12 Festive Reads

“Proper Badger Would Never!”
by Lauren Glattly, illustrated by Rob Sayegh
When Badger finds an invitation to a human child’s birthday party, he decides to attend, convinced of his impeccable manners. However, chaos ensues when it’s discovered someone unwrapped all the presents to make a cozy nest out of the wrapping paper, there are claw marks in the cake and someone used the hallway rug as a toilet! Badger claims he would never do such things (although the icing on his snout begs to differ) in this hilarious
birthday tale.

Time to Party
In “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin, the narrator ruminates on why dragons love parties so much: “Maybe it’s the conversation, maybe it’s the dancing, maybe it’s the comforting sound of a good friend’s laughter.” Whether you like event planning, fun times with friends or are just there for the cake, here are some great reads about parties.
By Jennifer Rothschild, Collection Engagement Librarian, Arlington Public Library

Picture Books

“Do I Have to Go to the Party?”
Written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske
Baby Guppy is having a birthday party, which makes Poppy the puffer fish very nervous—what if she wears the wrong hat or brings the wrong present or any other number of problems? And, of course, when Poppy gets nervous, she puffs up, which makes it worse! Despite her fears, Poppy arrives at the party and learns that Baby Guppy is having a problem, too, and Poppy’s the only one who can help. This book is a heartwarming story about friendship and trying new things.

“The Great Henna Party”
by Humera Malik, Illustrated by Sonali Zohra
Noor’s cousin is getting married, and they’re having a henna party! As part of the party, they’re playing the henna name game, where the henna artist will hide the name of the person you love most in the designs. But who does Noor love most? How can she choose just one person in her family?

Early Readers

“Baking with Mi Abuelita”
Written and illustrated by Julissa Mora
It’s Papa’s birthday, so a young girl helps her abuelita make tres leches cake—his favorite! They measure, count and mix, and Abuelita is there to help when anything goes wrong. The hardest part is waiting for the cake to bake, but the best part might not be eating it but rather the fun they both had making it.

“There Was a Party for Langston”
by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Jerome and Jarrett Pumphrey
Inspired by a 1991 photograph of Maya Angelou and Amiri Baraka dancing at the opening of the Langston Hughes Auditorium at Harlem’s Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, Reynolds intricately weaves together words and imagery, paying homage to Hughes’ profound impact on literature and culture. With its rhythmic prose and dynamic illustrations, this book is a jubilant tribute to Hughes and a testament to the power of words and community, and a
party to celebrate all of it.

“The Party Diaries: Awesome Orange Birthday”
by Mitali Banerjee Ruths, Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
Priya’s started a party planning business with Layla Aunty as her first client. Layla Aunty loves the color orange, so Priya’s plans involve pumpkin-filled samosas and handmade decorations. With so much to do, can Priya get it all done in time? And will she be able to handle unexpected surprises? This is the first in The Party Diaries series, documenting
Priya’s adventures in party planning.

Middle Grade

“Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party”
by Saadia Faruqi, Illustrated by Ani Bushry
Alexa is two days older than Marya and always has the biggest parties, while Marya usually just has pizza and cake with her family and best friend. This year, in a burst of jealousy, Marya declares she’s also having an epic party—and hers will involve henna! Now, she has just a few days to plan and execute the perfect party, with the first step being getting her parents on board. This delightful story is the first in a series.

“Baby-Sitters Little Sister: Karen’s Sleepover”
by Ann M. Martin and Katy Farina
Karen is hosting her first sleepover! She can’t wait to bake cookies, stay up late telling spooky stories and raid the refrigerator. But in the lead-up to the party, Karen and her friend Nancy get into a fight, so Karen uninvites her and invites a new girl, Pamela, instead. When the party rolls around, Pamela isn’t much fun and doesn’t want to do the planned activities with the other girls. Can Karen save her party and her friendship with Nancy?

“Pack Your Bags, Maggie Diaz”
by Nina Moreno, Illustrated by Courtney Lovett
Maggie can’t wait for the class overnight trip to St. Augustine over spring break, but her friends seem more preoccupied with the dance that will happen after the trip. This second entry in the Maggie Diaz series sees Maggie deal with sibling rivalry, changing friendships and early romance with great humor in a sweet and heartfelt story.


by Ryan La Sala
At a swanky party, Athan goes to the bathroom and gets trapped while unimaginable horror happens just outside the door. When he emerges, everyone is dead, and he’s the top suspect. Athan needs to clear his name, but that involves a thrill ride of ancient magic, murderous wallpaper, secret societies and mirrors that see everything (and will show it to whoever knows how to look). This gritty horror novel explores the space between reality and reflection.

“The Fall of Whit Rivera”
by Crystal Maldonado
Despite her new diagnosis of PCOS and the resulting side effects, Whit is determined to make senior year the best year ever in this cozy romcom.But then she breaks up with her long-distance boyfriend and is stuck planning the fall formal with the boy who broke her heart in middle school. Will the year be a bust before it’s barely begun? Not if Whit can help it.

“House Party”
edited by Justin A. Reynolds
Ten authors write a series of interconnected short stories about what happens at an epic house party that has no parents, a large house, a pool, alcohol and most of the senior class. Some want to kiss their crush, some want to go down in school history and some just want to escape for a bit. One thing’s for certain—it’s a night none of them will forget. With a mix of prose, text chains and graphic novel pages, readers won’t forget it either.


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