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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

15 Best December Read Aloud Books for the Classroom

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

December Read Aloud Books for the Classroom

I’m so excited to share my favorite books for the holiday season.  These books are perfect for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.

Some of these may already be on your list of favorite December picture books, but hopefully, will find a few new books to add to your collection! 

​Favorite Christmas Books

Jump into the holiday spirit with these great books!

1. The Polar Express 

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg follows a doubting boy on a magical train journey to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Along the way, he experiences adventures, meets Santa Claus, and receives the first gift of Christmas. The story emphasizes the magic of the holiday season and the importance of belief.

We must not forget the magic bell the boy receives as the first gift of Christmas. Of course this great book has become immensely popular with the 2004 movie (has it really been that long ago?) 

You can read how this book is used in reading comprehension lessons by clicking:

December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

2. Olive the Other Reindeer

Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh is a sweet book about Olive, a dog who misinterprets the song, Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Believing she’s meant to be a reindeer, Olive embarks on an adventurous journey to the North Pole. Alongside Santa’s reindeer, Olive proves herself indispensable. The story celebrates individuality, friendship, and the idea that anyone can contribute to the spirit of Christmas. 

SIDENOTE:  This was one of my son’s favorite Christmas books.

3. Memoirs of an Elf

In Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian, an elf recounts the bustling preparations at the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Told from the elf’s perspective, the book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the secret world of Santa’s workshop. I love the illustrations and humor in this sweet little story. This story captures the magic and teamwork that goes into making Christmas special as well as the joy of giving. 

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

4. Night Tree

​Night Tree is written by Eve Bunting and it is such a sweet story.  This is a story of a family who goes out into the forest to find the perfect Christmas tree. At first, it appears that the family may be looking to chop down a tree.  But in a fun twist, the family is actually there to decorate a tree for an animals in the forest.   In the Christmas spirit, they hang ornaments made from bird seed and popcorn garlands.  Love, love, love this book!

Check out this blog post for more information about how we used this book:

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

5. The Legend of the Poinsettia

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie DePaola is a heartwarming story that follows a young girl named Lucida in Mexico. Unable to afford a gift for the Christmas procession, she gathers weeds to create a bouquet. The weeds transform into vibrant poinsettias when she places them at the church altar. Lucida learns that the humblest offerings given with love can become the most meaningful gifts. I’ve always love DePaola’s beautiful illustrations and this lovely Christmas story highlights a legend from a different culture.

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

Other Holidays Around the World

You can find another blog post with book suggestions for winter holidays by clicking:

Other December Holidays

Winter holidays are bountiful in December.  Check out some of these different holidays and different cultures.

6. Light The Lights! A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah And Christmas

Light the Lights!: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman is a great story of dual holiday celebrations. The story follows a young girl named Emma as she joyfully experiences both Hanukkah and Christmas traditions with her interfaith family. This wonderful book emphasizes the beauty of different traditions and the spirit of togetherness during the holiday season. 

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

7. The Trees of the Dancing Goats

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco is a set during Hanukkah. Trisha embraces the spirit of kindness when her neighbors fall ill during the Christmas season. Instead of celebrating, Trisha and her family decide to share the joy of Hanukkah by decorating Christmas trees for their neighbors. The story beautifully illustrates the power of compassion, friendship, and the universal themes that connect diverse holiday traditions. Patricia Polacco’s books are perfect for older kids! 

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

8. Moon’s Ramadan

Moon’s Ramadan by Ndaa Hassan takes readers on a journey!  This book takes the reader to different continents to explore diverse places and traditions of Ramadan. 

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

9. The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

The Seven Days of Kwanzaa by Angela Shelf Medearis is an historical account or a guide to Kwanzaa.  This informative book includes a glossary of Swahili terms relevant to the holiday, recipes for traditional African dishes, and straightforward instructions for crafting Zawadi gifts.

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

10. Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story 

The Seven Spools of Thread is a Kwanzaa story by Albert Whitman. Residing in an African village are seven brothers whose constant quarreling disrupts family harmony. When their father passes away, an unconventional will is revealed: before sundown, the brothers must transform seven spools of thread into gold.

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

Other Cozy December Read Alouds

Perhaps you are looking for a good book that has a winter theme!  You are in a great place because I have some great stories to share! 

You can click on these links to read blogs posts on how we incorporate these stories into our reading comprehension lesson plans:

11. The Mitten

The Mitten by Jan Brett is such a precious story:

12. The Story of Snow

This is a great nonfiction book that teaches about snow!

13. Snowmen at Night

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner is always a crowd pleaser!

14. The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a must read!

15. Sneezy the Snowman

Sneezy the Snowman is hilarious and students just love him!

By choosing age-appropriate books and exploring a variety of themes, such as holiday traditions, winter wonders, diversity, and emotional intelligence, we can create a rich and memorable reading experience for your students.

So, teachers, friends, and readers, grab a cup of cocoa, cozy up with a blanket, and dive into the world of December read aloud books.

15 of the Best December read aloud books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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