Holiday Pop-Up Books

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Best Holiday Pop-Up Books


The charm of collecting holiday-themed pop-up books stems from a delightful blend of artistry, nostalgia, and the way they immersively capture the magic, traditions, and sentiments of festive seasons.

For many, holidays are synonymous with cherished moments, family gatherings, and a general spirit of joy and togetherness. Pop-up books that showcase Christmas trees, lighted menorahs, or vibrant holiday feasts bring to life the warmth and wonder of these special occasions in a tangible form. Collecting holiday-themed pop-up books is also an engaging way to explore and celebrate the rich tapestry of festivities celebrated across the globe. Observing how artists and paper engineers collaborate to weave diverse story elements through pop-ups, pull tabs, and intricate paper folds can be truly fascinating. 

Of course, pop-up books also possess a timeless appeal. Collecting these enchanting volumes can create a repository of stories and designs that can be shared with children and grandchildren, thus establishing a delightful holiday tradition within families that can be passed down through generations – making it not merely a personal joy but a family treasure, imbued with shared memories and experiences.

This page collects some of the more recent beautiful holiday themed books you should be able to find easily, as well as some of my favourite vintage treasures that you may have to source second-hand. All are beautiful, but if you’re interested my top favourite titles are marked with a ★.

Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links for which I may be compensated (this does not affect my reviews nor cost you any money, but helps support my site hosting costs). I deeply appreciate your support of my site if you use these links, but warmly encourage you to buy from your local Indie bookshop if you have the opportunity.

Upcoming Holiday Books

night before xmas santore popup 2024

The Night Before Christmas: Deluxe Pop-Up Edition

A pop-up rendition of beautiful artwork by Charles Santore across 10 spreads, to accompany the classic Christmas Eve poem. ISBN: 9781646432899.

Paper Engineer: [not stated], illustrated by Charles Santore, story by Clement Moore
Publisher: Applesauce Press
Publication Date: Sep 2024

Find it at Amazon | Blackwells

2023 Holiday Books

Harry Potter Pop-Up Holiday Wreath

A holiday wreath featuring the Hogwarts crest, four interchangeable ornaments with different Harry Potter–inspired icons to hang on the wreath, and a flying Golden Snitch as the bow. ISBN: 9798886630640.

Paper Engineer: Matthew Reinhart
Publisher: Insight Editions
Publication Date: Nov 2023

Hoffmann's The Nutcracker - Gilded Fairytales

A magical pop-up edition of The Nutcracker with intricate folksy illustrations. ISBN 9788293560357.

Paper Engineer: Richard Ferguson, illustrated by Zanna Goldhawk, text by Steve Patschke based on the original story by ETA Hoffman
Publisher: Templar Books
Publication Date: Oct 2023

Find it at Amazon | Waterstones | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

☞ In series with a very pretty pop-up version of The Snow Queen illustrated by Lesley Barnes.

In the Holly Jolly North Pole: A Pop-Up Adventure

At the North Pole, Santa’s workshop is stuffed with little elves preparing for the holidays with gifts, treats, and fun. ISBN: 9781665933315.

Paper Engineer: Joel Stern, illustrated by Nancy Leschnikoff
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: Oct 2023

Welcome to the Museum: A Christmas Pop-Up Advent Calendar

In conjunction with the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, fans of the bestselling Welcome to the Museum series can now countdown to Christmas with this beautiful pop-up advent calendar. Inside, readers will find a beautiful pop-up tree, alongside a 28 page mini booklet detailing all the wonderful flora and fauna there is to discover during the autumn and winter months, from reindeer to red robins, and pear trees to poinsettia. Includes 25 removable and displayable cardboard ornaments – including pine cones, holly leaves, cinnamon bundles and acorns. ISBN: 9781800784369.

Paper Engineer: [not stated], curated by Emily Carter and Kew Museum
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Publication Date: Sep 2023

2022 Holiday Books

The Nativity

A three-dimensional pop-up nativity scene, designed to unfold for display during the holiday season. ISBN 9781647227579.

Paper Engineer: Matthew Reinhart
Publisher: Insight Editions
Publication Date: Oct 2022

Harry Potter: Hedwig Pop-Up Advent Calendar

A Harry Potter inspired advent calendar with 25 days of ‘gifts’ (note: disappointingly, these are just flat paper tabs) designed to slip into presents from the Wizarding World that transform into a pop-up tree centerpiece. ISBN 9781647227609.

Paper Engineer: Matthew Reinhart
Publisher: Insight Editions
Publication Date: Sep 2022

Find it at Amazon | B&N | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

Star Wars: The Life Day Pop-Up Advent Calendar

A Star Wars inspired advent calendar celebrating the joyful Wookiee holiday “Life Day”, a celebration of family, love, and togetherness. Inside, readers will find a pop-up Tree of Life holiday centerpiece with 25 days’ worth of compartments, each containing a paper ‘ornament’ to display on the tree, along with a 28-page booklet commemorating Life Day. ISBN 9781647226237.

Paper Engineer: Matthew Reinhart
Publisher: Insight Editions
Publication Date: Sep 2022

Find it at Amazon | B&N | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

Classic Holiday Pop-Up Books

★ Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas Pop-Up

A stunning pop-up edition celebrating the 25th anniversary of the movie. Each stunning, gravity-defying spread is accompanied with additional fold out pop-ups to add to the story. Intricate, delicate, interactive, and highly recommended if you can find a copy. ISBN 9781484799390.

Paper Engineer: Matthew Reinhart, story by Tim Burton
Publisher: Disney Editions
Publication Date: 2018

➤ OOP. Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay

The Gingerbread White House

A large-format single spread gingerbread version of the White House, with punch-out paper punch-out toys (including decorated trees, the President’s limousine, a Secret Service Agent, Santa on his sleigh) and a pull-out booklet with memories and recipes from former white house pastry chefs. ISBN 9781931917650.

Paper Engineer: Bruce Foster, created by Chuck Fischer, text by Roland Mesnier and Mark Ramsdell
Publisher: The White House Historical Association
Publication Date: 2016

➤ OOP. Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay

★ The Christmas Story

A beautiful pearlescent pop-up celebration of the birth of Jesus with gold highlights and simple color details. ISBN 9780763683269.

Paper Engineer: Robert Sabuda, additional design by Simon Arizpe and Shelby Arnold
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2016

➤ Find it at Amazon | B&N | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

Chanukah Lights

Inspired by Michael Rosen’s reverent poem, the book follows the Festival of Lights through place and time with striking white pop-up spreads against the backdrop of different colored scenes – from Herod’s temple to a shtetl in Russia; from a refugee ship bound for the New World to an Israeli kibbutz. ISBN 9780763655334.

Paper Engineer: Robert Sabuda, text by Michael Rosen
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2011

➤ Find it at Amazon | B&N | Waterstones | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

★ How Santa Really Works: Pop-Up Edition

Here is the ‘true scoop’ on how Santa does what he does, brought to life in a pop-up community beneath the Arctic Polar Ice Cap, humorously answering questions like how does Santa know what you want for Christmas? How does he find time to read all those letters? Does he really know which children have been naughty and which have been nice? ISBN 9781847389329.

Paper Engineer: Maggie Bateson, written and illustrated by Alan Snow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 2010

➤ OOP. Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay

★ The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition

Charming charmingly illustrated silhouette-style, this version of Moore’s classic poem finishes with the most beautiful and delicate layered cut-paper pop-up scene. Also available in a small-format pocket-sized edition. ISBN 9781406302004 (std) / 9781406358896 (pocket).

Paper Engineer: designed and illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat, text by Clement C. Moore
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: 2007 (pocket ed, 2014)

➤ OOP. Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay 

➤ OOP. Find pocket edition at Amazon | Abes | eBay

★ The 12 Days of Christmas: A Pop-Up Celebration

With a partridge popping, snow scattering, and lots of lords a-leaping off the page, this is a delightful adaptation of the classic Christmas song. The 10th anniversary edition includes extra pages with a pop-up Christmas tree with real lights aglow, and a removable pop-up ornament of two turtledoves. ISBN 9781416927921.

Paper Engineer: Robert Sabuda
Publisher: Little Simon
Publication Date: 2006 (original ed, 1996)

➤ Find it at Amazon | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

Christmas Around the World: A Pop-Up Book

Seven elaborate pop-ups with text in 11 bookplates.. ISBN 9780316117951.

Paper Engineer: Bruce Foster, designed and illustrated by Chuck Fischer, text by Anne Newgarden
Publisher: Bulfinch Press / Little, Brown & Co
Publication Date: 2007

Find it at Amazon

★ Christmas In New York: A Pop-Up Book

This gorgeous holiday guide to Christmas in New York includes pop-ups from the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center to the ball drop on New Year’s eve in Time’s Square, the Metropolitan Museum, holiday windows at department stores, and the Nutcracker ballet at Lincoln Center. ISBN 9780821257029.

Paper Engineer: David Hawcock, designed and illustrated by Chuck Fischer, text by Anne New Garden
Publisher: Bulfinch Press / Little, Brown & Co
Publication Date: 2005

➤ OOP. Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay

Jingle Bugs

Adorable bugs celebrate Christmas in this delightful pop-up for children, complete with lights and music. ISBN 9780689874161.

Paper Engineer: David A. Carter
Publisher: Little Simon
Publication Date: Nov, 2004

Find it at AmazonB&N | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

★ The Night Before Christmas

A joyous retelling of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic yuletide rhyme, with a family of mice receiving Santa’s night-time visit. Well-engineered scenes show Santa pop in and out of the chimney, beds folding out, a window shade rises and falls, and Santa’s sleigh glides out over the clouds.

A clothbound limited edition was also released, of 500 signed copies with a bonus fold-out pop-up on the front cover. ISBN 9780689838996 (Std) / 9780689850202 (LE).

Paper Engineer: Robert Sabuda, text by Clement Moore
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 2002

Find it at AmazonWaterstones | Blackwells | Abes | eBay

➤ Find LE at Amazon | Abes | eBay

The Nutcracker

A theatrical adaptation of the classic tale of the Nutcracker, which features text on one side of the page, with a “box” which opens on the other side, revealing a layered three-dimensional pop-up scene.

A clothbound limited edition also released, of 150 signed copies with a bonus fold-out pop-up on the front cover. ISBN 9780689832857 (Std), 9780689841071 (LE).

Paper Engineer: David and Noelle Carter
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: 2000

➤ Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay

➤ Find LE at Abes | eBay

★ The Christmas Alphabet

A delightful abecedarian with a Christmas flavour to its 26 pop-up paper sculptures, such as A for a holy angel rising from the page, B for a bell swinging merrily in its belfry, and C for a candle with a flickering flame.

Paper engineer: Robert Sabuda
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication date: 1994

There are multiple editions of this title around, including the original OOP edition and its reprints (red cover); a Deluxe Limited Edition in 1995 (signed, bound in red cloth, with 2 bonus pop-ups, 500 copies); a special issue in decorative boards for Gump’s of San Francisco in 1996; a Deluxe Anniversary Edition released in 2004 (green cover) and a 20th Anniversary Edition released in 2014 (gold cover).

➤ OOP. Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay
OOP. Find Limited Edition at Amazon | Abes | eBay
➤ OOP. Find Gump’s Special Ed at Abes

➤ OOP. Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay
OOP. Find Limited Edition at Amazon | Abes | eBay
➤ OOP. Find Gump’s Special Ed at Abes

ISBN 1994: 9780531068571 (Scholastic)
ISBN 1995: 9780531094921 (Scholastic, Deluxe)
ISBN 1996: 9781898000631 (Barefoot UK)
ISBN 1997: 9780531068809 (Orchard US)
ISBN 2001: 9780531068571 (Hachette UK)
ISBN 2004 10th Ann: 9780439672566
ISBN 2014 20th Ann: 9781623481544 

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas: A Super Pop-Up

Jack Skellington decides to take over Christmas, kidnapping Santa and delivering scary toys to everyone. The pop-up contains 12 “hot spots” which reveal secret images (at least, when operated by very warm hands). ISBN 9780453031325.

Paper Engineer: David and Noelle Carter
Publisher: Mouse Works
Publication Date: 1993

➤ Find it at Amazon | Abes | eBay

Father Christmas

This delightfully festive vintage piece has stiff card covers with an image of Father Christmas and pull tab which makes Santa close his eyes and open his mouth in laughter. Inside there is a space to write a letter to Father Christmas and a double page pop-up Christmas scene of a large house being visited by Father Christmas and his sleigh with a group of carol singers. 

Paper Engineer: Vojtěch Kubašta
Publisher: Bancroft
Publication Date: 1955

➤ Find it at Abes | eBay

★ Kubašta Nativities

Each year, famous illlustrator and paper engineer Vojtěch Kubašta created a charming new pop-up Christmas scene for greeting cards, table toppers and advent calendars which featured the snow-covered scenes of his own fond Christmas memories. When the Nazi forces tried to ‘redefine’ Christmas in occupied Prague during World War Two, Kubašta resisted by designing his celebrated 3-D Christmas creches with traditional Old Prague scenes to comfort the locals. He produced many different scenes over the years, and the vintage editions are sublime, but new, cheaper ones are also lovely, and any of these would be a delightful addition to your pop-up holiday decor.

Paper Engineer: Vojtěch Kubašta
Publisher: Various
Publication Date: 1930s – present

➤ Find them at Abes | eBay


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