12 Best Christmas Song Books for Kids
Looking for Christmas song books to use with your children? Here are a dozen of the best singable Christmas books in print that are sure to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
My children and I love to read! I have always been a reader and wanted to instill that love of books in my children. We read daily because we all love it. It’s amazing that the more we read, the more my kids want to read.
There’s something else we love. My family and I love to sing. I grew up in a singing family where we sang all the time – and not just in church. I have tried to carry that into our family, and so far, all of our children love to sing too!
So, when I started finding books that combined our love of books and songs – I knew we had to add those books to our book shelves. Song books with pictures are a great way for kids to learn songs because they can associate a picture with the words. That’s exactly what every one of these books is. It is a song book that is also a picture book.
Christmas is a perfect time to read song books because there are so many wonderful Christmas songs I want my children to learn! I had two simple criteria in choosing the best Christmas song books.
- The words must be accurate and complete. For this list, I didn’t want paradies or new versions. I wanted books with the classic and traditional songs. I also wanted to make sure the entire song was included in the book.
- The pictures must be enticing for children. Because these song books are also picture books, they needed to have pictures that drew my children in. I also wanted the pictures to help explain the words of the song. It is very helpful when illustrations add to the song this way!
As I began my search for Christmas song books, I was sad to discover that there were not nearly as many song books as I had hoped! With some many iconic Christmas hymns and songs, I thought there would be dozens to chose from! After a lot of searching, I was able to find a dozen Christmas song books that fit my criteria. My children and I both enjoy these Christmas song books!
I dived my list into two sections – religious Christmas song books and secular Christmas song books. As a Christian family, I want my children to learn hymns by heart. However, Christmas also has many classic songs that I wanted to include those fun song books on my list too.
Here are 12 of the best Christmas song books for kids that I have found.
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Best Christmas Song Books – Hymns and Religious Songs
Away in a Manger illustrated by Thomas Kinkade – Away in a Manger is one of the first hymns most children learn at Christmas. This version includes illustrations of many of Thomas Kinkade’s pictures. While I would like a version that had more religious pictures that corresponded to the text, this one will do until I can find a version like that.
Silent Night by Lara Hawthorne – Silent Night is a delightful new discovery. I enjoy how the illustrations portray a more typical Middle Eastern family instead of the European one normally portrayed.
Good King Wenceslas by John M. Neale – My family grew up singing Good King Wenceslas every St. Stephen’s Day (December 26). When I finally found a version with all 5 verses, I knew I needed to add this book to our shelves to help my children learn this old carol. The pictures add to the song very nicely! (The version we like best is linked above with the blue cover.)
O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks – This is the only playable book I included on the list. There are many song books that play music for kids but this is one of the few that includes the words of the traditional hymn – O Little Town of Bethlehem. It includes the first verse of the hymn and the button plays the melody for you to sing along as you read the book.
The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats– The Little Drummer Boy has been sung by many famous choirs and groups, but this is the first picture book that sets the words to pictures.
The Friendly Beasts by Tomie dePaola– This is an older English lullaby of all the animals honoring Jesus in the manger. Tomie dePaola’s illustrations are delightful, as always.
Best Christmas Song Books – Classic Holiday Songs
Jingle Bells illustrated by Susan Jeffers – Jingle Bells is actually one of the easier songs to find in picture book format. This version of Jingle Bells, illustrated by Susan Jeffers, is our favorite for the beautiful illustrations that really tell the story as well as the song.
The 12 Days of Christmas illustrated by Emma Randall – There are also countless versions of the 12 Days of Christmas and it really is a matter of preference on this book. We have an old Anne Geddes book that we enjoy, but this newer version also has great illustrations for the classic song.
Frosty the Snowman by Jack Rollins – Frosty the Snowman is a song that my son loves to sing! When we stumbled across this picture book (not using movie illustrations), my daughter quickly learned the song too. If you have only seen the movie version, be sure to check out this delightful version!
Deck the Halls illustrated by Sylvia Long – Deck the Halls is another classic song that children love to sing! Sylvia Long’s illustrations include a family of cute bunnies that celebrate as you sing the song.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Richard Smith – This is a lovely hardcover book with large print words that are easy to read and sing. Most versions (like this one) also include the cd so you can sing along with Peggy Lee.
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire by Mel Torme– This is a slightly older book but the illustrations help the words make sense to children who have never seen chestnuts at all – much less chestnuts roasting on an open fire!
Do you use Christmas song books with your kids? If so, what one is your favorite?
If you are looking for more themed Christmas book lists, check out this list of 25 Christ centered Christmas books!