The 6 sweetest picture books about Christmas tree farms

The girls were delighted last weekend when I retrieved our Christmas picture books.

We have dozens and dozens (I’m too embarrassed to reveal the exact number), so I tend to think of them in terms of subgenre: the religious ones; our “The Night Before Christmas” collection (of which this new release is a stand-out!), the snow-themed ones (including this gem).

My favorite subgenre has to be the books about Christmas tree farms. Heading to a Christmas tree farm and cutting down a tree is one of our most fun holiday traditions. So I’m a huge sucker for books that illustrate that experience – especially when they zero in on the tree-selection process, as this first one does. 


1. Froggy's Best Christmas

Too skinny.

Too fat.

Just right.

The critters trim the tree with pinecones and popcorn. It’s a sweet and simple tale.


2. Maple & Willow’s Christmas Tree

Another charmer features a sister duo struggling to select the perfect tree. (Right up our alley!)


They speak in a secret sister language to communicate about their options.

Too big.

Too small.

Just right.

(I must pause to gush over the adorable elf hat on the big sister. Be still, my heart! Last winter I dressed the girls in similar hats, and I recently ordered some darling Etsy ones for indoor wear and milder weather. Stay tuned for photos!)

Then they head home in their little red car as the snow falls, the tree secured by a candy-cane striped rope.

(Side note for heroic parents of kids with allergies: This 2016 release may be the first Christmas book to address allergies! Hurrah!)


3. Pick A Pine Tree

With textured illustrations and rhyming verse, this 2017 release cleaves to the entire Christmas-tree farm process – from choosing the tree to securing it in its stand, watering it and trimming it – making it whimsical and educational.


Then they head home in their little yellow car as the snow falls, the tree secured by bow-tied rope.


4. A Little Christmas Tree

This beauty was also published last year. Is realistic, illuminated illustrations remind me of the ones in American Girl books. 

The book won an award for Best Book in the Children's Religious category. (Follow its charming Instagram account!)


 5. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree

This Christmas book was illustrated by one of my favorites: the legendary Maine artist Barbara Cooney. (I've blogged before about her exquisite illustrations.) 

Cooney has a penchant for books that haunt a mama's heart, inducing happy-sad tears that spring from someplace deep and true, where sorrow and joy are closely intertwined. 

It does have a happy ending, and it's kid appropriate -- in the classic Barbara Cooney way that speaks to their most mature, knowing selves. 

Amid many contemporary tomes, this book stands out by evoking a bygone era -- a simpler time when families lived off the land and made big sacrifices.


6. The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree 

This last one is another vintage winner amid the newer releases. Published in 1980, it's the closest the Berenstain Bears will ever get to How The Grinch Stole Christmas in both its storyline and its decidedly Suess-like rhyme.  

 Any parent who has ever been determined to get things JUST RIGHT for Christmas will see herself in Papa Bear, who is relentless in his quest to obtain the perfect Christmas tree and thereby impress others with his off-the-charts Christmasy-ness. 

Against Mama Bear's better judgment, Papa cannot be deterred.

In the end, he learns a valuable, Grinch-like lesson about the real meaning of Christmas. 

I hope you enjoy these books as much as we do! And let me know if I'm missing any from the Christmas-tree-farm subgenre! I give the kids a new one each year on the day we go to a tree farm, so I'm always on the look-out.



Related reading

Check out this blog post on our favorite Minnesota Christmas tree farm. 


 Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and three young children in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at