One last post to do with Diwali for this year 🙂 and then I shift gears! This one is listing of children’s books about Diwali, the festival of lights. Each one approaches the festival or some aspect of it from a different angle, and each one is worth a read. I have listed some books in earlier posts as well, and there are so many more I have to share and others I am yet to discover for myself (hope you have some wonderful recommendations for me).
For now, here are
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7 Great Children’s Books About Diwali
Note: Almost all the books have must-read backmatter, which includes either author/illustrator notes, glossary, activities, and/or additional information about Diwali or that specific story itself.
Diwali (Celebrate the World)
Diwali (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan (Children’s Multicultural Books | 1 – 3 years, and up | Little Simon | August 28, 2018)
Learn all about the traditions of Diwali with this third book in the delightful board book series Celebrate the World, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe.
I am delighted to discover that this book is part of a series. While I recall seeing another book in this series sometime ago, I missed reading it then. But after reading this one about Diwali, I look forward to the others as well. Hannah Eliot takes readers through the five days of Diwali, as celebrated in north India, giving a brief explanation of each day’s celebrations with focus on the goddess Lakshmi. Archana Sreenivasan’s accompanying artwork is stunning and so very sweet – love the emotions and expressions shown through the pictures here.
Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani (Children’s Multicultural Books | 4 – 8 years, and up | Scholastic Press | September 1, 2020)
Binny woke up happy but nervous. It was her day to share about Diwali, the Festival of Lights!
I am currently (and finally) reading Umrigar’s Honor, a novel for adults, and was thrilled to discover that she has written a picture book for this beloved festival. Once I saw it, I had to read it! This book is not only a great way to introduce Diwali to young readers but also to show them that it is a wonderful thing to share about our culture and traditions, and know that people are inherently and genuinely curious and want to learn more. I love how the story unfolds to show Binny overcoming her nervousness and feeling happy and victorious in the end, thus showing the spirit of the festival through this story.
Archie Celebrates Diwali
Archie Celebrates Diwali by Mitali Banerjee Ruths and illustrated by Parwinder Singh (Children’s Multicultural Books | 3 – 7 years, and up | Charlesbridge | September 14, 2021))
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!
Like with Binny’s Diwali, this book brings together a few different things together; the joys and excitement of being able to share your traditions and festivities with friends who don’t know much about the same; and the fear of fitting in and hoping they enjoy it as much as you do. Readers are taken along for a sweet, joy-filled ride as Archie and her family make preparations to host her friends and their neighbors for Diwali. What happens next is … you should read it for yourselves! 🙂
Mitali Banerjee’s narrative takes you from the festivities to the stories behind it and back so very smoothly, while Parwinder Singh’s illustrations add vibrancy and mood to this festive read.
Amma, Tell Me About Diwali
Amma, Tell Me About Diwali by Bhakti Mathur and illustrated by (Children’s Multicultural Books | 2– 7 years, and up | Anjana Publishing | November 3, 2011))
Join the two brothers Klaka and Kiki as they light diyas and firecrackers, buy new clothes, and get Amma to answer their countless questions – Why do we celebrate Diwali? Why do we pray to Ganesha and Lakshmi on Diwali? And hear the story of Rama and his homecoming. A perfect book to introduce the stories behind Diwali to young ones.
I have read and enjoyed other books in the Amma, Tell me series, covering many Indian festivals and stories. This book is wordier than expected for the intended audience but adults or older readers could read out the rhyming prose to younger readers. I enjoyed the collage style artwork which is full of details and so very delightful in myriad ways.
Bhakti Mathur weaves together the celebrations of a family on this festive day with one of the many stories behind the Diwali festival (in this case, the story of Rama and his victorious return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana). Mathur also includes an additional story around Goddess Lakshmi (not from mythology, but one with a moral that shows the importance of hard work rather than the pursuit of wealth!)
My Diwali Light
My Diwali Light by Raakhee Mirchandani and illustrated by Supriya Kelkar (Children’s Multicultural Books | 4 – 8 years, and up | Little, Brown Books for Young Readers | September 20, 2022)
A charming holiday story following one girl’s family as they celebrate their Diwali traditions with the ones they love.
We follow along with Devi and her family as they make preparations for Diwali, and celebrate with their neighbors. It shows how everyone celebrates the festival in their own way, with each one adding their own personal or modern twists to the traditional. Yet the spirit of the festival remains the same.
It is sure to encourage young readers to learn more about other cultures and traditions, and to see how things evolve over time; to learn more about Diwali and to make it their own. I love Kelkar’s mixed-media style colorful artwork full of delightful details; and her use of familiar Indian fabrics that you are bound to see during festive occasions.
Shubh Diwali by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Charlene Chua (Children’s Multicultural Books | 3 – 5 years, and up | Albert Whitman & Company | September 1, 2019)
Diwali has arrived! Rangoli art decorates the floor, and strings of flowers hang around the doors. Now it’s time to ring the bells, light the lamps, and welcome the New Year with family and friends. A sweet introduction to the Hindu festival of lights.
A sweet rhyming read that shows all the warm and bustling interactions with family, friends, and neighbors as Diwali preparations begin and end with joyous and sparkling celebrations! I love Charlene Chua’s artwork, endearing, vibrant, and bursting with details, just like in another previous read Going Up
It’s Diwali! by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan (Children’s Multicultural Books | Baby – 8 years, and up | Beach Lane Books | September 6, 2022)
Count along in celebration of Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, in this luminous picture book from bestselling mother-son duo Surishtha and Kabir Sehgal.
I have heard about Kabir Sehgal before and seen some of his books as well though had never gotten around to actually reading one till It’s Diwali. Now I am off to read more, starting with The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk and then on to Coined, and the rest of his books!! That should let you know that I loved this book. A fun rhyming approach to Diwali while you learn your numbers, with a cool twist as you count backwards to one again! Plus, Archana Sreenivasan’s illustrations are fabulous, as always, which adds to the appeal of this primer to the festival of lights.
- Ten Wonderful Stories for Dussehra (and Typographical Covers 2)
- 9 Great Books for the Indian festival of Navratri
- Five For Friday: Fascinating Facts About Diwali & More
- Diwali: Then Now and Later
- Beautiful Words Related to Light
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, which of this children’s books about Diwali catches your eye the most, or sounds most appealing? As for me, I don’t have a favorite. Each one has its own charm. Do share your thoughts on any of these books if you have read them, or when you do read them. And of course, please share any recommendations for other books about Diwali, or about your favorite festival too!
This goes towards It’s Monday, What Are You Reading over at TeachMentorTexts and towards the UBC.