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Tenikca of Hits with the Mrs and I are back with a Christmas and holiday diverse books round-up! I love the holiday season and we enjoy reading about not only Christmas, but holidays celebrated by other religious and ethnic groups. You can use this Bookshop link conveniently purchase or add these books to your library holds.
- Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht is a whimsical tale about finding, taking care of and decorating the prized Christmas Tree. Beautifully illustrated with a host of diverse characters, this book is sure to have all excited for tree-trimming. (Spoiler alert: The book comes with a pop-up Christmas tree and it is gorg!) It definitely got my 2 very ready to pick our tree!
- Silent Night by Lara Hawthorn is a heart-stopping take on a treasured and timeless Christmas carol, Silent Night. Using the lyrics, the illustrations walk you through the journey to the birth of Jesus. Each image is depicted so well, I read it over and over!
- The Nutcracker in Harlem by T. E. McMorrow spins the classic tale into a jazzy and debonair story following Marie, the magic toy soldiers gifted from her Uncle, and the sounds of Christmas. Set in Harlem, the images are depicted with rich joy and festivities, as well as a battle for sweets calling for Marie to step up and lead.
- I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison follows the protagonist through the holiday exploring all there is to Christmas spirit. All readers can be taught or reminded of what Christmas spirit truly is-not getting presents, but rather the joy inside you that comes from all the little things-lights, jingles and activities in the holiday season.
- The Night Before Christmas by Rachael Isadora is one of my favorites. This tale, more than a century old, is retold with vibrant illustrations that are not like others. Stockings and ornaments with African-print fabric, children with braids, locs and Kufi hats and a jolly Brown Santa and his reindeer. With these illustrations, the tale is a more relevant experience for us and fills our heart with Christmas wonder.
- What’s Cooking, Jamela? by Niki Daly is a hilarious book that caused Maya to realize that the chicken on the farm is the same chicken we eat. She may or may not have refused to eat chicken for a few days. Jamela is supposed to take care of the chicken mama buys and fatten it up for Christmas dinner. The chicken ends up becoming a pet rather than a meal at the close of this story. It’s hard to find copies available for purchase, so you may have to check it out at your library or watch a read aloud on Youtube.
- Everybody’s Tree by Barbara Joosse is a new release this holiday season. Eighty years ago, a young boy helped to plant a spruce tree in his yard. Over time, the tree grew larger and the family members got older and older. The tree had grown so large, it was chosen to be the special evergreen for the town’s Christmas tree lighting. The tree becomes everybody’s as all of the residents gather around to witness the lighting.
- Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto follows a young girl on Christmas Eve as she helps to prepare tamales for the family dinner. When Maria’s mother leaves the kitchen, and her diamond ring on the counter, Maria couldn’t help but to try it on. In an unfortunate twist of events, Maria believes the ring is missing. She and her cousins try to eat all of the tamales to find the missing ring. You’ll have to read this one to find out what happens next!
- Way Too Many Latkes by Linda Glasser is a funny tale about Faigel, the maker of the best Hanukkah latkes in Chelm. This year, Faigel forgets the recipe! When she sends her husband to the rabbi for help with the recipe, Faigel gets into more than she can handle. Thankfully, the rest of the neighbors are invited to eat the neverending supply of latkes.
- Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano (who played Maria on Sesame Street) tells the story of when Mami bought a roast that was too big to fit in the oven. Jose and Papa head to the local pizzeria to see if they can cook the roast there. Although their neighbors weren’t feeling the Christmas spirit initially, when the amazing scent of the food starts wafting through the air, all are filled with joy as they come together.
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