One of my favorite things to do is build lists around reader questions and requests. It always leads to lots of learning and discovery on my part, and I get to help someone find just the right book for their situation, which is one of the best feelings in the world.
This book list was inspired by a question from Carla in Annapolis, Maryland, who asked:
“My son has a new friend whose family is from India. They recently celebrated Holi, and my son was amazed to learn that there are holidays outside of the ones we celebrate in our home. I want to expand his knowledge, and I thought some books about Holi and Diwali would be a good place to start.”
Holi is an Indian festival that is also known as the festival of colors. It is celebrated in the Spring, when new colors are appearing in nature. Holi symbolizes new beginnings, togetherness, and goodness winning out over evil.
You May Also Enjoy These Books About Diwali!
The most memorable part of the Holi celebration is when family and friends throw colored powders on each other! Traditionally these powders were made with dried flowers, but today most powders are premade.
I learned so much about Holi from these books, and I think your family will, too.
6 Children’s Books About Holi
Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal and Surishta Sehgal
This beautiful book was my favorite of the Holi books that we read. This book combines so many things: gorgeous illustrations from Vashti Harrison, an explanation of the Holi celebration, and reinforcement of the concept of color. This book is a great introduction to Holi, particularly for young readers.
Holi Colors by Rinah Singh
Even the youngest readers can enjoy the fun of Holi! This board book shows real children celebrating the festival of colors. The rhyming text makes this an especially fun read aloud with little ones. I recommend reading this book with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
Amma, Tell Me About Holi! by Bhakti Mathur
This rhyming story explores the religious significance of Holi. Children will learn more about Hindu mythology and how the stories of the past relate to the celebrations of today. I learned so much from this beautifully illustrated book. It’s perfect for sharing with kids ages 4 and up.
Dev and Ollie: Colour Carnival by Shweta Aggarwal
Dev and his magical owl friend Ollie are so excited to be in India for Holi! However, Dev’s a little unsure about participating in the fun; he really doesn’t like anything messy. With Ollie’s help, Dev is able to find fun and enjoyment in the festival of colors. I recommend reading this book with kids ages 3 and up.
Let’s Celebrate Holi! by Ajanta Chakraborty and Vivek Kumar
This fun book from the Maya and Nee’s India Adventures series focuses on the festival of colors. Maya, Neel, and their pet squirrel Chintu travel to India to celebrate Holi with their cousin Ameya. On their trip, they learn more about the food, history, and traditions that make Holi special.
Holi, the Festival of Colors by Nick Sharma
Shalu would really like to become friends with Preeya, the new girl at school. But Shalu seems to have nothing in common with Preeya! Whatever Shalu likes, Preeya seems to like the opposite. Through celebrating Holi together, the girls find that they are more alike than different, and learn what it really means to be a good friend.