Selected Holiday Reading

The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies prepares graduate students for the practice of librarianship, and librarians are often called upon to recommend books to their patrons as well as to their friends and colleagues. SLIS offers the following list of books for holiday reading.

For Hanukkah   

“Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel (A Musical Board Book).  A sing-along version of the traditional Dreidel song with music activated by a button.

“My Chanukah Play Book” by Salina Yoon. A brightly colored activity book with play pieces to be used on each page.

“Hanukkah Moon” by Deborah Da Costa. A delightful story of the Jewish holiday in Mexican style, complete with a piñata in the form of a Dreidel, and other surprises.

“In the Month of Kislev: A Story for Hanukkah” by Nina Jaffe.  A story set in Eastern Europe about the meaning of Hanukkah.

For Christmas  

The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore. There are many versions of this well-beloved poem.

“It’s Christmas, David” by David Shannon.  A heartwarming story, with illustrations to match.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”  by Dr. Seuss. The well-known rhyming tale of the infamous Grinch.

“The Very First Christmas” by Paul L. Meier. A little boy is told the biblical story of Christmas by his mother.

For Hispanic Christmas holidays

“Noche Buena: Hispanic American Christmas Stories” edited by Nicolas Kanellos. A very thorough collection of regional stories, stories by Hispanic immigrants, and “Los Pastores” (The Shepherds): a miracle play.

“Las Navidades: Popular Christmas Songs from Latin America.” A bilingual book of Christmas songs with musical scores included.  

“N is for Navidad” by Susan Middleton Elya and Merry Banks.  An alphabet celebration of Christmas, Latino style!

“Merry Navidad: Christmas Carols in Spanish and English.”  Similar to “Las Navidades” (see above), but in the style of a picture book.

For Kwanzaa

“Seven Candles for Kwanzaa” by Andrea Davis Pinkney. The illustrations by Brian Pinkney are unique, featuring borders of traditional African cloth patterns on each page.

“The Children’s Book of Kwanzaa: a Guide to Celebrating the Holiday” by Dolores Johnson. A substantial book that includes recipes, crafts, the history of the African American holiday, and the significance of each day.

“It’s Kwanzaa Time!” by Linda Goss and Paul Goss.  Wonderful stories for each day of the holiday.

“Seven Spools of Thread: a Kwanzaa Story” by Angela Shelf Medearis and Daniel Minter. An original folktale retold, describing the principles of the Kwanzaa holiday.

For the New Year  

“New Clothes for New Year’s Day” by Hyun-Joo Bae. Exquisite illustrations complement a story about a Korean girl getting dressed to greet the New Year.

“Bringing in the New Year” by Grace Lin.  A Chinese family’s experience of the New Year with a fold-out picture of the dragon.

“D is for Dragon Dance” by Yang Chang Compestine. An alphabet book explaining the customs of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

“Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-Lan!” (Ni Hao, Kai-Lan). Based on a popular Nickelodeon cartoon series, the story introduces young children to the Chinese holiday.

Also recommended are the books in the National Geographic series: “Holidays around the World” with titles beginning “Celebrate [name of holiday]”