Christmas around the world is celebrated different ways. Each culture observes Christmas with unique traditions. What better way to explore Christmas around the world than with a children’s literature countdown? Read down to Christmas and around the world with this holiday stories and kids’ books. that with books? Advent–the four week season of preparation before Christmas–is a good time for an around the world children’s literature journey. Here are thirty kids books on Christmas around the world.
Explore food, celebrations, religious observances, symbols, traditions and cultural activities of the Christmas holiday. As you read these Christmas kids books, keep a map or globe nearby. Have kids find the place where each story takes place. You might even print off tiny world flags and pin each on the map on the location where it belongs. These holiday lessons help connect children’s literature, culture, geography and people of the world.
Kids books from North America and South America, include these Christmas around the world titles. (Mexico) “Nine Days ’til Christmas” by Marie Hall Ets and “The Legend of the Poinsettia” (Tomie DePaola). (Native American) “The Give-Away” (Ray Buckley). To explore Christmas in the southern United States in the 1800s during slavery read “Christmas at the Big House; Christmas in the Quarters” by Patricia Mckissack. (South America) “Noche Buena: Hispanic American Christmas Stories” and from Sante Fe, New Mexico. read “The Miraculous Staircase.
For Christmas kids books from Europe, read (Russia) Baboushka and the Three Kings by Ruth Robbins and (England) “Holly and Ivy” by Rumer Godden. (Germany) “The Nutcracker” by E.T.A.Hofman, ballet by Peter Illych Tchaikovsky. Also from Germany “The Legend of the Silent Night.” (Poland) “The Christmas Nightingale: Three Christmas Stories from Poland” by Eric P. Kelly. (Scandanavia” “The Thunder Oak: A Scandanavian Legend” by William S. Walsh. (Italy) “The Clown of God” and “Jingle the Christmas Clown” and “Strega Nona’s Christmas” (all by Tomie DePaola). (France) “The Legend of the Sage Plant” by Joseph Roumanille (retold by M. Toussaint-Samat) and “The Christmas Truce” by Aaron Shepherd. Also by Aaron Shepherd, from Holland “A Baker’s Dozen.” And finally from Australia “Wombat Divine” by Mem Fox.
Here are links to websites with other Christmas around the world children’s literature selections and holiday kids books. Good Stories for Great Holidays has a comprehensive list of links to Christmas stories from times past and around the world. O Night Divine is a blog devoted to Catholic Christmas activities. You’ll find many children’s literature suggestions.