Here is a selection of some of our favorite kids’ books for Hanuka – just in time to order your own copy!
Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah: With Light, Latkes, and Dreidels: This National Geographic book gives pictures and information about how people in other countries – Ghana, Uganda, India, Israel, Peru, and a few others – celebrate Hanukkah. A good way to learn new things and talk about why you do what you do!
Moishe’s Miracle: A story about generosity and kindness, with a little extra thrown in. This is a fun story to read with the kids. The illustrations here are especially beautiful, and the message of chesed / kindness is something kids can connect to.
When Mindy Saved Hannukah: This is one of my kids’ favorite books to read right now. It’s not particularly spiritual, but we’ve read several versions of The Littles (similar to The Borrowers) together – it’s a whole series about tiny people who live in a regular sized people house. And this book is the Jewish version of those stories. What fun!
Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah: This is a mostly accurate retelling of the story of the Maccabees – the one we like the best so far – (if you like another one better, I’d love to hear about it!) I do like to have something like this in our collection in addition to the other lighter reading. And showing the strong Jewish men never hurts in this house of superhero-loving kids.
How do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?: The How Do Dinosaurs…. series is a silly one my kids like for all occasions. It has funny pictures of the dinosaurs as kids and regular adults as their parents, and names for the dinosaurs. This book talks about what NOT to do before it gets into what to do around the candles, and does so in a silly, engaging way.
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins: This one can be a little scary for the younger or more sensitive kids. In fact, some of my kids have shown some fear of the illustrations while others haven’t, so it’s not for everyone. But this book is an example of someone outsmarting the bad guys, and is a classic Hanukkah tale.
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes: This is a fun story about how a little girl can be helpful, kind, and even get a lonely woman to their Hanukkah party. It starts with extra guests and borrowed food, then chairs…the little girl gets to opportunity to demonstrate mitzvot we want our kids to do, and in such an innocent and unpretentious way.
Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah: This is a follow-up to the book above (The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes), where once again our heroine helps the lonely lady next door join in the Hanukkah fun with the family.
The Count’s Hanukkah Countdown: A fun counting book with some favorite Sesame Street (The Count and Grover) and Shalom Sesame characters (Brosh and Avigayil, and Grover, too!) Even our youngest knows the Count as “Ah, ah, ah!”
Of course, there are several fun videos you could add to this list:
Shalom Sesame’s Chanukah: The Missing Menorah. (One of a set of 12 new Shalom Sesame videos.)
Agent Emes and the Happy Chanukah (One of another set of fun, Jewish kids’ videos) Although my kids all call him Agent Emet. These are silly and cute videos that demonstrate kids doing the right things and have a super secret kid-good-guy. Lots of fun!
What books do you read over Hanuka? With kids/without kids? We’re always expanding our collection, and I’d love suggestions!