Enjoying sweet holiday stories is one of my favorite things to do at this time of the year. Like many, I grew up reading The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, the classic tale written by Dr. Seuss. However, after learning about Dr. Seuss’ racist history, I no longer keep his titles on my bookshelf. Instead, I’ve made room for stories written by BIPOC authors that feature characters who are People of Color. Below are five of these beautiful types of books that could add delight and wonder to your family’s holiday season. Included are links to buy the book from Bookshop, an organization that supports independent bookstores, but don’t forget about the two fantastic Black-owned bookstores in the city: Community Book Center and Baldwin & Co.
Santa’s Gotta Go by Derrick Barnes
New this holiday season. Derrick Barnes (author of I Am Every Good Thing) brings us a funny tale about Santa. When his sleigh breaks down in Monte and Mabel’s yard, the children are excited to have Santa as a houseguest while he waits for the spare parts to arrive. That is, until they learn hosting Santa isn’t as fun as they thought it would be. Purchase it on Bookshop.
A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas by Pat Mora
Celebrated author Pat Mora delights with this twist on “The 12 Days of Christmas.” This book shows the gifts a little girl receives for 12 days from a special amiga. It is written in English, but each gift is a Spanish word, and the pronunciation is included. I purchased this book when my little one was 5 years old, and we both enjoyed the repetition and gorgeous pictures. Purchase it on Bookshop.
The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi
In her first picture book, New York Times Bestselling Author Ibi Zoboi infuses the seven principles of Kwanzaa into telling the history of people of African descent in our country. It’s poetically written and beautifully illustrated. If you celebrate Kwanzaa (or if you don’t), it’s a great story to add to your family’s library. Purchase it on Bookshop.
Santa in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson
Another best-selling author trying her hand at a picture book, Tiffany D. Jackson writes a delightful tale that city kids need. Little Deja doesn’t have a chimney, and there isn’t room anywhere on the street for Santa to park his sleigh. How will she get presents on Christmas day? This is a wonderful story about recognizing the Christmas spirit where you are. Purchase it on Bookshop.
Native American Night Before Christmas by Gary Robinson
Choctaw/Cherokee author Gary Robinson shares of an Indigenous night before Christmas in which Old Red Shirt delivers gifts and goodies to Native American families. The beautiful illustrations from Indigenous artist Jesse T. Hummingbird add to the magic of this tale. Purchase it on Bookshop.
Children need to see themselves reflected in the books they read. They also need to see and learn about others. The world is a better place when we see how we connect and respect how we differ. Happy Reading, y’all! And Happy Holidays!