Happy Hanukkah, ManaFriends! It’s the season for celebrating! Hanukkah began Sunday evening and continues until Monday, December 14th. And while you no doubt have lots of traditions to keep this week, anyone wishing to celebrate with some family reading time certainly has much to choose from. There are numerous picture books about Hanukkah out in the world: some funny, some profound, some with well-known characters and some with brand new ones, but all are excellent for getting into the spirit of the season. If you’re looking for a new Hanukkah tradition, or if you simply have youngsters who want to learn more about the holiday, check out some of our favorite Hanukkah books!
Hanukkah Lights, by David Martin & Melissa Sweet
“Hanukkah candles, shining bright. One more candle every night.” Explore the many traditions of Hanukkah, one for each night, with this simple picture book.
The Night Before Hanukkah, by Natasha Wing & Amy Wummer
Share in the excitement of the season with this book, which follows the experiences of two children from the night before Hanukkah through the eight days following.
Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah, by Norman Bridwell
Clifford and Emily Elizabeth have a great time learning about Hanukkah at the house of Emily Elizabeth’s classmate, Melissa. But when the big menorah in the town square breaks, will Clifford be able to help?
Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale, by Eric A. Kimmel & Matthew Trueman
An exciting tale of adventure and embracing the unexpected. When Simon sets sail for America just before Hanukkah, he doesn’t expect the ship he’s on to sink! But even though Simon is stuck alone at sea, he remains brave and hopes for a Hanukkah miracle. Sure enough, Simon meets an unlikely friend who helps him, and reminds him that miracles can happen to anyone, anytime, if you believe.
Beautiful Yetta’s Hanukkah Kitten, by Daniel Pinkwater & Jill Pinkwater
Beautiful Yetta is a chicken who escaped the poultry market and lives with wild parrots. One night, Yetta finds a tiny kitten, lost and scared. The parrots are skeptical (“Aren’t cats dangerous?”), but they decide to help Yetta take care of the tiny kitten. Will they be able to help the kitten find her way home? This book is uniquely multilingual, with the narration in English, the parrots’ dialogue in Spanish, and Yetta’s dialogue in Yiddish, with pronunciation guides included.
Happy Hanukkah, Curious George, by H.A. Rey & Margaret Rey
Follow beloved Curious George in this tabbed board book as he celebrates the eighth day of Hanukkah. Includes a latke recipe and instructions for constructing a dreidel!
Oskar and the Eight Blessings, by Tanya Simon, Richard Simon, & Mark Siegel
New York City, 1938. It’s the seventh night of Hanukkah, and young Oskar has fled Nazi Europe to find an aunt he has never met. But even in this strange city, Oskar finds good people who show him kindness again and again.
Chanukah Lights Everywhere, by Michael J. Rosen & Melissa Iwai
Every night a young boy and his sister light one candle on the menorah, and every night they count more lights shining all around them. Join them as they discover not only the joys of Chanukah, but what it means to celebrate in a world filled with so many other lights!
Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein, by Amanda Peet, Andrea Troyer, & Christine Davenier
Rachel Rosenstein is Jewish. And she likes that she is Jewish—except when it’s Christmastime. Rachel feels left out, “like a kid in a candy store with no mouth.” Why shouldn’t she be able to put up a Christmas tree and get presents from Santa like all of the other kids in the neighborhood? But on Christmas Day, Rachel receives an unexpected reminder that Christmas is just one of many wonderful holidays celebrated by lots of different people.