The most recommended Santa books

Who picked these books? Meet our 18 experts.

18 authors created a book list connected to Santa Claus, and here are their favorite Santa Claus books.
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Book cover of Love, Santa Claus

Simon Mills Author Of The Secret of Scrufflewood Wood

From my list on children’s stories written in rhyme.

Who am I?

I have written poetry since I was a little boy. Rhyme came naturally to me, and I found it to be a world to escape to. This led me to songwriting and touring in bands, and it grew into my vocation as a jingle writer in Australia. Eventually, I wrote the jingle that won the World’s Best Jingle award in Hollywood, and this, in part, inspired me to move to New York City from Australia. The other driving force was getting my first book, How To Steal From Banks—an autobiography—published in America. Writing and rhyming are deeply embedded in my soul and cells. 

Simon's book list on children’s stories written in rhyme

Simon Mills Why did Simon love this book?

A humble-hearted Christmas story indeed.

Liberty DeVitto—former drummer for Billy Joel and many other legendary artists—is himself a humble soul and loves to shine a light on his gratitude for being able to do a job that he dearly loves and that millions would line up to do. Like Santa Claus, Liberty is grateful for what he gets to do and takes the responsibility very seriously.

Love, Santa Claus mirrors Liberty’s view of his position in the world while telling a beautiful Christmas story in rhyming verse. 

By Liberty DeVitto,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love, Santa Claus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Love, Santa Claus is a love letter to spiritual enlightenment and servant-hearted contentment. Follow Santa through his annual rituals and see the legendary icon of Christmas in a whole new way.


Book cover of The Legend of Holly Claus

Alexandria Miracola Author Of Penelope Grace and the Winter Carousel

From my list on fantasy to reignite your sense of wonder.

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.

Alexandria's book list on fantasy to reignite your sense of wonder

Alexandria Miracola Why did Alexandria love this book?

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.

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.


Book cover of Polar Express

Ross Greenwood Author Of The Santa Killer

From my list on Christmas nostalgia.

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.

Ross' book list on Christmas nostalgia

Ross Greenwood Why did Ross love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

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.


Book cover of Penguins Stopped Play: Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World

Stuart Larner Author Of Guile and Spin

From my list on cricket that will bowl you over.

Who am I?

I am a writer who has written an assortment of over a hundred and seventy different articles, poems, and books. I love cricket and have spent a lot of my life unsuccessfully learning how to play it. It still has a fascination for me. I am also a psychologist, and cricket has given me an even deeper understanding of human life.

Stuart's book list on cricket that will bowl you over

Stuart Larner Why did Stuart love this book?

This is a fantastic idea, to assemble a team of eleven men to play cricket on each of the seven continents in the world. What is more amazing is that it actually took the place.

The book is actually a posthumous publication since Harry Thompson, the famous writer, died soon after completing the tour and was still playing cricket in his last days. There are wonderful descriptions of their players.

One, apparently was so covered in hair that he was accepted by a troupe of monkeys whilst fielding in the outfield in Kuala Lumpur.

By Harry Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Penguins Stopped Play as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It seemed a simple enough idea at the outset: to assemble a team of eleven men to play cricket on each of the seven continents of the globe. Except - hold on a minute - that's not a simple idea at all. And when you throw in incompetent airline officials, amorous Argentine Colonels' wives, cunning Bajan drug dealers, gay Australian waiters, overzealous American anti-terrorist police, idiot Welshmen dressed as Santa Claus, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and whole armies of pitch-invading Antarctic penguins, you quickly arrive at a whole lot more than you bargained for. Harry Thompson's hilarious book tells the story…


Book cover of Dear Mama God

Victoria Robb Powers Author Of My Love, God Is Everywhere

From my list on Christian reads for kids that are inclusive and safe.

Who am I?

I am an ordained minister with over 10 years of experience serving as a pastor in both the hospital and church settings. I’m also a mom of three children, ages 2, 5, and 7. I routinely get asked for resources to help raise children in the Christian faith. As both a pastor and a mother, I am a strong advocate for teaching children a theology they won’t have to heal from. All the books I recommend are progressive, inclusive, and diverse. I’ve done extensive research when it comes to faith-based literature, and I’m passionate about finding the best books to recommend to families.

Victoria's book list on Christian reads for kids that are inclusive and safe

Victoria Robb Powers Why did Victoria love this book?

I love this book because it broadens a child’s imagination about who God is.

God is not Santa Claus – a white guy with a beard in the clouds looking down on children in judgment, evaluating whether they’re good or bad. God is gracious, generous, and loving, and God gives and nourishes life to all, like a faithful mother.

By Daneen Akers, Gillian Gamble (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dear Mama God as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Dear Mama God - Thank you for the earth and all living things.” So begins this wonder-filled prayer of gratitude from a child addressed to Mama God.

Combining stunning illustrations with simple yet profound prayers, "Dear Mama God" is the perfect children's book to introduce children (and their adults) to the heart-expanding practice of referring to the divine in feminine form. The text thanks Mama God for trees for birds to nest in, hula hoops for dogs to jump through, paper to draw on, cozy fires, loving hearts, and the universe that is our home. The illustrations invite readers into…


Book cover of Santa Duck

Dawn Young Author Of Once Upon a Christmas

From my list on fun and festive Christmas pictures.

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.

Dawn's book list on fun and festive Christmas pictures

Dawn Young Why did Dawn love 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.  

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. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

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.


Book cover of Calico the Wonder Horse

Tina Matthews Author Of Out of the Egg

From my list on stealing - when, why, and whether to do it.

Who am I?

I’ve found kids to be interested in difficult topics - like stealing, racism, inequality, environmental catastrophe to name a few! But I don’t want to lecture or frighten them about their future. I believe picture books can tell a story about things going awry but coming right again through a good idea, or act of kindness or a magic wand or the intervention of fate. When the story unfolds in the comfort and security of a carer’s lap or a safe classroom and there are accompanying pictures of absorbing detail that communicate the artist’s emotion and humor I think you provide universal foundation blocks for a good life.

Tina's book list on stealing - when, why, and whether to do it

Tina Matthews Why did Tina love this book?

Like all my previous choices this book is written and illustrated by the same person which I think allows a very subtle dance between words and pictures in the storytelling. 

Calico the Wonder Horse is a simple black and white comic strip, one or two frames per page, with changing background page colours. There are dramatic panoramas of canyons and mountains hideouts juxtaposed with close-ups of Calico, then Stewy Stinker, and his gang of Bad Men. Its graphic perspectives and cartoon ‘action’ marks make it exciting for kids. The Bad Men are soon brought undone by the heroine horse but it’s so heartening that they eventually redeem themselves in an unexpected way—which kids love too.

By Virginia Lee Burton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Calico the Wonder Horse as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Way out west in Cactus county lived a horse named Calico. She wasn't very pretty, but she was smart and could run like greased lightning. When villain Stewy Stinker threatens to hold up Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, will Calico the Wonder Horse be able to save the day? This gift edition celebrates the 75th Anniversary of this classic tale by Caldecott medalist Virginia Lee Burton, the author of Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel. With an updated cover, it's the perfect holiday present for children of all ages. AGES: 4-7 AUTHOR: Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) was the talented author…


Book cover of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

D.W. Boorn Author Of The Big Secret: The Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus

From my list on Santa Claus and his history.

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.

D.W.'s book list on Santa Claus and his history

D.W. Boorn Why did D.W. love this book?

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!

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. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

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…


Book cover of The Night Before Christmas

Susan Grossey Author Of The Man in the Canary Waistcoat

From my list on the 1820s (officially the best decade ever).

Who am I?

If you ask people to name a book set in the Regency period, your money is safe if you bet on them picking a Jane Austen. But the Regency was about much more than manners and matrimony. In my own areas of interest – justice, money, and financial crime – everything was changing, with the widespread introduction of paper money and cheques, the recognition that those on trial should have a defence as well as a prosecution, and the creation of modern police in the form of the Metropolitan Police. Dickens made the Victorian era famous, but the decades before good Queen V ascended the throne are equally fascinating.

Susan's book list on the 1820s (officially the best decade ever)

Susan Grossey Why did Susan love this book?

This poem was published anonymously in 1823. It’s such a Christmas staple that it’s hard to imagine how ground-breaking it was, but the simple plot – a family sleeps on Christmas Eve while the father hears a noise outside and sees Santa Claus in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer – was the first to set that quintessential Christmas scene. A friend of the author was charmed by the poem and sent it anonymously to a New York newspaper. The author finally owned up to it in 1837, confessing that as a Professor of Oriental and Greek Literature, he had been uneasy about being associated with “unscholarly verse” that he had written only to amuse his children. But this “unscholarly verse” made his name and charms us still.

By Clement C. Moore, Christine Brallier (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Night Before Christmas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's late night visit has a man and his curious kitty investigating. Did you know that Santa can play the guitar? Well, he can! Each page is filled with thoughtful details, luscious color, and a joyful whimsy. Mosaic artist Christine Brallier has created fifteen stained glass mosaic illustrations in her unique rendition of the classic The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. Reading the book with her family nearly five years ago, Christine was inspired to create her own version of the story and to put her family and their cat in it.…


Book cover of Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen

Hans C. De Roos Author Of Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula

From my list on dive deeper into Dracula.

Who am I?

I saw Francis Coppola’s movie Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1992, but studied the novel only after I created a photo story, The Ultimate Dracula (Munich, 2012). Next to the images, my book presented the true location Stoker had in mind for his fictitious Castle Dracula (No, not Bram Castle), and the historical person he referred to while speaking about Count Dracula (No, not Vlad the Impaler). The next steps were discovering the true locations of Carfax and the Scholomance, unraveling the backgrounds of the Icelandic and Swedish versions of Dracula, and unearthing the first US serialization. I simply love to solve riddles. By now, I am organizing international Dracula conferences.

Hans' book list on dive deeper into Dracula

Hans C. De Roos Why did Hans love this book?

This book is key to understanding the “transmediation” of Dracula: the metamorphosis of Stoker’s story by adapting it for new media, such as theatrical and movie versions. As Bram Stoker died in 1911, his widow Florence played a key role in negotiating the rights for such modifications, and fighting the pirated screen version of Nosferatu created in Germany by Prana Film. As David Skal put it, Dracula is very much a story about control, and the subsequent developments show how Bram and then Florence tried to keep the lid on the unauthorized dissemination and adaptation of the Dracula novel—but failed in the end. Highly recommended reading for all who are interested in the question of how Dracula became so popular all over the world.

By David J. Skal,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The primal image of the black-caped vampire Dracula has become an indelible fixture of the modern imagination. It's recognition factor rivals, in its own perverse way, the familiarity of Santa Claus. Most of us can recite without prompting the salient characteristics of the vampire: sleeping by day in its coffin, rising at dusk to feed on the blood of the living; the ability to shapeshift into a bat, wolf, or mist; a mortal vulnerability to a wooden stake through the heart or a shaft of sunlight. In this critically acclaimed excursion through the life of a cultural icon, David Skal…