Thematic Reading List: December Celebrations Around the World


In this issue, we will introduce you to books that represent the many holiday stories, customs and celebrations that are held around the world during December. As you read these books with your children, place a special emphasis on traditions that we share with other countries.






081095785X The Eight Nights of Chanukah
By: Leslea Newman

The wondrous days of Chanukah come to life through the eyes of a young child, whose family gathering grows bigger and bigger as the holiday progresses.

9780761454281 The Hanukkah Mice
By: Steven Kroll

A family of mice enjoys the doll house and furnishings that Rachel receives as gifts on the eight nights of Hanukkah.

9780811855525 Eight Winter Nights: a family Hanukkah book
By: Laura Krauss Melmed

Short verses describe symbols, foods, and family fun associated with the festival of Hanukkah. Includes facts about the history and traditions.

1596430591 Four Sides, Eight Nights: a new spin on Hanukkah
By: Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi

A guidebook for Hanukkah, including information about the dreidel, goodies and gelt.

9781250081025 This First Christmas Night
By: Laura Godwin

The story of the birth of Jesus.

9780310711926 Voices of Christmas
By: Nikki Grimes

A retelling of the Nativity story, told by various Biblical characters.

9780735823211 A Child is Born From the Gospel According to St. Luke
By: Schulze, Marc-Alexander

Oil paintings illustrate the Nativity story, as told through the words of the second chapter of the gospel of Luke in the King James Bible, in a holiday book for parents and children to share during the Christmas season.

0439676428 How Many Miles to Bethlehem?
By: Kevin Crossley-Holland

Mary and Joseph. An innkeeper. A donkey and an ox. Wandering shepherds, and a lamb. A bright star that says, ‘Follow me.’ Three wise men. A cruel king. A host of angels. And a newborn child who is the light of the world.

0807529087 The Gifts of Kwanzaa
By: Synthia Saint James

Introduces the seven principles of Kwanzaa–unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith–and describes how African Americans celebrate the holiday.

1560653299 Kwanzaa: why we celebrate it the way we do
By: Martin Hintz

Discusses the origins and symbols of Kwanzaa, the holiday that focuses on African American history, culture, and experiences, and offers suggestions for ways to celebrate this holiday.

9780375803291_p0_v1_s550x406 Together for Kwanzaa
By: Juwanda G. Ford

While celebrating Kwanzaa and its many traditions with her parents, Kayla hopes that her big brother Khari will get home from college before the holiday is over.

9780060728168 Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa
By: L. Washington

L’il Rabbit searches for a gift for his grandmother when she is sick during Kwanzaa, and surprises her with the best gift of all. Includes “The Nguzo Saba – The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.”

0689802986 The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale
Retold By: Aaron Shepard

While selling dozens of cookies on Saint Nicholas Eve, Van Amsterdam is chastised by a woman who insists that a dozen should really be thirteen for generous bakers.

0763616192 Baboushka : A Christmas folktale from Russia
By: Scholey, Arthur
Cann, Helen

An old woman who was too busy to travel with the Wise Men to find the Child now searches endlessly for Him each Christmas season.

0399216928 The Legend of The Poinsettia
By: Tomie de Paola

When Lucida is unable to finish her gift for the Baby Jesus in time for the Christmas procession, a miracle enables her to offer the beautiful flower we now call the poinsettia.

9781936744268 Grandma Lale’s Tamales: a Christmas Story
By: Nasario Garcia

In the Rio Puerco valley of New Mexico, Grandma Lale teaches her grandson how to make her famous Christmas tamales. Includes recipe.

1580890962 Jingle Bells
By: Iza Trapani

Presents the words of the familiar Christmas song, plus extra verses and brief descriptions of the Christmas traditions of Mexico, Sweden, the Philippines, Poland, Italy, and Kenya.

0766076199 Christmas
By: Joanna Ponto

Discusses the meaning of Christmas, the holiday we know today, gift giving, and a Christmas craft.

1476530998 Christmas in Germany
By: Jack Manning

Describes the many ways Germans celebrate Christmas, which are similar to those in the United States. This book is part of the Christmas Around the World series, which includes books about Italy, France, and Norway.

1 thought on “Thematic Reading List: December Celebrations Around the World”

  1. Do you know of any books about the longest night? That is the night of the solstice. The citizens of Iran celebrate that night each year.

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