It’s February and the parades will be starting soon! This could be your family’s first, fourth, or fortieth Mardi Gras, but no matter how new or seasoned you might be, there’s always more to learn about this celebration.
Every New Orleans child needs a Mardi Gras book on their shelf. As with any event or topic, a book can heighten anticipation, deepen understanding, and offer new perspectives. The titles I’ve highlighted below are ones I’ve selected for my charter school network’s Mardi Gras reading event.
The Mardi Gras experience in a story
- Mimi’s First Mardi Gras – from beignets on Mardi Gras morning to costumes and parades, experience Mardi Gras Day with Mimi and her parents.
- Jenny Giraffe’s Mardi Gras Ride – Jenny the giraffe experiences her first Mardi Gras and prepares to ride on a float; luckily she has friends to help her get ready.
- On Mardi Gras Day – from dawn to dusk, encountering Mardi Gras Indians to reenacting parades in the backyard on Mardi Gras afternoon, see Mardi Gras day through the eyes of a New Orleans’ child.
- The Red Feather – “In New Orleans that morning, the air smelled sweet. I saw a red feather as I walked down the street.” Told in rhyme, vivid brushstrokes, and creative font, this story introduces you to the Mardi Gras Indians on Mardi Gras day.
- Mardi Gras in the Country – for older children, go back in time and spend Mardi Gras day on Maw-Maw Badeaux’s front porch as masked riders pass.
- Mardi Gras and Carnival – learn about the history, traditions, food, parades, and music of Mardi Gras – with lots of photographs to draw your child in.
- Mardi Gras: A City’s Masked Parade – with one-page chapters and a focus on New Orleans, your child will learn the basics of the history and players in a New Orleans Mardi Gras.
- A Mardi Gras Dictionary – this is not just one word per letter, but a real dictionary of Mardi Gras staples: from Ash Wednesday to doubloons, grandstands to ladders, queens to “Throw Me Something, Mister!”, this is a nice broad overview of Mardi Gras.
- Mardi Gras in New Orleans – a children’s book that takes you on a journey throughout the Carnival season.
- 12 Days of Mardi Gras – a Mardi Gras themed book for early readers and counters.
- The Amazing Adventure of Mardi Gras Bead Dog – the story about the Haydel’s Mardi Gras bead dog. (yes this price is outrageous, posting so you can identify the title).
- Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras – Gaston the gator takes readers on an adventurous tour of Mardi Gras.
- Dinosaur Mardi Gras – these dinosaurs get down at Mardi Gras while stomping and chomping to the beat.
- The King Cake Baby – the little plastic Mardi Gras baby escapes from a king cake! Where will he go?
- Beads on Trees – a trip down memory lane of the sights and sounds of Mardi Gras.
- Happy Mardi Gras – a book celebrating Mardi Gras and it’s history.
- The Little Purple Mardi Gras Bead – a journey of a purple bead whose wish is to be caught by someone special.
- Bruno and Frida Go to Mardi Gras – brother and sister French Bulldogs who live in the French Quarter celebrate Fat Tuesday.
- Randolph Solves the Mardi Gras Mystery – a Mardi Gras mystery about Randolph and his dog friends and how they save Mardi Gras.
- New Orleans Mother Goose – rhyme down the bayou with the New Orleans Mother Goose.
Check out your local library’s Mardi Gras collection (don’t forget that library card holders can place an online book request!) or visit your neighborhood book store to get your child ready for Mardi Gras 2022! Mardi Gras is BACK!
What is your favorite Mardi Gras book for your family?