Hanukkah Books

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A Hanukkah Treasury

By Eric A. Kimmel
Hooray for Hanukkah--the festival of lights! This beautiful, color-drenched compendium offers a lovely, lively tribute to the Jewish holiday, as well as the history and tradition behind the celebration. Eric A. Kimmel, author of the Caldecott Honor-winning Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, has collected a rich wealth of Hanukkah stories, songs, poetry, recipes, legends, and cultural lore--information that will intrigue readers of any religion. Do you know how the first menorah earned a place at the White House? How many variations of the dreidel game can you play? Ever heard the story about Hanukkah in Alaska--complete with a latke-loving moose? Illustrator Emily Lisker provides the stunning visual accompaniment to this exciting exploration of history and tradition, with pictures that are folk art in style and exhilarating in movement and palette. Audiences of all ages and faiths will return to this treasury year after year as a source of culture and delight.

Description from Amazon.com

Eric Kimmel, the author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins, has created a superb Hanukkah compilation. His collection begins with the story of the Maccabees, a history of the menorah and the Hanukkiah (special menorah for Hanukkah), the rules for lighting the menorah, and variations on the traditional dreidel game. Scattered throughout the book are various poems, short stories, songs, crafts, and recipes, all of which relate to the central themes of the holiday. Kimmel even includes a narrative on the first menorah in the White House! This superb anthology belongs in every family's personal library!

Lori's Description

The Ziz And the Hanukkah Miracle

By Jacqueline Jules
  • Recommended by the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee as a Great Hanukkah Book for Kids

    As winter comes, the giant mythical bird the Ziz has a hard time making his dinner in the dark. He searches for light and receives some special oil from God, only to find that he now must share it with Judah Macabee to light the Temple menorah. Third in the Ziz series including The Hardest Word and Noah and the Ziz.

    Description from Publisher

    The mythological Ziz (Noah and the Ziz, The Hardest Tale) is back for another holiday tale. As the days get shorter, the Ziz is disappointed by the diminishing sunlight. After all, he has such a terrible time telling his delicious corn from the dreaded cucumbers. He tries to get more nighttime light by capturing fireflies, lantern fish, and even the moon, but alas, nature does not like to be confined. So he goes to Mount Sinai to ask G-d for advice. G-d gives him an oil lamp, which burns brightly to give the Ziz the light he so desperately wants. After other animals want to share the Ziz's light, he angrily shoos them away. However, when he sees men in the Holy Temple who need oil for their menorah, the Ziz learns an important lesson about sharing. Jules brings another fanciful Ziz tale to life with this engaging story. Children will delight in the twist on the familiar story of the Hanukkah miracle.

    Lori's Description

  • The Hanukkah Mice

    By Ronne Randall
    In the tradition of the best-selling The Christmas Surprise and The Golden Egg comes this sweet story of the Hanukkah mice. With flaps hiding shiny foil suprises, readers will find a different Hanukkah tradition on each page, until the very end when they finally discover the beautiful menorah, with all eight candles burning bright.

    Description from Publisher

    A family of mice has heard about the miracle of Hanukkah so they decide to explore each night once the family is in bed. Each night, they discover a different tradition associated with Hanukkah, culminating with the fully-lit menorah. This captivating lift-the-flap book features soft illustrations with shiny foil highlights. Ronne Randall encourages children to guess what is behind each fold-over flap. An excellent choice for toddler and preschoolers.

    Lori's Description

    Chanukah Bugs: A Pop-Up Celebration

    By David A. Carter
    Celebrate the eight nights of Chanukah with the Shammash Bug, the Dizzy Dreidel Bug, and many others. Bugs fans of all ages will get in the spirit and join in the fun with this new holiday pop-up!

    Description from Publisher

    Eight pop-ups show different "Chanukah Bugs" celebrating the holiday. The pop-ups were much more intricate than I was expecting. Shamash Bug gives the illusion of glowing, Dizzy Dreidel Bug actually spins, and Sizzling Potato Latke Bugs make a cracking noise when the flap is opened. The flaps may be too delicate for young toddlers, but they will be a hit with preschoolers!

    Lori's Description
    The Maccabee Jamboree
    The Maccabee Jamboree :
    A Hanukkah Countdown

    By Cheri Holland
    One by one eight Maccabees disappear as they polish the menorah, wrap gifts, and cook latkes to prepare for their Hanukkah party. The lone Maccabee calls for his friends, and surprise...they're together once again! A colorful counting book.

    from the Publisher

    This counting book depicts eight children dressed as Maccabees preparing for Hanukkah. In a similar technique to the classic song Five Little Ducks, as the children make cards, twirl dreidels and cook latkes, one of their friends doesn't return. At the end of the story, the lone Maccabee wishes that his friends were back, and finds them at a surprise Hanukkah party. The illustrations in this book are simple, which makes it ideal to reinforce the concepts of counting and subtraction. A short explanation of Hanukkah is included.

    Lori's Description

    My First Menorah

    (Board Book)

    By Salina Yoon
    Hanukkah miracles fill the pages of this sparkly foil menorah book! Turn the candle-shaped pages one by one to learn about the eight days of this Jewish holiday and celebrate with blessings, gifts, and family fun.

    Description from Publisher

    This Hanukkah board books allows children to safely participate in the lighting of the menorah. The book is made with cut-out shiny "flames" that will "light" the menorah as children turn the page. For each night of Hanukkah, a different fact about the holiday is shared with the reader and they are told to turn the page to light the next candle. Children will love the interaction with the candles. An excellent choice for reading together.

    Lori's Description

    Moishe's Miracle :
    A Hanukkah Story

    By Laura Krauss Melmed
    Four lines of verse open and close this original Hanukkah tale. "Starlight, star bright / Magic on a winter's night / White snow, candle glow / Far away and long ago" sets Melmed's scene in the village of Wishniak, and anticipates the miraculous frying pan with which milkman Moishe can feed latkes to the entire impoverished population. Artist David Slonim plays off this verse with a lyricism of his own: warm candlelight enlivens the drab beiges and browns of Wishniak and makes the blankets of snow as appealing and comforting as the milk in Moishe's pail. Broad strokes of paint, like those of Van Gogh with their vigorous immediacy, bring kindhearted Moishe and his baleful wife Baila fully alive: these are spirited caricatures where dabs of black and white for the eyes reveal whole personalities. The spirit of the holiday has no effect upon sharp-tongued Baila, who resents her husband's generosity and attempts to work the magic pan's miracles for her own end. Melmed's tale traces Baila's transformation, but it is Slonim's art, particularly in his closing illustration of Baila haloed by the sun, conversing with Moishe's two cows in the golden warmth of the barn, that portrays a soul reborn.

    Description from Horn Book

    "...set it upon the fire empty, and it will produce as many delicious Hanukkah latkes as you wish. Latkes by the dozen, latkes by the hundreds will appear until you remove the pan from the stove. Just remember the stranger's warning: "To Moishe this gift was given, and only Moishe must see it." With such a gift, Moishe, his wife Baila, and the entire village of Wishniak can have a Hanukkah like no other. They will dance and sing and feast on latkes all because of a mysterious frying pan provided by a stranger and some talking cows grateful for Moishe's generosity. But what of the warning? Will the magic pan still fry up latkes as plump as little pillows if Baila uses it? Or will it fry up something totally unexpected...?

    Description from Publisher

    This entertaining book retells the fairy tale of "The Magic Porridge Pot". Moishe is a poor milkman who always generously gives to those less fortunate. His wife, Baila, on the other hand, resents the fact that they have to scrape by because he gives away the little that they have. One day, Moishe gets a magic pan that will make as many latkes as he wants. However, there is a catch: only Moishe can use the pan. He brings the pan home and has a delightful meal with Baila. Baila decides to make a bit of money off of this pan and sends Moishe out for an errand far from home so she can open up a restaurant featuring, what else, latkes. The resulting fiasco teaches Baila an important lesson. David Slonims rich watercolors bring authenticity to the tale. While this rendition is a bit darker than Latkes, Latkes Good to Eat (also based on the same fairy tale), Moishe's Miracle's well-developed characters make this an excellent choice for reading aloud. Includes a glossary and a brief description of the story of Hanukkah. For more stories based on the same original fairy tale, look for The Full Belly Bowl and The Magic Porridge Pot.

    Lori's Description

    Beni's First Chanukah

    By Jane Breskin Zalben
  • Sydney Taylor Honor Book
  • American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

    Beni can hardly wait_ he will be involved in this year's Chanukah preparations and celebration. First he helps peel the potatoes for latkes, then he and his sister hunt for their Chanukah presents, but to no avail. A trip to their neighbors' results in friends coming back to the house to join Beni's immediate family and relatives in the games and religious rituals. It is a lovely introduction in a recent mini book version that will be enjoyed by young and old. Instructions for playing dreidel are included.

    Description from Children's Literature

    Please note that Beni's First Chanukah can also be found in the Beni's Family Treasury : Stories for the Jewish Holidays collection

  • Pearl's Eight Days of Chanukah : With a Story and Activity for Each Night

    By Jane Breskin Zalben
    In Zalben's third book featuring Pearl and her little brother Avi, the children's twin cousins Sophie and Harry come to spend the eight days of Chanukah with them. Pearl is less than thrilled, but the joy of the holiday brings them all together and the visit turns out to be a success for everyone. As Pearl and her family (depicted as sheep) celebrate each night, readers are drawn into their cozy life while learning a bit about the holiday and getting ideas for craft projects, recipes, songs, and activities. The strength of this book lies in the depiction of Chanukah as a time to celebrate and enjoy the company of friends and family. The illustrations, rendered in gold leaf, colored pencils, and watercolor, are warm and appealing.

    Description from School Library Journal

    When Pearl and her brother are told that their cousins Sophie and Harry are coming to visit, they are a bit apprehensive. After all, Grandpa once called Harry a vilde chaya (a wild animal) and Sophie once put a latke on Pearl's chair. But after eight nights of celebrating together, they realize that the most important thing is to spend time together as a family. While the story itself is rather simple, this book is exceptionally well-suited to be read each night of the holiday. The book is broken into eight short stories, with each story concluding with a related activity (i.e., latke and jelly donut recipe, sheet music to Hanukkah songs, Hanukkah crafts). A superb book to be read-aloud with the entire family.

    Lori's Description

    Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

    By Susan L. Roth
    From the creator of the bestselling My Love For You comes this joyful rendering of a favorite Hanukkah song. Celebrate with a family of mice as they dance the horah, spin the dreidel, and eat delicious latkes to honor the festival of lights. Musical notes are included, so parents and children can sing along for eight happy nights.

    Description from Publisher

    Susan Roth takes the holiday song recited by schoolchildren everywhere and gives it a unique touch with torn-paper illustrations. The story shows a family of mice celebrating Hanukkah by performing the acts described in the song. The illustrations are clever and surprisingly detailed (look for the spread showing the mice reading the same book). The final page includes the sheet music to sing along.

    Lori's Description

    Runaway Dreidel

    By Leslea 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!

    Description from Publisher

    When a boy plays with his new dreidel, it spins out of his apartment, out of his building, out through the city, and even out to the country. Everyone tries in vain to stop the runaway dreidel until the dreidel makes a surprising twist. Leslea Newman (Matzo Ball Moon) uses rhymes in a similar style to 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and Kyrsten Brooker uses detailed watercolors that add to the farcical tone. An excellent story for families to read aloud.

    Lori's Description


    (Board Book)

    By Roni Schotter
    National Jewish Book Award

    This glowing picture book focuses on one family's celebration of Hanukkah. It's the eighth and final night of the holiday and Mama, Papa and Grandma Rose are lighting the menorah, while the children--Nora, Dan, Ruthie, Sam and baby Moe--begin their own preparations for the family celebration. Nora and Dan make latkes, Ruthie makes decorations, Sam makes clay dreidels and tries to teach baby Moe how to say "Hanukkah." The festive family meal is followed by songs, dances and gifts. Finally, as the evening ends and the candles burn low, Moe giggles "Hanuk-kah!" Schotter's somewhat bland text may confuse children with its odd blend of poetry and prose, but Hafner's watercolors of the cozy house filled with the warmth of love and family beautifully evoke this special celebration's pleasures. A one-page "Story of Hanukkah" and a glossary of Hanukkah words are included.

    Description from Publishers Weekly

    This picture book shows a 1950s family celebration of Hanukkah. Some are in the kitchen making latkes, while others are upstairs fashioning dreidels out of clay, while still others light the shiny menorah. They enjoy a big meal and the relaxation afterwards. Schotter uses a poetic text and conversational style to truly capture the warmth enjoyed during Hanukkah. The watercolor illustrations further enhance the familiarity of the text. A short description of the Hanukkah terminology is included. The paperback version also includes a short "Story of Hanukkah". A story perfect for relaxing after the menorah has been lit!

    Lori's Description

    Available as Original Paperback or Slightly Shortened Board Book Formats

    Hooray for Hanukkah

    By Fran Manushkin
    In a new and very different approach to the traditional Hanukkah story, one family’s celebration of the joyous Jewish winter holiday is seen from the perspective of the family menorah! From the first night and the first candle, the menorah describes how the family celebrates and how it feels to glow with more light each night. The emphasis on light gives the story of this family holiday an especially warm tone

    Description from Publisher

    From the first joyful lines: "Hooray for Hanukkah! It's my favorite holiday. I'll tell you why. I am a menorah!" to its last: "I am the brightest I can be! My brave light pushes the darkness away. All year long, the family will remember my eight bright days. That's why everyone says, 'Hooray! Hooray for Hanukkah!" this is a smiling, singing book. The happy menorah chronicles the family's activities during the week of holiday, saying each night, "I am bright, but I could be brighter!" and then rejoicing as another new candle is added. This is a bustling, participatory family, too, so all the happy faces carry through the entire story of singing, dancing, blessings, cooking and the rest. Although this menorah lives on tables and furniture tops rather than in the window as tradition bids us, it's hard to quibble with the closeness it enjoys in the midst of its family. Kudos to Croll for her sunny watercolors and lovable folks; to Manushkin for her rollicking story; and to the book designer for the front and end pages done in the same sunny motifs as the inside pages.

    Description from Children's Literature

    In this wonderfully clever book, the entire story is told from the standpoint of the menorah. Each night, the menorah describes how the family celebrates Hanukkah by eating latkes or playing dreidels, but each night the menorah declares, "I am bright, but I could be brighter." Finally, by the eighth night, the menorah concludes, "I am the brightest I can be! My brave light pushes the darkness away. All year long, the family will remember my eight bright days." The soft illustrations show a close family celebrating together with the focal point of each spread being the menorah.

    Lori's Description

    A Confused Hanukkah: An Original Story of Chelm

    By Jon Koons
    Hanukkah is fast approaching in the village of Chelm, but the Rabbi is away. Unfortunately, not one of the villagers remembers how Hanukkah is supposed to be celebrated. So they send Yossel, a simple young man, to the neighboring village to learn what he can. Yossel makes a wrong turn, but he does find some people celebrating a holiday. The question is: Is it the right holiday?

    This original story, based on the legendary town of fools, is perfect for interfaith families and anyone looking for a good chuckle at holiday time.

    Description from Publisher

    The simple people of Chelm are in a dither. Their rabbi is mysteriously absent, Hanukkah is drawing near, and they've forgotten how they are supposed to celebrate. A mirthful adventure ensues when the town's wise men (an oxymoron, if ever there was one) send the naive, yet likable Yossel to a nearby village in hopes of reclaiming the traditional customs. However, Yossel unwittingly visits the Big City, where preparations are being made for a different holiday than the one he has in mind, and when the rabbi returns, he finds the villagers decorating trees and cavorting with a fat, bearded man in a blue velvet suit named Hanukkah Hershel. After the rabbi reminds the villagers about the miracle of the Festival of Lights, things are quickly set right again, with the requisite latkes, songs, dreidels, and gelt. Schindler's charming, comically detailed watercolor-and-ink illustrations portray the characters endearingly and provide cultural insight that will appeal to children of all faiths. Suitable as a read-aloud or a lap-sit.

    Description from School Library Journal

    Jon Koons uses the fools of Chelm to address the "December Dilemma" in a hilarious way. The rabbi of Chelm has disappeared just before Hanukkah. Unfortunately for the villagers, nobody can remember exactly how the holiday is to be celebrated. They decide to send Yossel to figure it out. He mistakenly ends up in a large city where he sees people decorating trees and waiting for a fat man to help them celebrate "the holiday". Yossel remembers that Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights, so he naturally assumes that the city residents are celebrating Hanukkah as well. Upon hearing Yossel's report, the wise men of Chelm direct the town to decorate a large tree (with matzah balls and menorahs, of course) and make a blue velvet suit to be worn by Shmuel the butcher, who they have decided to rename "Hannukkah Hershel" (Oy! Oy! Oy!). When the Rabbi finally returns, he helps set everybody straight by teaching them the story of Hanukkah and showing them the correct way to celebrate the holiday. Children will instantly notice the parallels between the Chelmites new customs and the Christmas celebrations in the US. While not being judgemental, the book addresses the importance of maintaining the Jewish traditions. An excellent choice for reading aloud.

    Lori's Description
    Festival of Lights
    Festival of Lights

    By Maida Silverman
    Greedy Antiochus IV, king of Jerusalem, stole treasures from the temple and punished Jews for their faith by forbidding worship. But Jews fought back and dedicated the Temple again in a celebration to God--the very first Hanukkah. Included: legend of the Menorah, instructions for making dreidle, music for traditional holiday song. Color illustrations throughout.

    description from Publisher

    Although the cover shows a modern family lighting a menorah, this book actually tells the Biblical story that is the basis for Hanukkah. The story tells of how Antiochus attacked the Jews and how the Maccabees and the Jews were able to defend themselves and rededicate the Holy Temple. Two pages describe the stories of the menorah and the dreidel as a postscript. Instructions on how children can make their own dreidel and sheet music for the song Ma-oz Tzur (Rock of Ages) are also included. The conversational style of the narrative makes this an easily accessible story for preschool children. Detailed pencil illustrations help children imagine life in a distant time. An excellent way to introduce the historical basis for the holiday of Hanukkah to young children.

    Lori's Description

    The Story of Hanukkah

    By Bobbi Katz
    Here's an easy-to-understand retelling of the story of the Jewish Festival of Lights. From the defilement and reconsecration of the Temple to the formation of the Maccabees and the great miracle that occurred, children will learn what makes Hanukkah a joyful holiday, why a menorah is lit, and why the festival lasts for eight days. Filled with rich, colorful illustrations, this Pictureback is the perfect addition to any family Hanukkah celebration.

    Description from Publisher

    While most books about Hanukkah focus on the customs of the holiday, this book focuses on the story that is the basis for the celebration. Readers will learn about how people in Judea lived, why they eventually had to fight back against King Antiochus, and who Mattathias and his children the Maccabees were (most notably his son Judah). Finally, the book explains the rededication of the Temple and the miracle that enabled one day's supply of oil to burn for eight days. Bobbi Katz takes a very matter-of-fact approach to telling the story of Hanukkah, and it works well. Soft watercolor illustrations help children to visualize a time period that may be difficult for them to comprehend.

    Lori's Description

    Let There Be Lights!

    (Board Book)

    By Camille Kress
    In her second beautifully illustrated board book, Camille Kress introduces to toddlers the symbols and images of Chanukah -- menorah, dreidel, latkes. Ms. Kress's gentle humor and rich watercolors celebrate the warmth of this family holiday celebration. With Tot Shabbat, Let There Be Lights! is the perfect gift for families with toddlers.

    Description from Publisher

    Camile Kress (Tot Shabbat, Purim!, A Tree Trunk Seder, The High Holy Days) brings another board book to her beautiful collection. Soft watercolor illustrations effectively work with a very short text. A family is shown reading about the Maccabees, playing dreidel games, and lighting a menorah. The narrator concludes with "Though it may be cold and dark outside, it is warm and bright in our home." A good choice for reading aloud with toddlers.

    Lori's Description

    My First Hanukkah Board Book

    By Dorling Kindersley
    My First Word Books: The complete preschool learning program to develop your child's vocabulary and early literacy skills.

    Description from Publisher

    Using the same educational, eye-catching format as Dorling Kindersley's other My First books, this chunky little board book provides an explanation of Hanukkah appropriate for preschoolers. From the origin of the holiday to musical notation for a favorite Hanukkah song to a description of some of the yummy foods eaten during the festivities, My First Hanukkah Board Book packs a whole lot in a small package. In addition to divulging the details of the Festival of Lights, the book helps children develop vocabulary, early literacy, and counting skills ("How many candles are lit on these menorahs?"), and practice their shape and color identification skills. Children can tell their own stories based on the bright, colorful photographs of the rituals, games, and foods of the holiday, or they can read along with their parents as they begin the preparations for Hanukkah.

    Description from Amazon.com

    Hanukkah Moon

    By Deborah da Costa

    • A Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable Book

    When Isobel is invited to Aunt Luisa’s for Hanukkah, she’s not sure what to expect. Aunt Luisa has recently arrived from Mexico. “At Aunt Luisa’s you’ll get to celebrate the Hanukkah Moon,” Isobel's father promises. Isobel’s days at Aunt Luisa’s are filled with fun and surprises – a new camera, a dreidel piñata filled with sweets, and a mysterious late night visit to welcome the luna nueva, the new moon that appears on Hanukkah.

    An unusual Hanukkah story with a multi-cultural focus, this title celebrates a little-known custom of the Latin-Jewish community.

    Description from Publisher

    Hanukkah Lights

    By Dian G. Smith
    The words of a traditional holiday song ("On this night let us light one little candle fire") lead readers through an explanation of the celebration of the holiday. The book opens with "The Story of Hanukkah," followed by descriptions of various customs and activities-lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, eating latkes and doughnuts, and exchanging gifts. The words to the song run across the bottom of each page. The double-page watercolor illustrations with heavy black outlines have a stylized, 1970s feel. Children will find the shiny foil candle flames appealing.

    Description from School Library Journal

    The Runaway Latkes

    By Leslie Kimmelman
    This thoroughly delightful story is a Jewish version of the Gingerbread Man. Rebecca Bloom fries "Big and round, crisp and brown" latkes -- potato pancakes -- for the synagogue's Hanukkah party. But this batch of Rebecca's pancakes has an Attitude Problem. They have no intention of being eaten. Off they go, "to see the town, and YOU can't catch us!" Rebecca knows that she needs all the latkes for the party. She knows that she'll chase them and she's sure she can catch them. But the first thing she does is the most practical -- she turns off the stove. As the latkes pass the rabbi, the cantor, some boys playing ball, the mayor, and some police officers, they keep singing and rolling. Taunting everyone with their song (which seems to get a little nasty), they approach the wide, cool Applesauce River. If they get wet, they'll be ruined. But Hanukkah is, after all, a time of miracles. And this modern miracle is that the river turns into applesauce, just the right topping. The illustrations are perfect for the story; the soft colors give everything a gentle touch and the rounded figures echo the runaway pancakes. A good, hand-printed (by Rebecca?) standard latke recipe wraps things up. And, still safety-conscious, the writer reminds us: "If you are under 12, be sure to fry the pancakes with a grownup's help." Fun for all.

    Description from Kirkus Reviews

    Hanukkah Lights : Holiday Poetry

    (I Can Read Book)

    By Lee Bennett Hopkins
    The traditions and spirit of the Festival of Lights are brought to life in these poems for beginning readers.

    Anthologist Lee Bennett Hopkins brings together today's best children's poets in this joyful collection of holiday verse. Melanie Hall's lush, beautiful artwork accompanies these lovely poems.

    The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes

    By Linda Glaser
    Of the many joys of Hanukkah, the joining of family and friends is perhaps the greatest. This is why young Rachel and her family are especially eager to have their dear elderly neighbor Mrs. Greenberg over for Hanukkah dinner. But every year their neighbor refuses, not wanting to be a bother. One year, on the last night of Hanukkah, Rachel's mother discovers that she has run out of potatoes for the latkes. Maybe Mrs. Greenberg will come for dinner if we borrow some of her potatoes, suggests Rachel. And off she runs into the snowy purple night to see if her plan will work. Author Linda Glaser has a keen understanding of a child's perspective: "Mrs. Greenberg's house was always clean and tidy, like its face was just scrubbed and its blouse was tucked in, while Rachel's house always looked like it was still in its pajamas and needed to brush its hair yet." Rachel succeeds in procuring the potatoes, but it takes a "stubborn-as-an-ox" girl to get a "stubborn-as-an-ox" woman to share their Hanukkah dinner. Rachel's ingenious eventual entrapment of Mrs. Greenberg -- along with her rosy red cheeks and unruly orange braids -- make her an excellent ambassador for a story about the heart of Hanukkah. Lively, cartoonish illustrations by Nancy Cote enliven this already vivacious holiday tale.

    Description from Amazon.com

    Rachel and her mother are busy preparing for their Hanukkah celebration. When eight more people are suddenly added to the guest list and there are no more potatoes in the cellar, Rachel goes next door to borrow some from Mrs. Greenberg. Every year the elderly woman is invited to join the girl's family, but she always refuses. This year, she is delighted to lend the potatoes, and then some eggs, and finally chairs until Rachel has an idea. If Mrs. Greenberg won't come to them for Hanukkah, they'll just have to borrow her house and take the celebration to her. The lively watercolor illustrations add to the joy as smiling family members, with slightly elongated, constantly waving arms and long legs, fill the pages with motion and energy. Rachel's wide-eyed, pig-tailed innocence belies her understanding that Mrs. Greenberg is a lonely neighbor who still needs someone with whom to share the holiday. A lovely message, wrapped in a lighthearted story.

    Description from School Library Journal

    The Kids' Catalog of Hanukkah

    By David A. Adler
    What fun! A Hanukkah book chock full of history, stories, activities, music, riddles, games, mazes, cartoons, puzzles, recipes, crafts, songs, and so much more. In this activity-packed, fact-filled new title in the enormously successful JPS Kids’ Catalog Series, Adler provides just the right balance of education and entertainment. This is a book that children and their families will enjoy again and again, year after year.

    The opening section of the book explains the history and customs of Hanukkah, along with details on the traditional way to light the candles and celebrate the holiday. This is followed by a selection of wonderful stories written by such classic writers as I.L. Peretz and Sadie Rose Weilerstein, and modern tales by Johanna Hurwitz, Malka Penn, and other contemporary storytellers. Part Three is pure Hanukkah fun. A glossary, index, and annotated list of recommended books about Hanukkah are also included.

    Teachers and librarians will want this new Kids’ Catalog of Hanukkah for their bookshelves, and parents and grandparents will be pleased to have a new Hanukkah gift for their children and grandchildren. It contains enough enjoyment to last the eight days of Hanukkah and beyond.

    A Magical Hanukkah Night

    By Eric A. Kimmel
    On the first night of Hanukkah, two tricky devils arrive in the town of Brisk to cause mischief. They use a magic word zigazak! to make dreidels dance and latkes fly. The good citizens of Brisk panic and appeal to their wise rabbi for help. He triumphs over the devils in a contest of wits, and soon sends them packing. But his real triumph is the ability to see the good in all things, even devils’ tricks, helping the townsfolk enjoy their most magical Hanukkah ever.

    Description from Publisher
    The Chanukkah Tree
    The Chanukkah Tree

    By Eric A. Kimmel
    When the foolish people of Chelm are tricked into buying a Hanukkah tree [on X-mas Eve], they set about creating a tree that truly embodies the history, tradition, and spirit of Hanukkah. By the end of the story, the folks of Chelm have a tree to be proud of. As the rabbi says, stroking his long beard: "It must be the only one of its kind. Nobody else has a Chanukkah tree. Not even in America."

    From Children's Literature

    Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah

    By Linda Glaser
    Though it's the first night of Hanukkah, Rachel's family won't really be celebrating until next week. But Rachel wants to celebrate now, so she comes up with a good idea: while her parents do errands, she'll visit her neighbor, Mrs. Greenberg, and they can make latkes together. The two head into Mrs. Greenberg's shiny, tidy kitchen and begin grating the potatoes. But Rachel's gratings slide off the table and onto the floor. Before long, Rachel has dropped an egg, spilled the flour, and dribbled the oil. Mrs. Greenberg is exhausted, Rachel's mom and dad are horrified, and Rachel is afraid she's ruined a friendship by making this terrible mess. She is relieved and delighted to find that Mrs. Greenberg thinks it's a wonderful mess--her house hasn't felt so lived-in in years!

    Grandma's Latkes

    By Malka Drucker
    As Molly and her grandmother prepare latkes, her grandmother recalls the Hanukkah story of the tyranny of Antiochus, the faith of Mattathias, the bravery of the Maccabees, and the miracle of the oils.

    Description from Publisher

    Grandma's Latkes is a faithful rendering of the ancient story of the Jewish rebellion against the armies of the Syrian king Antiochus and of the miracle that occurred when the Jews purified their Temple. What makes Ms. Drucker's account so charming is how the story gets told. . . . As they grate the potatoes (by hand, of course) and prepare the eggs, onions, salt, pepper and oil,Grandma connects Molly not only with their family tree but with the history of the Jewish people as she tells her the Hanukkah story. [Illustrator] Eve Chwast's watercolored woodcuts of both the kitchen scenes and the scenes from antiquity are insoft, muted colors that give the whole book a warm, dreamlike quality. . . . I tried this book out on some children in the 4-to-8 range for which it is intended, and they loved it.

    Description from New York Times Book Review

    Happy Hanukkah, Biscuit!

    By Alyssa Satin Capucilli
    Let's light the candles, Biscuit!

    Biscuit tries to do everything that his friend does, but that silly puppy keeps getting into scrapes. Will he be able to give Sam the perfect Hanukkah present?

    Description from Publisher

    Biscuit's Hanukkah

    (Board Book)

    By Alyssa Satin Capucilli
    Come along with Biscuit as he makes a beautiful menorah to celebrate Hanukkah. It's a great time for stories, songs, food, and friends!

    Description from Publisher

    This Is the Dreidel

    By Abby Levine
    This is the dreidel Max takes from the drawer
    where he had placed it one year before.

    Max and his family, from This Is the Turkey, return to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah! With Abby Levine's rhythmical, cumulative verses, readers will follow Max through the many beloved traditions of the holiday. Max takes the menorah down from the shelf and polishes it. His sister picks out the colorful candles, the blessing is said, and the family exchanges gifts with one another. Of course, Max's relatives come and latkes are served. Max spins the dreidel and everyone sings songs about the great miracle of Hanukkah.

    Description from Publisher

    As they did in This Is the Pumpkin and This Is the Turkey, Levine and Billin-Frye use simple, rhyming couplets and brightly colored, full-page illustrations to demonstrate how one family celebrates a holiday. Preparations for Hanukkah are underway. Max finds the dreidel, polishes the menorah, and helps his younger sister select candles as Mom prepares food, and everyone recites the blessings and lights the candles. The family exchanges presents and then welcomes other relatives, who enjoy eating latkes, playing games, singing songs, and listening to stories. As the holiday ends, Max returns his dreidel to the drawer to await next year's festivities. Although the verses do not cumulate as they do in "This Is the House That Jack Built," the meter follows a similar form and will appeal to children. The artwork has a cozy feel and is large enough for story hour sharing. A welcome addition to the holiday shelf.

    Description from Booklist

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