Children’s books that delve into the spiritual significance of Christmas are coming from a variety of publishing houses this season. In addition to a faith-based take on Santa Claus, new titles are examining different aspects of the Nativity scene, giving, and acceptance ahead of this year’s Yuletide celebrations.
The Bear and the Star
Lola M. Schaefer, illus. by Bethanne Andersen (Greenwillow, Sept. 24)
In celebration of the changing of the seasons, Bear greets a new star in the sky and searches for the perfect tree around which to gather his friends.
A Christmas Miracle
Annette Langen, illus. by Frauke Weldin (Paulist, out now)
Three animals—a fox, a porcupine, and a rabbit—make their way toward Bethlehem to the nativity, learning about teamwork and commitment along the way.
The Gifts of the Animals
Carole Gerber, illus. by Yumi Shimokawara (Familius, out now)
Respectful animals surround the baby in the manger with presents in this picture book.
The Hoity-Toity Angel
Caroline Holie, illus. by Hazel Quintanilla (SPCK, Nov. 12)
A beautiful angel is unimpressed that a king is to be born in a stable, but events leading up to Christmas help her understand what really counts.
The Little Shepherd
Elizabeth Jaeger, illus. by Irene Montano (Beaming Books, Oct. 22)
A shepherd boy learns that a baby boy who will bring joy, wonder, and hope to the world will be born.
Long Ago, on a Silent Night
Julie Berry, illus. Annie Won (Orchard, out now)
In her debut picture book, Printz Honor author Berry focuses on the miracle of Christmas and the joy, hope, and unconditional love that surrounds every new child.
The Night of His Birth
Katherine Paterson, illus. by Lisa Aisato (Flyaway, out now)
Newbery Medalist Paterson describes the night of Jesus’s birth from Mary’s perspective, offering a mother’s reflection on the joyous arrival of a child.
On Christmas Day
Margaret Wise Brown, illus. by Phyllis Harris (Worthy Kids, Oct. 1)
Recently discovered from the estate of the Goodnight Moon author, this board book showcases Brown’s love for poetry and music with a story set in the stable where Jesus was born.
Tom Roberts and Doug Moss (Sterling, Oct. 8)
Combining two Christmas icons, this story follows Santa Claus inside a church as he prays for all children to understand that Jesus is at the center of the holiday.
The Worst Christmas Ever
Kathleen Long Bostrom, illus. by Guy Porfirio (Flyaway, out now)
Matthew is having trouble adapting to his new home in California, and then his dog goes missing—but a surprising Christmas Eve could turn things around for him.