Celebrating the holidays with young people can be so magical. The glisten in their eyes as they spend time with their closest family and friends while learning their family traditions and creating their own meaning for this special time. No matter what holidays you and your family celebrate, the magic of sharing time together is what makes any holiday special.
Considering the beauty of the holidays, there are some wonderful picture books to celebrate your own festivities, while also learning about the celebrations and traditions of others.
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard
This beautiful book written by a member of the Seminole Nation tells the story of a Native American family and how fry bread is not only a special food, but also a depiction of the culture and traditions of this family. Maillard wrote this book in response to his own search for books to share with his children that represent his Indigenous culture. Additionally, this book is illustrated by one of my favorite authors and illustrators, Juana Martinez-Neal.
Shubh Diwali! by Chitra Soundar
Although the festival of lights, Diwali, has already passed (it was celebrated for five days starting November 4!), it is never too late to read about Diwali and how it is an incredibly important celebration of the triumph of good over evil.
We Are Grateful by Traci Sorell
Written by a member of the Cherokee Nation, We are Grateful is a story of community and the Cherokee celebration of gratitude throughout the year.
Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg
A wonderful book that extends the holidays to include multicultural families, specifically a family with Indian and Jewish parents. This wonderful book shows that our holidays and traditions are not exclusive and can be interwoven to create something so special.
‘Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong
This is a picture book that I share in my own classroom as it is available in Spanish as Es Nochebuena! This book shares the beautiful traditions of a Mexican family on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) with tasty tamales, sweet champurrado, and time spent singing canciones.
Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington
A playful and fun story that weaves in the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa to teach kids about the true meaning of the holiday, helping others. Li’l Rabbit shows children how to embody the principles of Kwanzaa by helping others, as you follow along in his search to help Granna Rabbit enjoy the Karamu feast.
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Kim
Lunar New Year is coming up beginning February 1, 2022 and Natasha Kim shares vivid imagery and symbols of the celebration through a familiar tale but with a new added twist that ultimately leads Goldy Luck to the festivities of Chinese New Year.
Golden Domes, Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan
A book that celebrates the beauty of the Islam culture by giving special meaning to the colors including the red prayer rug, the blue hijab, and more. Golden Domes, Silver Lanterns helps young readers understand more about the Islamic Culture with a young Muslim main character as their teacher.
A Solstice Tree for Jenny by Karen Shragg
A Solstice Tree for Jenny is a wonderful recommendation by none other than our Feminist Book Club Editor, Natalia! Jenny’s secular family do not observe the holidays but Jenny still wants to find something to celebrate. Jenny’s teacher then has the idea to share about the Winter Solstice so that Jenny that learn about the shortest day of the year and celebrate the anticipation of Spring and new growth ahead.
What are your favorite children’s books to celebrate the holidays?
Let us know in the comments below!