If you are a parent or grandparent, one of most pleasant parts of the Christmas season can be talking with your young children about night Jesus was born.
The story of the first Christmas is magical, and children love hearing it again and again. They also enjoy acting out the events of that Holy Night and playing with their own nativity set for children. Reading directly from the Bible is always a great choice, but you also may want to add in some new picture books to your holiday collection.
We have put together a list of some of the best books about the Nativity for young children. We know you will enjoy curling up by the Christmas tree or anywhere comfy beside your little one to read and enjoy these treasures.
The First Christmas
Combine the well-loved words of the King James Bible with illustrations of striking black silhouettes, silver ink and jewel tones and you have Jan Pienkowski’s The First Christmas. This artistic and beautiful book is one everyone in the family will want to read and enjoy often.
A Christmas Goodnight
Here’s your new favorite bedtime book for December. A Christmas Goodnight with text by Nola Buck and illustrations by Sarah Jane Wright is a sweet and simple story about a little boy, a nativity set and the miracle of Christmas. It is lovely.
A Christmas Story
Brian Wildsmith’s A Christmas Story uses the perspective of a small donkey to tell the story of the birth of Jesus. It is a touching and realistic look at a wondrous event. Little animal lovers will especially enjoy this storybook.
Christmas in the Barn
If you and your children are fans of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, you are sure to appreciate her Christmas in the Barn. Brown’s lyrical text and Diane Goode’s soothing watercolors are a perfect way to introduce young children to the Christmas story.
The Christmas Story
Simple text and warm illustrations make The Christmas Story by Ian Beck a delightful first Christmas book. You will want to snuggle up with your child to read this one.
The Nativity Story
With a beautiful foil-effect dust jacket and stylish illustrations by Sophy Williams, The Nativity Story by Geraldine McCaughrean is a book you will want to keep out on your coffee table at Christmastime. Perhaps your older children can take turns reading aloud as younger ones listen and play with their nativity set.
The Nativity Play
It seems as if most of us have either been in a nativity play at church, helped present one or both. Here is a charming book that relates that experience. The Nativity Play by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen has simple text and lively illustrations that tell the story of the Christmas play Miss Harvey’s class performs. You will smile and enjoy this relatable and wonderful story.
Christmas Is Here
Christmas Is Here features the memorable words of the King James Version of the Bible along with Lauren Castillo’s nostalgic illustrations. As a modern family enjoys a live nativity scene, we go back in time to the first Christmas. The lovely book makes a powerful connection between past and present, and the love that unites us all.
The Christmas Story from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke
Breathtaking Nativity artwork from New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art make The Christmas Story from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke memorable and unique. Each double-page spread features a painting and an excerpt from the Bible that is its inspiration. A learning experience for all ages.
The Story of Christmas: Storybook Set & Advent Calendar
The Story of Christmas: Storybook Set & Advent Calendar is not your average Advent calendar. Each day of Advent offers a miniature board book that tells a part of the story of the Nativity. Your children will enjoy the excitement of each new illustrated board book and learn about the events surrounding Jesus’s birth in the process. Plus, each book has a gold loop that allows you to hang it on your tree as an ornament if you like.
There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve
With soft watercolor illustrations by Dennis Nolan and gentle text by Pam Muñoz Ryan, There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve helps children learn about what it was like on that amazing Holy Night. The book shines the spotlight on what is really important and gives us a fresh look at the miracle of Christmas.
By sharing these books with your young children, you will be setting the groundwork for their appreciation of the true meaning of Christmas. Be sure to have a nativity set that they can play with as they use their imaginations to act out and process what they have learned.