Moms Against Racism Canada Recommends: November 2020 Book List

Our theme this month is Holidays. Here are 21 books from children's picture books to non-fiction that you can add to your library today. Thank you to our partner, Bolen Books, for sponsoring this blog. Please buy your diversity, anti-racism, and racism unlearning books from Bolen Books either in-store (Victoria, BC) or online and they will ship to you!

Pictured: Moms Against Racism Monthly Book list brought to you by Bolen Books.

Can a calendar year be racist? Yes, yes it can.

November and December 2020: Holidays and Celebrations

Have you ever stopped to think about the recognized holidays that are celebrated in Canada? Can a calendar year be racist?

Yes, yes it can.

Here is a list of National* Canadian holidays in 2020 per

  • New Year’s Day,

  • Family Day,

  • Good Friday,

  • Easter Monday,

  • Victoria Day,

  • Canada Day,

  • Civic Holiday (August Long Weekend),

  • Labour Day,

  • Thanksgiving,

  • Remembrance Day,

  • Christmas Day, and

  • Boxing Day.

*observed by the majority of provinces and territories.

Do you know the origins of these holidays? Most are born from Christian/Catholic/Protestant beliefs and are deeply rooted in colonization. What does it say about how Canada sees itself that these are the only holidays that are nationally recognized as worthy of a day off in observance? What does it say to all the Canadians and the Indigenous community who don’t recognize these holidays but celebrate other important days?

There are so many beautiful holidays, significant days, festivals and celebrations that occur throughout the year. Many of the people who live in Canada observe special days that are not recognized as the “standard” holidays. Here is a list of 22 books you can buy (or borrow from the library) to increase your family’s understanding and acceptance of celebrations that may be different than your own family’s traditions. We encourage you to also learn more about the holidays you currently celebrate. You may find an increased sense of pride or perhaps a need to re-evaluate.

Do you know of any other books about the world’s celebrated holidays that we should include in a future list? Comment below or send us an email! We would love to share it with our readers.

Happy Holidays!

Let's Celebrate! Special Days Around the World by Kate DePalma

Li'l Rabbit's Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington

The Night Before Hanukkah by Natasha Wing

Let's Celebrate Diwali by Anjali Joshi

Metis Christmas Mittens by Leah Marie Dorion

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow

Festival of Colors by Surishta Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal

Together For Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford and Shelly Hehenberger

Binny's Diwali by Thrity Umrigar and Nidhi Chanani

Mouse Celebrates the Winter Solstice by Terri Mack

The Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story by Hena Kahn

Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer

Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou

The Animals of Chinese New Year by Jen Sookfong Lee

We have also included the following non-fiction books that are part of the Orca Origins Series. Founded in 1984, Orca Book Publishers is an independently owned Canadian children’s book publisher of award-winning, bestselling books in a number of genres.

"We strive to produce books that illuminate the experiences of people of all ethnicities, people with disabilities and people who identify as LGBTQ+. Our goal is to provide reading material that represents the diversity of human experience to readers of all ages. Orca aims to help young readers see themselves reflected in the books they read."

Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane

Passover: Festival of Freedom by Monique Polak

Ramadan: The Holy Month of Fasting by Ausma Zehanat Khan

Diwali: Festival of Lights by Rina Singh

Chinese New Year: A Celebration for Everyone by Jen Sookfong Lee

Christmas: From Solstice to Santa by Nikki Tate & Dani Tate-Stratton