now they have an edition to treasure. The poem, faithfully reproduced here, is accompanied by Charles Santore's lavish illustrations.


Who am I?

I was such a die-hard fan of Santa Claus as a kid, my mom had to debunk the myth two years in a row! Because, yeah, I heard you, but surely that was a bad attempt at humor last year. I won’t lie. It was traumatic. I wrote this book as a way to ease kids into the knowledge without anyone in the family feeling bad about it. It puts a great positive spin on this childhood rite of passage and empowers kids to get the info when they’re ready for it.


I wrote...

The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

By D.W. Boorn,

Book cover of The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

What is my book about?

Ok, if you too have fallen into the parental Santa Claus trap, how DO you come clean with your kid when questions start? This book will A) Save you B) have you smelling like a rose and C) save the legend for younger siblings that still believe. Sheesh! That’s a tall order but multiple awards later and it is a must-have for every parent’s library. Share with the sprouts when the time is right.

I'm Not Santa!

By Jonathan Allen,

Book cover of I'm Not Santa!

One of my favorite picture books ever of all time, I’m Not Santa features an exceptionally cute owlet. He’s the same guy from I’m Not Cute (but he is!!) except this time he’s out in the snow at Christmas time, wearing a red cap and pulling a sled. So, of course, when Baby Owl runs into Baby Hare, the little hare sees the red cap, mistakes the sled for a sleigh, and cries, “Santa! It’s you!” Baby Owl insists, “I’m not Santa! I’m an owl!” Baby Hare refuses to believe it and starts to cry. Soon they’re both crying, until the real  Santa shows up to talk some sense into these two. Sweet and totally hysterical! 

I'm Not Santa!

By Jonathan Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I'm Not Santa! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Baby Owl is back in this follow-up to the highly successful I'm Not Cute!and I'm Not Scared! Baby Owl is taking a Christmas Eve stroll though the woods with his sledge, when Baby Hare mistakes him for Santa. "I'm not Santa!" Baby Owl insists, and a comic Christmas tale unfolds. 'Absolutely hilarious' - Kirkus 'Made me laugh out loud ...a delight' - The Observer


Who am I?

I’ve worked with kids in preschools and elementary schools, (plus I’m a mom!) and to me, nothing is better than hearing kids laugh. I also just adore picture books and treasure my personal library, with its focus on (you guessed it!) humor. Sassy cats, bears who want to have kids for pets, chickens who interrupt, alphabets overrun by frustrated Zebras, picture books bravely go where other books might only tiptoe in a cowardly fashion—into the world of wild imagination and anthropomorphized everything. With amazing artwork!! Let’s be honest, I’ll choose funny picture books over War and Peace every time.


I wrote...

Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork

By Constance Lombardo, Dan Abdo (illustrator), Jason Patterson (illustrator)

Book cover of Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork

What is my book about?

Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork is a tale of the epic battle between two spirited utensils who vie to be the MVP of baby-feeding (and get some help from big-hearted, ear-chewed Bubby Wabbit and a very frantic Clock along the way.) Comic-book style illustrations by the amazing creative duo Dan & Jason make this book extra-super hysterical. A perfect choice for new parents, babies, children with siblings, kids who love comics, or anyone who wants to relive the fun of feeding baby! It’s also a great story for teachers and caregivers who want to encourage teamwork and impart the joys of shared goals. 

Polar Express

By Chris Van Allsburg,

Book cover of Polar Express

It’s the cover from the movie that I love the most, which my daughter has watched to death. My son’s just getting into reading, so he’ll be getting this to open on the big day. The train in the snow screams Christmas to me. Shame when he wanted a Nintendo Switch.

Polar Express

By Chris Van Allsburg,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Polar Express as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover The Polar Express, a true Christmas classic.
"Magical" Guardian
"Evocative and atmospheric" Sunday Times
"A thrilling tale" Independent
All aboard the Polar Express to the North Pole! Follow one boy's journey to receive a very special gift from Santa himself: a bell that only true believers in Father Christmas can hear ring. Discover the beloved Christmas classic that inspired the blockbuster family favourite movie starring Tom Hanks.


Who am I?

I’ve always loved Christmas books. As I’ve gotten older, part of the attraction around Christmas is the nostalgia. Recalling the excitement as a child, the anticipation, but also the people who are no longer with us. When I started out writing, I only ever envisaged doing one book, but a little bit of success snowballed. When I was looking for ideas, I noticed my last Barton book would be released just before Christmas, and The Santa Killer was born. I wanted to write a book like Christie’s where there was the emotions around murder and crime, but also the drama of Christmas. Hopefully it’s sad, exciting, and thrilling but also poignant.


I wrote...

The Santa Killer

By Ross Greenwood,

Book cover of The Santa Killer

What is my book about?

The Santa Killer is coming to town.... One night less than two weeks before Christmas, a single mother is violently assaulted. It’s a brutal crime at the time of year when there should be goodwill to all. When DI Barton begins his investigation, he’s surprised to find the victim is a woman with nothing to hide and no reason for anyone to hurt her.

A few days later, the mother of the woman attacked rings the police station. Her granddaughter has drawn a shocking picture. It seems she was looking out of the window when her mother was attacked. And when her grandmother asks the young girl who the person with the weapon is, she whispers two words. Bad Santa.

Santa Duck

By David Milgrim,

Book cover of Santa Duck

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.


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.

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!

By Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin (illustrator),

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

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…


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 Legend of Holly Claus

By Brittney Ryan, Laurel Long (illustrator),

Book cover of The Legend of Holly Claus

This is the book that taught me not to dismiss wonder as something that’s only for children. This warmest of winter tales helped me see that wonder is a light to illuminate times of grief and loss; a fiery hope that combats fears; and a faith that defies the circumstances that seek to steal our joy. I have never encountered a fictional world that felt more like home.

The Legend of Holly Claus

By Brittney Ryan, Laurel Long (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Santa Claus's daughter, Holly, comes to Earth seeking an end to the curse cast upon her and the Land of the Immortals by an evil wizard, whose own punishment will end only if Holly willingly gives him her pure heart.


Who am I?

I’ve been captivated by wonder for four years now, but it’s my family’s experience of grief that convinced me that wonder is essential. On a dark December day, my grandpa, John, passed away. There was an emptiness that would not go away, until God broke through the darkness that was suffocating our hearts and home. I was reminded that wonder is a gift from a loving, intentional Father and a sword that cuts through the lies that tell us faith is pointless, childish, and weak. I hope that my own story, as well as the others I’ve shared here, helps reignite your own desire to fight for wonder.


I wrote...

Penelope Grace and the Winter Carousel

By Alexandria Miracola,

Book cover of Penelope Grace and the Winter Carousel

What is my book about?

In a home nestled on a quiet, cobblestone street, a young woman is holding tightly to wonder. All is quiet and good, as it should be. But as Christmas approaches, Penelope Grace learns how easily circumstance can mock joy. A nameless shadow is haunting her family, and there seems to be no hope of defending them against his relentless attacks.

Still, Penelope is not content to do nothing. On a cold winter’s night, she finds herself chasing an unexpected friend through the softly falling snow. But which will prove stronger? Shadow or Light? Despair or wonder? Follow her now through an ice-laden forest, down a worn, frozen path, to a winter carousel covered in snow, and we’ll join the battle for wonder together.

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