The 23 Best Christmas Books for 2nd Graders

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Holidays are such an exciting time to bring unique stories and classic literature into your lessons. While every holiday is beautiful and unique in its own right, Christmas holds a special place in my heart. So that’s why I’ve created this list of the best Christmas books for 2nd graders.

While some of these will be very familiar to you, I have taken the time to find some new titles that I think will be excellent additions to your home or classroom library! Trust me when I tell you these will be the ones you return to year after year to teach meaningful lessons as you celebrate the holiday season.

The Best Christmas Books for 2nd Graders

1. The Little Reindeer

On Christmas Eve night, Ollie is awakened by a jingling sound. She rushes to the window to see that snow has fallen before hearing the sound again. She grabs her sled and bravely follows the sound into the woods where she discovers a collar with silver bells.

While removing the collar from the tree branch, she finds one of Santa’s reindeer walking in the snow. Together, she and the reindeer have a grand adventure.

This beautifully illustrated story will be one you reach for again and again during this magical time of year.

2. Bear Stays Up for Christmas

In this sweet story, Bear’s friends don’t want him sleeping through Christmas again this year, so they come up with a plan to make sure he stays busy…and awake!

Together they find a Christmas tree, bake, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Before the night is over they all get a very special surprise from Santa!

With a little help from his friends, Bear has his best Christmas ever. And then he promptly falls back to sleep for the rest of the winter.

3. The Polar Express

This Christmas classic by Chris Van Allsburg is a staple on every list of Christmas books for 2nd graders…and basically any other Christmas book list you’ll find.

In this heartwarming tale, a young boy tells of the Christmas he visited the North Pole aboard the Polar Express.

He shares in rich detail the sights and sounds he experienced along with the privilege of receiving the first special gift of Christmas. Adults and young children alike will be swept away by the gorgeous images full of deep, rich colors.

4. Little Red Sleigh

In this cute story, Little Red Sleigh dreams of being part of Santa’s sleigh, but she is told over and over again that she will never be given this opportunity because she is too small. Against all odds, she sets off on an adventure to do the impossible.

With help from new friends she meets along the way, Little Red Sleigh learns about the power of perseverance, persistence, and patience.

She also discovers the importance of dreaming big and having the courage to chase those dreams.

5. Together

In an overly-commercialized season, this beloved book points us to one of the most precious parts of the holiday season…the story of family and being together with those we love.

Follow a little boy, a little girl, and so many other precious people on their adventure of spending time together during the Christmas season.

Trust me when I tell you after reading this book, you will fall in love with it.

Christmas Tree Picture Books

6. Pick a Pine Tree

There are so many exciting things to do during the Christmas season from going to a tree farm and choosing the perfect tree to decorating our homes. But it’s so much more fun when you invite others to join you on the journey.

Accompany the characters in this sweet story on a whimsical ride and enjoy all of the lively festivities that surround the holiday season. 

The timeless illustrations in this beautiful book will make you want to wrap up in a blanket and cozy up next to the fire.

7. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

Mr. Willowby is so excited for his Christmas tree to arrive, but he quickly realizes it is way to big for his home! So he has his butler snip off the top of the tree in order to make it fit.

He decides to share the top he snipped off with the maid, who has to take a bit off the top of that part for her tree to fit. And down the line each snipped off tree top goes until everyone has their own perfectly-sized tree to trim!

This delightful story will be a new book to add to your collection of Christmas favorites.

8. The Tree That’s Meant to Be

Told from the perspective of a less than ideal-looking tree, we are whisked away into the forest where our friend the fir is experiencing the pain of being left out.

Unlike the other beautiful trees, he was not chosen to be a Christmas tree by the any families who found their way into the forest. Feeling alone and sad, the other forest animals join him to cheer him up and to celebrate the Christmas season.

This great story about making others feel special is a winner on our list of Christmas books for 2nd graders.

9. Christmas Farm

Wilma makes the decision that her garden needs a fresh start, so she and her 5 year old neighbor set out to start a Christmas tree farm with nothing more than a few basic tools and sixty-two dozen balsam seedlings.

Year after year they tend to the needs of all their precious the trees.

And every year they keep count of how many are thriving and how many are lost. In this multi-generational story, kids will learn the value of hard work and reaping what you sow.

Silly Christmas Books

10. Grumpy Monkey, Oh No! Christmas

Jim Panzee is struggling to find the Christmas spirit that seems to be sweeping away all of the other jungle animals. He wakes up to rainy weather and only green bananas to eat.

Soon after eating, he is stuck with neighbors who want to give him advice for how he should be celebrating the holidays, and a stomachache that won’t go away.

Just when he is convinced he will be grumpy forever, his friend Norman comes along and helps him refocus his attention from his problems to all of the good things around him.

11. Memoirs of an Elf

Spark Elf has been given the important responsibility of keeping Santa on track with his 24 hour delivery schedule to ensure everyone gets their gifts by Christmas morning.

He does many of the important tasks like inputting information into the GPS and staying focused on the mission.

But when the team starts getting behind, it’s Spark’s job to figure out how to fix the problem. Written in a unique memoir style, this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!

12. Merry Christmas, Splat

The night before Christmas, Splat starts to wonder if he’s been good enough to earn a BIG present from Santa. Just to cover all of his bases, he tries desperately to help his mom, but the results aren’t too promising.

As usual, he makes a total mess of things. With grand intentions of staying up to see Santa and finding out whether he has earned his big present, Splat misses him and worries it’s too late.

This comical story with bright and bold illustrations will have you coming back to read it again and again each holiday season.

13. Bad Kitty: Searching for Santa

In this Bad Kitty Christmas book, we find Bad Kitty in a pickle again! She’s a bit concerned and upset as she realizes she may not have been very good this year.

So she is determined to speak with Santa and clear everything up. Unfortunately, she only finds lots of people dressed up like Santa and seeking donations. What will she do?

If you and your students love Bad Kitty and want a fun (and quite entertaining) Christmas story, then this is a great book to add to your holiday collection!

14. The Worst Christmas Book in the Whole Entire World

The main character, Nameless, is certain this book will be completely awful, so he tries everything in his power to convince readers to put it down before they ever actually read it.

He struggles to dissuade the reader from continuing even though he cites the fact that there is nothing interesting about this particular Christmas book.

While in mid-argument, he is picked up by the Jingle Bus only to be abandoned in the South Pole. Follow along on this hilarious journey and find out what happens to Nameless!

15. Turkey Claus

In this hilarious story, Turkey has made it safely through Thanksgiving, but now he faces his impending fate as part of the Christmas feast. So he decides a trip to the North Pole on Christmas Eve is necessary. However, when he arrives, he realizes that he is going to have to sneak in to see Santa. But in order to do that, he will have to find the perfect disguise.

If you are looking for a fun story that will be the perfect book to transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas, look no further! This is bound to be a winner with all of your second grade students.

Christmas Chapter Books for Read-Alouds

When I was in elementary school, one of my favorite things to do each day was listen to my teacher read chapter books. At the end of every day, right before we would leave to go home, my teacher would read us a chapter of our current read aloud book. I can remember some of my favorites were Trumpet of the Swans, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and the Little House on the Prairie books.

So I wanted to include some great chapter books to our list of Christmas books for 2nd graders. Although they might be a bit too difficult for them to read independently, they are certainly Christmas chapter books you need to include in your library.

16. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Herdman kids aren’t exactly your “run of the mill” family. This rag tag bunch of siblings ends up at the local church one fateful day with every intention of laying waste to the free snacks.

Little do they know they are about to become key players in the church’s annual Christmas pageant. Buckle up for a fast-paced, chaotic, and utterly hilarious version of the Christmas story you have never heard!

This classic is such a fun read aloud and I know your second graders will love it just as much as (if not more than) I did growing up.

17. Junie B. Jones: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May!)

I have to be honest and tell you that I love Junie B. Jones books. I think they are hysterical…even as an adult. So no Christmas book list would be complete without one!

In this silly book, the zany Junie B. Jones returns with her usual high-spirited antics. She is so excited about all of the fun holiday activities happening in Room One, but tattle-telling May is just dead set on squashing every bit of her Christmas spirit!

And just when Junie B. thinks she’s had all she can take, she draws May’s name for the Secret Santa gift exchange! With characteristic Junie B. Jones flair and short chapters, this picture book will bring tons of laughter and lots of holiday cheer to your kids (and you, too).

18. A Boy Called Christmas

Nikolas has only ever received one gift in his entire life…a doll made from a turnip, but he loves it because it was from his loving parents! One day, Nikolas’ father goes missing and it is Nikolas who must travel to the North Pole in an effort to save him.

As he journeys along, he discovers new friends and other problems that he might just be able to help solve. With Christmas spirit running desperately low, it’s up to Nikolas to help the elves find a solution.

This uplifting and enchanting story will be one your kids beg to read every year!

19. The Girl Who Saved Christmas

The sequel to A Boy Called Christmas, this story introduces us to Amelia Wishart, the person who saved Christmas the year before. Unfortunately, Amelia is in trouble.

When her mother gets sick, Amelia is sent to a workhouse where she loses all of her hope. As magic dips to an all-time low , Santa realizes something is terribly wrong. So with the help of an unusual cast of characters Santa sets off to restore Amelia’s hope.

Holiday Books that Focus on the True Meaning of Christmas

While many Christmas books for 2nd graders get our kids thinking about sharing and giving, very few do justice to the true meaning of the season. And, although I’m sure there are many other wonderful books about Christmas, these happen to be a few of my favorites. If your desire this Christmas is to point your children (or students) to the significance of Christ’s birth, these books will do just that.

20. The Manger Mouse

The first time I ever saw this book was when one of my third grade students brought it to school on Halloween… yes, Halloween.

You see, at the time, our local school system allowed students to dress up as their favorite book character in lieu of traditional Halloween costumes on October 31.

And on that fateful day, my student came in wearing a mouse costume and carrying what would become one of my favorite Christmas storybooks ever.

In this heartwarming story, Matty, a little mouse, finds out that he is going to get to take part in the most important thing that ever happened in history. He takes his task of making a soft bed for the baby Jesus very seriously. And before the end of the story, he shows great bravery.

This book is absolutely beautiful, and it makes me tear up every time I read it.

21. The Crippled Lamb

Another beautiful story told from the viewpoint of one of the farm animals “present” at the birth of Jesus. The main character Joshua is an orphaned lamb with a crippled leg. 

His best friend, Abigail, is an old cow who always reminds him of God’s special plan for those “who feel left out.” One day, the shepherds decide to take the sheep to a new pasture far from the stable. 

Unfortunately, Joshua has to stay behind because of his crippled leg. Although no one knows it, that very night the King of kings will be born in Joshua’s stable.

Written by Max Lucado, this story is one that will remind children and adults alike that God has a unique plan for each one of us. And even when it seems like you have been forgotten, you are never forsaken.

22. The Friendly Beasts

This unique book is an old English Christmas carol illustrated by Tomie dePaola. In this beloved book, the different beasts who were presumably present during the birth of Jesus share their important roles in making Mary, Joseph, and Jesus comfortable. The donkey starts by recalling how he carried Mary.

The cow then shares how she shared her hay as Jesus’ pillow.The sheep mentions sharing his wool to keep Jesus warm before the doves share how they cooed baby Jesus to sleep.

While some of the words may be unfamiliar to young readers, the short text, rhyming words, and beautiful illustrations make this book another good choice for your home or classroom library.

23. Mary’s Treasure Box

This one has become another one of my favorite Christmas books as well. It isn’t as popular as many Christmas story books, but it gives us an idea of what it might have been like for Mary, the mother of Jesus.

In the story, Mary’s granddaughter comes to stay the night with her. Before bed, Sarah asks if she can see Mary’s special box of treasures. As they look at each item, Mary tells Sarah the significance of the objects. Everything in the box, as well as the box itself, has such a special meaning. 

I love how the author takes you on the journey of the birth of Jesus, but also how the special treasures relate to the life of Jesus. This is definitely a book you will want to read with your children! It will open up wonderful conversations about how Mary must have felt.

Collecting the stories from this list of Christmas books for 2nd graders will bring you so much joy! You can give them as Christmas gifts to your students or share them as special holiday blessings to others.

Whether you have the opportunity to read them all before winter break or not, simply enjoy spending time with your students sharing the magic of Christmas.

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