Are you interested in helping your children become “global citizens”? The holidays are a nice time to enjoy our own traditions while exploring others, too.
By the Kids’ Media Experts at
The winter season offers the perfect backdrop for introducing your kids to holidays celebrated by different cultures, both in the United States and abroad. And media can provide us with a window into their varied and colorful traditions.
Here is a collection of books, along with a few other media treats (a movie, TV show, and app) that will help your children broaden their horizons and learn more about others who share our planet. Enjoy these titles with your kids, and you all may learn something new!
Books About Favorite Holidays From Around the World
Let’s Celebrate Diwali
Diwali, or the festival of lights, is celebrated around the world. This book explores the different traditions and customs of many different groups. The colorful illustrations make this an especially engaging read.
Amma, Tell Me About Holi!
This colorful tale shares the story of the Hindu holiday of Holi, using colorful pictures and simple rhymes to make it easily understood by children.
Celebrate: A Book of Jewish Holidays
This book is a terrific introduction to the traditions and stories behind many of the Jewish holidays.
Oskar and the Eight Blessings
As a refugee from Nazi Germany, Oskar finds the people of New York to be kind and giving on a day that is both the seventh night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. The people’s warm welcome shows Oskar that there is love and compassion in the world still.
Under the Ramadan Moon
In this picture book, a family’s month-long celebration of Ramadan is connected to the moon’s movement. The giving, sharing, praying, and caring for others that occurs during the month is beautifully conveyed.
Day of the Dead
Brightly colored illustrations and detailed descriptions draw the reader into the preparations, foods, and celebration of the Day of the Dead.
The Egg Tree
One grandmother’s childhood tradition of an Easter Egg tree is discovered by her grandchildren, who are quick to embrace the custom themselves. This winner of the Caldecott Medal is a true classic.
Marco’s Cinco de Mayo
Narrated from the perspective of a young dancer in a Cinco de Mayo parade, this book brings the holiday and its history to life.
Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Chinese New Year
With over a billion people celebrating Chinese New Year worldwide, it’s a great idea to learn about the food, gifts, visiting, and celebration that are key to this holiday.
Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story
The seven principles of Kwanzaa are brought to life through the story of seven brothers in an African village. When their father dies, they must cooperate and make gold from seven spools of thread. As they work together, they learn to value each other and their community.
A Movie About Favorite Holidays From Around the World
The Black Candle: A Kwanzaa Celebration
This documentary, filmed around the world, explores the African-American experience, both the triumphs and sorrows. Of particular focus is the Kwanzaa holiday, which now is celebrated by over 40 million people.
A TV Show About Favorite Holidays From Around the World
Rugrats Holiday Collection
Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah get the Rugrats treatment in this holiday special.
An App About Favorite Holidays From Around the World
A fully featured Hanukkah app with a menorah to light, a dreidel game, songs, and some foundational Hebrew. Included are “Eight Days of Happiness” tips for parents on teaching children about the meaning and traditions behind the holiday and expressing appreciation for the miracle of the oil lasting eight nights.