Picture Books to Read in December

I love December. For me there isn’t anything better than spending a chilly December day curled up with some hot cocoa and a good book. Today I’ve curated a list of ten picture books that are perfect for reading aloud during the month of December.

I hope that you’ll love sharing these December picture books with the children in your life!

Sleep Tight Farm

As the December days begin to shorten and darken, one family prepares their farm for winter: gathering wood, harvesting produce, and fluffing up the chicken coop. Once the farm is put to sleep under a blanket of snow, the family use the last of the harvest to make vegetable soup and fruit pie. Rustic, painterly illustrations perfectly complement the soothing, lyrical text.

The Shortest Day

This classic poem, which heralds the arrival of the winter solstice, has been gorgeously illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Carson Ellis.

Winter is Here

This delightful follow-up to our November favorite In the Middle of Fall is a beautiful ode to the sights, smells, and sounds of winter. The simple, evocative text is full of thoughtful details and the painted illustrations, rendered in acrylic, beautifully depict the contrast between the beauty of the snowy outdoors and the coziness and warmth waiting inside.

Snow Sisters

This enchanting book follows two sisters on one perfect snow day. When snow begins to fall, one sister heads outside to play right away, while the other stays inside, settling in with hot cocoa and a book. Halfway through the day the girls switch places, each retracing one another’s footsteps. This well-conceived story, told using sparse, mirrored text, is one of my daughters’ favorites. Teagan White’s delicate gouache and watercolor illustrations are absolute perfection.

Over and Under the Snow

This nonfiction picture book explores the hidden world beneath the snow, where squirrels, snow hares, bears, bullfrogs, and many other animals build cozy winter homes. This book is charming, informative, and beautifully illustrated to boot.

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

A child and his grandmother take a walk through a snowy winter landscape and explore how the earth goes to sleep for the winter. In cutaway scenes, readers will see what the child cannot: dens of sleeping creatures in hollow tree trunks and under the ground. This wholesome introduction to hibernation is also a lovely bedtime story.

Do Frogs Drink Hot Chocolate? How Animals Keep Warm

When it gets cold out, do frogs drink hot chocolate? No! Do penguins snuggle with a friend? Yes! But, unlike humans, they don’t have sofas or Netflix. The blend of funny cartoon illustrations and fascinating animal facts will make this book a hit with preschoolers and kindergarteners.

Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama

This cute story features a young girl whose interfaith family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. Delightful collage illustrations depict the family as they prepare for the holidays by lighting the menorah and decorating the Christmas tree, cooking turkey, latkes, and jelly donuts, and setting the table for all the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who come to visit. The book also features a recipe for cranberry kugel stuffing, the ultimate blended holiday dish!

‘Twas Nochebuena

This delightful rhyming story follows a Mexican family as they celebrate Nochebuena – Christmas Eve. The poetic text effortlessly blends English and Spanish words and the lively full-page illustrations are full of color.

Lucia Morning in Sweden

This charming story describes how one family in modern-day Sweden prepares for Lucia Day, a traditional December holiday. The three children and their parents gleefully prepare tasty holiday treats, and when Lucia morning arrives the family sets off to share holiday cheer with their extended family and friends. The book includes an afterword with the history of St. Lucia and two Swedish holiday recipes.

Looking for more December picture books? Check out these great posts!

Funny Christmas Picture Books

Hanukkah Picture Books

Multicultural Christmas Books

Christmas Tree Picture Books

Christmas Early Readers

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