Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, these Hanukkah books for kids will introduce the holiday and traditions in kid-friendly stories. We all can learn about the history and traditions of the holiday of Hanukkah even if we aren’t Jewish because it builds bridges of understanding with our Jewish friends and neighbors.
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Hanukkah Books for Kids
Light the Lights! by Margaret Moorman
This was a beautiful peaceful book about a loving family who celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. Light the Lights! is about a girl and her parents who celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, and shows some of the traditional activities they do for each of those holidays.
Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko
Holiday time at Sadie’s house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa’s arrival. Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama is a celebration of blended families.
Latke the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer
Latke the Lucky Dog needs all 8 days of Hanukkah to figure out the rules of his new home. His family finally gets the perfect present for him to help him be the perfect present for the family. Good thing he is a cute pup!
Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel
Bubba Brayna doesn’t see or hear very well so she doesn’t realize that her houseguest isn’t the rabbi. But readers know. Kids will crack up as they watch a bear enjoying Bubba Brayna’s delicious cooking, playing the dreidel game, and helping light the menorah. When the rabbi arrives later in the evening with other neighbors, they’ll figure out who the earlier, mysterious guest really was.
The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica S. Perl
After a recent move, Max and Rachel’s parents can’t find their Hanukkah box with their menorah, dreidels, candles, or latke pan. Each night of the holiday, the family makes the best of their situation with borrowed items from neighbors and creative thinking but it just doesn’t feel like Hanukkah.
Finally, on the 9th night, the kids have the best idea — invite all the neighbors to share in the celebration. And, just in the nick of time, the missing Hanukkah box arrives. A darling story of family, tradition, growth mindset, and community.
The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler
No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recounting the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. The Story of Hanukkah shares the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem. For readers who want to continue the festivities, a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel are included.
Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon
Fleeing the Nazi persecution in Europe, Oskar comes to New York City alone and with only a photo and an address for his aunt. He arrives on the 7th day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. As he walks over 100 blocks to find his aunt’s address, he feels tired, hungry, and cold yet he is welcomed with beautiful, small acts of kindness. Atmospheric illustrations set the scene in this heart-warming story you can read any time of year.
Little Red Ruthie by Gloria Koster
It was a chilly winter in the northern woods, but Ruthie did not mind. Dressed in her favorite puffy red coat, she was going to spend Hanukkah with her grandmother, who lived on the other side of the forest. Ruthie was bringing sour cream and applesauce to go along with the yummy latkes. She carefully packed her basket and kissed her mother good-bye. Snow began to fall.
Soon Ruthie was lost in a thicket, and she was not alone. Someone was hiding behind the tree, and when he jumped out, Ruthie found herself face to face with a wolf. Ruthie will have to convince the wolf that eating latkes will be tastier than eating her!
One Candle by Eve Bunting
For one family the traditional Hanukkah celebration has a deeper meaning. Amidst the food and the festivities, Grandma and Great-Aunt Rose begin their story — the one they tell each year. They pass on to each generation a tale of perseverance during the darkest hours of the Holocaust, and the strength it took to continue to honor Hanukkah in the only way they could.
Their story reaffirms the values of tradition and family, but also shows us that by continuing to honor the tragedies and the triumphs of the past there will always be hope for the future.
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