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Top Ten 2022 Multicultural Christmas & Other Holiday Book Releases I’m Excited to Read

I know it’s July, but I’m already thinking about all of the holiday picture books I’m excited to read and share! One of our family’s favorite ways to celebrate the holiday season is to cuddle up and read lots of wonderful Christmas and holiday themed picture books. This year, there are some fun diverse holiday themed books publishing.  From Rosh Hashanah to Diwali to Thanksgiving to Christmas (and more!), the multicultural/diverse books on this list include recommendations for readers ages 4 to 8 and up.  Check out the list below (including a BONUS book), complete with publishers’ descriptions included. Spy any you want to add to your bookshelf? Which one(s) are you most looking forward to?

This blog post was inspired by Top Ten Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese: A Story of Food, Family, and Freedom

Glenda Armand, Steffi Walthall
4 - 8
A little girl helping her grandmother prepare a holiday meal learns about the origins of soul food in this powerful picture book that celebrates African American cuisine and identity from an award-winning author. Know what I like most about Grandma’s kitchen? More than jambalaya? More than sweet potato pie? Even more than pralines? Grandma’s stories! Every meal Grandma cooks comes with a story. What will today’s story be? While visiting her grandma in Louisiana, nine-year-old Frances is excited to help prepare the New Year’s Day meal. She listens as Grandma tells stories—dating back to the Atlantic Slave Trade—about the food for their feast. Through these stories, Frances learns not only about the ingredients and the dishes they are making but about her ancestors and their history as well. A celebration of the stories that connect us, this picture book urges us to think about the foods we eat and why we eat them. This book was inspired by the author’s own childhood and includes her family’s very own recipe for pralines in the back!

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun's Thanksgiving Story

Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, Alexis Bunten, Gary Meeches Sr.
3 - 7
In this Wampanoag story told in a Native tradition, two kids from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe learn the story of Weeâchumun (corn) and the first Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving story that most Americans know celebrates the Pilgrims. But without members of the Wampanoag tribe who already lived on the land where the Pilgrims settled, the Pilgrims would never have made it through their first winter. And without Weeâchumun (corn), the Native people wouldn't have helped. An important picture book honoring both the history and tradition that surrounds the story of the first Thanksgiving.

Brown Baby Jesus

Dorena Williamson, Ronique Ellis
3 - 7
Celebrate Christmas with this unique retelling of the Nativity story featuring Jesus as a melanated baby in a story that’s rich with Scripture, historical accuracy, and a multicultural weaving of love—from the author of Crowned with Glory. Like Moses, brown baby Jesus would be a deliverer. Like Rahab, brown baby Jesus would save His people from destruction. Like David, brown baby Jesus would rule as a great king. Like the colorful threads that make up a beautiful cloth, Brown Baby Jesus brings together the characters and stories leading to Jesus—showing how God included many races and nations in the story we celebrate each year. With an unconventional Christmas setting of Egypt and written in sweet, lyrical prose, Brown Baby Jesus is sure to become a holiday classic embraced by families of all races and backgrounds.

Harvest Days: Giving Thanks Around the World

Kate DePalma, Martina Peluso
6 - 9
Explore harvest festivals from around the globe! Lyrical, rhyming text and lush, detailed artwork from Italian artist Martina Peluso immerse young readers in some of the most ancient traditions in the world. Nine pages of rich, educational endnotes dive deep with more information about the 12 cultures explored in the book and invite young readers to ask questions about food and the labor that produces it.

Giving Thanks: How Thanksgiving Became a National Holiday

Denise Kiernan, Jamey Christoph
4 - 8
All across the world, among hundreds of cultures and across centuries, people have come together to give thanks. But Americans didn’t have an official Thanksgiving holiday until the 1800s. The holiday Americans know today exists because of a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale, a spirited letter-writing campaign, a sympathetic president, and a civil war. This beautifully illustrated picture book shares the true story of how Thanksgiving became a national American holiday and offers a look at the timeless and global power of gratitude.

It's Diwali!

Kabir Sehgal, Surishtha Sehgal, Archana Sreenivasan
Birth - 8
Count up to ten and back down again to the tune of "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" while learning about the traditions that make Diwali a fun-filled festival! Celebrated during autumn harvest, Diwali symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. From sweet treats to intricate henna designs to exciting firework displays, kids will delight in this vibrant glimpse into the Festival of Lights.

Measuring a Year: A Rosh Hashanah Story

Linda Elovitz Marshall, Zara González Hoang
3 - 5
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur mark the beginning of the Jewish New Year. They offer a chance to think about the present and the past, to "measure" a year and ourselves. This sweet and thoughtful picture book, perfect for reading aloud, invites young readers and their families to take stock of the happy times and the occasional regrets, as well as the new friends made and new skills gained over the year. Happy New Year! Shana Tova!

Chloe's Lunar New Year

Lily LaMotte, Michelle Lee
4 - 8
It's almost Lunar New Year, and Chloe can’t wait to celebrate! But first, Chloe and her family must prepare for the new year. They buy new shoes, lay out good-luck oranges in a bowl, decorate the red envelope, and make a crispy turnip cake. Everyone comes together to cook a fantastic feast, saving a plate for A-má, of course. Chloe enjoys the festive celebration and yummy food, but most of all, she loves spending time with her family. Lily LaMotte and Michelle Lee have created a tender, warm, and uplifting holiday story about tradition and the importance of being with those you love. The backmatter contains educational facts about the Lunar New Year celebration in Taiwan and a fun recipe for a yummy fortune cake!

Latkes and Applesauce : A Hanukkah Story

Fran Manushkin, Kris Easler
3 - 7
A cat and dog create a Hanukkah miracle, just in the nick of time in this updated reissue of the beloved holiday classic. The Menashes love latkes and applesauce during Hanukkah. But a blizzard begins and erases any hope that they’ll harvest potatoes and apples in time. When a stray cat and dog show up, there’s not a lot of food to offer them, but kindness prevails, and they’re invited in. It turns out that the dog—Latke—and the cat—Applesauce—save the day.

The Christmas Pine

Julia Donaldson, Victoria Sandoy
4 - 8
From the author of perennial #1 bestseller Room on the Broom, a new holiday tale celebrating hope, joy, and the spirit of Christmas. Deep in a snowy wood stands a little pine tree with a special destiny: when it grows up, it’s going to be a fabulous Christmas tree! The tree travels far across the sea to shine in a city square. Crowds gather to admire it, children sing carols around it, and the tree brings joy and the spirit of the season to all who pass by. Inspired by the annual journey of London’s Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square, this story includes back matter detailing the tree’s history as a gift to the United Kingdom from the people of Norway in remembrance of the UK’s support during World War II – an enduring symbol of friendship and peace.

The Truth About Mrs. Claus

Meena Harris, Keisha Morris
4 - 8
I'm including this a BONUS book! Amalia the Elf loves everything about making teddy bears . . . Watching Grandma and Mama sew! Feeling the soft, velvety fur! Imagining the bears in their new homes! . . . except the bear-making part. Worried about disappointing her family, Amalia goes straight to Santa for advice. But it’s Mrs. Claus who knows how to solve Amalia’s problem—and who needs help with a secret of her own.
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