Hanukkah Books

The holiday season is upon us! Get ready to gather with friends and family to celebrate Hanukkah! The 14 books on this list are great resources to use as you teach your children about the rich traditions of Hanukkah. Some of the books go into details about the origin of Hanukkah, while other books stick closer to modern celebrations. There are a few laugh-out-loud books on this list, too. Hopefully you find a few new favorites!

The Night Before Hanukkah Natasha Wing

This sweet rhyming book follows the style of the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas story. Each page offers effortless rhymes that highlight a few of the best things about the holiday: a glowing menorah, chocolate gelt, delicious latkes, and much more. The illustrations show just how fun the holiday is for little ones. Preschoolers who are familiar with Hanukkah will enjoy the story, and those who haven’t celebrated before will learn a lot from this book.

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah Leslie Kimmelman

A dreadful dragon faces off against eight knights on the last night of Hanukkah. Who will win this battle? The knights, of course! Their kind deeds are enough to make everything right again. The cartoon illustrations, unique lettering, and a smattering of medieval jokes make this one a pleasure to read. It’s a fun holiday read-aloud for early elementary children.

Hanukkah Bear Eric A. Kimmel

An old bear is awakened from his winter nap by the delicious smells of Bubba Brayna’s cooking. Since Bubba Brayna is very old and can’t see or hear very well, she mistakenly invites the bear in for dinner on the first night of Hanukkah. It’s a silly, playful tale that will amuse children and adults alike. Preschoolers and early elementary kids are sure to get a kick out of it!

Chanukah Lights Everywhere Michael J. Rosen

Read along as two young siblings celebrate Chanukah. They will see many things throughout the book that remind them of the holiday. The warm illustrations depict the calm night sky and the children’s family as they prepare to celebrate. Readers are encouraged to count hidden pictures on each page, too. This story is simple enough for preschoolers to follow and provides a gentle introduction to Chanukah.

My First Jewish Baby Book Julie Merberg

This colorful board book takes babies and young toddlers through Jewish traditions and customs, from A to Z. The text on each page is short and simple. The illustrations are eye-catching and sometimes humorous, too.

Meet the Latkes Alan Silberberg

Everything goes topsy-turvy in this crazy Hanukkah tale! The Latke family is gathering for the holiday, and Grandpa is trying to tell the traditional Hanukkah story. But nothing is quite right: there are "mega-bees" instead of Maccabees and "alien potatoes" instead of Antiochus! Thank goodness the Latkes’ dog is there to set the story straight. This laugh-out-loud book is great for the entire family.

Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins Eric Kimmel

This Caldecott Honor book has been a childhood favorite for more than 35 years. It follows Hershel, a villager who is looking forward to celebrating Hanukkah. But the goblins are haunting the synagogue and ruining the holiday! Can Hershel get rid of the goblins and save Hanukkah? The evil characters in the book are wonderfully illustrated to strike just the right tone for kids. Reading this humorous story of bravery is sure to become a family tradition.

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights Bonnie Bader

This Big Golden Book explains the "how" and "why" of Hanukkah in a way that toddlers and preschoolers can easily understand. They will read about latkes, the dreidel, and the menorah. Plus, they will read a simplified re-telling of the courage of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil. It’s a basic introduction to Hanukkah that makes a great choice for preschoolers.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? Jane Yolen

These dinosaurs are excited to celebrate Chanukah! So excited, in fact, that they wind up getting into some mischief. They peek at presents, grab all the gelt, and steal the dreidel! But they eventually find their way to celebrating the joy and gratitude of the holiday. This one is full of Mark Teague’s humorous dinosaur illustrations. It’s a quick, silly read for toddlers and preschoolers.

Is It Hanukkah Yet? Chris Barash

It’s getting colder now, so Hanukkah has to be coming soon! This book follows a few animals who are heading into hibernation and a heartwarming family that is preparing for the Festival of Lights. Cheerful illustrations and rhyming text brightly portray the holiday. This one is a sweet book that focuses on the family traditions and customs of Hanukkah. Read it aloud to toddlers and preschoolers.

Dreidel Day Amalia Hoffman

Count to eight with this playful cat! The dreidel spins as the kitty counts up to eight. Little ones are encouraged to act out the same movements as the cat. The colorful illustrations feature the Hebrew letters, gelt, latkes, and menorahs. This board book will keep preschoolers engaged and active as they learn about Hanukkah.

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah Erica S. Perl

When their box of Hanukkah decorations goes missing, two siblings have to improvise! Their neighbors come to the rescue with everything they need. Birthday candles serve as the menorah, french fries replace latkes, and a hula hoop stands in for the dreidel. Playful imagination and community values take center stage in this book. Use it to reinforce the true joy of the holiday in the minds of elementary students.

The Children’s Jewish Holiday Kitchen Joan Nathan

Families can get into the kitchen together and learn to mix up all kinds of flavors with this cookbook. There are 70 kid-friendly recipes that cover 10 major holidays, including Hanukkah. Information about the holidays and their cultural significance is also included. Cooking is just one more way you can get kids involved in learning! This book is great for budding chefs of all ages (with some help from an adult!).

The Magic Dreidels Eric A. Kimmel

In a loose retelling of a classic fairy tale, a boy drops a dreidel into a well and meets a goblin when he goes down to pick up the dreidel. This goblin gives the boy magic dreidels! But unfortunately, a greedy neighbor complicates things. Lively illustrations accompany this whimsical tale. It’s a fun read-aloud for early elementary kids.

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