The holiday season is upon us! Here at the New-York Historical Society we are celebrating with our special annual exhibition Holiday Express: Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection and lots of associated family programs designed to engage and delight our youngest visitors and their caregivers.
Downstairs in DiMenna Children’s History Museum, we have an extensive collection of picture books in the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library. Check out six of our favorite holiday books for every family, regardless of how or what you celebrate in the winter.
You can also stop by for our weekly family programs, Little New-Yorkers and Sunday Story Time, which feature a picture book and related art project. Join us on Tuesdays and Fridays, 3:30–4:15 pm, for Little New-Yorkers, and on Sundays, 11:30 am– 12 pm, for Sunday Story Time. Both programs are designed for 3–6-year-old learners and their caregivers and are free with Museum Admission.
Lights of Winter: Winter Celebrations Around the World
Written by Heather Conrad, Illustrated by deforest Walker
Lights of Winter outlines ten winter holidays from cultures all across the world and over time. The short informational book unites many types of traditions with the use of light—whether it’s flaming arrows of Zagmuk in ancient Mesopotamia, the underground fires of the Hopi Native Americans during Soyal, or lanterns during Teng Chieh (the Lunar New Year). This book is a great tool to introduce your family to different traditions and celebrate multiculturalism.
And Tango Makes Three
By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Illustrated by Henry Cole
This book is not about a holiday in particular but celebrates family and love in a cold climate. And Tango Makes Three tells the true story of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins from the Central Park Zoo who fell in love. Biologically unable to hatch an egg of their own, a zookeeper gave them an extra from another couple, making Roy and Silo the happy fathers of Tango.
Oskar and the Eight Blessings
Written by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon, Illustrated by Mark Siegel
Oskar, a refugee from Nazi Europe, arrives in New York City in 1938 on the seventh day of Hanukkah, which is also Christmas Eve. As Oskar makes his way from the Battery uptown to his aunt’s house, he is introduced to Manhattan during the holidays and receives acts of kindness from strangers he meets along the way. Oskar and the Eight Blessings not only celebrates the holiday season in New York City, but also our tradition of welcoming immigrants from all over the world to become New Yorkers.
The Christmas Tugboat
Written by George Matteson and Adele Ursone, Paintings by James E. Ransome
The Christmas Tugboat is the story of one little girl who accompanies her tugboat captain dad as they deliver the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to light up New York City. This true story celebrates family, New York City landmarks, and holiday traditions.
Seven Candles for Kwanza
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Kwanza is an American holiday and celebrates family bonds, respect for ancestors, community, and gratitude. It comes from a culmination of many traditions of the harvest in African cultures. Seven Candles for Kwanza outlines each part of the seven-day holiday and its significance.
The Snowy Day
Written by Ezra Jack Keats
The Snowy Day is a timeless classic written by famous New York City author Ezra Jack Keats. It tells the story of Peter and his snow day adventure. This book will make adults feel nostalgic and children excited for winter weather!
We hope you take the time to enjoy some of these books with your family this winter and visit us at the Museum soon. Happy holidays from everyone here at DiMenna Children’s History Museum!
Written by Tirzah Jane Baker