Top 10 Classic Holiday Books for Children 


There's nothing like sharing a favorite holiday book with a child. We at Encarta have picked our all-time favorites, and while our list is subjective, one thing's for sure: These holiday classics hold a place in the hearts of children everywhere.


1. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Winner of the Caldecott Medal, this beautiful tale tells the story of a boy's magical Christmas-Eve train ride to the North Pole, where he receives a special gift from Santa Claus.


2. Hanukkah! by Roni Schotter and Marylin Hafner (Illustrator)
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award and an annual tradition in many households, Hanukkah! Tells of a Jewish family's Hanukkah celebration in the 1950s.


3. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore and Robert Sabuda (Illustrator)
This beautiful poem, written in 1822, is read aloud to children around the world in anticipation of Santa's arrival.


4. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel, Trina S. Hyman (Illustrator), and Mayer (Illustrator)
This story, which first appeared in Cricket, a magazine for children, tells of Hershel's triumph over synagogue goblins that prevent village people from celebrating Hanukkah.


5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This classic tells the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who hated the humbug of Christmas until one Christmas Eve when he comes to know the meaning of kindness, charity, and goodwill.


6. Celebrating Kwanzaa by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith and Lawrence Migdale (Photographer)
The experiences of 13-year-old Andiey Barnes and her family's Kwanzaa celebration are used to explain, in this warm story, the history and symbolism behind the seven principles of Kwanzaa.


7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
What Christmas holiday would be complete without this timeless tale of the mean-spirited Grinch, who does all he can to spoil Whoville's Yuletide celebration?


8. Chanukah in Chelm by David A. Adler and Kevin O'Malley (Illustrator)
The story of a synagogue caretaker who bungles a simple holiday task, Chanukah in Chelm brims with the good humor and bad jokes that have made Chelm stories family favorites for centuries.


9. Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight (Illustrator)
Eloise, heroine of the popular book series spreads mischief and holiday spirit through New York City's Plaza Hotel on Christmas Eve.


10. Festival of Lights: The Story of Hanukkah by Maida Silverman, Carolyn S. Ewing (Illustrator)
This lovely book tells the story of the very first Hanukkah. It includes instructions for making a deride, singing holiday music, and performing a traditional candle-lighting ceremony.