Holidays Around the World Books
People often live in communities with populations that are demographically similar. In other words, your neighbors probably practice a familiar faith and celebrate holidays in near identical ways. Make the effort to introduce your children to people outside of these circles. Learning about different traditions and religions requires us to push beyond our comfort zones to broaden our children’s understanding of the world. Below I will post some books that are great conversation starters and unit study resources, they pair well with our Holidays Around the World lesson pack you can find here!
If you are looking for books to help teach about other holiday celebrations around the world here is a great list! (You can click the images to grab a copy for your own library!)
Celebrate Chinese New Year while making chiao-tzu dumplings, then pop over to Saudi Arabia and taste delicious date-nut cookies called ma amoul while celebrating Eid ul-Fitr. Make an elaborate Venetian mask to wear at a masquerade ball in Venice during carnevale, then pound out a festive rhythm on the Igbo drum you vemade and celebrate the Iriji festival in Nigeria. Eat, drink, and make merry with the many diverse and exciting crafts, recipes, and activities in this book. No matter what language you say it in,celebrations are fun!
It's also the celebration of an ancient miracle, and retelling and remembering the story of that miracle is an essential part of the holiday, for young and old. The story of the courageous Maccabees is retold in simple yet dramatic text, accompanied by vibrant paintings of the battle, the Temple of Jerusalem, and the oil which miraculously burned for eight long nights.
Holiday time at Sadie's house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa's arrival.
Selina Alko's joyous celebration of blended families will make the perfect holiday gift for the many Americans who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.
Lucy Latke's family is just like yours or mine. Except that they're potato pancakes. And also, they are completely clueless. After lighting the menorah and gobbling the gelt, Grandpa Latke tells everyone the Hanukkah story, complete with mighty Mega Bees who use a giant dreidel to fight against the evil alien potatoes from Planet Chhh. It's up to the Latke family dog to set the record straight. (To start with, they were Maccabees, not Mega Bees...) But he'll have to get the rest of the Latkes to listen to him first!
This zesty parody of one of America's favorite picture books offers a very different bedtime routine: one that is full of family exuberance and love. Instead of whispers of “hush,” this bedtime includes dancing and kvelling, and of course, noshing—because this little bunny is a Jewish bunny, and this joyous book celebrates the Jewish values of cherishing your loved ones, expressing gratitude, and being generous.
The Story of Kwanzaa
Light the candles on the kinara! Fly the bendera, and tell stories from Africa! The festival of Kwanzaa was originated by Dr. Maulana Karenga to honor the customs and history of African Americans.
The seven principles of Kwanzaa, called the Nguzo Saba, serve to remind African Americans of the struggles of the past, and also focus on present-day achievements and goals for the future.
The holiday fun continues with activities at the end of the book, including making your own cow-tail switch and baking benne cakes.