Sharing Holiday Stories 16 Books Present Customs and Traditions for Young Readers

Explore several fun and informative books about the various holidays we celebrate this month. — By Michelle Halber, Children’s Librarian, Davis Branch of the Montgomery County Public Library.

 

HANUKKAH (CHANUKAH) STORIES

Hanukkah (Chanukah), the Jewish Festival of Lights, is celebrated from Nov. 28 Dec. 6 this year and commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. These three new picture books illustrate a range of fun, family, relationships and the values of Hanukkah (Chanukah) in rhymes and stories.

 

“There Was a Young Rabbi: A Hanukkah Tale”

 

“There Was a Young Rabbi: A Hanukkah Tale”
by Suzanne Wolfe, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

 

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah

 

“The Ninth Night of Hanukkah”
by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Shahar Kober

 

Eight Knights of Hanukkah

 

“Eight Knights of Hanukkah”
by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Galia Bernstein

 

 

CHRISTMAS STORIES

“Pete the Kitty’s Cozy Christmas”
by Kimberly and James Dean

This fun touch-and-feel board book for the little ones introduces readers to Pete, who puts on his warm Christmas sweater, decorates the tree and opens presents.

 

Pete the Kitty’s Cozy Christmas

 

“The Great Santa Stakeout”
by Betsy Bird, illustrated by Dan Santat

This lower elementary school book features the story of a young boy who loves Santa and spends the entire year inventing a plan to allow him to take a picture with Santa. Does it work?

 

The Great Santa Stakeout

 

“A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World”
by M.E. Furman, illustrated by Susan Gal

Explore the pages of this nonfiction book highlighting how children of different countries celebrate the Christmas holiday. Cookie recipes from around the globe are included in the back of the book.

 

“A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World”

 

“Dog Diaries: Happy Howlidays!”
by James Patterson

Middle-grade readers will love this tale of Junior, who eagerly awaits Critter-mess day.

 

“Dog Diaries: Happy Howlidays!”

 

“Christmas: From Solstice to Santa”
by Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton

Discover this nonfiction book providing a comprehensive look at the history of the holiday to current celebrations around the world.

 

“Christmas: From Solstice to Santa”

 

“The Afterlife of Holly Chase”
by Cynthia Hand

Teen readers meet a 17-year-old scrooge, who, after refusing to believe her Christmas carol ghosts about changing her ways, finds herself dead and employed as the Ghost of Christmas Past trying to redeem others.

“The Afterlife of Holly Chase”

 

“10 Blind Dates”
by Ashley Elston

This amusing story shares the joys and pitfalls of family, as Sophie is set up on 10 blind dates by various family members, (some successful, most not), as she tries to recover from a breakup over the holidays.

 

“10 Blind Dates”

 

 

WINTER SOLSTICE BOOK

 

“The Shortest Day”
by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, Dec. 21, a fact readers can learn about in this lovely picture book. Appealing illustrations bring the story to life as readers experience how people celebrate, keep warm and bring light on the shortest day of the year.

 

“The Shortest Day”

 

 

KWANZAA STORIES

“Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa”
by Donna L. Washington, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

 

“Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa”

 

Li’l Rabbit tries to get a treat so that Granna, who can’t be with the family, can enjoy the feast of Karamu.

 

“Celebrate Kwanzaa”
by Carolyn Otto

Check out this National Geographic children’s nonfiction book providing wonderful background and information about the holiday.

“Celebrate Kwanzaa”

 

 

CULTURAL AND INTERNATIONAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS

“Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border”
by Mitali Perkins, illustrated by Sara Palacios

“Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border”

 

In this book, readers meet a mother and her two children going to the border of the United States and Mexico to visit family, as the kids try to figure out how to send a gift through the border fence.

 

“We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga”
by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frane Lessac

Explore the story of the many ways the Cherokee nation expresses gratitude throughout the year for the daily blessings and struggles of life.

“We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga”

 

 

A STORY FOR THE NEW YEAR

“Snow Globe Wishes”
by Erin Dealey, illustrated by Claire Shorrock

This lovely picture book highlights many of the wishes and hopeful dreams for the year to come.

“Snow Globe Wishes”

 

Happy holidays from Montgomery County Public Libraries!

About Michelle Halber

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