Listed here are some picture books that will introduce children to Diwali, the Hindu festival that is now celebrated around the world and popularly known as the Festival of Lights.

Mr Men and Little Miss Celebrations by Roger Hargreaves and Adam Hargreaves introduce children to all the exciting celebrations – including birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, and Chinese New Year published in September 2020 – The Mr Men and Little Miss are celebrating Diwali!

The five-day festival of lights is celebrated by millions of people across the world and the Mr Men and Little Miss can’t wait to join in. They’re busy cleaning their homes, creating Rangolis, lighting lamps, and enjoying all the festivities, including large feasts that Mr Greedy is particularly looking forward to. It’s going to be a busy five days of light and laughter!

The timeless Mr. Men and Little Miss books, originally created by Roger Hargreaves are just perfect for reading to the little ones and Mr. Men and Little Miss Happy Diwali book in this series is no exception.

It’s Archie’s favorite holiday-Diwali. And this year she gets to share it with her friends and introduce them to the festival of lights! Mitali Bannerjee Ruths in her story “Archie celebrates Diwali” communicates the excitement and anxiety of children who are sharing cultural practices with friends who have different customs, a message that is true for many families where the children are learning to adapt to new cultures.

Archana —Archie for short— loves her family’s annual Diwali party, and this year for the first time she will be sharing it with all her friends from school. She helps with the decorations and the food, and is eager for everyone to arrive. At the same time, she is nervous that they will think her traditions are weird. To make it worse it starts to rain, the power goes out and ruins all of Archie’s careful decorations. Archie is sure that this is the worst Diwali ever But though she apologizes for the spicy food that Dida has made, her friends love the traditional dishes. Their interest leads Archie to share one of the holiday’s origin stories. The power returns, the storm blows over, and everyone enjoys dancing and setting off firecrackers together. The book’s vivid illustrations by Parwinder Singh bring out beautifully the joys of the festival. Highly recommended for studying celebrations around the world.

A page from Archie celebrates Diwali

The best Diwali ever by Sonali Shah, ambassador for the British Asian Trust and BBC broadcaster in this picture book about Diwali, has detailed how very special this celebration can be. This year, Ariana has plans to make Diwali an extra special celebration, with yummy treats, diyas around the house, pretty clothes, fireworks, and definitely the rangoli competition that she looks forward to win. Everything would go perfectly according to plan if it weren’t for Rafi, her annoying little brother, always up to mischief…and always being clumsy! Will he ruin Diwali too? The story along with detailing the celebrations deals with what it’s like to be a big sister or brother, the annoying parts, and the extra special parts. Includes a non-fiction spread at the back about Diwali and how it is celebrated around the world. Bright and rich colors on every page truly bring the magic of Diwali to life

“Blazing with intricate whorls of colour, full of mouthwatering food and best-clothes excitement, this giddily sweet story… is a gorgeous celebration of the festival of lights.” – The Guardian

From the Publisher

 My Diwali Light is a charming holiday story about Devi and her family in an urban Western setting as they celebrate their holiday traditions with the ones they love.. Devi loves the Diwali season. Devi, her parents, and her grandmother, Nani,  open their doors to curious neighbors and invite them to join in to celebrate Diwali with them. Throughout the celebration, Nani reminds Devi of the significance of their traditions: sweet foods to remind people to speak sweetly to each other, rangoli patterns on the floor to signify community, and, of course, the light – a reminder to shine her light brightly all year long. Bright colorful illustrations by Supriya Kelkar and Raakhee Mirchandani’s simple yet vibrant account of a close-knit family getting ready and celebrating Diwali and a community coming together makes My Diwali Light a not to be missed book when teaching children about Diwali.

It’s Diwali and Binny is excited to talk to her class about her favorite holiday during the show and tell. But when it is time for her to talk she is silenced by her shyness. Her teacher Mr. Boomer comes to her aid and after taking a deep breath, she tells her classmates about the fireworks that burst like stars in the night sky, leaving streaks of gold and red, and green. She shares with them delicious pedas and jalebis. And she shows them clay lamps, called diyas, which look so pretty all the children ooh and aah. A heartwarming story by Thrity Umrigar, with enchanting illustrations by Nidhi Chanani, the story not only explores Diwali but looks at a problem that many children experience – the feeling when having to stand up and talk.

“Featuring a heartwarming story by Thrity Umrigar, enchanting illustrations by Nidhi Chanani, and detailed information about the Hindu festival of lights, Binny’s Diwali is a holiday treat.” – From the Publisher

What would you like to make this Diwali? Create magical lanterns, make a diya, paint rangoli patterns, or cook some of the mouth-watering Diwali treats for your Diwali party, then All About Diwali: Things to Make and Do by Swapna Haddow is the perfect book to go to – the ultimate book of Diwali fun.  This beautiful activity book is filled with not only Diwali crafts and recipes but also facts about the Diwali celebrations – Read all about why Diwali is named the festival of lights and discover the stories behind it. Informative, at the same time engaging with the celebrations with things to create this book that will be referred to every Diwali.

A well-written picture book told in the words of a child in precise couplets introduces Diwali and promotes cultural appreciation. Shubh Diwali by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Charlene Chua is a “sweet introduction to the Hindu festival of lights”. The rhyming picture book ends with a joyful greeting: “Shubh Diwali, to one and all. / We wish you joy, big and small!” Soundar’s use of “Shubh” in the title—meaning “auspicious” or “holy”—instead of “Happy”. An author’s note explains the regional and religious differences in the celebration of Diwali across South Asia and the diaspora and a glossary of Diwali-related words makes this book a solid introduction to a holiday celebrated by millions around the world.

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