Books to Read with Your Family this Holiday Season

family reading together during the holidays

Happy Holidays! If you celebrate Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or any other holidays this time of year—or if you are just looking for some excellent winter-themed reading, here’s a list to read and share with all your family.

Lighting a Lamp: A Diwali Story by Jonny Sucker

Recommended for children ages 5 and up

The Diwali Gift by Shweta Chopra

Recommended for children ages 1 to 8

Diwali is the Hindu five-day festival of lights that welcomes in the lunar new year. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the dark fortnight of the Hindu month of Ashwin, or Aasho, which occurs in October or November, depending on the lunar calendar. During the festival, parents tell stories that relate to the holiday, exchange gifts of sweets, light candles, and attend elaborate fireworks displays. The holiday is marked by an abundance of lights displayed in homes and businesses.

The Kvetch Who Stole Hanukkah by Bill Berlin

Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” this story is great for families and kids to read as they begin their Hanukkah celebrations.

Recommended for children ages 5 and up

The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes  by Linda Glaser

Celebrate the joys of Hanukkah from latkes to dreidels. This story explains the importance of spending time with family and friends as Rachel embarks on a quest to get her stubborn neighbor to join in the festivities.

Recommended for children ages 6 and up

The Christmas Menorahs by Janice Cohn

This book is not only a great read for families who celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas but also for parents looking for books that highlight the importance of community and togetherness.

Recommended for children ages 7 and up

Chanukah is the Jewish eight-day, wintertime “festival of lights,” celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and foods.

The Hebrew word Chanukah means “dedication.” Also spelled Hanukkah (or variations of that spelling), the Hebrew word is actually pronounced with a guttural, “kh” sound, kha-nu-kah, not tcha-new-kah.

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa by Andrea David Pinkney

For families with young children beginning Kwanzaa celebrations, this is an excellent book that explains the origins and history of the holiday with stunning illustrations.

Recommended for children ages 5 and up

Celebrate Kwanzaa with Boots and Her Kittens by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy

Read about one family’s quest to find their beloved, but missing cat while learning the seven values of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States and in other nations of the West African diaspora in the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–67.

The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers

The story of Clara and her nutcracker is an excellent choice for families to share with their kids just before seeing the ballet this holiday season.

Recommended for children ages 4 and up

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

Start your own family tradition by reading this holiday classic as you tuck your kids in on Christmas Eve.

Recommended for children ages 4 and up

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Share this classic, rhyming Christmas story by Dr. Seuss about how the Grinch forms a devious plan to steal Christmas, only to learn that Christmas and the holiday spirit doesn’t come from a store.

Happy New Year’s Everywhere by Arlene Erlbach

As your family counts down to 2013, share this book with your kids to show how people around the world celebrate the coming of the new year.

Recommended for children ages 4 and up

The Night Before New Year’s  by Natasha Wing

This book tells of one family’s determination to stay up until the clock strikes midnight. A great read for explaining the excitement of New Year’s Eve for young children.

Recommended for children ages 3 and up

Cecil’s New Year’s Eve Tail  by Marie Fritz Perry

This charming tale shows the importance of acceptance and friendship when Cecil the snake attends a New Year’s Eve ball.

Recommended for children ages 5 and up

Magic Tree House #32: Winter of the Ice Wizard  by Mary Pope Osborne

This magical winter’s tale is a great book for kids of all ages who love exploring worlds of magic, mystery and adventures.

Recommend for children ages 7 and up

The Mitten by Jan Brett

This heart-warming story, which details what happens to Nicki’s glove after he loses it in the snow, is a great read to share with your kids this winter.

Recommended for children ages 3 and up

Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here by Jean Craighead George

Winter is coming for those in the Northern Hemisphere, but for those down under, its summertime. The book is an excellent choice for parents looking to explain the difference between seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Recommended for children ages 3 and up