12 Festive Books for Twelve Days of Christmas

December 6, 2023

In our house, Miss Piggy starts belting out “Five Golden Rings” the day after Thanksgiving. But did you know that the Twelve Days of Christmas do not actually start until Christmas Day? Talk about learning something new! Even though I went through multiple years of Catholic school, I seem to have forgotten that, historically, Christians celebrate said twelve days from December 25th up to Epiphany (January 6th). But what about the song itself? Well, that was first known to be published in the 18th-century book Mirth Without Mischief and is thought to have been written as a memory game for kids.

Since the carol remains popular among the younger set, at Silver Dolphin Books we decided to celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas with some of our favorite holiday-inspired children’s books. You may not find calling birds or French hens on our list, but we do have plenty of fa-la-la-la fun. What’s more, a lot of the books featured here include simple activities that will keep the kiddos entertained during that very long holiday break. Now, full disclosure, some of the books on our list do have a countdown-to-Christmas theme…so if your child wants to start the 12 days early, this is a judgement-free zone. It’s Christmastime, and as parents we are all in holiday survival mode, amiright? Ready to follow along? Let’s do this.

Day 1: The Night Before Christmas 10-Button Sound Book

No holiday library is complete without Clement Clarke Moore’s classic tale of Christmas Eve. While there are countless variations of The Night Before Christmas, we love this interactive sound book for babies and toddlers. Have older kids? Be sure to check out the picture book version that has young readers search-and-find one adorably furry mouse on St. Nick’s magical night.

Day 2: Peas on Earth

At Christmastime, there are a lot of late nights and overstimulation. Help your child countdown to sleep with five adorable peas who can’t wait for the Santa’s imminent arrival. Babies will especially enjoy this board book’s die-cut pages and colorful illustrations. 

Day 3: You’re My Little Christmas Cookie

If it’s baby’s first Christmas, this edition of the You’re My Little series is a no-brainer. Featuring sweet gingerbread cookies, snuggly snowmen and sparkling snowflakes, this book makes for joyful story time all December long. Pick one up for yourself and be sure to grab a copy for the newest parent friend or family member, too.

Day 4: Santa’s Squeaky Boots

Santa’s got a brand-new pair of boots from Mrs. Claus. But with every step he takes, they let out a loud squeak—making his very important job of delivering presents to sleeping kids a little tricky. Toddlers will enjoy giving Santa a squeeze and hearing his squeaky boots as he delivers presents around the world on Christmas Eve in this fun, illustrated board book

Day 5: How Winston Delivered Christmas

By now your children have been home from school for almost a week. If it’s time to break out the craft supplies, we suggest revisiting this advent calendar-inspired classic. With 25 activities, there is probably one or two you may have missed before waking up on Christmas morning. And since winter will be here for a few more months, it’s perfectly acceptable to make and hang some paper snowflakes or even bake up a sweet gingerbread snack.

Day 6: 12 Days of Dinosaurs

“On the sixth day of Christmas, the Mesozoic gave to me:
Six Pterodactyls twirling.”

This board book puts a Jurassic spin on the classic carol via hilarious illustrations and laugh-out-loud lyrics. Future paleontologists won’t want to miss five Anklyosauruses on strings, two Triceratops tinkering, and a Tyrannosaurus trying to ski.

Day 7: Christmas Rocks!

This Christmas-themed activity kit will keep everyone in the holiday spirit with six rocks, paints, pom poms, glitter (you’ve been warned!), and an easy-to-follow instructional guide. We like placing our painted rocks underneath the tree when dry.

Day 8: The Lights at Christmas

From brilliant, shining lights to embossed Christmas trees, this board book is a sensory-friendly choice for infants and toddlers. Each page glitters with shimmering foils and textures, creating a magical touch-and-feel experience little hands will love.

Day 9: How Winston Came Home for Christmas

Still need some ideas for at-home entertainment? This follow up to 2019’s How Winston Delivered Christmas features 25 new craft ideas, recipes and more. It’s not too early to start making bell ornaments or stained-glass window Christmas cards for next year. Plus, the story is a good one: With the help of his friends, Winston sets off on an adventure around the world to find a very special someone.

Day 10: Touch and Trace Nursery Rhymes: Jingle Bells

From “Jingle Bells” to “Let It Snow,” these classic songs are ready for a whole new generation of readers thanks to Silver Dolphin’s Touch and Trace Nursery Rhymes series. Perfectly sized for little hands, each sensory board book features five popular poems wrapped in a modern design with playful illustrations and tracing elements. Read why the experts recommend sensory books like these for tiny tots.  

Day 11: Super Stickers! Christmas Fun!

This merry and bright activity book is good to have on hand for long car rides or those lengthy restaurant wait times. With 30-plus pages of festive mazes, coloring pages, and snowy search-and-finds (plus more than 75 puffy stickers), your child will never be bored—we hope!

Day 12: Holly the Christmas Fairy

This Rainbow Magic special edition is all dressed up for the holidays with its own sparkly cover. In this enchanting seasonal tale, kids can follow along with Holly and friends as they try to get back Santa’s stolen sleigh. If your young reader likes this early chapter book, be sure to check out the other Rainbow Fairies in this best-selling series.

READ MORE: , , , , , , , , , ,