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Children's Books with Celia Reeds

Celebrate Hanukkah with Books for Kids of All Ages!
Posted 12/12/2012 2:50:00 PM

Happy Hanukkah to those of you who celebrate the Festival of Lights! Why not commemorate the season with the gift of books, or rather, books introducing Hanukkah to your young children? From straight non-fiction to humor to animal stories, there are many different kinds of books for young readers that explore the holiday of Hanukkah. I asked some of my librarian, teacher and blogger friends to recommend their favorite Hanukkah stories to share with the children in their lives, and here is what they said:

(All synopses are taken from the respective publisher’s web site.)

Age 2 and Up

Where’s My Dreidel? A Hannukah Lift-the-Flap Story by Betty Schwartz, illustrated by Varda Livney

“Where can Max's dreidel be? As he searches his home, Max joins his family as they prepare for Hanukkah. By story's end, everyone — including Max — has what he needs to enjoy Hanukkah dinner.”
Where's My Dreidel?
The Hanukkah Mice by Ronne Randall and Maggie Kneen

“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 surprises, 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.”
The Hanukkah Mice
The Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Steven D’Amico

“It's Hanukkah! It's a time to celebrate family and enjoy festive traditions. As Rachel and her parents prepare the house, grandparents, cousins, and friends travel from near and far to sing and tell stories. Together, they will light candles, play games, and eat scrumptious holiday foods... and, of course, dance the Hanukkah Hop. The stamping, the hopping, and the bim-bim-bopping is sure to go on all night!”
The Hanukkah Hop
Age 5 and Up

Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia A. Rouss, illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn

“Sammy Spider watches longingly as Josh Shapiro lights another candle and receives another brightly-colored dreidel each night of Hanukkah.”
Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah
Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by David Slonim

“Kind-hearted Moishe is given a magical frying pan that will produce all the latkes you could wish for — latkes by the dozen, latkes by the hundreds, but only Moishe must use it. Alas, his short-tempered wife, Baila, does not heed the warning.”
Moishe's Miracle
Harvest of Light by Allison Ofanansky, photography by Eliyahu Alpern

“The olive harvest in Israel is a special time. See how the tiny spring flowers blossom into green fruit, then ripen into shiny black olives. Watch the olives as they’re gathered, sorted, and pressed into oil. Then celebrate Hanukkah with an Israeli family, as they use the oil to light their Hanukkah menorah. Come and enjoy the harvest of light.”
Harvest of Light
Tie Man’s Miracle: A Chanukah Tale by Steven Schnur, illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson

“On the last night of Chanukah, Seth can't wait to light the menorah. But then old Mr. Hoffman comes to his house, selling his colorful ties, and tells a story about a Chanukah miracle that makes this a night Seth will never forget.”
Tie Man's Miracle
Chanukah Lights (pop-up book) by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Robert Sabuda

“Open this beautiful gift book and follow the Festival of Lights through place and time — from Herod’s temple to a shtetl in Russia; from a refugee ship bound for the New World to an Israeli kibbutz. Inspired by Michael J. Rosen’s reverent poem, Robert Sabuda’s striking pop-ups depict each night’s menorah in a different scene, using imagery such as desert tents, pushcart lanterns, olive trees, and a final panorama of skyscrapers. Sure to be a treasured family heirloom, this stunning collaboration showcases the spirit and resilience of a people in search of home.”
Chanukah Lights
Daddy Christmas and 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 mantle awaiting Santa's arrival.”
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama
Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue by Heidi Smith Hyde, illustrated by Jamel Akib

“Angry that his father is afraid to kindle the Hanukkah lights, Emanuel stows away on a whaling ship. When a storm overtakes the boat, it is his father’s change of heart and the family menorah that light the way home.”
Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue

Age 7 and Up

Eight Winter Nights: A Family Hanukkah Book by Laura Krauss Melmed, illustrated by Elisabeth Schlossberg

“Moishe's Miracle author Laura Krauss Melmed and illustrator Elisabeth Schlossberg celebrate Hanukkah in joyful action rhymes, festive poems, and exuberant scenes of family life. From traditional holiday foods to the story of the Maccabees, they capture the warm sights, sounds, and tastes of this wintertime festival.”

Eight Winter Nights
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Nancy Cote

“It's the last night of Hanukkah, and more relatives are coming than originally planned. Rachel decides to borrow potatoes from Mrs. Greenberg. She asks Mrs. Greenberg, who is all alone, to come for Hanukkah. But Mrs. Greenberg is very stubborn!”
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown

“Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukkah, and Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. A particularly irate latke is the star of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, but many other holiday icons appear and even speak: flashing colored lights, cane-shaped candy, a pine tree. Santa Claus is briefly discussed as well. The ending is happy, at least for some.”
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah: With Light, Latkes, and Dreidels by Deborah Heligman

“In Celebrate Hanukkah Deborah Heiligman welcomes readers to a holiday celebrated by Jewish communities around the world. The vivid photography of National Geographic illustrates the joyous celebrations of Jewish people around the world — including Ghana, Uganda, India, Israel, Peru, the United States and Poland, as they light menorahs, spin dreidels, and make latkes.

The richly informative back matter details many facts, such as the story of U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman, who brought a menorah and a dreidel on his Space Shuttle mission in 1993. Hoffman observed the traditional spinning of the dreidel, but wisely left the menorah unlit in the proximity of several thousand liters of rocket fuel! Also included are the author's sure-to-please latke recipe, Hanukkah blessings, and a Hanukkah song.”

Holidays Around the World
Come back soon for more holiday book recommendations!
Posted By: Celia Reeds  

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