Picture Books about Santa

Over the years I have shared loads of Christmas book lists with all of you. As I was looking through my holiday book list archives, I realized that I’ve never made a list of picture books about Santa Claus – until now, that is!

If your kiddos love hearing stories about the jolly man in the red suit, then these 10 picture books about Santa will be right up your alley!

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold

In this clever twist on holiday skepticism, Santa admits that he no longer believes in Harold. He hasn’t stopped believing in all children, but Harold just seems too good to be true. Meanwhile, Harold is beginning to have doubts about Santa. Both Santa and Harold hatch schemes to verify each other’s existence, which hilariously collide on Christmas morning. The bright, expressive illustrations perfectly compliment this entertaining story.


Dasher is a young reindeer who spends her days working under the hot sun in a traveling circus. She spends her nights wishing on the North Star and longing for a different life. One night, Dasher escapes the circus and journeys north, where she meets a kind man in a red suit. Matt Tavares’ cozy watercolor, gouache, pencil, and pastel illustrations make this touching story of how Santa met his reindeer even more magical.

How Santa Got His Job

In this quirky story, Santa is a young man trying to find a job that he loves. He works as a postman, a chimney sweep, a zookeeper, and even a circus performer, but none of them are a perfect fit. Then one day Santa meets a group of elves who help him find his true calling.

The Night Before Christmas

This classic poem deserves a spot on every Christmas reading list. I particularly enjoy the version illustrated by Jan Brett; whose beautiful artwork practically jumps off the page.

Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert

This fun and imaginative peek into Santa’s life shows him hard at work all year long. Santa’s days involve lots of research and note-taking, testing every toy to ensure that it is fun and sturdy, and working carefully to match each particular toy with each particular kid. The illustrations are charming and full of thoughtful details.

Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins

When Santa wakes up with a bad cold on Christmas Eve, Mrs. Claus decides to deliver presents in his stead. During her ride around the world, Mrs. Claus keeps her cool in the face of all manner of mishaps before returning home to North Pole with only ten minutes to spare. The bright, energetic illustrations are sprinkled with modern details (Mrs. Claus mounts what appears to be an iPad to the dash of the sleigh).

The Animals’ Santa

One snowy winter day, Big Snowshoe the rabbit tells his little brother that soon the animals’ Santa will bring presents for all the animals in the forest. But who is the animals’ Santa? No one has ever seen him. Could he be a badger? A moose? A polar bear? On Christmas Eve, Big Snowshoe thinks of a clever plan to finally find out. As always, Jan Brett’s exquisite artwork is beautifully detailed.

How to Catch Santa

This clever guide is packed with tips and techniques for how to catch Santa on Christmas Eve. Of course, once you catch Santa you can’t keep him long, so the young narrators prepare the reader with suggestions of questions to ask Santa and things to tell him (“thank you for the presents!) The plans are elaborate but never mean-spirited. This fun book is sure to become a family favorite.

Santa Claus and the Christmas Surprise

It’s Christmas Eve and Anna and Michael’s village is buried in deep snow. The children are worried that Santa Claus won’t be able to reach them, so they send him a special wish. Santa hears the message and brings a special gift for everyone in the village to share. This delightful story of hope and community evokes the feeling of a traditional folktale and is perfectly complimented by the painterly illustrations.

When Santa Was a Baby

Little Santa isn’t like other babies. He has a big, booming voice, hates warm weather, and prefers to dress all in red. Despite some of his unusual traits, Santa’s parents adore him and know that someday he’ll grow up to do great things. This charming Santa origin story will delight readers of all ages.

How many of these picture books about Santa Claus have you read? Do you have any favorite Christmas picture books you think I should check out? Let me know in the comments! And before you go, be sure to check out the rest of my Christmas book lists!



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