The holiday season is a time when we celebrate community, diversity, and the universal joy of giving. In the classroom, we introduce children to holiday traditions observed around the world by singing songs, making art, and tasting favorite local seasonal foods, as well as those from other countries.
You can continue the learning at home by engaging in shared reading experiences with your child. Below are some of our all-time favorite multicultural holiday books.
1. Lights of Winter: Winter Celebrations Around the World by Heather Conrad
Your child might be familiar with Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, but what about Soyal or Los Posadas? This book introduces children to 10 winter holidays celebrated around the world.
2. The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan and Mike Berenstain
This story does a wonderful job reinforcing the importance of showing gratitude and giving back to others. After reading, encourage your child to think of ways he can spread holiday cheer this year.
3. Dream Snow by Eric Carle
This book tells the story of a farmer who falls asleep on Christmas Eve wondering if Christmas will come without snow. He then dreams about a magical snowstorm that covers him and his animals. Infants and toddlers will love the lift-the-flap version of Dream Snow, which is designed to help stimulate their growing sensory awareness.
4. A Kwanzaa Celebration by Nancy Williams
Your child will enjoy learning about the traditions and principles of Kwanzaa as he delves into this pop-up book by Nancy Williams. He’ll even be introduced to African words and pronunciations!
5. Where is Baby’s Dreidel: A Lift the Flap Book by Karen Katz
Your little one will embark on a reading adventure as he lifts the flaps to reveal dreidels, menorahs, potato pancakes and other symbols of Hanukkah.
6. Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
This book tells the story of a little girl who misplaces her mother’s diamond ring while making tamales. Not only will your child enjoy the story’s humor, but she’ll also learn the names of foods enjoyed by Hispanic families during the holiday season.
7. Lots of Lights by Kavita Sahai
Although the Indian holiday of Diwali already occurred this year, it’s never a bad time to reintroduce some of the traditions your child learned in the classroom. This fun story includes catchy rhymes and adorable characters to keep your child fully engaged.
8. Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin
Bringing in the New Year is a heartwarming story about a Chinese-American family as they prepare for and celebrate the Chinese New Year. The book introduces food and festivities, such as a dragon parade, dumplings, lion dancers, lanterns and fireworks.