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Winter Holiday Books to Share With Your Kids

There are many ways to celebrate winter. We have Winter Solstice, Hannukkah, St.Lucia Day, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Las Posadas, Lunar New Year and Christmas to name a few. Kids are continually charmed, as are we, by the special days we celebrate and observe with ceremony. Mystery and wonder fill the winter holidays. And although we read our children stories all year around, the holidays are especially rich with messages that teach and entertain.

Here are a few books to get you started. There’s a couple about different holidays including Christmas and others that touch on the magic of this time of year and winter. We hope you feel inspired to explore more of the holidays and stories from around the world that make this time of year so special.

The Wish Tree

Written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Chris Turnham

Charles wants to find a wish tree. His brother and sister don't believe there is such a thing, but his trusty companion Boggan is ready to join Charles on a journey to find out. And along the way, they discover that wishes can come true in the most unexpected ways.

The poetic text and heartwarming illustrations evoke the true essence of the holiday season and will inspire wishers everywhere. This gem of a book deserves center stage year round. – Google Books

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga

Written by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frane Lessac

The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah. – Penguin Random House

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:


By Benji Davies

From Benji Davies, the award-winning creator of Tad and The Storm Whale, comes a dazzling wintery tale about a young girl wishing for a perfect Christmas tree, and a young snowflake wishing for the perfect place to land.

High, high up in the clouds, a tiny snowflake is made. Perfectly fluffy and white, she tumbles and bounces on the clouds. But then, to her dismay, she begins to fall. . . .

Exquisitely written and beautifully illustrated, The Snowflake tells the separate stories of one snowflake and one little girl--both longing for their own special place in the world--that spin together into a magical ending. The snowflake and Noelle discover that wherever we go, and however we fall, in the end, we all find a way to shine. – Harper Collins Canada

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

'Twas Nochebuena

by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and illustrated by Sara Palacios

’Twas Nochebuena and all through our casa, every creature was kneading tamale masa... It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re invited to a Nochebuena celebration! Follow a family as they prepare to host a night filled with laughter, love, and Latino tradition. Make tasty tamales and hang colorful adornos (decorations) on the walls. Gather to sing festive canciones (songs) while sipping champurrado (hot chocolate). After the midnight feast has been served and the last gifts have been unwrapped, it’s time to cheer, “Feliz Navidad and to all a good night!”

Savor the magic of Nochebuena with a holiday tale you’ll want to read again and again. – Penguin Random House

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

The Christmas Owl - Based on the True Story of a Little Owl Named Rockefeller

Written by Gideon Sterer, Ellen Kalish and illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki

The story that captivated the country about a little owl who was found in the world’s most famous Christmas tree. When Little Owl’s home is cut down by people saying it will make a beautiful Christmas tree, she’s not sure she wants anything to do with Christmas, whatever that means. But then she is saved by a woman named Ellen, whose house is merrily decorated for the holiday, and filled with birds who need someone to care for them. Surrounded by kindness and helpful new friends, Little Owl begins to wonder if Christmas might not be such a bad thing after all….

Co-written by Ellen Kalish, caretaker of the real owl found inside the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, The Christmas Owl is a charming story of friendship, compassion, and the true meaning of this special time of year. – GoodReads

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

Playing with Lanterns

Written by Wang Yage and illustrated by Zhu Chengliang

Zhao Di and her friends are excited to go out at night with their paper lanterns and celebrate Chinese New Year. Each holding a unique colorful lantern with a lit candle inside, they admire the breathtaking colors while doing their best to avoid the wind and the sneaky boys in the village. Every night, until the fifteenth day of New Year, Zhao Di and her friends take part in this fun tradition, experiencing the thrill of nighttime in their village. And then--it's time to smash the lanterns!

In this cheerful book first published in China, readers are invited along with Zhao Di and her friends as they experience all the joy and excitement of this folk Chinese custom. Details about the paper lantern tradition are also included in an author's note at the end of the book. – Google Books

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:

Our Favourite Day of the Year

Written by A. E. Ali and illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell

A heartwarming picture book following a group of boys from different backgrounds throughout the school year as they become the best of friends. Musa’s feeling nervous about his first day of school. He’s not used to being away from home and he doesn’t know any of the other kids in his class. And when he meets classmates Moisés, Mo, and Kevin, Musa isn’t sure they’ll have much in common. But over the course of the year, the four boys learn more about each other, the holidays they celebrate, their favorite foods, and what they like about school. The more they share with each other, the closer they become, until Musa can’t imagine any better friends. In this charming story of friendship and celebrating differences, young readers can discover how entering a new friendship with an open mind and sharing parts of yourself brings people together. And the calendar of holidays at the end of the book will delight children as they identify special events they can celebrate with friends throughout the year.

Borrow it from the Calgary Public Library:


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