15 Fun and Enchanting Holiday Tales for Children

The holidays are a time of magic and delight for children. Celebrate the enchantment of the season with these 15 extraordinary tales.


The giveaway portion is over–the winner can be found in the comments! 

An exquisitely illustrated retelling of a classic story from Barefoot Books. An evil troll creates a mirror which reflects the bad and ugly sides of people. When it breaks, shards of its glass enter a young boy, causing him to reject his loving family and best friend Gerda. Helped by kind strangers and guided by her warm heart, Gerda makes the perilous journey to rescue her friend from the Snow Queen. Includes an audio CD. Find this book on the Barefoot Books website.



In the tradition of The Snowman and The Polar Express this cozy Nordic tale filled with extraordinary photographs will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa.



Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again. In lyrical prose this book explains what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history.



When Sam’s classmates take turns talking about which holiday they celebrate, Sam becomes very nervous. Some people celebrate Christmas and some people celebrate Hanukkah. But Sam celebrates both! Written by a clinical psychologist, My Two Holidays offers comforting explanations that shine a light on how special it can be to celebrate two treasured holidays instead of one!



Karen Katz kicks off a wonderful new series of picture books for the very young with My First Kwanzaa. The series will offer a simple and fun way to get familiar with the traditions of holiday celebrations from different cultures. During the seven days of Kwanzaa we celebrate the importance of family, friends, and community. This warm and lively introduction to a very special holiday will help even the youngest children join in!



Full-color, original artwork by award-winning illustrator Charles Santore is faithfully reproduced on sturdy board stock that will withstand rereading and repeated handling without tearing or fraying. Reading this most-loved poem is a classic family tradition and adds a magical component to every child’s Christmas!



A Mexican tale of how the first poinsettia came to be, transporting readers into the arms of a young girl as her trust leads her straight into a miracle. Find this book on the Barefoot Books website.



Van Amsterdam the baker was well known for his honesty. When a woman’s curse puts an end to the baker’s business he believes it will take Saint Nicholas to help him. But if he receives that help, will it be exactly what he imagined? Find out in this inspiring legend from Dutch colonial New York about the birth of an American custom.



Van Allsburg’s Polar Express is an old-fashioned steam train that takes children to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to meet the red-suited gentleman and to see him off on his annual sleigh ride. A truly magical take for all ages.



The winter solstice, the day the “sun stands still,” marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year. Storyteller Carolyn McVickar Edwards retells twelve traditional tales—from North America, China, Scandinavia, India, Africa, South America, Europe, and Polynesia—that honor this magical moment. These are stories that will renew our wonder of the miracle of rebirth and the power of transition from darkness into light.



It’s Kwanzaa-time! Light the candles on the kinara!  Fly the bendera, and tell stories from Africa! The seven principles of Kwanzaa, called the Nguzo Saba, serve to remind African Americans of the struggles of the past, and also focus on present-day achievements and goals for the future.  Activities at the end of the book include making your own cow-tail switch and baking benne cakes.



No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child’s wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.



From the warm glow of holiday candles in the menorah to the fun of family gatherings, little dinosaurs love to celebrate the Festival of Lights. But sometimes the excitement of Chanukah, its treasured rituals, and the tradition of gifts can tempt a youngster to misbehave. Come along on a joyful romp filled with tumbling dreidels and melting gelt as America’s favorite prehistoric pals spread a little mischief this season.



Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up — by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents!



Long ago, a little girl named Laura Ingalls lived in a little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters, Mary and Carrie, and their good old bulldog, Jack. Winter was just around the corner, and Laura worked hard to help make the little house ready for the cold days ahead. Warm paintings bring Laura and her family lovingly to life.



You may also enjoy our 2013 Natural Toy Guide and our Favorite Holiday Movies List!


Don’t see your favorite holiday book here? Please share a link to it in the comments. 


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10 thoughts on “15 Fun and Enchanting Holiday Tales for Children”

  1. I reviewed the book “The Snowy Day”. It would be great to win a gift certificate for some of these wonderful books.

  2. We haven’t read most of these, so it’s nice to be introduced to new holiday books! Our favorite on the list, that we know about, it Bear Stays Up. The stories of Bear are just delightful, and the illustrations in these books are beautiful!….Just beautiful! The “Bear” books are some of our favorite!

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