It’s finally time for the whole family to become fully immersed in the holiday spirit. We have picked 15 of our favorite holiday books that the whole family will love curling up and reading together. They also will make a great gift for young readers ages five and up.
You will be able to find a book that your children will love whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah or Kwanzaa. Each one of these books focus on the different traditions for each of these holidays so you will be able to answer all your children’s biggest questions.
When selecting these books, we wanted to make sure to include classics like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as some newer books like “The Night Before Hanukkah”. So, what are you waiting for? Get your coziest pajamas on and make reading these books a new holiday tradition.
15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
This is a classic book by Dr. Seuss. It is about the Grinch who is a grumpy character that is trying to get rid of the Christmas season by stealing all of the presents and decorations. He thinks that by doing this Christmas won’t happen but much to his surprise he realizes that the Christmas spirit lives inside the hearts of the Who’s. This book will show your children that Christmas is about more than the presents it’s about the joy of giving and being with those that you love.
14. Latke, the Lucky Dog
This is a cute little book about a family that adopts a dog on the first night of Hanukkah. The dog is the main character, so you get to look at the holiday through his eyes. He feels very lucky to be adopted during the holiday season because he won’t have to spend it alone. He gets in some trouble along the way and interrupts some of the Hanukkah traditions but his family understands that he is new, so they forgive him and enjoy the holiday anyway. The author introduces the traditions in a unique way that your children will be able to understand. Who can resist a story about a cute little dog?
13. Together for Kwanzaa
Together for Kwanzaa was written by Juwanda G. Ford. This book is about the importance of family during the festive season. The main character, Kayla is worried that her brother won’t make it home in time to celebrate Kwanzaa with the whole family because of a bad snowstorm. The author discusses the traditions that surround the holiday. Your children will learn all about Kwanzaa and also the importance of cherishing the time they get to spend with family.
12. The Polar Express
The Polar Express is a well-loved classic by Chris Van Allsburg. It takes place on Christmas eve when a young boy goes on a magical train ride to the North Pole to meet Santa himself. Santa lets him choose a present which all he wants is a bell off of the reindeer’s harness. On his way home, the little boy notices that he lost the bell and he is a little upset. When he wakes up on Christmas day he opens a package with the bell inside. His parents try to ring the bell and can’t hear it but the little boy can because he believes in the magic of the season. This book is a great reminder of just how magic the holiday season really is.
11. The Night Before Hanukkah
This adorable book was written by Natasha Wing in 2014. It takes place the night before the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah is set to begin. Your children will read about the delicious latkes and other foods that are eaten. They will also discover the lighting of the candles each night and why that all got started. This book truly captures all the joy and love of the Hanukkah season.
10. Seven Spools of Thread
The Seven Spools of Thread takes place in an African village. It follows the lives of seven brothers that fight all the time. The brothers find themselves in an interesting position when their father dies and leaves them a strange task to complete. The brothers have until sundown to make gold out of the seven spools of thread that he left for them or they will live a miserable life. This book shows the importance of getting along around the holidays and how family is the most important thing.
9. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
This cute little book follows Pete the Cat on another one of his silly adventures. Pete finds out that Santa is sick this year and won’t be able to deliver gifts to every good child around the world. This book is entertaining and fun and your children will love the familiar character Pete the Cat. Will Pete be able to save Christmas or will Christmas not happen this year?
8. The Story of Hanukkah
This book was written by David Adler in 2012. It talks about the most wonderful time of the year which is filled with games, food, family, and fun. It talks about the ancient miracle and the importance of remembering how Hanukkah all got started. He has simplified the story, so your children will be able to understand that the flame lasted eight nights and that’s why the holiday takes place over eight days. He has even included a traditional recipe for latkes so your family will be able to make them at home.
7. My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa
My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa is about the origins of the holiday. It originated around the time of the American Civil Rights era. This book is full of facts and will inspire your children to learn more about the customs of the holiday and when it all began. This is a brilliant book that will teach your children so much about this beautiful holiday.
6. Llama Llama Holiday Drama
What would the holiday season be without a little drama? This book is part of the beloved Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney. Llama is very impatient when it comes to the holiday season. He wants to open his presents early, but Mama carefully reminds him that presents aren’t that important. The real gift of Christmas is the fact that you get to spend it with people you love. Llama understands and is happy to wait a few more days to celebrate the holiday. This book will teach your children what is really important when it comes to the holiday season.
5. The Sound of Kwanzaa
This book is all about the sounds of Kwanzaa. The author discusses yelling Harambee and dancing to the beat of the drums and how that got started. She also talks about the Umoja and how that brings the whole family together. Then she talks about the songs of the ancestors which is known as Kuumba. Each page is full of upbeat verses and colorful and vivid illustrations that will show your children how beautiful this holiday really is and how lucky they are to listen to such wonderful music that is full of history.
4. A Kwanzaa Miracle
This book is about a brother and sister that celebrate Kwanzaa with an elderly neighbor that was feeling lonely around the holiday. Little did they know they were about to have one of the best holidays of their life. Mrs. Jackson makes Kwanzaa a lot livelier than they were expecting. Everything from the food to the music made for a holiday that they would never forget. This book will remind your children to be kind to those who might be feeling lonely during the holiday season.
3. N is for Navidad
This colorful book was written by Susan Middleton Elya and it describes the 22 nights that surrounds a Hispanic Christmas. It describes the tradition of putting shoes outside on the doorstep for the three wiremen to fill with treats and the angel that is hung above the door of each house. Each page represents a different letter of the alphabet so your children will be able to learn 26 Spanish words that are used to describe this festive time of year.
2. Eight Winter Nights
This book is full of festive poems that describe the traditions of Hanukkah from the food to the sights and sounds. It follows a little family as they celebrate this holiday with all those they love. It will show your children how important it is to be with those they love around this time of year.
1. The Seven Days of Kwanzaa
This book was written like the Twelve Days of Christmas song but it goes through the traditions and heritage of Kwanzaa. It describes the promise of unity and the fellowship that surrounds this beautiful holiday. It also talks about the drums that are typically played each night and the traditional colors that are worn to represent the origin of Kwanzaa. Each page rhymes which makes it fun to read through and the artwork is absolutely stunning which is an added bonus.