I'm in Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor with pictures by Peter Parnall will inspire you to create your own holidays. "Last year I gave myself one hundred and eight celebrations — besides the ones that they close school for," says the girl in this delightful children's book. She keeps a notebook where she records her celebrations: Dust Devil Day, Rainbow Celebration Day, Green Cloud Day, Coyote Day, and The Time of Falling Stars. Her very own New Year Celebration comes in the spring when her favorite cactus blooms and "makes me think I ought to bloom myself" she spends a day "admiring things."

This celebratory spirit is also characteristic of another book by the same creative duo, Baylor and Parnallï's The Way to Start A Day. The narrator recommends greeting the sun each morning with a blessing, chant, or song — an act that joins you to people of all times and all cultures.

Here are more books to draw children into the practice of joy:

  • Lara's First Christmas: Alice O. Howell tells a charming tale about the opening of a little girl's heart to joy.
  • Augustus and His Smile: Catherine Rayner offers a delightful story about a tiger on a quest to find his lost smile and his joy.
  • Hanukkah Haiku: Harriet Ziefert combines Haiku poetry with exquisite paintings by Karla Gudeon to make the celebration of Hanukkah a total

More Children's Books about Joy