Mardi Gras is just around the corner and it’s one of my favorite holidays to celebrate being that I was born and raised in New Orleans!
For those of you who may want to learn more about this super fun celebration, I’ve put together this list of Mardi Gras books for preschoolers! They are fun, bright and colorful, and cultural to what all those who celebrate Mardi Gras experience!
Mardi Gras ABCs by Connie Toledano
Come along on this colorful and educational ride through the Mardi Gras traditions of New Orleans! In addition to reinforcing the letters of the alphabet, Mardi Gras ABCs will keep your child entertained with vivid illustrations and clever rhymes.
Mimi’s First Mardi Gras by Alice Couvillon and Elizabeth Moore
Mimi and her parents enjoy the color and excitement of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and observe many traditional aspects of the celebration.
Dinosaur Mardi Gras by Dianne De Las Casas
Get ready to stomp and chomp to that mambo beat! When carnival time rolls into New Orleans, these hip dinosaurs want to boogie on down. Iguanodon wiggles to the music of a marching band, while Zigongosaurus dances zydeco and Pterodactyal swoops into the crowd.
Gaston Goes To Mardi Gras by James Rice
The south’s favorite flying alligator, Gaston, travels to New Orleans to get a close-up look at the excitement and pageantry that characterise Mardi Gras. En route, Gaston drops in on Courir de Mardi Gras and fasi-do-do in rural South Louisiana.
The King Cake Baby by Keila Dawson
This fun book has a unique twist on the classic, Gingerbread Man story. It’s filled with fun New Orleans culture and adventure. It’s a great resource for teachers and parents to reinforce repetition to young children, and introduce new cultural traditions.
Throw Me Something, Mister by Malcom Wright
This story follows two young children, Erin and Nathan, who live far away from New Orleans. They are visiting the big city with their parents and grandparents and seeing their very first Mardi Gras parade. They are wearing costumes their grandmother made so they are as colorful as other parade goers are. They hear the big marching bands, Dixieland jazz and Cajun Music. They smell spicy foods – crawfish pie, jambalaya, red beans and rice. They learn to catch beads, doubloons and other favors thrown by the masked riders from atop the huge, exotic floats.
Beads On Trees by Ginger Grabert Spedale
We love this story because it’s a true account of Ruby Rose as she celebrates Mardi Gras. If you’ve ever visited New Orleans at Mardi Gras, you’ll be in awe at all the beautiful blossomed “Mardi Gras Trees” with hundreds of beads dangling from their branches. The author of this story grew up in New Orleans, and still lives there today.
Happy Mardi Gras by Cornell Landry
This book highlights Mardi Gras in New Orleans with brightly colored illustrations and New Orleans culture. It’s a MUST-HAVE book for celebrating Mardi Gras.
The Bourbon Street Band Is Back by Ed Shankman
Through months of darkness and sadness the people “wished that things were like before.” And with a single drum beat on Bourbon Street, and then another, and another, the music came back to New Orleans, better than ever! Children and parents alike will love this story about the healing power of music. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation.
The Amazing Adventure Of Mardi Gras Bead Dog by Cornell Landry
For years, children have enjoyed twisting broken Mardi Gras beads into animal figurines. The most popular animal to make is the dog. Various groups like Cub Scouts and Brownies make the little bead dogs and sell them for fundraising activities. In the spirit of this tradition, Haydel’s Bakery has created a rendering of the old time bead dog, jazzed up for the 21st century. This story is so much fun and the illustrations are very bright and beautiful. This is my son’s favorite Mardi Gras book!
For more Mardi Gras fun, check out these 20 Mardi Gras Activities for Kids!