How do you ring in the New Year? Do you have a big celebration on New Year’s Eve? Maybe you and your family work together to set resolutions. Perhaps you have a traditional meal on New Year’s Day. Do you (usually) spend that day watching parades and football? Or does your family celebrate the New Year at a time other than December 31/January 1?
Regardless of your family’s traditions, I think these four New Year’s books have you covered! From New Year’s foods to family traditions to resolutions to celebrations around the world, you can find it below!
Winning New Year’s Books
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Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport, illustrated by Marion Eldridge — Do you eat black-eyed peas, or hoppin’ john, on New Year’s Day? It has never been a tradition in my family, but I enjoyed the dish at friends’ houses over the years. If you do, Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas will tug at your heart. And if you don’t, then this tale of tradition and community will make you want to try them! Piernas-Davenport includes a family recipe for hoppin’ john in the backmatter. Ages 4-8.
Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller, illustrated by Kathi Ember — Talking about resolutions with children can be tricky… If your children are having a hard time understanding what a resolution is or why people set one at the New Year, then you might give this book a try. Squirrel’s friends are all making resolutions, but he doesn’t know where to start. He sets out to ask his friends for help, but ends up helping them all instead. I greatly appreciate the focus on resolutions that help others, rather than simply self-improvement resolutions! Ages 4-8.
Happy New Year, Everywhere! by Arlene Erlbach, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm — Everyone needs to check this gem out! Erlbach walks young audiences through 20 New Year celebrations world-wide, from Belgium to Vietnam. I have to admit than many of these New Year celebrations and traditions were new to me, adn I can’t wait to continue to learn about them with our girls. In addition to teaching children when the celebration happens in each country, she also tells what the community calls it, as well as how to greet people for the New Year in that county. Erlbach also includes a craft, activity, or recipe to go along with each celebration! Ages 4-10.
Freedom Soup by Tami Charles, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara — Charles invites us into the relationship between grandmother and grandchild, as they prepare a Haitian Freedom Soup to eat as they ring in the New Year. The relationship is sweet, and the story is informative. You’ll learn all about the Haitian Revolution and the history of this Freedom Soup as you watch the duo prepare the special dish. Be sure to take a look at the back matter, as Charles includes an “easy, no-fuss, kid-friendly” recipe for Freedom Soup, and her Author’s Note tells of her connection to this soup and the Haitian Revolution. Ages 5-9.