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Holiday Picture Books: Thanksgiving through Día de Los Reyes
That whirlwind that is the holiday season is almost upon us!
While the holidays can be stressful, there is one part I really enjoy: displaying our holiday picture books and discovering new ones!
I always think about how books can serve as both mirrors and windows for the little ones in our lives.
We use books as mirrors when we share our family's holiday traditions -- like watching the Macy's Parade, singing aguinaldos, or waiting for gifts from Los Tres Reyes Magos.
We use books as windows when we read together about how other families celebrate during this time of the year.
Holiday books also make great GIFTS! So if you're not sure what to get for your favorite kids this season, consider adding to their holiday book collections.
To get you started, I've included some of our family's favorite books (and a music album) below!
Don't forget to share some of your family's favorites in the comments.
Getting books for kids about Thanksgiving right can be tricky...
I'm always on the lookout for books that capture the spirit of giving Thanks without reinforcing problematic (and go-to) American stories. In other words, in our house there are no pilgrim hats in sight. (I'd love to know if you have any favorites that fit the bill, so let me know in the comments if you do).
This year I'm focusing on two Thanksgiving themes in my life: The Macy's Parade & Apple Pie!
After first drafting this post, I two great posts on Decolonizing Thanksgiving. Check them out:
Milly and the Macy's Parade
by Shana Corey; illustrated by Brett Helquist
Nothing says winter quite like this snowy classic.
Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama
by Selina Alko
We want our little one to know many holiday traditions. This book does a nice job of introducing the idea of blending family and holiday traditions.
NAVIDAD / CHRISTMAS
La Navidades are a glorious time of the year! In Puerto Rico they go from Thanksgiving to las Octavitas (the eight days after Reyes -- aka January 14).
The books below include a mix of Christmas classics (Charlie Brown! I'm a sucker for that little tree.) and Libros Navideños. The bonus Sesame Street Holiday CD even includes María & Luis singing an aguinaldo (traditional Puerto Rican Christmas Carol).
You can't go wrong gifting some of these to the littles in your life! ¡Feliz Navidad!
Las Christmas: Favorite Latino Authors Share Their Holiday Memories
edited by Esmeralda Santiago
(This treasured holiday book is for an older crowd, but a must have for Latinx familias)
por Amaury Veray; ilustraciones de Iván Caimlli
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Illustrated by Asha Pearse
The lyrics of this holiday classic are illustrated to feature a diverse community of carolers.
Merry Christmas, Daniel Tiger!
by Angela C. Santomero; illustrated by Jason Fruchter
Perfect for the preschool set and Daniel Tiger fans.
We want our little one to know about many holiday traditions, and are excited to teach him about the seven principles of Kwanza which are valuable to reflect upon and practice all year long.
This sweet story captures the excitement of celebrating family traditions and the sadness of not always having everyone together, all while explaining Kwanza principles and traditions.
My First Kwanzaa
by Karen Katz
Simple intro to the holiday for the youngest kiddos.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
New Year's is my FAVORITE holiday, but I still didn't have a New Year's Picture Book in my collection... until now! I went searching and found this gem at the library.
This rhyming picture book follows Shanté Keys as she searches for black eyed peas. On her adventures, she learns all about her neighbor's New Year's traditions from around the world. As a bonus for my MexiRican comelibrito, eating grapes at midnight (like they do in Puerto Rico and Mexico) is included!
DIA DE LOS REYES / THREE KINGS DAY
Traditionally in Puerto Rico Dia de Los Reyes (Three Kinds Day - 1/6) was the big gift giving day. While in some ways Christmas (and Santa Clause) have taken over in that department, families still celebrate the visit of the Three Magi.
Instead of leaving out milk and cookies, children leave out a glass of water and a shoe box full of grass for the Wise Men's camellos (or caballos depending on who you ask). In the morning they find their gifts from Los Reyes waiting.
These two books bring a little bit of that Reyes Magos magic into your little one's life!
por Mrinali Álvarez Astacio y Juan Álvarez O'Neill; ilustrado por Mrinali Álvarez Astacio
Before You Go...
Words or Water
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