Diwali: Festival of Lights

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights with variations in other Indian religions. Diwali symbolizes the spiritual triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. Diwali is celebrated across India with variations across the region. It is also celebrated and enjoyed by non-Hindu communities such as Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists. Diwali is one of the largest and most important festivals that takes place over five days. The name the Festival of Lights is given due to the celebrants illuminating their home, temple, and workspaces with candles, lanterns, or oil lamps which serves to symbolize the inner light that defends against the darkness. This year Diwali takes place on Sunday, November 12, 2023. Throughout this blog we highlight the celebration of Diwali and introduce readers to picture books that feature Diwali and Hinduism culture at the forefront. Within these picture books you will find a range of topics from recipes customary during Diwali, craft ideas, family traditions, to the quintessential child going through Diwali preparations.

Eliot, Hannah
Illustrated by: Sreenivasan, Archana
Diwali. 2018 (Picture Book)
In this colorful board book, a part of the Celebrate the World series Eliot focuses on Diwali. A perfect book for preschool and up that delves into the tradition and origins of the holiday and the festival’s importance. With colorful artwork it is sure to be a hit with introducing the holiday to all ages.
S.294.536 El45di

Gilmore, Rachna
Illustrated by: Priestley, Alice
Lights for Gita. 1994 (Picture Book)
When Gita, the protagonist of this picture book, immigrates from her native home of New Delhi, India to the West, she looks forward to celebrating Diwali in her new home and enjoying the fireworks despite the gloominess of the weather in November. However, as Gita prepares for the holiday the weather has other plans through freezing rain. Her papa must postpone the fireworks, and friends cancel their visit due to the weather. Feeling dejected, Gita remembers the fond memories she has of Diwali in her native country in comparison to her celebration now in a foreign country. With the guidance of her mother and when all is going awry, Gita finds a new perspective in Diwali when, with the light from the lamps, she realizes Diwali can brighten up even the worst days.
SE. G425l

LaRocca, Rajani
Illustrated by: Sreenivasan, Archana
Where Three Oceans Meet. 2021 (Picture Book)
Although this picture book does not exclusively focus on Diwali it is a heartwarming story on intergenerational bonding and love. In this story three characters Sejal, Mommy, and Patil, Sejal’s grandmother, go on a trip to the southern tip of India where they share meals, bond, visit friends, and visit the markets. Each character carries a unique experience when visiting their native country. For Patil, Sejal’s grandmother, she is re-visiting sites she is familiar with, for mommy she is returning to the place she grew up, and for Sejal she is experiencing it for the first time and discovering where she comes from. As the family makes their way to Kanyakumari, where three oceans meet, the book highlights the beauty of India and the celebration of family and the enduring love we have for one another.
Q. SE. L3269wh

MacMillan, Dianne M
Diwali: Hindu Festival of Lights. 1997 (Picture Book)
A part of the Best Holiday Book series, MacMillan explores Diwali, focusing on the history, traditions, and celebrations surrounding the holiday. Additionally, in this book it retells the stories told during the holiday about Rama’s return after the long exile and Krishna’s defeat over the evil Narakasura.
S.294.536 M228d

Mathur, Sanyukta
Illustrated by: Pippin-Mathur, Courtney
Happy Diwali! 2021 (Picture Book)
In this radiant tale of Diwali this story follows a little girl from dawn to dusk as she prepares for the celebration of Diwali through drawing rangolis, welcoming guests, helping to prepare the food, dressing up in colorful clothing, participating in the Puja, and lighting the diyas (lamps) in honor of Diwali. The strength in this picture book lies in its ability to recognize the diversity and variations that families may have when observing the holiday and how Hindu families of all diverse kinds of backgrounds celebrate the festival.
Q. SE. M4269ha

Mirchandani, Raakhee
Illustrated by: Kelkar, Supriya
My Diwali Light. 2022 (Picture Book)
In this Diwali story it follows Devi as she prepares to celebrate her favorite holiday. It is a special time where she can wear her red bindi, eat samosas, and celebrate with her loved ones. From making mithai, designing rangolis, and painting diyas, Devi and her family share their Diwali traditions through radiant illustrations. It shines a light on how Diwali is celebrated in so many ways from family to family!
Q. SE. M675my

Pandya, Meenal
Here Comes Diwali: The Festival of Lights. 2001 (Picture Book)
Meenal Pandya uncovers the traditions and origins of Diwali through the eyes of a Hindu child. What separates this picture book is the stand-out crafts and food recipes it shares with the reader, along with suggestions on how to celebrate the special holiday with loved ones.
S.294.536 P192h

Ruths, Mitali Banerjee
Illustrated by: Singh, Parwinder
Archie Celebrates Diwali. 2021 (Picture Book).
Archana, otherwise known as Archie, loves Diwali and her family’s annual party in celebration of the holiday. This year is different, she can invite all her friends from school and share the holiday festivities. However, as Archie prepares for the holiday through food preparations and decorations, crisis strikes as the party just begins and a thunderstorm knocks out the electricity from the house and drenches all the outside decorations. Archie begins to feel that everything is ruined, and the celebration will not be the same due to the storm. Follow Archie in a beautiful tale that touches on themes of friendship and trying to fit in during Diwali.
SE. R934ar

Singh, Rina
Diwali: Festival of Lights. 2016 (Picture Book)
Diwali is recognized by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs where each celebrate the stories, legends, and symbolism of the holiday in which good triumphs over evil. Rina Singh explores her Indian roots through stories surrounding Diwali. Diwali: Festival of Lights shares insight into personal accounts of the Diwali traditions from stories to sharing the festive recipes known during the holiday. It takes the reader on a journey of how Diwali is celebrated throughout the world.
S.294.536 Si646d

Umrigar, Thrity N
Illustrated by: Chanani, Nidhi
Binny’s Diwali. 2020 (Picture Book)
Binny’s class is learning about different holiday traditions and each classmate is sharing their own holiday traditions. Follow Binny as she embarks on her day when she is going to share Diwali, the festival of lights. Although she is excited to share her favorite holiday, she is also nervous but as she finds her confidence, she begins to share the beautiful fireworks displayed throughout Diwali, the delicious pedas and jalebis, and the clay lamps, diyas, that light up and make all the children stunned by their beauty. Binny’s Diwali features a heartwarming story that encapsulates the spirit of Diwali from the dazzling illustrations by Nidhi Chanani to capturing the essence of what it means to be Hindu and celebrating a beloved holiday.
Q. SE. Um7bi


Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is June 21, and we would like to send out a note of thanks and appreciation to fathers everywhere. Listed below are a few of our favorite fictional books about dads, ideas and instructions for making a gift for Father’s Day, and nonfiction titles describing a few hardworking fathers of the animal kingdom.

Fictional Fathers

(Young Readers)

Abigail Takes the Wheel. 1999.
When the first mate of the freight boat Neptune falls ill, it is up to Abigail, the captain’s daughter, to steer the ship up the Hudson River from New Jersey to New York City.
[Education Storage: S. Av51a]

Cleary, Beverly.
Ramona and Her Father. 1977.
The family routine is upset during Ramona’s year in second grade when her father unexpectedly loses his job.
[Education Storage: S. C581rf]

Mandrell, Louise.
The Best Man for the Job. 1993.
Mitzi’s father, heavy and clumsy and not her image of the ideal father, wreaks havoc in his attempts to be a good dad until the true meaning of Father’s Day becomes clear.
[Education Storage: Q. S.M3126B]

Nolan, Janet.
A Father’s Day Thank You. 2007.
Harvey the Bear searches for the perfect Father’s Day present and decides that thanking his dad is the best gift of all.
[Education S Collection: SE. N7115f]
(Middle/High School Readers)

Cullen, Lynn.
I am Rembrandt’s Daughter. 2008.
In Amsterdam in the mid-1600s, Cornelia’s life as the child, born out of wedlock, of renowned painter Rembrandt is marked by plague, poverty, and despair at ever earning her father’s love, until she sees hope for a better future in the eyes of a wealthy suitor.
[University High Library: Fiction C897i]

Evetts-Secker, Josephine.
The Barefoot Book of Father and Son Tales. 1999.
Folktales collected from various cultures illuminate the father-son relationship.
[Education Storage: S.398.27 Ev29bf]

Pearsall, Shelley.
All Shook Up. 2008.
When thirteen-year-old Josh goes to stay with his father in Chicago for a few months, he discovers–to his horror–that his dad has become an Elvis impersonator.
[Education S Collection: S. P316a]

Wilson, Jacqueline.
Candyfloss. 2007.
When her mother plans to move to Australia with her new husband and baby, Floss must decide whether her loyalties lie with her mother or her father, while at the same time, her best friend begins to make fun of her and reject her.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. W6942c]
Home Made Gifts for Dad

King, Penny.
Making Presents. 1998.
Gives instructions for making ten simple items that can be given as presents, including an egg cup, a decorated mirror, and candle holders.
[Education Storage: S.745.5 K586M]

Ross, Kathy.
All New Crafts for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. 2007.
A necktie book mark, #1 Dad door hanger, and eraser magnets are just a few of the gifts you can make with stuff you have at home.
[Education S Collection: S.745.594 R733all]

Ross, Kathy.
Gifts to Make For Your Favorite Grownup. 1996.
Provides instructions for making fifty crafts suitable as gifts for adults.
[Center for Children’s Books: Q. S.745.5 R733g]

Ross, Kathy.
Step by Step Crafts for Gifts. 2007.
Kathy Ross offers more hand made gift ideas, with instructions and drawings.
[Education S Collection: Q. S.745.5 R733sg]
Fathers of the Animal Kingdom

Collard, Sneed.
Animal Dads. 1997.
Illustrations and simple text describe how the males of different species help take care of their young.
[Center for Children’s Books: S.591.563 C684A]

Cutchins, Judy and Ginny Johnston
Parenting Papas: Unusual Parenting Fathers. 1994.
Describes animal fathers that take care of their offspring.
[Education Storage: S.591.56 C971P]

Freedman, Russell.
Animal Fathers. 1977.
Discusses the child care behavior of fifteen animal fathers including the seahorse, Darwin’s frog, emperor penguin, and gray wolf.
[Education Oak St. Facility: S.590 F875A]

Santa Stories

When the calendar page turns over to December, many children eagerly begin to count the days until Christmas and the arrival of Santa Claus. The following stories about Santa Claus provide humor, suspense, and holiday cheer for kids who can’t wait until the 25th!
Picture Books
Alsenas, Linas
Mrs. Claus Takes a Vacation. 2006.
Tired of all the snow at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus takes a world tour before Christmas one year.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. Al783m]

DePaola, Tommie.
Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? 2004.
A houseful of relatives turns “Mrs. C.” and Santa’s Christmas into a string of surprises, from the arrival of a pet polar bear to Cousin James B.’s flaming plum pudding.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. D44g]

Dunham, Terri
The Legend of Papa Noel: a Cajun Christmas Story. 2006.
This Cajun version of Santa’s Christmas Eve deliveries tells of Papa Noël living in a Louisiana swamp and bringing gifts in a boat pulled by alligators along the Mississippi River.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. D92l]

Frazee, Marla
Santa Claus: the World’s Number One Toy Expert. 2005.
Santa Claus has his own ways of knowing more about children and toys than anyone else in the world.
[Center for Children’s Books: Q. SE. F869s]

Joyce, William
Santa Calls. 1993.
Art Aimesworth receives a mysterious summons from Santa Claus and he shares a Christmas adventure with his sister that brings them closer together.
[Education Storage: Q.SE. J856S]

Koontz, Dean
Robot Santa: the Further Adventures of Santa’s Twin. 2004.
Bob Claus tries to make up for last year’s Christmas havoc by building an android to help his brother, Santa, by delivering toys in a gorilla-driven sleigh, but despite his good intentions, things go horribly wrong.
[Education S Collection: Q. S. K837r]

Krensky, Stephen
How Santa Lost His Job. 2001.
Frustrated by Santa’s slowness at Christmastime, Muckle the elf creates a mechanical replacement called the Deliverator and proposes a series of contests to prove that it can do Santa’s job better than he can.
[Education Storage: SE. K882ho]

Pallota, Jerry
Who Will Help Santa This Year? 2007.
Santa Claus needs help in his workshop, so he advertises for applicants. But the mermaids get the toys wet and the wizards turn Santa into a frog. Just when things look desperate, the elves arrive to save the day, in this humorous peek behind the scenes at the North Pole.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. P179w]

Polacco, Patricia
Welcome Comfort. 1999.
Welcome Comfort, a lonely foster child, is assured by his friend the school custodian that there is a Santa Claus, but he does not discover the truth until one wondrous and surprising Christmas Eve.
[Education Storage: Q. SE. P756w]

Primavera, Elise
Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas. 2002.
When Chris expresses doubt about the existence of Santa Claus, his older sister Sophie reveals that their aunt is really Santa’s sister and helper and then sends him on a strange journey.
[Education Storage: Q. S. P935a]

Slangerup, Erik Jon
Santa and Me. 2005.
Mrs. Merrie H. Claus’s scrapbook shows her life with her husband, Santa Claus, and describes his many Christmas-related activities.
[Education Storage: Q. SE. Sl13s]

Solheim, James
Santa’s Secrets Revealed: All Your Questions Answered About Santa’s Super Sleigh, His Flying Reindeer, and Other Wonders. 2004.
After Stevie tells a reporter that he does not believe in Santa Claus, Santa himself pays him a visit, takes him to the North Pole to show him his operation, and proves that he uses magic as well as science.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. So43s]

Weninger, Brigitte
A Letter to Santa Claus. 2000.
When he learns of Santa Claus from an old calendar, a poor young boy sends off his Christmas wishes tied to a balloon and gets a surprising response.
[Education Storage: Q. SE. W486lu:E]

Wheeler, Lisa
Where, oh Where, is Santa Claus? 2007.
Santa Claus is missing, and a host of arctic animals searches for him in the snow.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. W5612w]
For Older Readers
Abbott, Tony
Kringle. 2005.
In the fifth century A.D., as order retreats from Britain with the departing Roman Army, orphaned, twelve-year-old Kringle determines to rescue his beloved guardian from the evil goblins who terrorize the countryside by kidnapping and enslaving humans. In the process, with the help of elves and others along the way, Kringle discovers his true destiny.
[Education S Collection: S. Ab292k]

Baum, L. Frank
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. 1986.
Describes the life of Santa Claus from birth through old age and into immortality.
[Education Storage: S. B327LIF1986]

Funke, Cornelia
When Santa Fell To Earth. 2006.
When he and his caravan come crashing down to earth during a thunderstorm two weeks before Christmas, Santa is befriended by two children, Charlotte and Ben, who try to help him save the holiday from the tricks and moneymaking schemes of Gerold Geronimus Goblynch and to take off in time for his annual rounds.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. F964a:E]

Paulsen, Gary
A Christmas Sonata. 1992.
When a little boy spends Christmas with his dying cousin, they discover that Santa really does exist.
[Education Storage: S. P285CH1994]

Ryan, Brittany
The Legend of Holly Claus. 2004.
Santa Claus’s daughter, Holly, comes to Earth seeking an end to the curse cast upon her and the Land of the Immortals by an evil wizard, whose own punishment will end only if Holly willingly gives him her pure heart.
[Education Storage: S. R952l]

Tolkien, J.R.R.
The Father Christmas Letters. 1976.
A collection of illustrated letters from Father Christmas recapping the activities of the preceding year at the North Pole. The letters were written by the author to his children.
[Undergrad Call Number: 823 T57FA]

Thanksgiving Books for Children

As Thanksgiving approaches, many children, teachers, and caregivers will begin searching for books about this popular American holiday. Because the tradition has its origins in the early encounters between European colonists and Native Americans, selection of quality books that are also culturally sensitive and historically accurate can be a delicate task.

The list below contains a sample of the many Thanksgiving-themed books found in the Education and Social Science Library’s School Collection. Items were selected based on recommendations from the 8th edition of Best Books for Children, and were checked against the ‘Books to Avoid’ About Thanksgiving list on the Oyate website. The non-fiction titles provide information on the Thanksgiving holiday, as well as background information about the peoples involved and the environment in which the first Thanksgiving was held. Fiction titles can be found towards the bottom of the list.

Additional books about Thanksgiving can be found by entering “Thanksgiving Day” into a subject search in the UIUC Online Catalog. Additional resources for locating books about Native American peoples can be found on the S-Collection’s “Native American Young Adult and Children’s Literature” page.

Barr, Catherine, and John T. Gillespie. Best Books for Children: Preschool Through Grade 6.
(8th ed.) Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2006.
[Education Juvenile Reference: S.011.62 B271b2006]

“‘Books to Avoid’ About Thanksgiving.” Oyate Website. Accessed 10/28/2007.
Non-Fiction Titles

Discovery and Settlement: Europe Meets the New World, 1490-1700. (1993).
Brown, Gene.
Presents primary source materials related to the discovery and settlement of America and daily life in the colonies, including the experiences of Native Americans, African Americans, and women.
Call No.: S.973.2 B813

The Mayflower Compact. (2003).
Carter, E.J.
Discusses the history of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, the early government of the Plymouth Colony, and the document known as the Mayflower Compact.
Call No.: S.974.4 C245m

Daily Life in the Pilgrim Colony, 1636. (2001).
Erickson, Paul.
Text, drawings, photographs, and maps describe how the Pilgrims lived at the Plymouth colony in 1636.*
Call No.: Q.S.974.48202 Er44da

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving. (2001).
Grace, Catherine O’Neill.
This appealing and informative photoessay presents the historically correct story of the first Thanksgiving as reenacted at the Plimoth Plantation.*
Call No.: S.394.2649 G753s

A Pioneer Thanksgiving: A Story of Harvest Celebrations in 1841.
Greenwood, Barbara.
This book about a family’s Thanksgiving celebration in 1841 includes recipes, craft projects, and games.*
Call No.: S.394.2649 G856p

Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition. (1997).
Hunter, Sally M.
Twelve-year-old Russell learns how to grow and dry corn from his Winnebago grandfather.
Call No.: S.394.1089975 H919f

Thanksgiving Day. (1997)
MacMillan, Dianne M.
Describes the history of Thanksgiving Day, how it came to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, and the traditions associated with this holiday.
Call No.: S.394.1649 M228T

Thanksgiving. (1998).
Miller, Marilyn.
Examines the traditions and celebrations associated with the holiday of Thanksgiving.
Call No.: S.394.2649 M616t

Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition. (1992).
Peters, Russell M.
Steven Peters, a twelve-year-old Wampanoag Indian in Massachusetts, learns from his grandfather how to prepare a clambake in the tradition of his people.
Call No.: S.974.482 P442C

Pilgrim Voices: Our First Year in the New World. (1995).
Using first-person sources, the experiences of the Pilgrims from their sea journey to the first Thanksgiving are re-created.*
Call No.: S.974.48202 P643

Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage. (2003).
Plimoth Plantation Inc.
Contains a photographed reenactment of the voyage and landing of the Mayflower with text covering the perspectives of both the Native Americans and the English.
Call No.: Q.S.974.4 M453

The Wigwam and the Longhouse. (2000).
Yue, Charlotte.
Describes the history, customs, religion, government, homes, and present-day status of the various native peoples that inhabited the eastern woodlands since before the coming of the Europeans.
Call No.: S.973.04973 Y9w
Fiction Titles

A Turkey For Thanksgiving. (1991)
Bunting, Eve.
Mr. and Mrs. Moose try to invite a turkey to their Thanksgiving feast.
Call No.: SE.B886TU

Minnie and Moo and the Thanksgiving Tree. (2000).
Cazet, Denys.
All the animals in the barnyard ask the cows Minnie and Moo to hide them so that they will not become Thanksgiving dinner.
Call No.: SE. C319m

We Gather Together – Now Please Get Lost! (2001).
De Groat, Diane
Gilbert the opossum gets stuck with a tattletale “buddy” on a class trip to Pilgrim Town.
Call No.: S.D365w

Thanksgiving at the Tappleton’s. (1992).
Spinelli, Eileen.
When calamity stalks every step of the preparations for the Tappleton’s Thanksgiving dinner, they realize that there is more to Thanksgiving than turkey and trimmings.
Call No.: Q.SE.Sp46t

The Know-Nothings Talk Turkey. (2000).
Spirn, Michele.
Four friends celebrate Thanksgiving in their own silly way.
Call No.: SE.Sp48knt

Thanksgiving With Me. (1998).
Willey, Margaret.
As a young girl waits for her six uncles to arrive for Thanksgiving, she asks her mother to describe life with these brothers on past Thanksgivings.
Call No.: Q.SE.W669t

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving. (1993).
Alcott, Louisa May.
Follows the activities of seven children in nineteenth-century New England as they prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday while Mother is away caring for Grandmother.
Call No.: Q.S. AL19OL1995

The Perfect Thanksgiving. (2003).
Spinelli, Eileen.
Two families – one that is perfect and one that is far from it – celebrate Thanksgiving in their own loving ways.
Call No.: Q.SE.Sp46p

*annotation from Best Books for Children.

Winter Holiday Books

Winter is a time for many holiday traditions around the world. Join in the celebration and learn about other cultures through stories, games, and craft projects! The following is a sample of fiction and non-fiction winter holiday titles that can be found in the Education S-Collection. Also included are search tips for finding additional titles, and useful websites for further exploration.

Hanukkah (Chanukah) – Judaism
December 15, 2006-December 23, 2006

Benderly, Beryl Lieff
Jason’s Miracle: a Hanukkah Story. 2000.
Twelve-year-old Jason has ambivalent feelings about Hanukkah until he finds himself transported back to the time of the Maccabean revolt in Judea.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: S.B4321j

Hughes, Monica.
My Hanukkah. 2004.
Illustrations and simple text describe how one family celebrates Hanukkah.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.296.4 H874m

Kimmel, Eric A.
The Jar of Fools: Eight Hanukkah Stories from Chelm. 2000.
Drawing on traditional Jewish folklore, these Hanukkah stories relate the antics of the people of Chelm, thought – perhaps incorrectly – to be a town of fools.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.K571j

Newman, Leslea.
The Eight Nights of Chanukah. 2005.
The wondrous days of Chanukah come to life through the eyes of a young child, whose family gathering grows bigger and bigger as the holiday progresses.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.296.435 N346e

Winter Solstice (Yule) – Various
December 21, 2006

Jackson, Ellen.
The Winter Solstice. 1994.
Presents facts and folklore about the shortest day of the year, a day that has been filled with magic since ancient times.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: Q.S. 394.2683 J133W

Pfeffer, Wendy.
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice. 2003.
Describes how and why daylight grows shorter as winter approaches, the effect of shorter days on animals and people, and how the winter solstice has been celebrated throughout history. Includes activities.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.261 P475s

Christmas – Christianity
December 25, 2006

Lankford, Mary D.
Christmas Around the World. 1998.
(From Booklist, 9/15/95) “…looks at the rich diversity of Christmas traditions found in 12 distinctly different cultures…the book features a small selection of craft activities (with step-by-step instructions and diagrams), a helpful pronunciation guide, and an interesting selection of Christmas superstitions.”
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.2663 L276c1998

Rau, Dana Meachen.
Christmas. 2000.
Introduces the many aspects of Christmas, including its history, customs, meaning, and the way people celebrate it today.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.2663 R19c

Whybrow, Ian.
The Kingfisher Book of Classic Christmas Stories. 2004
An anthology of fourteen Christmas stories, both previously published and newly commissioned, by such authors as Louisa May Alcott and William Dean Howells, and illustrated by such artists as Anna C. Leplar and Paolo D’Altan.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.K592

Wilson, Karma.
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger. 2005.
Unhappy in his cramped, cold hole, Mortimer Mouse moves into a nativity scene thinking it is the perfect home for him, until he discovers who truly belongs there.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: SE.W694mo

Kwanzaa – African Heritage
December 26, 2006-January 1, 2007

Chocolate, Deborah M. Newton.
A Very Special Kwanzaa. 1996.
Charlie’s school is holding a Kwanzaa festival, and he doesn’t want to be any part of it because last year he was made fun of when he participated. But Charlie soon learns that Kwanzaa is a celebration of creativity and caring, of family and friends, that Kwanzaa can be a pretty special time – for everyone.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: S.C4512V

Medearis, Angela Shelf.
Seven Spools of Thread: a Kwanzaa Story. 2000.
When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa. Includes information on Kwanzaa, West African cloth weaving, and instructions for making a belt.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: SE.M4672s

Murray, Julie.
Kwanzaa. 2003.
An introduction to the history, purpose, and observance of Kwanzaa.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.261 M964k

Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
Seven Candles for Kwanzaa. 1998.
Describes the origins and practices of Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival during which people of African descent rejoice in their ancestral values.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.268 P655s1998

New Year’s Day – Various
January 1, 2007

Erlbach, Arlene.
Happy New Year, Everywhere! 2000.
Describes New Year greetings and customs from twenty countries and includes games, recipes and craft projects.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: Q.S.394.2614 Er52h

Imler, Kathryn A.
New Year’s Day. 2003.
A basic introduction to how and why New Year’s Day is celebrated as a holiday.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.2614 Im5n

Rau, Dana Meachen.
New Year’s Day. 2000.
Discusses the history, customs, and celebrations of New Year’s Day.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: S.394.2614 R19n

Chinese New Year
Februrary 18, 2007 (Year of the Pig)

Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane.
Celebrating Chinese New Year. 1998.
Depicts a San Francisco boy and his family preparing for and enjoying their celebration of Chinese New Year, their most important holiday.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: Q.S.394.261 H854c

Bouchard, Dave.
The Dragon New-Year: a Chinese Legend. 1999.
Frightened into sleeplessness by the noisy celebration of the Chinese New Year, a young girl takes comfort in her grandmother’s soothing story of a dragon, a mother’s sorrow, and Buddha.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: Q.S.398.20951 B66d

Katz, Karen.
My First Chinese New Year. 2004.
Chinese New Year is a time of new beginnings. Follow one little girl as she learns how to welcome the coming year and experience all the festivities surrounding it.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: SE.K159my

Search tips
Want to see more? Use the following subject headings to search the UIUC catalog:
Hanukkah — juvenile literature
Hanukkah — juvenile fiction
Winter solstice — juvenile literature
Christmas — juvenile fiction
Christmas — juvenile literature
Kwanzaa — juvenile fiction
Kwanzaa — juvenile literature
New Year — juvenile literature
Chinese New Year — juvenile fiction
Chinese New Year — juvenile literature

The following websites provide further information, along with craft and game ideas

Springfield Library’s Winter Holidays Website
Waterboro Public Library’s Resources for Winter Holidays Page
Kid’s Domain Winter Fun Website

Halloween Picture Books for Preschoolers

What better books to share with children than stories about Jack-o-lanterns, trick-or-treating, skeletons, and haunted houses, when Halloween is drawing near? Most of the following titles, collected from a posting compiled by Stacey Schultz (Oct 21, 2005) at the PUBYAC (http://www.pubyac.org/) listserv, are non-scary picture books that librarians have reported to be successful with preschoolers. Titles with an asterisk may be scary stories.

At the end of this post is a search method to locate many more juvenile titles about Halloween in our library.

Bollinger, Peter.
Algernon Graeves Is Scary Enough. 2005.
Algernon Graeves wants to wear the darkest, scariest Halloween costume ever to go trick-or-treating and finally thinks of just the right thing.
Location: Center for Children’s Books
Call Number: Q. SE. B638a

Brown, Ruth.
*A Dark, Dark Tale: Story and Pictures. 1981.
Journeying through a dark, dark house, a black cat surprises the only inhabitant of the abandoned residence.
Location: Education Remote Storage
Call Number: SE. B8144D

Cazet, Denys.
The Perfect Pumpkin Pie. 2005.
Mr. Wilkerson, lover of pie, returns as a ghost on Halloween to demand some good pie from Jack and his grandmother.
Location: Center for Children’s Books
Call Number: Q. SE. C319p

DeFelice, Cynthia C.
The Dancing Skeleton. 1989.
An ornery dead man refuses to stay in his coffin and causes a disturbance when the best fiddler in town comes to call on his widow.
Location: Education Remote Storage
Call Number: SE. D361D

Desimini, Lisa.
Trick-or-Treat, Smell My Feet! 2005.
When twin witches Delia and Ophelia cook up a mischievous spell for Halloween, a mysterious ingredient causes the potion to backfire.
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: Q. SE. D461t

Emberley, Ed.
*Go Away, Big Green Monster! 1992.
Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: Q.SE. EM13G

Galdone, Paul.
The Teeny-Tiny Woman; A Ghost Story. 1984.
Retells the tale of the teeny-tiny woman who finds a teeny-tiny bone in a churchyard and puts it away in her cupboard before she goes to sleep.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: SE. G131TE

Graves, Keith.
Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance. 1999.
Frank the monster indulges his love of dancing by strutting his stuff on stage until his head unzips, his brains flop out, and he continues to lose body parts.
Location: Center for Children’s Books
Call Number: SE. G785f

Hall, Zoe.
It’s Pumpkin Time! 1994.
A sister and brother plant and tend their own pumpkin patch so they will have jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: Q.SE. H1495I

Heller, Nicholas.
*Goblins in Green. 1995.
A succession of goblins, from Annabelle in an amber blouse to Zelda in a zebra anorak, presents the letters of the alphabet.
Location: I-Share Libraries

Hubbard, Patricia.
Trick or Treat Countdown. 1999.
A counting book that lists scary sights on Halloween, from one haunted house to twelve creeping cats.
Location: Center for Children’s Books
Call Number: SE. H861t

Johnston, Tony.
Very Scary. 1995.
A pumpkin shimmering in the moonlight attracts the attention of an owl, a cat, crickets, a witch, and a group of boys and girls, who change it into a scary jack-o-lantern.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: SE. J648VE

Krosoczka, Jarrett.
*Annie was Warned. 2003.
Disregarding warnings about the creepy mansion outside of town, Annie bravely goes to investigate on Halloween night and gets a big surprise.
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: Q. SE. K928a

London, Jonathan.
Froggy’s Halloween. 1999.
Froggy tries to find just the right costume for Halloween and although his trick-or-treating does not go as he had planned, he enjoys himself anyway.
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: Q. SE. L8462frog

Mathews, Judith & Robinson, Fay.
Nathaniel Willy, Scared Silly. 1994.
Nathaniel Willy is scared silly by a squeak in his door, so Gramma must put the farm animals in bed with him for company.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: SE. M4242N

Mayr, Diane.
Littlebat’s Halloween Story. 2001.
Littlebat loves to listen to the stories being told below the attic where he sleeps, but he has to wait until just the right time to get close enough to hear them better.
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: SE. M455l

McBratney, Sam.
*The Dark at the Top of the Stairs. 1996.
Knowing that he must satisfy their curiosity, an old mouse agrees to show three young mice the “monster” at the top of the stairs.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: Q.SE. M1212D

Meister, Cari.
Luther’s Halloween. 2004.
On Halloween, a boy and his pet triceratops named Luther thwart a bully dressed as Dracula who has been taking candy from other trick-or-treaters.
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: SE. M479l

Melmed, Laura Krauss.
Fright Night Flight. 2002.
On her way to Halloween trick-or-treating, a witch makes room on her broom for a group of fiendish friends.
Location: I-Share Libraries

Pilkey, Dav.
The Hallo-wiener. 1995.
All the other dogs make fun of Oscar the dachshund until one Halloween when, dressed as a hot dog, Oscar bravely rescues the others.
Location: Center for Children’s Books
Call Number: Q.SE. P644H

Preston, Edna Mitchell.
One Dark Night. [1969]
The Jack-o’-lantern, skeleton, scarecrow, witch, ghost, and robber who came sneaking down the road one dark night were all frightened home by the squeak of a mouse.
Location: I-Share Libraries

Rex, Michael.
Brooms Are for Flying! 2000.
A group of young trick-or-treaters demonstrate that “feet are for stomping,” “eyes are for peeking,” “mouths are for moaning,” and “tummies are for treating.”
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: SE. R3291b

Root, Phyllis.
Oliver Finds His Way. 2002.
Oliver the bear becomes lost when he chases a leaf to the edge of the woods, but then he comes up with an idea to find his way back home.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: SE. R678ol

Serfozo, Mary.
Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin. 2001.
Peter finds the perfect pumpkin so that he and his Dad can make a jack-o-lantern.
Location: I-Share Libraries

Silverman, Erica.
Big Pumpkin. 1992.
A witch trying to pick a big pumpkin on Halloween discovers the value of cooperation when she gets help from a series of monsters.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: Q.SE. SI393B

Thompson, Lauren.
Mouse’s First Halloween. 2000.
“One spooky night in the fall, Mouse creeps out and hears bats flying flit! flit! flit! and apples dropping plop! plop! plop! and children singing ‘trick or treat!’ What could it be?”
Location: Education S Collection
Call Number: SE. T3751mh

Wheeler, Lisa.
One Dark Night. 2003.
Mouse and Mole feel afraid one dark night crossing a mush-mucky swamp and a marsh-misty wood.
Location: Center for Children’s Books
Call Number: Q. SE. W565o

Williams, Linda.
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. 1986.
A little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her.
Location: I-Share Libraries

Wojciechowski, Susan.
The Best Halloween of All. 1998.
A young boy recalls all the Halloween costume agonies he’s been through, until, at last, he gets to do things his own way!
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: SE. W829b1998

Looking for more Halloween books?

While you are at the Online Library Catalog page
Click on ‘Advanced Search,’ and, in the search screen, type in the following words on the left column and make choices from the drop-down menus on the right:

Halloween – all of these words – Subject Words
juvenile – all of these words – Subject Words

Other subject words you may try in your search:
– Bats
– Costume
– Fear
– Ghosts
– Haunted houses
– Jack-o-lanterns
– Monsters
– Pumpkin
– Witches