10 Children’s Books About Hanukkah to Celebrate the Festival of Lights
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If your family celebrates the Festival of Lights, there’s a good chance the kids in your life are already chomping at the bit for the fun to begin. Although the time has not yet come to start noshing on donuts, latkes and chocolate gelt—Hanukkah kicks off on December 18 this year—we found plenty of kid-friendly reading material to stir up some holiday spirit in the meantime. Here, a roundup of the very best children’s books about Hanukkah.
Moishe is a kind-hearted man who was blessed with a magic frying pan that can produce latkes en masse for Hanukkah, but things go seriously awry when this very special piece of cookware falls into the wrong hands. This festive folktale features lyrical text, beautifully painted illustrations and a storyline that’s full of holiday magic.
Christmas lore gets a little more inclusive in this clever story about how one of Santa’s elves, Shmelf, came to discover that not all children celebrate the same holiday. Needless to say, Shmelf gets a thorough education on Hanukkah traditions—a fact that will delight every Jewish kid who feels like the holiday doesn’t get a fair shake.
Vibrant artwork and simple text make a big impact in this retelling of the Hanukkah story. If you’re looking for a book that provides context for the celebrations without losing the interest of the young and restless, this one fits the bill.
It’s Hanukkah and two Jewish siblings are trying to figure out where their holiday belongs in a world with so many other lights. This visually stunning picture book doesn’t go into great detail about the holiday; it is, however, a poetic, poignant and highly relatable read.
Latke, an oh-so lovable pup who gets adopted from the animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah, has a lot to learn about following the house rules. Fischer skillfully incorporates meaningful traditions, religious symbols and Yiddish words into her heartfelt story about a well-meaning dog and the Jewish family who loves him despite his rather disruptive antics.
Here, a festive read for preschoolers that covers all the Hanukkah bases—from history to modern traditions—with colorful pictures, jaunty, rhyming text and a too-cute llama family, to boot.
Everybody’s favorite stuffed bear enjoys all the Hanukkah festivities—from lighting the menorah to playing dreidel—in this sweet and simple book by Don Freeman. At the risk of stating the obvious, the little crowd is sure to relish Corduroy’s company over the holidays.
Bubba Brayna’s latkes are delicious enough to lure a hungry bear out of hibernation on the first night of Hanukkah. Indeed, this charming and humorous story begins when an unexpected visitor shows up for the festivities—and the end result is a holiday whodunnit that’s delightful to read.
Here, a rollicking read in which a fairytale kingdom’s Hanukkah celebrations are disrupted by the roguery of a dragon. This story features all the familiar traditions, plus plenty of humorous wordplay for an extra dose of holiday fun.
Award-winning author Martha Simpson pens a touching and imaginative story about a dreidel that won’t spin and the child who harnesses the true spirit of Hanukkah to fix the problem. Let the games begin!