Pop! Bang! Boom! Whoosh! Crackle! Ahh, can you hear all that?
It is that special time of the year again, Diwali, the enchanting festival of lights is here.
Children especially love celebrating Diwali as it is a feast for the senses. Indulgence in delicious cuisines and sweetmeats, unmissable sights of vibrant colors, stunning string of lights and diyas everywhere, pops of thrilling fireworks in the night sky and anticipation of exciting gifts from near and dear ones is nothing short of magic for the young ones. Surprisingly everybody is in a festive good mood.
Fun and celebrations are good and welcome, but between all the fun, food and fireworks, I feel it’s important that children learn about the history and cultural value of the festival. We as parents can show them how and why Diwali is celebrated. There are plenty of books that have evocative tales, intriguing and charming illustrations teaching children just that and more. Virtues like courage, discipline, togetherness, and kindness associated with the story of Diwali and demonstrated through mythological narrations are best taught at this time.
With this intention in mind, here I bring to you 15 incredible books that will help your little ones learn about the festival, mythology, culture and associated values in a fun and entertaining way! Let’s dive in without further ado!
1. ‘Baby’s First Diwali’ by DK publishers
This board book perfectly captures the joy of celebrating Diwali with families and has an excellent preschool introduction to the traditions of the festival. It has beautiful vibrant pictures and simple, read-aloud texts for babies and toddlers.
Recommended Age: Ideal for children between the ages of 2 to 6 years; even babies who sit up on the lap can be enjoy this book.
2. ‘My Little Book of Lakshmi’ by Ashwitha Jayakumar
This board book is a must festive read for early readers; it is filled with intriguing illustrations, dotted with fascinating facts, and layered with interactive seek-and-find activity. It is a beautiful first guide to the most popularly revered goddess Lakshmi.
Recommended Age: For children between the ages 1 to 6 years
3. Peppa’s Diwali (Ladybird books)
What happens when you combine everyone’s favourite festival with everyone’s favourite piggy? You get immense entertainment and joy!
This book also has a colouring book to go along with it so that kids can hone their artistic and imaginative skills as well.
Recommended Age: For children between the ages of 1 to 5 years.
4. Binny’s Diwali by Thrity Umrigar
The story in this sweet picture book by Thrity Umrigar revolves around Binny, a charming little girl who needs to talk about Diwali in front of her entire class. She’s all excited to speak about her favorite festival, but when she stands up to speak, she struggles to keep afloat.
Read how Binny faces her nervousness and fears with courage and talks about her favorite festival, the delicious sweets and beautiful colours. This book also has a wonderful introduction to Diwali for little ones, wrapped within a story of sharing and acceptance.
Recommended Age: For children between the ages of 4 to 8 years.
5. ‘Diwali’ by Hannah Elliot
Hannah Elliot, along with illustrations by Archana Sreenivasan introduces kids to the festivities and celebrations of Diwali. This delightful board book touches upon almost everything about Diwali, the traditions, celebrations & festivities spanning five days of Diwali, when and why it is celebrated, which time of the year it is celebrated etc in a simple & friendly text.
Recommended Age: This non-fiction board book is for children between the ages of 2 to 5 years.
6. Chhota Bheem in Diwali Dhamaka
The young readers can join Chhota Bheem and his friends as they are invited to the King’s palace for Diwali celebrations.
However, the King’s evil brother-in-law kidnaps the King and ruins the celebrations. Can Chhota Bheem and his friends rescue the King in time for the Diwali celebrations? An adventure associated with the festival, double delight for kids.
Recommended Age: This comic book is a must-buy for every Chhota Bheem fan between 2 to 12 years.
7. ‘The Diwali Gift’ by Shuchi Mehta and Shweta Chopra
The contemporary story in this wholesome book revolves around three monkeys – Suno, Dekho, and Jaano taking turns guessing what presents they have received from Suno’s grandmother. Sit down and enjoy as the three unravel the mystery of a Diwali gift. The illustrations and pictures are enchantingly engaging, something that keeps the fun going. The story closes with a meaningful message about importance of the festival after the secret gift is revealed in the end.
Recommended Age: This book is ideal for kids between the ages of 3 to 8 years.
8. ‘Hurray for Diwali’ by Anita Raina Thapan
The story in this book by Anita Raina Thapan revolves around a child named Gittoo and his family as they gear up to celebrate Diwali. This excellent book enlightens kids about the enchanting stories of Diwali, Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana and the importance of Laxmi Puja. It also instills the value of togetherness in children.
Recommended Age: Children above the age of 3 can learn the story of Diwali and Laxmi Puja along with Gittoo as his mother narrates the stories.
9. Rani Saves Diwali by Anita Badhwar
This story by Anita Badhwar is about a little princess named Rani, who is tasked with Diwali decorations and celebrations in her palace when her decorator meets with a slight accident. Read on the sweet story with your little ones to find out how Rani saves Diwali!
Recommended Age: The book is suggested for kids above the age of 3.
10. ‘Rama And Sita’ by Malachy Doyle
This book by the award-winning author Malachy Doyle is a retelling of the classic tale of Ramayana.
Recommended Age: It can be informative for children below the age of 12 as they’d get to learn the history of Diwali and the holy Ramayana.
11. Prince of Fire: The Story of Diwali by Jatinder Verma
The Ramayana gets a fresh adaptation and retelling in this chapter book on Diwali. The detailed illustrations give the story a thrilling vibe and make it an engaging treat for boys and girls alike of the pre-teenage group! Children who like adventure novels would easily fall in love with the book.
Recommended Age: This book by Jatinder Verma is recommended for children between 8 to 11 years.
12. Amma, Tell Me About Diwali! by Bhakti Mathur
The story by Bhakti Mathur revolves around two kids – Klaka and Kiki, who inundate their mother (also known as ‘Amma’) with interesting questions about the festival Diwali as they celebrate.
Children would gain immense knowledge about Diwali, and its history as Amma answers questions such as “Why do we celebrate Diwali?” and “Why do we pray to Ganesha and Lakshmi?”.
Beautiful illustration complementing the rhyming tale makes it an engaging festive read for children. Read the story aloud to your little ones!
Recommended Age: For children between the ages of 3- 8 years.
13. Lighting A Lamp by Jonny Zucker
This book by Jonny Zucker has simple pictures complementing the gentle introduction about Diwali. It is an easy read and, without diving too deep into the religious aspects of the festival, makes it less overwhelming for young children.
Recommended Age: For children between the ages of 3 to 6 years.
14. Diwali: A Cultural Adventure by Sana Hoda Sood
The story by Sana Hoda Sood is a summarized version of Ramayana told in a rhyming format accompanied by bright, detailed illustrations, which is a great approach to help kids learn about Hindu mythology. It also enlightens children about the story behind Diwali. And learning about Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana would inspire them to be honest, courageous beings.
Note: This hardcover book is expensive, so I wanted to skip including it in the list, but the detailed, bright illustrations can keep the children engaged for long, and if you read aloud the rhythmic texts to your little ones, it can even start great conversations with them.
Recommended Age: For children above five years.
15. Cat’s Diwali by Sarah H. Paul
This simple story told through the eyes of a pet tells us what a four-legged feline experiences during the human holidays of Diwali. Children especially would enjoy watching their favorite holidays through the eyes of a furry cat.
Okay! I have to say this… Did you know that cats hear sounds much louder than humans do! While we enjoy all the BOOMS and POPS of firecrackers, do we recognize what happens to pets and stray animals around!
Recommended Age: Purr-fect for all! It is ideal for children above the age of 4 years.
Festivals are a great opportunity to spend time with family members and strengthen the family bonds that remain in children’s memories for their entire lives. So this Diwali, bond over entertaining and enlightening festive books with your little ones! Pick a book from this list and snuggle-read it with your little learners! Enjoy!
Wishing you and your family a very Happy Diwali! Fizz, swirl, flash, burst, splutter, hiss, whizz and BOOM. Sounds, but with BOOKS! Howzz that!