This post is for letter “A” in the 2016 ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays. To see a full list of posts, click here.
I love the tradition and stories surrounding the holiday season. It’s why I love reaching for a book that talks about different countries and their own traditions and folktales. It’s a fun way to learn more about our own history and why we celebrate the way we do, and a fun way to help us understand other cultures. Below I’ve listed 12 books (or series) that are an awesome introduction to children’s books set in other cultures about the holiday season. Enjoy!
All around the world
Walk this World at Christmas Time by Debbie Powell
Are you looking for just one book to cover many countries? This is your book. Walk this World at Christmas Time takes a quick trip to see some of the various countries most iconic holiday traditions.
The Christmas Around the World Series covers the details of holiday traditions in a variety of countries. Each book focuses on just one country. This means a thorough look at how the Christmas season is celebrated. Parents can use these books to teach kids about their own culture, and figure out how to introduce some of those traditions to their
Specific Holiday Traditions and Tales
Sweden’s Lucia Day, December 13
Lucia Morning in Sweden by Ewa Rydåker tells the tale and traditions of Lucia Day via the story of three sisters. This book also includes recipes, patterns, and songs that kids can use to celebrate at home.
Mexico’s Los Posadas, December 16
Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada! by Virginia Kroll introduces kids to all of the preparations needed in order to celebrate Los Posadas. This includes gathering poinsettias for decoration, pinatas for fun, and lots of food. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout to help kids learn popular phrases.
The Bahamas’ Junkanoo, December 26 and January 1
Netty’s Junkanoo Christmas by Lynette Hepburn-Sinclair focuses on the parade, Junkanoo, celebrated in the islands around Christmas time. The sites come alive as we see the parade through Netty’s perspective.
Italy’s La Befana, January 5
Befana is an old lady who brings gifts to children on Epiphany. The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola is about an old woman’s search for the baby king.
Children’s holiday books set in other countries
Looking for fun books about Christmas set in other countries? Here’s a list of storybooks to enjoy the holiday season abroad.
- Christmas in Uganda by Alex Tracey
- Christmas in Australia by John Williamson
- The Coming Day, A True Christmas Story from China by Alice Burnett
- The Yule Lads: A Celebration of Iceland’s Christmas Folklore by Brian
- Asante Claws: A Swahili Christmas Story by Teresa Weismann Knight
Twelve Days of Christmas Around the World
Ann Belle encourages families to learn more about destinations around the world via children’s books on her website at Kids Travel Books. Follow Ann on Twitter:@kidstravelbooks and on Facebook: Kids Travel Books.
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