It’s December, which means many of you are ready to dive into your favorite holiday books. While most of these books center around Santa, it’s important to remember he gets a lot of help from the reindeer. There are so many reindeer books for kids available, but here are a few I wanted to share with you.
Throughout this post I have included links to each reindeer book. You can click on book covers to learn more about them.
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fictional reindeer books for kids
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May
While most children are familiar with the song or the cartoon version, this is the original story told in verse. Rudolph, the young reindeer, is teased mercilessly and excluded by his peers because of his unusual red nose. But when Santa chooses Rudolph to lead the sleigh on a stormy night, he saves Christmas and finally earns the respect he deserves from his fellow reindeer.
The Littlest Reindeer by Brandi Dougherty
If you’ve been a reader for some time, you may remember me sharing a few of the other books in this series (here and here). Dot is the littlest reindeer at the North Pole. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t seem to fly the right way. Will Dot learn to fly, or is she just too little?
The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Books written by Jan Brett include the most beautifully detailed illustrations. In this story, Teeka thinks she has to be firm with the wild and rambunctious reindeer to get them ready for Santa’s important flight. But her bossy yelling only makes her feel more frustrated. She decides to try a different approach and gives each reindeer a hug to start again.
Olive the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold
Olive, the dog, is busy getting ready for Christmas when she realizes , “Olive… the other Reindeer… I thought I was a dog. Hmmm, I must be a Reindeer!” So she quickly hops aboard the polar express and heads to the North Pole. And while Santa and the other reindeer are a bit surprised that a dog wants to join the their team, in the end Olive and her unusual reindeer skills are just what Santa and his veteran reindeer team need.
How the Reindeer Got Their Antlers by Geraldine McCaughrean
The reindeer think they look ugly with their knobbly antlers. So they hide themselves away in the cold, frozen North — away from the stares and laughter of the other animals. Then, one winter day, Father Christmas needs help to pull his heavy sleigh. Of all the animals in the world, only the shy reindeer step forward. In return, Father Christmas gives them a very special, magical gift, the gift of flight on Christmas Eve.
The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer
Oh, no! There’s trouble brewing in the North Pole: Santa’s reindeer have gone on strike and he’s auditioning other animals to take their place. But when the cats abandon station to chase some mice and the elephants fall through the roof, what’s Santa to do? Will his eight trusty reindeer ever fly again?
Reindeer Christmas by Mark Kimball Moulton
This book focuses on the magic of the season and the true spirit of giving. Late one snowy winter evening, two young children and their grandmother happen upon a weak and weary deer while feeding the animals in the forest. Together the children care for the deer and warm him by the fire until he is back to health, completely unaware of the surprise that awaits them on Christmas morning!
The Naughtiest Reindeer by Nicki Greenberg
It’s the night before Christmas and Rudolf is sneezing his little red nose off. So Santa needs another reindeer to help pull the sleigh. Rudolf’s sister, Ruby, is a little reindeer who always finds herself in big trouble. Will she find a way to be on her best behavior, or will she bring chaos to Christmas Day? Nicki Greenberg has written several more books that follow Ruby’s antics!
Uncles and Antlers by Lisa Wheeler
Get in the holiday spirit and count from one to eight in this playful tribute to a team of reindeer relatives, each quirky and fun, who help a certain jolly old man bring delight to children each year.
The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen
I love the pops of red against the black and white illustrations in this book! When a jingling sound wakes her from her sleep, a little girl’s dreams come true when she meets a lost reindeer in the forest. They set off on a magical adventure and it becomes a Christmas never to forget.
Reindeer Dust by Kate Dwyer
With all of the hustle and bustle to get ready for Christmas, Santa didn’t have time to feed the reindeer. They are looking droopy and the fog is so thick that Santa can’t see the houses below. Luckily, a boy named William has been keeping an eye on the weather. He comes up with a plan to help Santa find his way by creating sparkly reindeer dust using oats, bran, and sugar.
Imogene’s Antlers by David Small
I’ll be honest – this book has nothing to do with Christmas or reindeer in the way you would think, but it’s still an entertaining read. Imogene wakes up one morning to find that she has grown a pair of antlers overnight. Surprisingly, Imogene handles it well. The same cannot be said for her mother, though. You can find a fun photo craft to use with this book here.
nonfiction reindeer books for kids
After I shared some of my favorite nonfiction series books recently, I was hoping to find that one of them included a book about reindeer, but I didn’t have any luck. Here are two options that are still friendly for younger students.
Reindeer (A Day in the Life: Polar Animals) by Katie Marsico
Readers will follow a reindeer through its day as it eats, sleeps, and cares for its young. The author also share the behaviors, traits, and habitat of reindeer.
Reindeer (Arctic Animals: Life Outside the Igloo) by Dee Phillips
It’s winter on the Arctic tundra. As a blizzard blows around them, a herd of reindeer is searching for food. The land is covered with snow, but the hungry deer know how to find a meal. Using their hard hooves, they dig down through the snow to find moss to eat. This colorful, fact-filled book gives readers a chance to learn all about reindeer and how their bodies are adapted to the extreme cold.
Do you have a favorite reindeer book that wasn’t mentioned above? I’d love to check it out!