Multicultural Books for Christmas

Christmas is a time that brings people together. Every year families from many different cultures and ethnicities celebrate Christmas across America and all over the world. I’ve assembled a list of 20 diverse Christmas stories for children ages 3-10. Each of these multicultural Christmas books will give readers a glimpse of the many different ways that families celebrate the season!

I hope you’ll consider sharing one (or more!) of these lovely multicultural Christmas books with a child in your life this year.

Too Many TamalesToo Many Tamales by Gary Soto

In this sentimental family story, a girl lands herself in a predicament while helping her mother make tamales for Christmas dinner. (Ages 4+)

12 Days of ChristmasThe 12 Days of Christmas by Rachel Isadora

This retelling of the classic Christmas tale is set in Africa. The gorgeously detailed collage illustrations are lively and bright. (All ages)

Legend of the PoinsettiaThe Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

Warm, colorful illustrations accent this retelling of the Mexican legend of the Poinsettia. (Ages 5+)

Pablo's ChristmasPablo’s Christmas by Hugo C. Martin

In this uplifting story, a young boy living on a farm in Mexico works to make Christmas special for his mother and sisters while their father is away working in America. (Ages 4+)

Christmas Around the WorldChristmas Around the World by Mary D. Lankford

This fascinating book describes how Christmas is celebrated in twelve different countries, including Italy, Australia, Guatemala, Germany, and Ethiopia. Children and adults will love discovering the differences – and similarities – between Christmas customs around the world. The book also includes Christmas crafts, Christmas facts, and a pronunciation guide. (Ages 7+)

Yoon and the Christmas MittenYoon and the Christmas Mitten by Helen Recorvits

When Yoon, a Korean immigrant, hears about Christmas for the first time at her new American school, she is intrigued. But her parents reject the idea. “We are not a Christmas family,” says her mother. Can Yoon persuade her parents to give Christmas a chance? (Ages 4+)

N is for NavidadN is for Navidad by Joe Cepeda

This energetic rhyming picture book depicts the many aspects of a traditional Latino Christmas celebration. Every letter of the alphabet introduces readers to a new Spanish word associated with the holiday. The book also includes a glossary of the Spanish terms used. (Ages 3+)

Grandma's GiftGrandma’s Gift by Eric Velasquez

Every year, Eric spends his school break with his grandmother and helps her to prepare a traditional Puerto Rican dinner for Christmas Eve. This memoir of the author’s own childhood tells a touching story of a boy’s special bond with his grandmother. (Ages 4+)

Tree of CranesTree of Cranes by Allen Say

While a young Japanese boy recovers from a bad chill, his mother spends the day folding tiny paper cranes. Later, they use the paper cranes to decorate the boy’s first Christmas tree and his mother shares stories of her childhood Christmases in America. (Ages 5+)

The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas DollThe All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll by Patricia C. McKissack

Set during the Great Depression, Nella writes a letter to Santa asking for the doll she’s wished for all year. When her Christmas wish comes true, Nella wants the doll all to herself. But as Christmas day wears on, Nella misses the company of her two sisters and decides that sharing the doll is more fun than playing alone. (Ages 4+)

An Angel Just Like MeAn Angel Just Like Me by Mary Hoffman

Tyler wonders why all Christmas angels look like pink-skinned girls and sets out to find an angel that looks just like him. (Ages 5+)

La Noche BuenaLa Noche Buena: A Christmas Story by Antonio Sacre

A young girl spends Christmas with her Cuban grandmother and learns all about the traditions of La Noche Buena – Christmas Eve. (Ages 3+)

Growing Up with TamalesGrowing Up With Tamales by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Young Ana looks forward to growing older and being given more responsibility in making the tamales for her family’s Christmas dinner. This book is completely bilingual, with the story in English on the upper half of each page and in Spanish on the lower half. (Ages 3+)

Mim's Christmas JamMim’s Christmas Jam by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Mim and her two children are alone during the Christmas season while her husband is away digging for the subway system. But when Mim sends him a jar of her special Christmas jam, something unexpected happens. (Ages 3+)

The Christmas CoatThe Christmas Coat by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

In this poignant story of generosity, a Native American girl longs for a new coat for Christmas. (Ages 5+)

‘Twas Nochebuena‘Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

This lively bilingual tale is set to the rhythm of “The Night Before Christmas.” The story follows a modern-day Mexican family as they celebrate Nochebuena with tamales, champurrado, and plenty of good cheer! (Ages 3+)

The Night of Las PosadasThe Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola’s distinctive style shines through in this story of the southwestern Christmas tradition of Las Posadas, a procession in which townspeople re-enact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter on the night Jesus was born. (Ages 6+)

Kirsten's SurpriseKirsten’s Surprise (American Girl) by Janet Shaw

Kirsten and her family, pioneers on the Minnesota frontier, prepare for their first Christmas since coming to America from Sweden. Wanting to keep some of their Sweden traditions alive, Kirsten secretly plans a celebration for Saint Lucia’s Day. This book gives a fascinating glimpse into Swedish holiday customs. (Ages 7+)

Josefina's SurpriseJosefina’s Surprise (American Girl) by Valerie Tripp

Josefina and her three sisters struggle to get through the Christmas season without their mother on their 1820s Santa Fe ranch. The heartwarming story gives readers a terrific view at how families in Mexico and the American southwest celebrate Christmas. (Ages 7+)

Addy's SurpriseAddy’s Surprise (American Girl) by Connie Porter

Nine-year-old Addy and her mother, former slaves, celebrate their first Christmas as free people. Addy saves her pennies to buy a scarf for her mother, but then worries that she should donate the money to newly freed slaves in need. This is a moving story of selflessness and hope in hard times. (Ages 7+)

Do you have any favorite multicultural Christmas books that didn’t make the list? Let me know in the comments! And click here to check out my other Christmas book lists!

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