'Tis the season for reading!
This holiday, give the child in your life a book that celebrates and honors traditions and celebrations across cultures and families. You can find these books at your local library, or support a small business! Take a look at these ten selections below and spend some time as a family learning more about Kwanza, Chinese New Year and Indigenous traditions.
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto: This is the story of a treasure thought to be lost in a batch of tamales; of a desperate and funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble; and the warm way a family pulls together to make it a perfect Christmas after all.
Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard: Told in lively and powerful verse, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family. It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.
Keepunumuk by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten: The Thanksgiving story that most Americans know celebrates the Pilgrims. But without members of the Wampanoag tribe who already lived on the land where the Pilgrims settled, the Pilgrims would never have made it through their first winter. And without Weeâchumun (corn), the Native people wouldn't have helped.
Seven Spools of Thread by Angela Shelf Medearis: 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: by sundown, the brothers must make gold out of seven spools of thread. 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.
Ruby's Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee: Ruby has a special card to give to her grandmother for Chinese New Year. But who will help her get to grandmother’s house to deliver it? Will it be clever Rat, strong Ox, or cautious Rabbit? Ruby meets each of the twelve zodiac animals on her journey.
Carla and the Christmas Cornbread by Carla Hall: In this heartwarming tale inspired by her childhood, superstar chef and TV host Carla Hall shares the story of young Carla, who eats a sugar cookie meant for Santa on the night before Christmas and tries to make things right.
Potatoes at Turtle Rock by Susan Schnur: Annie leads her family on a nighttime journey around their farm to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. At each stop along the way―the Old Log, Squeezy Cave, and Billy Goat's Bridge―Annie uses riddles (and potatoes) to mark old traditions and start new ones. They end up at Turtle Rock Creek, where they give thanks for the light and warmth (and potatoes) in their lives.
Queen of the Hannukah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg: In this sweet and humorous picture book, Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas, a multi-cultural family (Mom's Indian; Dad's Jewish) celebrate Hanukkah while incorporating traditional Indian food.
The Seven Days of Kwanzaa by Angela Shelf Medearis: This informative and fun guide to the holiday of Kwanzaa by Black author Angela Shelf Medearis provides information about parties, recipes for African-inspired dishes, instructions for craft projects, and brief biographies of individuals who are connected to the holiday and its history.
The Wishing Tree by Meika Hashimoto: Determined to show his town what Christmas is all about, Theo finds ways to share his holiday cheer. And along the way, with a little help from the magical wishing tree, Theo discovers the true meaning of Christmas and a new holiday tradition.