In our world with lots of different cultures, it’s really important to help kids learn about and understand other people’s traditions. This can teach them to be kind and respectful to everyone. One great way to do this is by teaching them about holidays like Diwali, Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, and Ramadan. When they know why these holidays are important to others, it can make them more accepting and open-minded. Here is a collection of picture books about celebrations.
I’m sharing all of these books on video as well! Check out the Picture Books about Celebrations on my Youtube channel.
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Picture Books about Celebrations
To make your job easier, I’ve compiled a list of recommended picture books that cover celebrations from different cultures.
Red & Green & Blue & White by Lee Wind
Inspired by a true story, this is a tale of a community that banded together to spread light. It’s a holiday season that both Isaac, whose family is Jewish, and Teresa, whose family is Christian, have looked forward to for months! They’ve been counting the days, playing in the snow, making cookies, drawing (Teresa) and writing poems (Isaac). They enjoy all the things they share, as well as the things that make them different.But when Isaac’s window is smashed in the middle of the night, it seems like maybe not everyone appreciates “difference.”
Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali
Musa’s feeling nervous about his first day of school. He’s not used to being away from home and he doesn’t know any of the other kids in his class. And when he meets classmates Moisés, Mo, and Kevin, Musa isn’t sure they’ll have much in common.
But over the course of the year, the four boys learn more about each other, the holidays they celebrate, their favorite foods, and what they like about school. The more they share with each other, the closer they become, until Musa can’t imagine any better friends.
Winter Candle by Jeron Ashford
When each family at the diverse Juniper Court apartment complex needs something to light up the dark of winter, the stumpy, lumpy candle provides a glow brighter than the fanciest taper, revealing the true spirit of each holiday it illuminates.
Grab the lesson plan for Winter Candle here.
Let’s Celebrate! by Kate DePalma
Experience a child’s-eye view of 13 holidays around the world, such as the Spring Festival in China, Inti Raymi in Peru, Eid al-Fitr in Egypt, Día de Muertos in Mexico and the New Yam Festival in Nigeria. Let’s Celebrate! includes pronunciation guides, a festival calendar and educational notes about why we celebrate.
Sparkles of Joy by Aditi Wardhan Singh
Explore Diwali Christmas Hanukkah, through this children’s book that celebrates their origins, similarities and differences. Caleb, a new neighbor, joins a Diwali themed play date. Will Riya and her friends be able to make Caleb feel comfortable? Enjoy this fun story that takes you around the world and find out how cultures around the world sparkle more when celebrated together.
Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
When a leak ruins the sacristy wall in his father’s church, Jonathan Jefferson Weeks thinks Christmas Eve service will be ruined. Luckily he and his father find a beautiful tapestry, perfect for covering the damaged wall and giving the church a festive look! But then, an old Jewish woman recognizes the beautiful cloth. Her discovery leads to a real miracle on Christmas Eve.
Come and Join Us! by Liz Kleinrock
Meet kids who share how they celebrate holidays all year long—perfect for discussions about de-centering winter holidays! Who says the holidays only happen in the winter? Every day’s a holiday when you live in a world as diverse as ours! From Juneteenth to Vesak, and Yom Kippur to Día de las Muertos, the festivities never end. Learn about eighteen holidays celebrated by a diverse group of children in this inviting and joyful picture book.
Adding picture books to your social studies lessons can help you teach kids about celebrations from different countries. This not only helps them learn about other cultures but also makes them kinder and more understanding.
Grab the lesson plan for Winter Candle here.
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Save this Book List
Be sure to save this pin to your favorite read alouds board on Pinterest! You’ll be able to come back to these books when you are ready to read them aloud with your students.