Illustration by Robert Casilla.  Copyright (c) by Houghton Mifflin Company.  
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.  All rights reserved.
Illustration by Robert Casilla. © by Houghton Mifflin Co.
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Books in this category include stories about kinds of families and activities that families do, such as celebrating holidays, adopting children and communicating across generations.
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Family Celebrations
1.   A Country Far Away
Nigel Gray (Author), Philippe Dupasquier (Illustrator)
This book portrays the similarities in the life experiences of a boy in a rural African village and one in a Western country.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
2.   A Lei for Tutu
Rebecca Nevers Fellows (Author), Linda Finch (Illustrator)
A young Hawaiian girl who loves making lei with her grandmother must make a very special one for Lei Day when her grandmother becomes ill.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
3.   Arctic Hunter
E. J. Bird (Author), Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith (Author), Lawrence Migdale (Illustrator)
A young boy describes his life in Alaska, a life where ancient traditions and modern challenges meet.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
4.   Big Brother Dustin
Carol Carter (Illustrator), Alden Carter (Author), Dan Young (Illustrator)
A young boy with Down Syndrome helps his family prepare for the birth of his new born sister. Dustin comes up with a perfect name for his new sister.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
5.   Celebrating Kwanzaa
Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith (Author), Lawrence Migdale (Illustrator)
A young girl tells the story of her family's Kwanzaa celebration.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
6.   Celebrating Ramadan
Diane Hoyt Goldsmith (Author), Lawrence Migdale (Illustrator)
Islam and the celebration of Ramadan, in the life of a young boy.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
7.   Chinese New Year
Tricia Brown (Author), Fran Oritz (Illustrator)
Text and photographs depict the celebration of Chinese New Year by Chinese Americans living in San Francisco's Chinatown.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
8.   Clambake
John Madama (Illustrator), Russell M. Peters (Author)
The story of a young Mashpee Wampanoag as he hosts his first appanaug for friends and relatives on tribal lands on Cape Cod.
9.   Courtney's Birthday Party
Ron Garnett (Illustrator), Loretta Long (Author)
A young girl is not allowed to invite her African-American friend to her birthday party.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
10.   Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas
Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (Illustrator), Michael J. Rosen (Author)
A young Jewish boy, Michael, is given a carved wooden angel at Christmas-time by his African-American friend, an old man in his eighties (based on an actual person—Elijah Pierce, a wood carver, lay minister, barber, and educator from Columbus). Michael is concerned that an angel may not be an appropriate gift for a Jew, but his parents assure him that it is a gift of friendship and that friendship means the same thing in any religion. In return, Michael presents his friend with a menorah he made and, for all eight nights of Chanukah, the menorah glows and sheds light on Elijah’s beautiful carvings.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
11.   Everett Anderson's Nine Month Long
Lucille Clifton (Author), Ann Grifalconi (Illustrator)
A little boy and his family are excited and begin to prepare for the birth of a new memeber of their family.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
12.   Families: A Celebration of Diversity, Commitment and Love
Written by
Aylette Jenness
Photographs and text depict the lives of 17 families.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
13.   For My Family, Love Allie
Written and Illustrated by
Ellen B. Senisi
A young girl decides to make a present for her relatives when they come for a family party.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
14.   Gloria Goes to Gay Pride
Russell Crocker (Illustrator), Leslea Newman (Author)
While marching in the gay pride parade with her two mothers, Gloria sees many familiar faces and learns that "love is the most important thing of all." Some people along the parade route hold signs that say, "Gays go away." One of Gloria's mothers explains to her that some people don't think two women or two men should love each other, but that the parade is held to help ensure that all people can feel pride in who they are.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
15.   Hanukkah Lights, Hanukkah Nights
John Himmelman (Illustrator), Leslie Kimmelman (Author)
An extended family celebrates the eight nights of Hanukkah.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
16.   Hanukkah!
Marilyn Hafner (Illustrator), Roni Schotter (Author)
Five children and their family celebrate the holiday.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
17.   Have A Happy: A Novel About Kwanzaa
Carole Byard (Illustrator), Mildred Pitts Walter (Author)
A family celebrates Kwanzaa.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
18.   Kinaalda
Written and Illustrated by
Monty Roessel
A Navajo girl takes part in the coming-of-age ceremony, the Kinaalda.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
19.   Knots on a Counting Rope
John Archambault (Author), Bill Martin (Author), Ted Ran (Illustrator)
A grandfather tells a young boy how he was born and how he has grown.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
20.   Kwanzaa
A. P. Porter (Author), Janice Lee Porter (Illustrator)
A presentation of the weeklong African-American holiday.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
21.   Kwanzaa Karamu Cooking and Crafts for a Kwanzaa Festival
April A. Brady (Author), Barbara Knutson (Illustrator), Diane Wolfe (Illustrator), Robert L. Wolfe (Illustrator)
The story of Kwanzaa - its history and meaning - as well as recipes and craft ideas for a Kwanzaa festival.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
22.   Lion Dancer, Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year
Martha Cooper (Illustrator), Madeline Slovenez-Low (Author), Kate Waters (Author)
A young boy will perform his first Lion Dance on the streets of New York City.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
23.   Love to Mama: A Tribute to Mothers
Pat Mora (Editor), Paul S. Barragan (Illustrator)
In this beautifully illustrated book, 13 Latino poets write with joy, humor, and love about the powerful and undeniable bond between mothers, grandmothers, and children. These talented poets write passionately and vividly about the tremendous influence their mothers and grandmothers had on them.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
24.   Marcellus' Birthday Cake
Petra Rohr-Rouendaal (Illustrator), Lorraine Simeon (Author)
With the help of his mother, a young boy learns how to bake a birthday cake.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
25.   Mirandy and Brother Wind
Patricia C. McKissack (Author), Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
A story centered on a family activity, the cakewalk.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
26.   Mom and Mum are Getting Married
Ken Setterington (Author), Alice Priestley (Illustrator)
When Rosie’s two moms tell her about their decision to get married, she is disappointed that the small celebration planned will not afford her the opportunity to be a bridesmaid or flower girl. Rosie finds another option—she and her brother will carry the rings—and a happy wedding ensues. Marriage of same-sex couples is normalized and celebrated in this story without the issue ever being explicitly raised as contentious or a matter of right and wrong.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
27.   Mother’s Day
Anne F. Rockwell (Author), Lizzy Rockwell (Illustrator)
The children in Mrs. Madoff's multicultural classroom share all the ways they'll be celebrating Mother's Day, such as making beignets in powdered sugar, hiking to the top of a mountain, and going to the biggest museum in the city. Rockwell introduces a variety of children, representing many ethnic and family backgrounds, including a single mom and a grandmother who is raising her deceased daughter-in-law's child.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 2]
28.   My First Kwanzaa
Deborah M. Newton Chocolate (Author), Cal Massey (Illustrator)
A young boy and his family celebrate the seven days and principles of this African-American holiday.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
29.   Now We Can Have a Wedding!
Judy Cox (Author), DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan (Illustrator)
Family, friends and neighbors contribute to a wedding celebration.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
30.   Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead
Written by
George Ancona
A photo-essay of a family's celebration of the Fiesta of the Day of the Dead.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
31.   Ramadan
Suhaib Hamid Ghazi (Author), Omar Rayyan (Illustrator)
Describes the celebration of the month of Ramadan by an Islamic family; describes the meaning and importance of the holiday in the Islamic religion.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
32.   Seven Candles for Kwanzaa
Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author), Brian Pinkney (Illustrator)
A book that follows the sequence of Kwanzaa, describing the symbols and their meanings.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
33.   Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story
Angela Shelf Medearis (Author), Daniel Minter (Illustrator)
Seven Ashanti brothers are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
34.   Shannon
Sandra King (Author), Catherine Whipple (Illustrator)
A photo essay about a young Ojibway girl who performs traditional dances for powwows at her family's reservation.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
35.   Shanté Keys and the New Year's Peas
Gail Piernas-Davenport (Author), Marion Eldridge (Illustrator)
In this multicultural New Year's story, Shanté searches the neighborhood for black-eyed peas -- which symbolize good luck -- for her family's celebration dinner. On her journey, she learns about Chinese New Year and Diwali, as well as how January 1st is celebrated by other members of her community. The author includes additional pages of information about diverse New Year's traditions and special foods.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
36.   Shi-shi-etko
Nicola L. Campbell (Author), Kim LaFave (Illustrator)
Shi-shi-etko, which means “she loves to play in water,” is counting down the four days she has until she leaves for Indian Residential School. She spends her last days at home looking at everything around her to remember all the details, aspects and culture of her home. Her mother, father and grandmother each share lessons they want her to carry with her. The book focuses on the four days before Shi-shi-etko leaves, but does not include her time at residential school. Note: In Canada, United States, Australia and New Zealand, native people were forced by law to attend residential schools away from their homelands. The schools were often far away from the children homes and the students were not allowed to see their families for months.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 2]
37.   Susan Laughs
Tony Ross (Illustrator), Jeanne Willis (Author)
Through simple ryhming phrases, a story is told about Susan, a young girl who uses a wheelchair. Susan never lets her disability hold her back as she swims, rides horses and plays with her friends.
[Grade Level: K - 2]
38.   Thanksgiving at Obaachan's
Written by
Janet Mitsui Brown
A young girl describes the Thanksgiving celebration at her grandmother's house and the things that make it her favorite holiday.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
39.   The American Wei
DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan (Illustrator), Marion Hess Pomeranc (Author)
A young boy loses his first tooth while going to his family's naturalization ceremony.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
40.   The Birthday Swap
Written and Illustrated by
Loretta Lopez
A young girl looks for the perfect birthday gift for her sister and ends up with a big surprise of her own.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
41.   The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate
Janice Cohn (Author), Bill Farnsworth (Illustrator)
The true story describing how the people of Billings, Montana worked together to fight a series of hate crimes.
42.   The Christmas Tree Ride
Megan Lloyd (Illustrator), Mary Neville (Author)
A family conveys the spirit of Christmas by welcoming a lonely man.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
43.   The Jones Family Express
Written and Illustrated by
Javaka Steptoe
A young boy tries to find just the right present for his aunt in time for the annual family reunion.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
44.   The Only One Club
Jeff Hopkins (Author), Jane Naliboff (Author)
Mrs. Matthews's first grade class begins making Christmas decorations, but because Jennifer is Jewish, Mrs. Matthews allows her to make Hanukkah decorations instead. Jennifer enjoys the attention and creates "The Only One Club," of which she is the sole member. When her classmates want to join, she is resistant until she realizes that each of her friends is also "the only one" at something. As she inducts them into her club she reveals the unique qualities that make each of her classmates extraordinary.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
45.   The Perfect Piñata/La Piñata Perfecta
Kelli Kyle Dominguez (Author), Teresa Mlawer (Author), Diane Paterson (Illustrator)
Marisa picks out a butterfly piñata for her birthday party, but at the party she decides it is too beautiful to break apart.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
46.   The Power of Light
Irene Lieblich (Illustrator), Isaac Bashevis Singer (Author)
Eight tales - one for each night of Hanukkah - explore love and faith.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
47.   The Rabbits’ Wedding
Written and Illustrated by
Garth Williams
The reissue version of this 1950s classic tells the sweet story of two little rabbits who plan a wedding and live “happily ever after in the friendly forest.” It became the subject of controversy because it dealt with the marriage of a black to a white rabbit, and was removed from circulation in some locales for promoting racial integration. Though the book was never intended to be about race (Williams created rabbits of different colors so his young readers could tell the two apart), it can be used to normalize and celebrate interracial relationships.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 2]
48.   Too Many Tamales
Ed Martinez (Illustrator), Gary Soto (Author)
A glimpse into a Mexican-American family celebration.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
49.   Trees of the Dancing Goats
Written and Illustrated by
Patricia Polacco
Trisha loves Hanukkah, when her Babushka makes potato latkes and her Grampa carves animals out of wood as gifts for her. But when Trisha learns that her neighbors aren’t able to celebrate Christmas because they are all bedridden with scarlet fever, she finds it difficult to enjoy the Hanukkah festivities. Grampa suggests cutting down trees to bring to the neighbors, but there is nothing to decorate them with. Although it is a sacrifice, Trisha realizes that Grampa's carved animals are the perfect answer and soon she and her family are delivering beautifully ornamented trees to their neighbors and celebrating the miracle of true friendship.
[Grade Level: K - 6]
50.   Uh-oh! It's Mama's Birthday!
Naturi Thomas (Author), Keinyo White (Illustrator)
A young boy spends his allowance buying presents for his mother's birthday, but somehow ends up without a gift.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
51.   Uncle Vova's Tree
Written by
Patricia Polacco
The celebration of a Russian Orthodox Christmas is recalled as a family prepares for its annual celebration.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
52.   Welcoming Babies
Margy Burns Knight (Author), Anne Sibley O’Brien (Illustrator)
This book describes the different ways that various cultures welcome newborn babies into the world.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
53.   Zack's Story: Growing Up With Same-Sex Parents
Keith Elliot Greenberg (Author), Carol Halebian (Illustrator)
An eleven-year old boy, Zack, describes his life with his lesbian mother and his “second mother.” Zack mentions how he deals with uncomfortable situations, such as when people make mean comments about gays.
[Grade Level: 3 - 6]
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