One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is celebrating by reading Christmas picture books with my young children. Another favorite part of the season for me is singing Christmas songs. In fact, our home is one in which Christmas songs are fair game all year round! What better union, then, but to read children’s picture books of favorite holiday songs! Here are some of the best Christmas songs picture books to get us ready for Christmas caroling!
This year, I took our huge stack of children’s holiday picture books and wrapped them up to create a picture book count down to Christmas! I am excited to read a favorite picture book each morning until Christmas is here.Our stack of books is full of traditional stories, both religious (the nativity story) and secular (the Santa tradition). I love all these aspects of Christmas! Here are some of the best Christmas song picture books in our stack of holiday reading.
Nativity Songs Picture Books
Santa & Friends Songs Picture Books
Holiday Traditional Songs Picture Books
There are many illustrated versions of The Twelve Days of Christmas. My favorite is that illustrated by John O’Brien because it brings the ridiculousness of this carol to life. The illustrations show that he is a bit annoyed at his true love by the end. Who wouldn’t be?! I mean, all those birds?
Non-Lyric Christmas Song Picture Books
I’ve always had a favorite place in my heart for The Nutcracker. When I was about 8, my mother sewed a beautiful satin Christmas dress for me as well as one for my sister. As a family, we went to Chicago to watch a ballet of The Nutcraker. I have always loved the music and the story of this Christmas tradition. I’m delighted that this year my daughter and I have enjoyed reading a retelling of the story in her collection of Incredible Illustrated Stories, so now she too loves the Nutcracker story! I am excited to introduce her to the music this season as well.
The Nutcracker by Michael Hague brings the story to life, basing his retelling on the E.T.A. Hoffman 1800’s story as well as the ballet. While I don’t always love Hague’s illustration style, it works well for this story. Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcraker provides another whimsical telling, this time with plenty of magic and happily ever after in bright colored illustrations. Finally, Alison Jay’s traditional crackle-varnish illustrations to the story in her beautiful edition of The Nutcracker. It keeps many of the details of the ballet in it, so it is one of my favorites!
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Finally, I cannot end a post about Christmas Song picture books without mentioning A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It’s true, it’s not a book about or providing the lyrics for a Christmas song. But as it’s title suggests, it is a book with a message of the spirit and joy of Christmas, as all these other Christmas books are. This year, we got the lovely unabridged Illustrated Classic version of The Christmas Carol from Usborne. Here are some favorite illustrated and unabridged versions of A Christmas Carol.
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There are many other Christmas songs I love for which I have not yet found a children’s picture book, but this list is a start! Which are your favorites?