Hanukkah is the eight-day “festival of lights” celebrated by Jewish people around the world commemorating the re dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. From Maccabees to latkes to menorahs, help children learn about Hanukkah and get in the holiday spirit by reading some of these family-friendly books.
1. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
By Eric A. Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman
Every year goblins attempt to ruin Hanukkah for innocent villagers trying to celebrate the festival of lights. But not this year. Find out how Hershel of Ostropol outwits the nasty goblins and celebrates Hanukkah in this beautifully illustrated story.
2. The Trees of the Dancing Goats
By Patricia Polacco
When Trisha’s friends and neighbors can’t celebrate Christmas due to scarlet fever, her Jewish family helps renew the holiday spirit in this heart-warming tale of friendship and true holiday spirit.
3. Hanukkah Lights
By Michael Rosen and Robert Sabuda
What happens when an acclaimed poet and the world’s best pop-up illustrator team up to create a Hanukkah masterpiece? They create this riveting and exquisitely beautiful book that must be seen and held to fully appreciate.
4. How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?
By Jane Yolen
Yolen’s dinosaur is back! Join the troublemaking prehistoric beast as he learns the traditions and rituals of Hanukkah, including the delicious dishes and lighting of the candles.
5. The Kvetch Who Stole Hanukkah
By Bill Berlin
Much like the Grinch who stole Christmas, the Kvetch (someone who complains or nags a lot) of Oyville is set on ruining Hanukkah for the townspeople. The end is bound to bring a smile to everyone’s face … the Kvetch included!
6. Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story
By Laura Krauss Melmed
In this Strega Nona-like tall tale, Moishe is blessed with a magical frying pan that can make all of the latkes he desires. However, his wife, Baila, doesn’t adhere to its one rule: only Moishe can use the pan. See what happens next!
7. Runaway Dreidel
By Leslea Newman
A Hanukkah equivalent to “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” this story focuses on an out-of-control dreidel that takes its owner on an entertaining chase from the streets of New York to outer space. Chagall-like oil paintings make this story out of this world!
8. Maccabee!: The Story of Hanukkah
By Tilda Balsley
Full of vibrant colors and entertaining rhymes, this book teaches children the story of Hanukkah and belongs on the shelf of every Jewish family.
9. Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah
By Linda Glaser
Rachel’s family has to postpone their Hanukkah celebration, but Rachel wants to celebrate NOW! Find out what happens when she goes to her neighbor, Mrs. Greenberg’s, house to partake in holiday festivities.
10. Hanukkah Haiku
By Harriet Ziefert
Two cultures collide to produce one magnificent work of art: Hanukkah haiku. Using the traditional Japanese form of poetry, Ziefert writes one haiku for each night of Hanukkah, exposing children to a lovely work of art mixed with cultural values.
11. Hanukkah Ha-Has: Knock-Knock Jokes That Are a Latke Fun
By Katy Hall
Full of lighthearted jokes, playful puns and flaps to lift, this joke book is engaging on all levels! Ignite children’s Hanukkah spirit and with this wonderful book—perfect for sharing at any Hanukkah party.
What are your favorite Hanukkah books – new or old?