Tuesday, December 8, 2020

10 Children's Books About Hanukkah

Hanukkah... often referred to as the Festival of Lights... is an eight-day that begins on the 25th of the Jewish month Kislev of the Hebrew calendar. It is a celebration of the Maccabees' victory over the Assyrian army and the miracle in which one day's supply of oil lasted long enough for the menorah in the rededicate temple in Jerusalem to remain lit for eight days. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah by lighting a menorah each night, eating traditional foods like latkes and doughnuts (sufganiyot... yum!) that were fried in oil, listening to music, gift exchanges with family, and playing games with dreidels.  Contrary to popular belief... Hanukkah is not a Jewish Christmas... it is a magical and special holiday in its own right.

There are many children's books about Hanukkah available for children to read.  Listed below is a combination of fiction and nonfiction books you may enjoy.  Some of these books are old classics, whereas others are sure to be new favorites.  Keep reading to see what books are on my list!

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.
(affiliate links and descriptions from Amazon included)

Simon and the Bear: A Hannukah Tale by Eric A. Kimmel

Before Simon sails to America, he promises his family that he will get a job and send for them. Simon's mother knows he will need a miracle, so she reminds him to celebrate Hanukkah wherever he may be. Little does either of them know that Simon will spend the first night of Hanukkah on an ice floe after his ship sinks. The lone survivor out in the wide ocean, Simon lights the first candle, and it attracts a visitor: a polar bear. Does she eat him? No! She shares his latkes, enjoys his songs, goes fishing for him, and even keeps him warm at night. By the last day of Hanukkah, Simon has nearly given up hope of ever being rescued. But then he recounts all of the miracles that have befallen him so far. Perhaps it is not too much to hope for one more, he thinks, as he lights all of the candles in the menorah. The bright glow signals a passing ship, and Simon makes it to New York after all. This fanciful Hanukkah tale -- like none you've ever read before -- celebrates eight miracles: family, friendship, hope, selflessness, sharing, faith, courage, and love.

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Title: Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale
🍎 Author: Eric A. Kimmel
🍎 Illustrator: Matthew Trueman
🍎 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
🍎 Date: September 22, 2020
🍎 Pages: 40

There Was a Young Rabbi: A Hanukkah Tale by Suzanne Wolf

Hanukkah is a very busy time! Join the young rabbi as she makes festive preparations―spinning the dreidel, cooking a tasty meal, lighting the menorah, and more―in this cumulative, rhyming story reminding readers of the Hanukkah miracle of long ago! Learn about Hanukkah’s festivities and rituals, and about the Jewish holiday itself.

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Title: There Was a Young Rabbi: A Hanukkah Tale
🍎 Author: Suzanne Wolfe
🍎 Illustrator: Jeffrey Ebbeler
🍎 Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
🍎 Date: September 1, 2020
🍎 Pages: Pages 24

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah With Light, Latkes, and Dreidels by Deborah Heiligman

With dazzling images and engaging text, readers learn about the historical and cultural significance of Hanukkah and why it is celebrated around the world. From the lighting of the menorah to the special foods that are shared to the spinning of the dreidels, they'll get insights about this holiday's traditions and the Jewish faith. This book also offers fascinating facts, a recipe, and Common Core-aligned activities.

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Author: Deborah Heiligman
🍎 Publisher: National Geographic Kids
🍎 Date: September 27, 2016
🍎 Pages: 32

Way Too Many Latkes: A Hanukkah in Chelm by Linda Glaser

Faigel makes the best Hanukkah latkes in Chelm, but somehow, this year she's forgotten how to make them! She sends her husband, Shmuel, to ask the rabbi for help. And in Chelm, the village of fools―oy vey!―this becomes a recipe for disaster!

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Title: Way Too Many Latkes
🍎 Author: Linda Glaser
🍎 Illustrator: Aleksandar Zolotic
🍎 Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
🍎 Date: August 1, 2017
🍎 Pages: 32

The Story of Hannukah by David A. Adler

Hanukkah is a wonderful time filled with games, food, family, and fun.  It's also the celebration of an ancient miracle, and retelling and remembering the story of that miracle is an essential part of the holiday, for young and old. The story of the courageous Maccabees is retold in simple yet dramatic text, accompanied by vibrant paintings of the battle, the Temple of Jerusalem, and the oil which miraculously burned for eight long nights.  A traditional recipe for latkes is included, as are directions for the dreidel game, for readers who want to continue the festivities at home.

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Title: The Story of Hanukkah
🍎 Author: David A. Adler
🍎 Illustrator: Jill Weber
🍎 Publisher: Holiday House
🍎 Date: June 1, 2012
🍎 Pages: 32

The Night Before Hanukkah by Natasha Wing

It's the night before the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah begins, and everyone is excited! Each evening, the family gathers to light the candles and share holiday traditions such as playing dreidel, eating latkes, and exchanging gifts. The seventeenth title in Natasha Wing's bestselling series, The Night Before Hanukkah captures all the joy and love in one of the most wonderful times of the year!

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Title: The Night Before Hanukkah
🍎 Author: Natasha Wing
🍎 Illustrator: Amy Wummer
🍎 Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap
🍎 Date: October 2, 2014
🍎 Pages: 32

Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins: by Eric A. Kimmel

A classic Hanukkah tale, now available in a beautiful anniversary edition. A Caldecott Honor book.  On the first night of Hanukkah, a weary traveler named Hershel of Ostropol eagerly approaches a village, where plenty of latkes and merriment should warm him.  But when he arrives not a single candle is lit. A band of frightful goblins has taken over the synagogue, and the villagers cannot celebrate at all! Hershel vows to help them. Using his wits, the clever trickster faces down one goblin after the next, night after night. But can one man alone save Hanukkah and live to tell the tale?

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Author: Eric A. Kimmel
🍎 Illustrator: Trina Schart Hyman
🍎 Publisher: Holiday House
🍎 Date: August 31, 2014 (25th anniversary edition)
🍎 Pages: 32

Runaway Dreidel by LeslΓ©a Newman

"'Twas the first night of Chanukah and on the fifth floor,
There was holiday hustling and bustling galore . . .
Grandma was slicing up two chocolate babkas,
Grandpa was grating potatoes for latkes."

On the first night of Chanukah a lucky boy receives a shiny new dreidel, but once it starts spinning it just won’t stop! With a mind of its own, the dreidel spins quickly across the floor, out the door, and on down the street, with its excited owner and family in hot pursuit. Soon the whole city joins the chase to catch the runaway toy. Where is that dreidel heading, and will it ever stop spinning? This is one journey worth pursuing right up to its magical conclusion!

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.
  
🍎 Title: Runaway Dreidel
🍎 Author: LeslΓ©a Newman
🍎 Illustrator: Kyrsten Brooker
🍎 Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
🍎 Date: October 11, 2002
🍎 Pages: 21

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Tanya and Richard Simon

Winner of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award for Children's Literature. A refugee seeking sanctuary from the horrors of Kristallnacht, Oskar arrives by ship in New York City with only a photograph and an address for an aunt he has never met. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, 1938. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his new home in the north of the city, he passes experiences the city's many holiday sights and encounters various residents. Each offers Oskar a small act of kindness, welcoming him to the city and helping him on his way to a new life in the new world. This is a heartwarming, timeless picture book.

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Authors: Richard and Tany Simon
🍎 Illustrator: Mark Siegel
🍎 Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
🍎 Date: September 8, 2015
🍎 Pages: 40

Chanukah Lights Everywhere by Michael J. Rosen

One crescent moon glows in the sky. Two headlights shine through the window. . . . On each magical night of Chanukah, a young boy and his sister count more lights shining all around them! Join them as they discover what it means to celebrate Chanukah in a world filled with so many other lights.

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

🍎 Author: Michael J. Rosen
🍎 Illustrator: Melissa Iwai
🍎 Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
🍎 Date: October 1, 2006
🍎 Pages: 32

A compilation of ten children's books about Hanukkah. Eric Kimmel, David Adler, Suzanne Wolf, Deborah Heiligman, Linda Glaser, Natasha Wing and more.

To learn more about Hanukkah, watch The Story of Hanukkah by Clarendon Learning.


Did you know there are at least 16 different ways to spell Hanukkah? It's true! Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hannukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Hanuka, Channukah, Chanukka, Hanukka, Hannuka, Hannukkah, Channuka, Xanuka, Hannukka, Channukkah, Channukka, and Chanuqa are just a few of the ways to spell it. Woah!

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