‘Christ the Savior Is Born’: Children’s Book Picks for Christmas 2021

Seven books that kids will enjoy reading this holy season

Myriad titles for little ones are currently available.
Myriad titles for little ones are currently available. (photo: Courtesy book covers)

Joseph’s Donkey

Written by Anthony DeStefano

Illustrated by Juliana Kolesova

Sophia Institute Press, 2021

40 pages, $16.95

Only the most hardworking and kind-hearted would do, the soon-to-be married carpenter thought. Searching the market, Joseph spotted him. “But in the corner by himself / a quiet donkey stood, / looking brave and strong and silent, like a donkey should.” 

The donkey would soon be the carpenter’s loyal helpmate, but more than that, a faithful companion who carries Mary to Bethlehem where she gives birth to Jesus, helps the family flee to Egypt, and, years later, accompanies them to the temple in Jerusalem. 

The very qualities that endear the donkey to the Holy Family are the same qualities that will draw children closer to St. Joseph, beloved foster father and protector of Jesus. Ages 5-8.

That Grand Christmas Day!

Written by Jill Roman Lord

Illustrated by Alessia Trunfio

Worthy Kids, 2020

32 pages, $17.99

 “This is the manger where Jesus first lay / when he was born on that grand Christmas Day!” is the foundation for this joyful, cumulative story written in the fashion of This Is the House That Jack Built. Along the way, young readers meet the angel who announced that Mary was chosen to be the Mother of God, the donkey upon which she rode accompanied by Joseph, the innkeeper who found shelter for the couple, and an assorted menagerie of cows, goats and sheep. Children can join in the repetition of the verses culminating in “This is Christ Jesus, the baby adored — the great King of kings and our Savior and Lord.” Ages 4-8.


The Christmas Light

Written by Claudia 

Cangilla McAdam

Illustrated by Igor Kovyar

Sophia Institute Press, 2021

44 pages, $16.95

This is no ordinary night, the innkeeper’s young daughter decides. With her home awash with family and strangers from out of town, she remembers the couple to whom her father had offered the family’s stable as shelter. The young wife, she could tell, was ready to give birth. When a baby’s cry pierces the bitter night, the girl lights an oil lamp and hurries to the stable. There, she offers the fire to warm the family as well as her cloak, which she gently tucks around the newborn. The warmth given can only be matched by the young girl’s kind heart and the fire blazing in her soul. Ages 5-8.


Christina’s Carol

Written by Christina Rossetti

Illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Simon & Schuster, 2021

32 pages, $17.99

Against the backdrop of moaning winds and chilling snow, 19th-century poet Christina Rossetti unfolds the profound story of Jesus coming to earth and embracing his humble surroundings (“a stable-place sufficed”). She later echoes the humility of Jesus (“What can I give Him, Poor as I am? If I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb …”), concluding that the best gift of all is to offer her heart. Famed illustrator Tomie dePaola died before finishing this book. His many Nativity scenes from earlier art pieces, however, beautifully round out the visual story of Miss Rossetti penning her famous carol that we now know as In the Bleak Midwinter. Ages 4-8. 


The Beggar and the Bluebird

Written by Anthony DeStefano

Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey

Sophia Institute Press, 2021

32 pages, $16.95

With a snowstorm threatening, a little bird prepares to fly south on Christmas Eve. He knows he cannot survive the cold for long. When a street beggar asks him to do three small favors before he leaves, the bird hesitates, but then agrees. The kind man on crutches, due to his injury, cannot deliver the bread to the homeless man, or money to the widow, or, finally, the gold cross to the young boy in the hospital. With each mission of mercy, the bird grows weaker as temperatures plunge and snow swirls. When all seems lost, the beggar unveils his true angelic identity. The sacrifices, offered in love by the little bird, are treasured not only by their recipients, but by God who can never be outdone in generosity. Ages 8-12.


A Child’s Christmas ABC Book: Angels in the Air Arrayed

Written by Paul Thigpen

Illustrated by John Folley

TAN Books, 2020

32 pages, $16.95

The beauty of the Nativity unfolds page by page in this lovely alphabet book. Readers can trace the ABCs of Christmas, beginning with “Angels in the air arrayed; in Bethlehem a babe is laid” and following them all the way to “Young Lord Jesus we adore, Zion’s King forevermore!” Each double-page spread includes a lyrical text with rhyming couplets and a beautiful accompanying illustration; children and adults alike will enjoy this artful celebration of the Lord’s birth. A Child’s Christmas Counting Book, by the same author-illustrator duo, offers another avenue to explore the beauty of the season in a counting format. Ages 2-8.


Teeny Tiny Theology: 


Written by Michael R. Heinlein

Illustrated by Frank Fraser

Our Sunday Visitor, 2021

24 pages, $12.95

“Come meet Jesus. He is God and he is Man.” This board book, part of a series and beautifully illustrated, explains and shows the nature of Jesus, his works and his salvific role. It encourages children to love as Jesus did and reassures them of his mercy. An ideal book to continue the story of the newborn Jesus! Ages 3-7.

The Crawford sisters write from Pittsburgh. Both DeStefano books are available at EWTN Religious Catalogue

All books are available at Amazon.

Police use metal barricades to keep protesters, demonstrators and activists apart in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building as the justices hear hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on Dec. 1 in Washington, DC.

Resetting Abortion Laws, and Children’s Books for Christmas (Dec. 3)

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Dec. 1 for Dobbs vs. Jackson, which could reset U.S. national abortion laws. Many pro-lifers were hopeful after the hearing. Law professor Teresa Collette weighs in. Then we turn to this season in which we prepare for Christmas and the true reason for our joy. There are small ways to keep our families focused on Jesus during Advent and Christmas. Author Anthony DeStefano has been giving us helpful resources by way of beautiful childrens’ books for many years. He gives us some highlights today.