Welcome to a year long series of posts celebrating and honoring different holidays of the year from the well-known holidays to the obscure, weird, and wacky holidays. We kick off the new year with read-alouds for January holidays. Enjoy reading a book a day with the children in your life.
Books for Kids About January Holidays
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January 1st: New Year’s Day
Freedom Soup by Tami Charles is a beautifully illustrated book that introduces us to a Haitian custom that takes place on New Year’s. This tradition dates all the way back to the Haitian Revolution. And, there is a recipe in the back of the book to try.
And, for more New Year’s books, check out my whole list.—>New Year’s Day Books
January 2nd: National Science Fiction Day
The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers is the story of a boy who takes a sputtering plane to the moon where he discovers another nervous creature on the other side of the moon. Will these two become friends and help each other find their way back home?
January 3rd: Festival of Sleep Day
This is a day to celebrate good sleep habits. And, what better habit before sleep than a bedtime story?
Everyone is asleep in the red brick building until the baby wails, “Waaaaah!” That starts a chain reaction of sounds and awakenings. But, just as soon as the noises rise everyone, other noises soothe everyone back to sleep. Check out Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter.
January 4th: World Braille Day
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant is the story of the inventor of the touch alphabet. Learn all about him in this fascinating read.
January 5th: National Bird Day
Bird Watch by Christie Matheson is a great introduction and inspiration for bird watching through all the seasons. Plus, you can bird-watch right in the book and find the birds on each page. The dedication sums it up by E.B. White, “Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” You’ll want to grab a bird guide from the library and head out into nature after reading.
For more books about birds, check out this list.—>Bird Books for Kids
January 6th: National Cuddle Up Day
No More Cuddles! by Jane Chapman is the story of a very cuddly creature, but he’s getting a bit tired of all the cuddles. So, he comes up with a plan!
January 7th: Old Rock Day
In A Dinosaur Made Me Sneeze: A Rock Cycle Adventure by Carla Mae Jansen, you’ll learn about how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks are formed and how that cycle repeats over and over again. It’s fun, playful, and educational read.
January 8th: National Bubble Bath Day
Discover that the best step for giving a bath is to NOT do it in How to Give Your Cat a Bath in Five Easy Steps by Nicola Winstanley.
January 9th: National Word Nerd Day
The Word Collector by the great Peter H. Reynolds. Most people love to collect things and Jerome loves to collect words. I love what Reynolds writes on the end page, “Reach for your own words. Tell the world who you are and how you will make it better.”
January 10th: National Houseplant Appreciation Day
The Plant Sitter by Gene Zion is an oldie. Tommy has a holiday job of caring for houseplants and he does a mighty fine job…almost too fine.
January 11th: National Milk Day
When you are a milk-producing cow, of course, you must love cookies too. The Cow Loves Cookies
by Karma Wilson is a fun read-aloud.
January 12th: National Hot Tea Day
Chaiwala! by Priti Birla Maheshwari introduces us to the warm spiced milk tea- chai. Come to India and get in a line for a cup.
January 13th: National Rubbery Ducky Day
Ducks Overboard! by Markus Motum takes us to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to learn about the impact that plastic and garbage are having on our oceans. We take this journey with thousands of yellow rubber ducks that fell overboard off a ship during a storm at sea.
January 14th: International Kite Day
Kite Flying by Grace Lin is a story that celebrates the Chinese tradition of kite making and kite flying. Follow a family as they shop for materials to build a kite and follow them through the kite-making process.
January 15th: National Hat Day
Hooray for Hat by Won is another fun read. The elephant is grumpy until he opens his door to discover a hat waiting for him. He sets off to show Zebra his hat which sets a parade in motion.
January 16th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford shows us how we can emulate many of the qualities of a man who created great change in the world.
January 17th: Kid Inventors’ Day
What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada is a wonderful and inspirational book about nurturing new ideas and watching them grow. It is a great reminder not to discount an idea that seems too big, too hard, or too odd. Give it time and space then watch it grow!
January 18th: National Thesaurus Day
January 19th: National Popcorn Day
How does popcorn end up in your bowl? Well, first you have to grow the popcorn. Take the journey from the garden to your mouth in Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn by Cynthia Schumerth.
This informational book works well for a story time read-aloud because it has lots of rhythm and bright engaging illustrations.
January 20th: Penguin Awareness Day
365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental would be my kid’s favorite on the list. A family keeps getting mysterious deliveries of penguins to their front door. With so many penguins in the house, they have to be creative about housing them all. This books also provides lots of math practice!
And, for more penguin picks, see my whole list.—>Penguin Books for Kids
January 21st: Squirrel Appreciation Day
Girl Versus Squirrel by Hayley Barrett is the story of a birdfeeder problem and squirrels. But Pearl is resourceful. She is up to the challenge of keeping the squirrel out of the feeders. She comes up with some clever ways to keep the squirrel out of the seed, but really she ends up creating quite the amusement park for the squirrel in the process. A squirrel can be very determined. And, then Pearl discovers something that changes her heart about the squirrel.
January 22nd: Local Quilt Shop Day
The All-Together Quilt by Anne Rockwell is the story of a community coming together to create a quilt.
January 23rd: National Pie Day
The Blueberry Pie Elf by Jane Thayer is an older book about an elf who loves blueberry pie. He’s determined to let the family of humans know that he wants them to make another blueberry pie. And, he finds a creative way to do so.
January 24th: Global Belly Laugh Day
Warning…Crash, Splash, Moo! by Bob Shea is not the one to read if you are trying to quiet the kids. This is one that will stir all their sillies. This is one that will make them laugh. This is one that will make them say, “Read it again!” It is game show meets book and your kids get to be the contestants.
And, for more laugh-out-loud books, check out this list.—>Funny Read Alouds
January 25th: National Opposite Day
Big and Little: A Story of Opposites by Cheryl Pilgrim isn’t just a simple comparison of opposites. The illustrations add such depth that allows for some fun storytelling as you move through the book.
Read even more books about opposites.—>Books About Opposites
January 26th: Multicultural Children’s Book Day
I’m honored to once again be co-hosting Multicultural Children’s Book Day. “Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity but to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries.” There are more and more great books that celebrate diversity with children.
Check out Eyes That Speak to the Stars by Joanna Ho. In this story, a young Asian boy notices his eyes look different from other classmates after looking at a drawing by his friend. After talking and reflecting with his family, he develops a great appreciation for his eyes, himself, and his connection to his family. It is the companion book to the beautiful, Eyes that Kiss in the Corners.
January 27th: National Geographic Day
Celebrate the gorgeous photographs of National Geogrpahic with one of their many books for children. Photo Ark ABC: An Animal Alphabet in Poetry and Pictures by Debbie Levy gives us stunning photography and poetry.
January 28th: International Lego Day
In I’m Fun, Too! by Jonathan Fenske, a LEGO figurine of the past meets LEGO figurines of the present.
January 29th: National Seed Swap Day
Seeds Move! by Robin Page is perfect for spring describing all the ways seeds are moved from here to there.
January 30th: National Draw a Dinosaur Day
Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald is a good one to open a dinosaur unit. Students will guess the animal as it is built shape by shape. After reading, children could also draw their own dinosaurs with different shapes.
January 31st: National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day
Sometimes little brothers and sisters can get ahold of our artwork. That is what happens in Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light.
For more artish reads, check out this list.—>Art Books for Kids
Printable List of January Holiday Books
Grab a printable list of the books to enjoy with the kids.
Enjoy reading this January.