7 of the best new Christmas picture books for 2020

We love Christmas books so much in our house that we have an entire shelf dedicated to them!

But just like baubles for the tree, there’s always room for more – and these new stories for 2020 are bursting with festive spirit.

1. The Night After Christmas by Kes Gray and Claire Powell. £6.99 (paperback), Hodder

Everyone knows the best party is on Boxing Day – especially if you are Father Christmas and his crew! Forget turkey sarnies, this is the ultimate work do, complete with elf dance offs under the Northern Lights and the biggest Christmas cracker you’ve ever seen.

This fun-filled rhyming romp from the Oi Frog author Kes Gray and illustrator Claire Powell is full of festive cheer and a charming follow-up to The Night Before The Night Before Christmas from 2018. Buy from Amazon

2. Monster Christmas by Giles Andreae and Nikki Dyson. £12.99 (hardback), Orchard

When Father Christmas’s knees start to get a bit creaky, he decides to recruit a young apprentice to take the reindeer reins and give him a rest.

Little Monster jumps at the chance to spread his wings and see the world, but there’s one problem – everyone is scared of him.

This heartwarming festive story by bestselling Giraffes Can’t Dance author Giles Andreae has an important message about seeing past appearances and is a lovely twist of the usual Christmas tale too. Buy from Amazon

3. The Snowflake by Benji Davies. £12.99 (hardback), HarperCollins Children’s

The Storm Whale author-illustrator Benji Davies has the knack for creating a poignant story with cinematic artwork – and this wintery tale is no exception.

It follows a little snowflake falling to Earth, fearful of where it might land, and a little girl called Noelle who dreams of Christmas snow and a finishing touch for a tiny tree.

The resulting meeting between the two is enchanting and atmospheric. A timeless and beautiful book. Buy from Amazon

We meet Benji Davies

4. The Twelve Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous by Alex T. Smith. £9.99 (hardback), Macmillan

The classic song is reimagined with an amusing twist by Claude author Alex T. Smith, which will raise a wry smile with anyone like me with a grandmother famed for her quirky present choices.

In this version, Eloise’s generous gran sends her a gift for each of the 12 days but soon veers of course, with balancing bears, racing rhinos and parping penguins.

There’s some wonderful visual comedy and a lovely device using stamps, plus a witty twist at the end and an ever-so-polite thank you letter. Just lovely! Buy from Amazon

5. The Night The Reindeer Saved Christmas by Raj Kaur Khaira and Katia Nowowiejska. £6.99 (paperback), Studio Press

Girl power saves Christmas when Santa’s sleigh engines explode after a tinsel strike. His team of elves try out different animals to help get the presents across the world – but the polar bears are too tired, narwhals are too wet and arctic foxes too camouflaged.

Things looked doomed until the reindeers step in and it turns out the magic flying ones are all female as they don’t lose their antlers in winter – a fascinating true fact! Buy from Amazon

100 picture books with female main characters

6. Santa Post by Emma Yarlett. £12.99 (hardback), Walker

Writing a letter to Santa is the best way to put in your Christmas request. But things go a bit wrong when Amy’s note get singed on the big man’s fire and he can’t make out her wished for gift.

After writing to the elves, reindeers and polar bears to help solve the mystery, St Nick has a brainwave – and one very happy little girl wakes to a Christmas to remember.

Another witty and irresistible interactive book from Emma Yarlett, which channels the Ahlbergs and Oliver Jeffers plus plenty of her own delightful style. We love it. Buy from Amazon

7. Dogger’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes. £12.99 (hardback), Puffin

The timeless classic about Dave and his beloved toy Dogger gets a long overdue follow up with a festive theme to warm your heart.

In this story, Dave is awaiting Christmas with big sister Bella and baby brother Joe, making lists and wrapping gifts. But in all the excitement of the day, Dogger gets mislaid and the whole family set to work reuniting the duo.

There are some gorgeous nods to the original tale from 40 years ago in this story, from Bella’s seven teddies and her ability to save the day, to the fashions that manage to feel nostalgic rather than dated. But the main one is the overriding message – how a favourite toy is never forgotten. Buy from Amazon

Why we love Dogger by Shirley Hughes

More magical Christmas reads…

16 of the best first Christmas books for babies and toddlers

8 of the best books about Santa Claus

10 classic Christmas stories every child should read

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