40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Christmas

with 10 Comments

 

Multicultural Children's Books About Christmas

 

UPDATED NOVEMBER 2020!

I know Christmas is around the corner when my daughter pulls out her German Christmas Song CD and listens to it non-stop (usually way into the new year…). Time to search the internet up and down for the best multicultural children’s books about Christmas! Get your family into a festive mood with some of these treasures I found!


40 Multicultural Children’s Books about Christmas


Babies & Toddlers


My Baby Loves Christmas
by Jabari Asim

“Baby loves candy canes wrapped in bows. / Baby loves jingle bells. / Baby loves snow.” With rhythmic text and engaging illustrations, My Baby Loves Christmas celebrates all the lovely things that Baby discovers about Christmas. ~ Diverse – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Top 10 Multicultural Bedtime Stories for Babies & Toddlers


10 Trim-the-Tree’ers
by Janet Schulman

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

“1 shiny golden star at the very tip top. / 2 strings of flashing lights that just won’t stop.” Ten little neighbours count their way to Christmas while trimming the huge Christmas tree in their apartment building’s lobby. 10-Trim-the-Tree’ers will delight little ones with the fun counting rhymes and the bright, cheerful illustrations. ~ Diverse – Babies & Toddlers

Related: Multicultural Children’s Books for Babies & Toddlers


Count with Santa
by Angela Y. Nixon

“Santa’s coming, he is near! / He’s spreading joy from there to here. / With gifts and toys smiling ear to ear, / Let’s count them all now, loud and clear!” Count With Santa is a delightful board book that combines simple counting with game similar to “I Spy”. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers



 


Preschool


A Very Noisy Christmas
by Tim Thornborough

Some think that Christmas was a “Silent Night”. Far from it. It was filled with shouting, singing and screaming! It was as noisy as any of our Christmas celebrations. A Very Noisy Christmas is a fun and fresh retelling of the Nativity that comes with sound effects so that children can join in as parents read to them. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books about the Nativity Story


Disney It’s A Small World: Christmas Around the World
by Calliope Glass

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Follow a multicultural bunch of children as they celebrate Christmas around the globe! Watch fireworks in Brazil, sing carols by candlelight on a warm South African night, and join a fun Las Posadas parade in Mexico! With simple text and adorable illustrations, Christmas Around the World will be a hit with children everywhere! ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 25 Multicultural Books About Children Around The World


I Got the Christmas Spirit
by Connie Schofield-Morisson

Follow an adorable little protagonist as she enjoys the sights and sounds of the holiday season! She hears sleigh bells ringing and carolers singing, smells chestnuts roasting and sees the flashing lights of the department store windows. And when she reaches Santa, she tells him her Christmas wish–for peace and love everywhere, all the days of the year. I Got The Christmas Spirit is an exuberant picture book about the joys of the holiday season. ~ African – Preschool

More in the series: I Got the Rhythm // I Got the School Spirit


The Christmas Truck
by J B Blankenship

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

When things go awry on Christmas, Papa, Dad, their amazing kid, and one fabulous grandmother make a plan to save Christmas for a child they have never met. Featuring two dads (one of whom is dark-skinned), The Christmas Truck is a fun Christmas story about family bonds and the joy of giving. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 18 Multicultural Children’s Books featuring LGBTQIA Characters


Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border
by Mitali Perkins

Just before Christmas, Maria is traveling with her mother and younger brother, Juan, to visit their grandmother on the border of California and Mexico. For the few minutes they have together at the fence, they exchange stories and Christmas gifts with the grandmother they haven’t seen in years. When Juan’s gift is too big to fit through the fence, Maria has a brilliant idea. Between Us And Abuela is a heartwarming story about family and love. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration


Ming’s Christmas Wishes
by Susan L. Gong

Ming has three wishes for Christmas: To sing in the school Christmas choir, to have a Christmas tree, and to belong somewhere. As a daughter of immigrants in 1930s California, Ming is often treated differently at school and pointedly not invited to sing in the Christmas choir. At home, when Ming asks for a Christmas tree, her mother scolds her for trying to be American. Ming doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere: she’s not quite American enough at school, not quite Chinese enough at home. Seeing his daughter’s unhappiness, Pop takes her into the mountains to visit a wise old friend. Ming’s Christmas Wishes is a heartwarming story about heritage, family and identity. ~ Asian – Preschool

Related: 30 Asian & Asian American Children’s Books for Ages 0 to 18


La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story
by Antonio Sacre

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Nina usually spends Christmas in snowy New England with her mother, but this year she is visiting her Cuban father and grandmother in Miami. She is not sure what to make of a hot and humid Christmas, until she learns about Cuban Christmas traditions, the cooking, the dancing, the music, and the gathering of relatives and neighbours. Sprinkled with Spanish words, La Noche Buena is a wonderful introduction to Cuban Christmas traditions. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Christmas in the Time of Billy Lee
by Jerdine Nolen

Biracial Ellie makes three wishes: that her parents will see that her friend Billy Lee is not imaginary; that snow will fall on Septon’s Creek for the first time in fifty years; and that joy will return to her parents, who always seem worried lately. Billy Lee always says, “There is magic in believing something good with all your heart.” When Ellie begins to believe, all kinds of miracles occur, from broken tree lights twinkling again, to angel shapes appearing in snow, to the biggest one of all: a baby brother. Christmas in the Time of Billy Lee captures all the wonder and mystery of the holiday. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families


The Nutcracker in Harlem
by T.E. McMorrow

In this jazz-inspired retelling of The Nutcracker, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy. The Nutcracker in Harlem is vivid tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 15 Children’s Books about the Harlem Renaissance


The Night Before Christmas
by Rachel Isadora

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Out of all the multicultural children’s books about Christmas this is our favourite one! Set in Africa, The Night Before Christmas is a colourful re-imagining of the classic Christmas poem, capturing the excitement and anticipation of the holiday.The vibrant illustrations feature a Santa who sports dreadlocks and brings traditional African toys.  ~ African – Preschool


The 12 Days of Christmas
by Rachel Isadora

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Another gem by Rachel Isadora! Also set in Africa, The 12 Days of Christmas is a fun rendition (with a twist) of the beloved Christmas carol. With wonderfully detailed collage illustrations featuring tribal drummers and dancers, traditional clothing and native wildlife, this book will be a hit with children everywhere. ~ African – Preschool



 


Christmas in Lagos
by Sharon Ambibola Salu

6-year-old Ranti thinks that her Christmas will be the most boring Christmas ever because she will not be going away to exotic places like her classmates but spend it in the city where she lives: Lagos. But with the encouragement of her teacher, Ranti starts a Christmas journal where she details all the amazing things that take place in Lagos. Christmas In Lagos is a delightful story that explores the sights and sounds of Lagos at Christmas. ~ African – Preschool


‘Twas Nochebuena
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

“’Twas Nochebuena and all through our casa, / every creature was kneading tamale masa…” Join a Latino family as they prepare for Nochebuena celebrations! They make tasty tamales, hang colourful adornos, and sing festive canciones while sipping champurrado. With humorous verse and appealing illustrations, ‘Twas Nochebuena is a fun Christmas book your kids will want to read over and over again. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


Twas The Night Before Christmas
by C. C. Moore & J. Joseph

Twas the Night Before Christmas tells the classic Christmas poem with sweet illustrations featuring a Black Santa and a Black family. A cute family read! ~ African – Preschool


Tree of Cranes
by Allen Say

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

After playing in an ice-cold pond, a young Japanese boy is recovering from a bad cold. He watches his California-born mother dig up a pine tree and decorate it with paper cranes and candles in preparation for the boy’s very first Christmas. Tree of Cranes is a poignant Christmas story, complemented by glowing watercolour illustrations. ~ Asian – Preschool


King Island Christmas
by Jean Rogers

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Winter is closing in on Alaska’s King Island, and soon the Eskimo villagers will be cut off from the world for many months. That suits them fine – but first they must brave the rough sea to fetch the new priest in time for Christmas. King Island Christmas is a sweet story about the spirit of Christmas, brought to life by colourful stylized illustrations. ~ Diverse – Preschool


A Piñata in a Pine Tree
by Pat Mora

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

A little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the end. The gifts all have a Latino flavour and a tinge of magic, from piñatas, to burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), and lunitas cantando (singing moons). A Piñata in a Pine Tree is a fun and brightly illustrated picture book that puts a Latino twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.  Includes pronunciation guide, glossary and music. ~ Hispanic – Preschool


An Angel Just Like Me
by Mary Hoffman

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

“Why are they always pink? Aren’t there any black angels?” Tyler’s family needs a new Christmas tree angel, but he can’t find a single one that looks like him – until he tells his friend Carl about his problem. Written by the award-winning author of the “Grace” series, An Angel Just Like Me is a sensitive book with an important message, brought to life by radiant watercolour illustrations. ` African – Preschool


An Aboriginal Carol
by David Bouchard

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

“Before the angel star grew dim / And wondering hunters heard their hymn / One mystic flute – one hundred drums / One message clear, “A King has come!” Written in English and Inuktituk, the language of Canada’s Inuit people, An Aboriginal Carol is a stunning re-imagining of Canada’s oldest and most well-known carol, The Huron Carol. With poetry by Metis poet David Bouchard, paintings by First Nations artist Moses Beaver, and an accompanying CD with the reading and song by Inuit performer Susan Aglukark, it is the ultimate Aboriginal collaboration. ~ Diverse – Preschool


The Cajun Nutcracker
by Chara Mock

As Merrae dances with her friends and family to the sound of washboards and banjos, her excitement only grows when she receives a Nutcracker from Perrain for Christmas. But later that night, she awakes to find herself surrounded by nutrias and the evil Alligator King. Soon toy soldiers and the heroic Nutcracker come to life and begin to battle the creatures. With whimsical illustrations, The Cajun Nutcracker is a lovely Hispanic retelling of the classic tale. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2020


Native American Night Before Christmas
by Gary Robinson

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

In this whimsical adaptation of the classic Christmas tale, Old Red Shirt rides in his wooden sleigh pulled by a team of flying white buffalo. With bright illustrations, 2010 Moonbeam Award-winning Native American Night Before Christmas presents a fresh look at a Native American Christmas Eve that will delight children everywhere. ~ Diverse – Preschool



 


Elementary School


A World of Cookies for Santa
by M. E. Furman

A World of Cookies for Santa takes young readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. Head to the Philippines, where children leave out puto seko cookies and ginger tea for Santa; jet to Russia for a honey-spice cookie; then set out for Malawi for a sweet potato cookie! Includes recipes. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 25 Multicultural Books About Children Around The World


The Legend of the Poinsettia
by Tomie dePaola

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

When Lucinda accidentally ruins the new blanket for the Baby Jesus she doesn’t want to go to the procession anymore. But then a mysterious old woman tells her that “any gift is beautiful because it is given”. So Lucinda brings an armful of weeds, and as she prays, they open into flaming red flowers. With beautiful artwork, The Legend of the Poinsettia tells the Mexican legend of how the poinsettia came to be the “Flor de la Nochebueno”.  ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Grace at Christmas
by Mary Hoffman

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Grace’s favourite day of the year is Christmas, and she looks forward to celebrating it with her family. She’s not happy when she learns that a stranded family friend and her daughter will stay with them over Christmas. Part of the charming and vibrantly illustrated “Grace” series, Grace at Christmas teaches children about the importance of sharing with those less well off. ~ African – Elementary School

Encore, Grace! // Grace & Family // Amazing Grace // Princess Grace // Starring Grace / Bravo, Grace!


N Is for Navidad
by Susan Middleton Elya

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

“A is for ángel, / hung high by papá. / B is for buñuelos, / fried by mamá.” N is for Navidad is a lively celebration of a Latino Christmas, complemented by vibrant illustrations. Each letter in this festive alphabet introduces children to a Spanish word, and each colourful page takes them through another joyous aspect of the 22 days of the traditional holiday. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Amazing Peace
by Maya Angelou

Angelou’s moving Christmas poem, which she first read at the 2005 White House tree-lighting ceremony, comes alive in this beautiful children’s book. The book depicts a family celebrating the holidays with their community – rich and poor, black and white, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. Amazing Peace gives children a message of hope, peace and community. Includes an audio CD of the author reading the poem aloud. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children // 33 Multicultural Children’s Books about Peace


Too Many Tamales
by Gary Soto

Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria: Snow had fallen, Maria’s favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. But when her mother leaves the kitchen for a moment, Maria tries on her beautiful diamond ring and accidentally drops it in a batch of tamales… Too Many Tamales is a heartwarming and funny story, perfect for Christmas reading. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood
by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Based on the author’s childhood, The Christmas Coat tells the story of little Virginia whose coat is too small and hardly protects her from the cold winter. As Christmas approaches, all the children on the Sioux reservation receive clothes from congregations in the East. Virginia holds back tears when a classmate claims the beautiful fur coat she had wanted, too. But later she receives an unexpected gift in this poignant picture book about the true spirit of Christmas. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 75+ Native American Children’s Books


Grandma’s Gift
by Eric Velasquez

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Eric and his grandmother visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eric is fascinated by a painting by Diego Velasquez and wonders whether he could be an artist one day. Later, Grandma gives him the perfect Christmas gift. Based on the author’s childhood memories, Grandma’s Gift is a heart-warming book about self-discovery and the special bond between a grandparent and grandchild, perfectly complemented by Velasquez’s rich paintings. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents



 


Miracle on 133rd Street
by Sonia Manzano

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Oh no! Mami’s delicious Christmas roast doesn’t fit in the oven! Trying to find a bigger oven, José and Papá walk from door to door through their apartment building, but no one seems to be in the Christmas spirit. When they finally find someone willing to help, holiday cheer manifests in an unexpected way. Miracle on 133rd Street is a fun and colourful story about how an urban family’s dilemma becomes a community celebration. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


When Christmas Feels Like Home
by Gretchen Griffith

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

Eduardo’s family has just moved to the U.S. from a small village in Mexico. The other children don’t speak his language and they don’t play fútbol. His family promises Eduardo that he will feel at home by Christmas, when “your words float like clouds from your mouth” and “trees will ride on cars.” Beautifully illustrated and sprinkled with Spanish words, When Christmas feels like Home teaches children that home is wherever family is. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Under the Christmas Tree
by Nikki Grimes

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

“The angel smiles / Atop the tree / And proves me right. / She’s happiest there / Poised for flight, / Halo kissing the ceiling/ Feeling closer to home.” In twenty-three poems Coretta Scott King Award-winning poet Nikki Grimes celebrates the sights, sounds, and feelings of the Christmas season, from kids having fun in the icy cold, to a family gratefully enjoying Christmas dinner, and a blind man playing “Silent Night” on his saxophone. Complemented by Kadir Nelson’s expressive paintings, Under The Christmas Tree is real gem of a Christmas book!  ~ African – Elementary School


Yoon and the Christmas Mitten
by Helen Recorvits

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

When Yoon brings home a Christmas book from school, she is disappointed at parents’ reaction. “We are not a Christmas family. We are Korean. Santa Claus is not our custom”, they tell her. Determined to convince them that they can be a Christmas family after all, Yoon comes up with some ideas of her own. With stunningly beautiful and expressive paintings, Yoon and the Christmas Mitten is a touching story about family and identity. ~ Asian – Elementary School


Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico
by M. Hall Ets & A. Labastida

Ceci eagerly awaits Las Posadas, the traditional nine-day series of yuletide celebrations. This year she’ll lead the candlelight procession that re-enacts Mary and Joseph’s trek to Bethlehem. Meanwhile, her mother takes her to the old marketplace to choose her very first piñata. Ceci is dazzled by the colorful array of options, and after making her choice has second thoughts about the fate of her piñata once the posada takes place. With evocative illustrations, Nine Days To Christmas is a charming insight into Mexican Christmas traditions. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


The Christmas Gift / El regalo de Navidad
by Francisco Jiménez

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

With honesty and grace, award-winning author Francisco Jiménez shares his most poignant Christmas memory in this remarkable book. Set in a farm labour tent camp, The Christmas Gift is a simple bilingual story about family bonds and the true spirit of Christmas, complemented by powerful yet tender paintings. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School


Damon and the Magic Christmas Tree
by Tash Creates

Multicultural Children's Books about Christmas

This new release features a multiracial family from Seattle. 7-year-old Damon loves super heroes and wants nothing more than the Superman action figure for Christmas. He is not keen on spending Christmas in New York City, but when he hears about the magic tree that lights up the whole city, he gets excited. Damon and The Magic Christmas Tree is a sweet and beautifully illustrated story about the true meaning of love and family. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Related: 70+ Picture Books about Mixed Race Families


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10 Responses

  1. Masahiro Tateishi
    | Reply

    Thank you so much for this! And thank you very much for including Ming’s Christmas Wishes. It is very humbling to be included with these other illustrators and authors. I am excited to look more into some of these books. All the best and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  2. Terance Shipman
    | Reply

    Maybe next year Mr.Shipman’s Kindergarten Chronicles: December Celebrations can make the list. It’s the new classic.

    • Colours of Us
      |

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll have a look and – if it is a good fit – will include it next time I update this list.

  3. Sam
    | Reply

    Thanks for this. Also recommend Jackie’s Gift and The Nutcracker in Harlem (https://beyondthesnowyday.blogspot.com/). Just ordered Grace at Christmas!

  4. Katie Logonauts
    | Reply

    So fun! A great response of stories when if someone feels “left out” of discussions about diversity – Christmas can be a diverse holiday too. Thanks so much for sharing all of these with #diversekidlit!

  5. Jane @ Raincity Librarian
    | Reply

    What a fantastic list!! Christmas is celebrated all around the world in so many different ways – my husband and I are going to be spending Christmas abroad this year, and we’re so excited to experience the holiday traditions of another culture.

    • Colours of Us
      |

      Thank you! Enjoy your Christmas abroad!

  6. Gayle H Swift
    | Reply

    This is an exceptinal and inclusive list. Thanks!

  7. PragmaticMom
    | Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this great list of diverse books for Christmas at the #DiverseKidLit linky! I’m sharing on Twitter and Pinterest!

  8. Erin
    | Reply

    Just adding that Australian Christmas books have their own flavour too 🙂
    http://aussiebookthreads.sevenlittleaustralians.com/christmas-easter/adventchristmas-aussie/

    Always enjoy your posts

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