Diwali books to celebrate the Festival of Lights

best Diwali books to share the Festival of Lights with your child

by Emily Gilbert |
Updated on

Diwali books are a great way to celebrate the festival of lights, which falls on Sunday 12th November 2023. Diwali, also referred to as Deepawali, is a five day-long festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. It takes place every autumn between October and November, with the dates shifting every year.

The main festival occurs on the third day, the intriguing day of the month, overlapping with the Hindu lunisolar calendar. Observed around the world, the Goddess of fortune, prosperity and wealth, Lakshmi, is the primary deity worshipped during this period.

Best Diwali books at a glance:

Best overall Diwali book to celebrate the Festivals of Light: Binny's Diwali, Buy on Amazon

Best Diwali book for storytelling: The Best Diwali Ever, Buy on Amazon

Best Diwali book for animation: Mr. Men Little Miss Happy Diwali, Buy on Amazon

Whether you celebrate this special day personally or maybe you're looking for a way to help your little one learn about other cultures, religions and traditions and explain the amazing celebration, books are a great Diwali activity you can do together.

Whatever the age of your child, we've found eight gorgeous children's books that showcase how Diwali is jubilated, with activities that you can all do together.

Best Diwali book for colourful illustrations

best Diwali books
Price: $15.24

The ideal way to introduce children to Rama and Sita and the story of Diwali, this picture book is full of vibrant illustrations little ones will love looking at.

Review: "Book is good. The story is very simplified to kids' understanding. Illustration style is good for kids to understand and also my kid is finding it easy to draw in that style."

Best Diwali book for storytelling

best Diwali books

Rrp: $22.99

Price: $10.48

This year, Ariana has plans to make Diwali an extra special celebration, with sweets, divas around the house, beautiful clothes, magical fireworks and… the rangoli competition, of course. But will her annoying little brother Rafi ruin Diwali?

Review: "I bought this to read to my Reception class during Diwali. Very useful for teaching about how the festival is celebrated and the various preparations which go into it. A highly recommended text for all EYFS settings."

Best Diwali book for tradition

best Diwali books

Rrp: $8.99

Price: $8.32

Part of the Celebrate the World series, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe, the third book encourages little ones to learn all about the traditions of Diwali.

Review: "This book talks about how Diwali is celebrated in modern India, so it's very relevant. The illustrations are clear, detailed and beautiful! We loved reading it with our kid."

Best Diwali book for toddlers

best Diwali books
Price: $8.06

They might not get much reading done with this book but they'll sure love bringing scenes such as baking treats and hanging lanterns to life with stickers.

Best Diwali book for babies

best Diwali books
Price: $8.41

The bold, brightly coloured pictures and short and snappy text of this sweet board book is a great way to discover Diwali together with your baby. (Not for older kids.)

Best Diwali book for animation

best Diwali books
Price: $12.89

The Mr Men and Little Miss can't wait to join in with the festival of lights. They're busy cleaning their homes, creating Rangolis, lighting lamps and enjoying all the festivities.

Review: "The story does a good job at capturing and relating the spirit of Diwali and all its aspects from the preparation to the celebration itself with the help of the Mr Men & Little Miss characters. It's light-hearted, fun and has wonderful illustrations."

Best Diwali book for simple text

best Diwali books
Price: $8.84

Complete simple text, vibrant illustrations and touch-and-feel on every spread, this lovely board book engages your baby's senses while introducing them to the celebration of Diwali.

Review: "Wanted to love this but it’s way too basic, no story just random pictures and hardly anything to touch/feel."

Best overall Diwali book to celebrate the Festivals of Light

best Diwali books

Rrp: $18.99

Price: $13.49

Binny is excited to talk to her class about her favourite holiday Diwali. She tells them about the fireworks, the delicious pedras and jalebis, and the clay lamps called diyas.

Review: "A gorgeous picture book both for children who celebrate Diwali and also to introduce this colourful festival to kids who have never experienced it. Told from the point of view of a little girl whose excitement at sharing with her class the experiences of her family’s special celebration, turns to nervous fear. A lovely story for young children, enhanced by vibrant illustrations that really capture the festival of light.

Remember, each day of Diwali is celebrated differently, from cleaning your house to constructing coloured designs called rangolis, to tucking into a luxurious meal jam-packed with traditional Indian sweets.

With diverse books playing a huge role in learning about Diwali, your kids will welcome different world celebrations and ethnicities. New celebrations are most likely to bring your kids closer to understanding different beliefs from around the world, from neighbours and friends of unique communities.

The main part though is getting to enjoy this sacred holiday with your friends and family.

FAQ's

Why is Diwali Called the Festival of Lights?

Diwali is most commonly known as the Festival of Lights. It’s a derivative of the Sanskrit word “deepavali”, which means “row of lights.” For Diwali, people were known for clay lamps lit with bright light that would line the outside of their homes at night to let their neighbours be aware of them uniting.

How is Diwali celebrated in India?

Diwali is celebrated in India in much the same way that Hindus in the United States celebrate the festival. This involves: spending quality time together with family and friends, cooking up a spectacular Indian feast worthy of the celebrations, lighting up the holiday with both lamps, more modern lights and even fireworks both inside and outside homes, shopping, presenting gifts, puja (prayers) and sweets.

Why do people light earthen lamps during Diwali?

The flame of the lamp has the destroyer principle (mārak tattva), which destroys the negative vibrations in the atmosphere. The protective sheath created by the lit lamps cleanses the house at the spiritual level and destroys all negative energies inside the house.

What should I look out for when choosing a book?

Babies and Toddlers: More attracted to bright colours and simple objects, preferably board and cloth books.

Preschool and kindergarten: They love nursery stories and other books depicting familiar objects like pop-up books.

Early school years: Picture books or sticker books with strong storylines and character development that get straight to the point.

Emily Gilbertis the Features & Reviews Editor for Mother&Baby and has written for the website and previously the magazine for six years. Specialising in product reviews, Emily is the first to know about all the exciting new releases in the parenting industry.

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