Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

This Diwali, ignite your child’s imagination and welcome them into a world of colors, traditions, and togetherness through a selection of enchanting picture books about Diwali. To get you started, we’ve compiled a selection of high-quality Diwali children’s books, which blend the magic of storytelling with valuable cultural exploration.

For those unfamiliar with it, Diwali is a vibrant holiday celebrated in Southeast Asian countries like India and Bangladesh, as well as by Hindu, Jain, and Sikh families around the world. Also known as the Festival of Lights, it marks the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. During Diwali, families come together to light oil lamps (diyas), exchange gifts, enjoy festive meals, and make colorful art (rangoli).

If you celebrate, imagine your child’s delight as they discover characters and stories that reflect their own heritage and traditions. It’s like finding a treasure trove of relatable experiences and celebrations, all within the colorful pages of a book. And for little explorers who may not be familiar with Diwali, these stories offer a gateway into a world of new customs and festivities. So snuggle up and enjoy these captivating tales about the Festival of Lights.

Diwali in My New Home

By Shachi Kaushik, illustrated by Aishwarya Tandon

This sweet book tells the tale of a character named Priya, who has just moved from India to America and is so excited for her favorite holiday, Diwali. As the festival approaches, Priya’s concerned that things won’t be the same in her new home. But Priya’s not someone to give up. Instead, she makes sure this Diwali includes everyone she knows and cares about, both in India and America. This book is lovely for any child who’s learning what it means to move somewhere new and how to create special moments of inclusion and curiosity.


Binny’s Diwali

By Thrity Umrigar, illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

It’s a big day for Binny! Not only is it Diwali, but she gets to share all about the holiday at school. This lovely picture book does a wonderful job of telling about the tradition of Diwali, while also creating an opportunity for social-emotional learning by illuminating how a person can feel different emotions all at once—for example, nervous, excited, anxious, and happy. That’s how Binny feels, but with her teacher’s help in planning and her parents’ support, Binny gets ready to make this day spectacular.


Shubh Diwali!

By Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Charlene Chua

Adorable. That’s my word for Shubh Diwali! It’s a vibrantly illustrated book told in rhyme about one family’s preparation and celebration of Diwali. The joy of celebrating the festival is so evident that I can’t read this book without having a smile on my face for every page. This volume is particularly well adapted for kids just getting an introduction to the festival Diwali and how it’s celebrated.


Ramayana: Divine Loophole

By Sanjay Patel

Most children’s books about Diwali focus on the traditions and celebrations. Ramayana: Divine Loophole is a graphic novel that tells the story behind Diwali instead. This epic tale features magic, true love, princes, demons, a flying monkey God, and heroic battles. Sanjay Patel is an artist who has worked for Pixar, so you know the illustrations are great. I grab this book every Diwali to share with my students, and we revel in the story that’s over two thousand years old. Exciting, dramatic, fun, and sweet, this book will keep young readers hooked. (A note: While nothing is very graphic, there is a battle and a demon, so very young children might find parts of this book a little scary.)


Let’s Celebrate Diwali

By Anjali Joshi, illustrated by Tim Palin

Let’s Celebrate Diwali is a delightful children’s book that takes readers on a journey through the traditions and customs of Diwali. From lighting diyas to making rangoli, this book beautifully captures the essence of the Festival of Lights. With colorful illustrations and engaging storytelling, it is sure to captivate young readers and teach them about the significance of this ancient holiday. Whether you are celebrating Diwali for the first time or looking to share the joy with your children, Let’s Celebrate Diwali is a must-read book that will bring the festival’s magic to life.


A Dog Named Haku

By Margarita Engle with Amish Karanjit and Nicole Karanjit, illustrated by Ruth Jeyaveeran

A Dog Named Haku: A Holiday Story from Nepal offers a unique Diwali tale. Or maybe I should say “tail!” Rather than discussing how Diwali is celebrated directly or the history of the Festival of Lights, it shares a story set in Nepal during Diwali. After dogs rescued humans in a natural disaster, two brothers go in search of a dog to give food as a symbol of thanks. As the day goes on, their parents begin to wonder where their boys have gone. But to their surprise, the family’s Diwali celebration culminates with fireworks and a new pet! This book highlights the themes and practices of Diwali, while centering the bond between humans and animals. At the end of the book there is a Nepalese glossary and suggestions on how to further your learning.


It’s Diwali!

By Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

Surishtha and Kabir Sehgal are a mother and son writing team with books on the New York Times bestseller list. In this book, they help readers celebrate Diwali while learning to count from 1 to 10. This book features rhyming text set to the tune of “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” and incorporates Diwali traditions and festive illustrations as an introduction to counting. It’s a simple yet lively read that’s well adapted for the littlest book fans.


Want more book recommendations? Check out our curated reading lists!