With Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas happening in December, WBRL’s recommendations are as diverse as the holidays we celebrate!
Check out our list of books for toddlers, children, teens, and adults that capture the magic of this holiday season.
By Amalia Hoffman
This delightful board book celebrates counting, colours, and most of all, Hanukkah! Follow along as Hoffman takes readers through the eight nights of Hanukkah while lighting different coloured candles along the way. Even your youngest reader will be captivated by the charming, high-contrast illustrations.
Merry Christmas Little Reindeer
By Amanda Wood
Join in on the holiday fun with Little Reindeer and her forest friends! Wolf, Owl, Bear and Little Reindeer gather red berries, pinecones, and other woodland treasures, but will you be able to guess what they’re going to do with them all? This adorable board book promotes cooperative play and is the perfect story to read before decorating your Christmas Tree.
Santa in the City
By Tiffany D. Jackson
Deja wants to believe in Santa, but her friends have given her some pretty good reasons to doubt him. They point out that she lives in an apartment without a chimney, there aren’t any parking spots big enough to fit his sleigh and reindeer, and how impossible it is that Santa can fly. Can her family, the adults in her community, or even Santa himself change her mind and restore Deja’s Christmas spirit?
My Family Celebrates Kwanzaa
By Lisa Bullard
This picture book for young readers is a great first introduction to Kwanzaa and the meaning behind the holiday. Through colourful illustrations and simple text, the reader has a conversation with Kevin, the plucky main character who demonstrates his Kwanzaa family traditions. There is also a fact page at the end of the text for curious children with more questions about the holiday.
By Lisa Wheeler
Join the dinosaurs in this picture book as they make latkes, tell stories, and celebrate Hanukkah! The adorable rhyming text accompanies engaging illustrations where children could spend several story-times spotting small delights in the background. This is the perfect book for dino-lovers to learn about Hanukkah and the magic behind the holiday.
By Dhonielle Clayton, et al.
Prominent young adult authors, Dhonielle Clayton, Nicola Yoon, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, and Ashley Woodfolk, each write individual character perspectives in this cute contemporary romance. As Atlanta grinds to a halt during a fierce snowstorm, twelve teens band together to help their friend Stevie apologize to her girlfriend Sola through a grand gesture. Each of the teens navigates their own relationship problems creating a diverse array of playful rom-com scenarios sure to melt your heart on even the coldest of winter days.
Eight Nights of Flirting
By Hannah Reynolds
In this standalone companion to The Summer of Lost Letters, Shira is determined to overcome her unlucky romantic streak and win over an older boy during Hanukkah at her grandfather’s sprawling Nantucket property. However, fate has a different plan, as she finds herself snowed in with her former crush/nemesis Tyler Nelson. With the combination of teen love, winter on the shores of Nantucket, and Hanukkah magic, this book will leave you feeling charmed this holiday season.
A Christmas Memory
By Richard Paul Evans
This historical fiction novel is a tearjerker that is filled with life lessons centred around Christmas, loss, and grief. Over the span of a few months, eight-year-old Richard has lost his brother in Vietnam, moved from California to Utah, and his parents have decided to separate. His saving grace is meeting Mr. Foster, an elderly neighbour who chases off some bullies and invites Richard in for cocoa. This turns into a friendship where the two exchange wisdom and learn from each other. This novel is best enjoyed with a cup of cocoa and a tissue box by your side.
Baking for the Holidays: 50+ treats for a festive season
By Sarah Kieffer
This cozy cookbook shares over 50 Christmas, Hanukkah, and after-the-holidays recipes for this busy season! Each recipe includes a colour photograph of the end result, and they range from pastries, breads, candies, cakes, and more. Kieffer also goes the extra mile and shows the reader how to perform tricky kitchen tasks like tempering chocolate and perfecting the egg wash. This cookbook is sure to keep you and your loved ones well-fed this holiday season!
Three Holidays and a Wedding
By Uzma Jalaluddin and Marissa Stapley
Set in the year 2000 when Christmas, Hanukkah, and Ramadan all overlapped, this quirky holiday romance is about a pair of travellers, Anna and Maryam, who have their plane diverted to the Canadian town of Snow Falls. Through hallmark-level holiday hijinks, the pair must face some hard truths about their love lives and the lies they keep telling themselves to find their paths to happiness. This diverse and sweet holiday romance is a page-turner and a must-read for this holiday season.
Want more seasonal recommendations? Check out our lists below!
Holiday Season Romance for Chilly Listening
Children’s Christmas Books
Hanukkah Books for Children