Winter Holiday Booklist

Colorín Colorado presents some bilingual holiday books to share with your family, including classic children's stories and depictions of Hispanic families' celebrations of Christmas and Las Posadas.

Whether you give these as holiday gifts or find them at your local library, they will delight everyone in your family! 

For additional ideas, take a look at the following:

An Ellis Island Christmas

Illustrated by: Dennis Nolan
Age Level: 9-12

When Krysia is six, her family leaves Poland for America. The journey is difficult, as is the arrival at Ellis Island when the family is separated. While the family waits for Papa, Krysia sits down by the Christmas Tree of the Great Hall at Ellis Island and watches as other fellow travelers begin to sing and dance. The mood is festive, but Krysia begins to worry — will Papa ever return? Cultural details from Polish customs passed down through the author's family enhance the touching story of one family's Ellis Island experience.

Angela and the Baby Jesus (Children's Edition)

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: When six-year-old Angela sees the Baby Jesus in the Christmas crib at the church near her house, she feels very sorry for him. He looks happy enough but she wonders why he has no blanket to keep him warm. So Angela decides to take the Baby home with her, when no one is looking, and make him more comfortable. But hiding the Baby Jesus isn't easy. How long can Angela keep her big secret? This wonderful Christmas story is based on an incident from the childhood of Frank McCourt's mother, Angela of Angela's Ashes.

Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid

Age Level: 3-6

On Christmas Eve, Vicent discovers that his uncle, Tío Pancho, is actually Santa's Mexican cousin! Santa needs his help delivering presents along the border with Mexico and wants to know if Pancho is up for the challenge. His mariachi outfit may be too tight and his guitar may be missing a few strings, but with a little magic and a team of lucha libre burros, Pancho is ready to save Christmas. The colorful illustrations and hilarious adventures of Charro Claus will have a special resonance with children who call the border home.

Federico and the Magi's Gift: A Latin American Christmas Story

Age Level: 3-6

Product Description: It's the Feast of the Three Kings, and that means the Three Wise Men, or Magi, will ride through the night sky to deliver gifts to children. Four-year-old Federico has misbehaved, and now he is afraid the Magi won't leave him any presents. As his brother and sister prepare hay and water for the Magi's camels, Federico wonders if the Magi will really come. This gorgeously illustrated storybook by Beatriz Vidal glows with warmth and holiday cheer, and readers everywhere will surely find themselves scanning the night skies for the Magi.

Going Home

Illustrated by: David Diaz
Age Level: 6-9

Mama and Papa are excited to take a break from working in the fields and go home, but Carlos and his sisters are not sure how they feel about traveling to Mexico. Soon after arriving, however, they meet their loving extended family, and the children begin to understand what it meant for their parents to leave home in order to offer the family a better future. David Diaz's stunning illustrations layered on top of photos of Mexican folk art bring Eve Bunting's beautiful story to life.

Grandma's Gift

Age Level: 6-9

It's Christmastime, and Eric has a special assignment — he has to write a report about a new painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eric's grandmother makes a deal with him: if he will help her make traditional Puerto Rican pasteles, she will take him to the museum. Together they leave the familiar neighborhoods of Spanish Harlem and venture out to the Met, where Eric encounters a painting that changes his life. A note from author and illustrator Eric Velasquez provides some background to this quiet yet profound story from his childhood.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

By: Dr. Seuss
Age Level: 3-6

The classic tale of the Grinch is now more than 50 years old. But that's just why it's a classic: Seuss' grumpy stealer of Christmas is as fresh today as it was when first published in the mid 20th century. Also available in Spanish.

Mama Had to Work on Christmas

Illustrated by: Robert Casilla
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: In this short chapter book, we meet Gloria, who always spends Christmas with Papi, Mama, and Nana. But this Christmas, Papi is away picking oranges and Mama has to work at the hotel where she is a maid. Gloria soon discovers that the lavish decorations and foods piled high on the tables are only for the guests. How Gloria moves from disappointment to understanding makes for a poignant story that honors the true spirit of the Christmas season.

Miracle on 133rd Street

Illustrated by: Marjorie Priceman
Age Level: 6-9

It's Christmas Eve and Mami has bought a delicious roast for a Christmas feast. But it’s too big to fit in the oven! Jose and Papa need to find an oven big enough to cook Mami’s roast. As they walk from door to door through their apartment building, no one seems to be in the Christmas spirit. So they head down the street to find someone willing to help, and only when they do, lo and behold, the scent—the itself magical smell—of dinner begins to spread, and holiday cheer manifests in ways most unexpected.

Oskar and the Eight Blessings

Illustrated by: Mark Siegel
Age Level: 9-12

A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city's many holiday sights, and encounters it various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world.

Robert's Snow

By: Grace Lin
Age Level: 3-6

"A little mouse resides with his family in a leaky, old, leather boot that constantly needs repair. As winter approaches, the others are all for sealing themselves inside to shut out the cold. Robert has always yearned to play in the snow, so when he accidentally slips out of his window, he is delighted. Soon, however, he becomes lost and must be saved by a 'big animal' with red fur and blue eyes.

The Polar Express

Age Level: 6-9

A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. This holiday classic earned a Caldecott Medal. Also available in Spanish.

The Road to Santiago

Illustrated by: Pablo Torecilla
Age Level: 9-12

It's Christmas Eve as Alfredito and his parents head for the train station to visit their relatives in Santiago. But this year, the trains are not running because the government is fighting a war against the rebels, and Alfredito worries that they'll miss the family's traditional Christmas celebration. When Alfredito's father enlists the help of a farmer, the family embarks on a great adventure that the young boy will never forget. Brighly-colored illustrations depict scenes and styles from 1950s-era Cuba.

The Tomten

Illustrated by: Harald Wiberg
Age Level: 3-6

From Swedish folklore comes the story of the tomten, a little gnome who watches over us while we sleep. Read this heartwarming version, from the author of Pippi Longstocking, and celebrate a time-honored tradition for the Winter Solstice.

Tree of Cranes

By: Allen Say
Age Level: 6-9

The narrator recalls his first Christmas in Japan and why his mother decorated a tree with a thousand paper cranes as she relives her holidays in California. Based on a family story, Say's illustrations evoke a holiday in two cultures.

When Christmas Feels Like Home

Illustrated by: Carolina Farias
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: After moving from a small village in Mexico to a town in the United States, Eduardo is sure it will never feel quite like home. The other children don't speak his language and they do not play f&uacue;tbol.

Yoon and the Christmas Mitten

Illustrated by: Gabi Swiatkowska
Age Level: 6-9

Product Description: When Yoon's teacher lends her a book about Santa Claus, Yoon can't wait to show it to her parents. To Yoon's disappointment, though, her mother responds, "We are not a Christmas family." As Christmas Eve approaches, Yoon learns more and more about this exciting holiday. But no matter how hard she tries to convince her parents to sing Christmas songs or put up Christmas stockings, they always say no. A determined Yoon soon realizes that she must use her own "Shining Wisdom" to persuade her parents that they can indeed be a Christmas family.