The holidays are here! Hanukkah begins Saturday night, Christmas is this Sunday, and Kwanzaa begins Monday night. I am *so ready* to celebrate; what about you?
I know some of us have specific books we like to read this time of year, and there are some classic stories that are completely synonymous with the holidays ... which is why I ventured down to the Archives with our librarian Deimosa to find some not-so familiar holiday books!
First, we found The Hanukkah Book. Written by Marilyn Burns and illustrated by Martha Weston in 1981, this is a hardcover from Four Winds Press about all things Hanukkah. It includes the story behind the holiday, how to make a dreidel, how to light the menorah, and sheet music so you can sing Hanukkah songs! (I also love the short section in the introduction called "Don't Put Hanukkah in a Spelling Bee" which talks about – you guessed it – why there are so many spelling variations of the word!)
Next, we found The Christmas Dolls. Written by Carol Beach York and illustrated by Victoria de Larrea in 1967, this fictional story is about two dolls – Florabelle, a plain rag doll with no shoes and Lily, a beautiful doll with no shoes and a backwards head (!!!) – who meet in an orphanage. Set aside on Christmas instead of being wrapped as gifts, they are found by little Tatty who can speak to dolls! She then sets out on a mission to fix them up so they don't get thrown away.
And finally, we found The Seven Days of Kwanzaa, by Angela Shelf Medearis. This book is from 1994 and is very similar to The Hanukkah Book – it has chapters about the story of Kwanzaa, Karamu foods to prepare, Zawadi gifts to make, and a glossary of Swahili terms. (P.S. Deimosa recently put together a post on this blog all about the seven principles of Kwanzaa, and books to pair with each principle!)
Happy holidays, everyone!
Special thanks to Librarian Deimosa Webber-Bey for her ongoing help with this series!