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Christmas board books

maisy's christmas tree spread

In our annual “Holiday High Notes” roundup, we recommend holiday books for the picture book set and up. Here are a few good choices — starring familiar faces — for the littlest of listeners at Christmastime.

cousins_maisy's christmas treeLucy Cousins’s beloved character Maisy and her friends prepare for their holiday celebration in Christmas-tree-shaped board book Maisy’s Christmas Tree (Candlewick, September 2014). Each little animal helpfully contributes one part in the tree-decorating process (chick Tallulah “adds pretty ornaments,” elephant Eddie “tops the tree with the angel,” etc.). Once the tree is decked out and the presents are wrapped, the friends sing carols together. Cousins’s distinctive illustrations in bright colors and bold outlines accompany simple text to capture the festivities in a toddler-accessible way.

dewdney_llama llama jingle bellsAnna Dewdney’s Llama Llama wonders “What will Santa Llama bring?” as he and Mama take part in activities: picking out a tree, giving gifts, caroling, baking cookies. Finally a tuckered-out little Llama is carried upstairs and put to bed — ready to discover a pile of presents under the tree on Christmas morning. The illustrations Llama Llama Jingle Bells (Viking, October 2014) show a cheerful animal community; the rhyming text maintains a jaunty rhythm.

katz_where is baby's christmas presentKaren Katz’s Where Is Baby’s Christmas Present? (new lap-sized board book edition; Little Simon, September 2014) stars round-headed, rosy-cheeked Baby. Sporting a snowflake-patterned onesie and Santa hat, Baby searches high and low for his Christmas gift — “Is it under the wrapping paper?… Is it in the gingerbread house?” — getting a tour of the festivities along the way. The text follows the question-and-answer format through the final reveal, when Baby finds his present under the tree. Big, easy-to-open flaps reveal goodies such as candy canes and overflowing stockings.

Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, associate editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College. She served as chair of the 2018 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committee. Follow Katie on Twitter @lyraelle.



  1. Wonderful round-up here of some irresistible goodies for the youngest ones at their favorite time of the year. One of the pre-K teachers in our school has a copy of MAISY’S CHRISTMAS TREE, which is wonderful. The others look marvelous and fill a specialty void. Merry Christmas!!!

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