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Books Celebrating Diverse Holiday Traditions

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

For many families, the holidays and their traditions play an important role in shaping beliefs, experiences, and who they are. Children who are aware, understand, and appreciate other cultures are more likely to grow up to be compassionate, kind, and empathetic adults.


Here is a list of books to share with your loved ones to appreciate the customs and traditions of other cultures worldwide.

 

Come find out as Monika Utnik captures the smells, tastes, and unforgettable traditions of the most popular, exciting, contemplative, and unique Christmas customs and legends from around the world. Discover why we celebrate Christmas on December 25, who invented the first glass ornament, why people build nativity scenes, and more!


A truly international collection of legends and traditions are included in the volume, such as - Glögg, Kutia, Lutefisk, Jansson's Temptation, Julskinka, Bûche de Noël, Hallaca, Kourabiedes, Christmas Pudding, Panettone, Christmas carols, talking animals, and The Nutcracker!



 

Caleb, a new neighbor, joins a festive-themed playdate. Will Riya and her friends be able to make Caleb feel comfortable?


A must-have for any child who wants to learn more about these festivals, the world around them, and how we truly sparkle!


The Sparkling Me Series books for global kids are geared to empower kids aged 6-9. Perfect for early readers and elementary school students. An excellent resource for counselors, parents, and teachers alike.


 

In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuenao flower of the Holy Night. The flower blooms and flourishes at Christmastime, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside.


Beloved Newbery honor-winning author and Caldecott honor-winning illustrator Tomie dePaola has embraced the legend using his own special feeling for Christmas. His glorious paintings capture not only the brilliant colors of Mexico and its art but also the excitement of the children preparing for Christmas and the hope of Lucida, who comes to see what makes a gift truly beautiful.




 

In an African village live seven brothers who make family life miserable with their constant fighting. When their father dies, he leaves an unusual will: the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread by sundown. If they fail, they will be turned out as beggars. Using the Nguzo Saba, or "seven principles" of Kwanzaa, the author has created an unforgettable story that shows how family members can pull together for their own good and the good of the entire community.


Magnificent and inspiring linoleum block prints by Daniel Minter bring joy to this Kwanzaa celebration.




 

The Cherokee community is grateful for each season's blessings and challenges. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.


The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences.





 

The beloved All-of-a-Kind Family comes to life in a new format perfect for younger readers. Join the five sisters back in 1912, on the Lower East Side of NYC, and watch as preparations for Hanukkah are made. When Gertie, the youngest, is not allowed to help prepare latkes, she throws a tantrum. Banished to the girls' bedroom, she can still hear the sounds and smell the smells of a family getting ready to celebrate. But when Papa comes home, she is given the best job of all: lighting the first candle on the menorah.





 

The winter solstice, the day the "sun stands still," marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year, and it comes either on December 20th or 21st. Celebrations honoring the winter solstice as a moment of transition and renewal date back thousands of years and occur among many peoples on every continent.


The Return of the Light makes an ideal companion for everyone who carries on this tradition, no matter what their faith. Storyteller Carolyn McVickar Edwards retells twelve traditional tales-from North America, China, Scandinavia, India, Africa, South America, Europe, and Polynesia-that honor this magical moment. These are stories that will renew our wonder of the miracle of rebirth and the power of transition from darkness into light.



 

Zhao Di and her friends are excited to go out at night with their paper lanterns and celebrate Chinese New Year. Each holding a unique colorful lantern with a lit candle inside, they admire the breathtaking colors while doing their best to avoid the wind and the sneaky boys in the village. Every night, until the fifteenth day of New Year, Zhao Di and her friends take part in this fun tradition, experiencing the thrill of nighttime in their village. And then―it’s time to smash the lanterns!


In this cheerful book first published in China, readers are invited along with Zhao Di and her friends as they experience all the joy and excitement of this folk Chinese custom. Details about the paper lantern tradition are also included in an author’s note at the end of the book.



 

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