Yaffa and Fatima book
#1
Yaffa and Fatima
Written by Fawzia Gilani-Williams and illustrated by Chiara Fedele
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Forced to bring her little sister along to a birthday party, Rubina is mortified when her younger sibling demands to win every game and steals Rubina’s red lollipop party favor.

My First Chanukah book
#2
My First Chanukah
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Describes the traditional celebration of Chanukah, including the lighting of candles on the menorah, the eating of latkes, and the spinning of the dreidl. On board pages.

The Book Rescuer book
#3
The Book Rescuer
Written by Sue Macy and illustrated by Stacy Innerst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“Stunning.”​ —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Inspired…[a] journalistic, propulsive narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From New York Times Best Illustrated Book artist Stacy Innerst and author Sue Macy comes a story of one man’s heroic effort to save the world’s Yiddish books.

Over the last forty years, Aaron Lansky has jumped into dumpsters, rummaged around musty basements, and crawled through cramped attics. He did all of this in pursuit of a particular kind of treasure, and he’s found plenty. Lansky’s treasure was any book written Yiddish, the language of generations of European Jews. When he started looking for Yiddish books, experts estimated there might be about 70,000 still in existence. Since then, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has collected close to 1.5 million books, and he’s finding more every day.

Told in a folkloric voice reminiscent of Patricia Polacco, this story celebrates the power of an individual to preserve history and culture, while exploring timely themes of identity and immigration.

Sadie's Sukkah Breakfast book
#4
Sadie's Sukkah Breakfast
Written by and illustrated by Jamie Korngold and Julie Fortenberry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Waking up early in the morning on Sukkot, Sadie and Ori decide to serve breakfast in the sukkah. But when the table is set and the food is ready, they remember that a sukkah celebration needs guests. No one is awake, so who should they invite?

It Rained Warm Bread book
#5
It Rained Warm Bread
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-14

Moishe was thirteen when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and he was sent to Auschwitz. His home was ravaged, his family torn apart by illness and abduction. Years of brutality drew on as Moishe moved from one labor camp to the next. Finally, towards the end of the war and at the peak of Moishe’s deepest despair, a simple act of kindness by a group of courageous Czech women redeemed his faith that goodness could survive the trials of war: That was the day it rained warm bread. Deftly articulated and beautifully illustrated, this is a strong addition to the ever-important genre of Holocaust testimonies.

  1. The Brave Cyclist - Once a skinny and weak child, Gino Bartali rose to become a Tour de France champion and one of cycling’s greatest stars. But all that seemed unimportant when his country came under the grip of a brutal dictator and entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany. Bartali might have appeared a mere bystander to the harassment and hatred directed toward Italy’s Jewish people, but secretly he accepted a role in a dangerous plan to help them. Putting his own life at risk, Bartali used his speed and endurance on a bike to deliver documents Jewish people needed to escape harm. His inspiring story reveals how one person could make a difference against violence and prejudice during the time of the Holocaust.

  2. Is It Tu B'Shevat Yet? - As winter ends and spring arrives, one family prepares to celebrate Tu B’Shevat. It’s time to feast on fruit, share about conservation, and plant trees! A perfect introduction to the Jewish holiday for readers of all ages.

  3. The Bar Mitzvah Boys - Grandpa was never bar mitzvahed; it was wartime, and life was difficult. It’s been a regret his whole life. Many years later, it’s his grandson’s time to go through the Jewish ritual of coming of age. The father suggests that they be bar mitzvahed together. They study together, recite together, and celebrate together.

  4. Sadie's Snowy Tu B'Shevat - Sadie wants to plant a tree for Tu B’Shevat. But it’s the middle of winter! Her parents and grandfather assure her that a tree can’t take root in the frozen ground. But with help from brother Ori and Grandma, Sadie learns why the tree-planting holiday is celebrated in winter and finds her own special ways to celebrate it.

A is for Abraham book
#10
A is for Abraham
Written by Richard Michelson and illustrated by Ron Mazellan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From Abraham to Zayde, and from ancient times to modern day, A is for Abraham: A Jewish Family Alphabetencompasses the history of Jewish traditions and customs and how they are still popularly practiced today.

Following the alphabet, a poem identifies the letter topic while sidebar text provides background information.

C could be the challah that my bubbe used to braid, or C could be the chicken soup, when I was sick she made, or chocolate coins on Chanukah we added to our coffers. But I say C should be for chai, to “life” and all it offers.

This joyful celebration of family and heritage includes the meaning behind celebrations such as the Festival of Lights, Passover, and Sukkot; important names and stories from the Old Testament; and how modern-day families continue to celebrate their heritage.

My First Jewish Baby Book book
#11
My First Jewish Baby Book
Written by Julie Merberg and illustrated by Beck Feiner
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

This unique and adorable concept board book offers a fun introduction to Jewish culture, celebrations, food and more. Adorably illustrated alphabetical entries provide a fun taste of all things Jewish. A must-have for any Jewish baby’s nursery, this tiny tome covers quintessential foods such as bagels and brisket, rituals and holidays including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Shabbat, and Hanukkah, as well as important cultural references (with a little Yiddish thrown in). Parents and grandparents will love sharing every concise, funny entry with the little ones in their lives.

Golem book
#12
Golem
Written and illustrated by David Wisniewski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Retold from traditional sources and accompanied by David Wisniewski’s unique cut-paper illustrations, Golem is a dramatic tale of supernatural forces invoked to save an oppressed people. It also offers a thought-provoking look at the consequences of unleashing power beyond human control. The afterword discusses the legend of the golem and its roots in the history of the Jews. A Caldecott Medal Book.

A Sweet Passover book
#13
A Sweet Passover
Written by Leslea Newman and illustrated by David Slonim and Leslea Newman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

In this charming and humorous story, Miriam discovers—with the help of her family and a little matzah bread—the true meaning and importance of Passover. Miriam loves spending time with her family during Passover, and all week long she is happy to eat lots of matzah. But when she wakes up on the last day of the holiday, she is sick of matzah and refuses to eat it ever again. Then Grandpa makes his special matzah brei for the whole family, and Miriam learns there’s more to Passover than just the matzah.

Pocket Bios: Anne Frank book
#14
Pocket Bios: Anne Frank
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Born into a Jewish family in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1929, Anne Frank was only thirteen years old when her family went into hiding to escape persecution during the Holocaust. Anne kept a diary detailing their years spent living in a concealed room behind a bookcase prior to their arrest-a diary so widely published following her death that it is one of the period’s most influential books.These colorful, pocket-size biographies are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Pocket Bios titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

  1. Maccabee!: The Story of Hanukkah - Judah and the little army of Maccabees fight to free Jerusalem from the cruel King Antiochus in this vibrant and action-filled rhyming version of the famous Hanukkah story.

  2. My Chocolate Year - In 1945 Chicago, as her Jewish family anxiously awaits news of relatives left behind in Europe, ten-year-old Dorrie learns new recipes in the hope of winning a baking competition at school. Includes recipes for various foods, from chocolate pudding to chocolate mandelbread.

  3. Too Young for Yiddish - Aaron loves his grandfather very much, even if he is a little bit embarrassed by Zayde’s funny accent and the way he waves his arms when he talks. Aaron longs to read his grandfather’s treasured books, but when he asks to learn Yiddish, the language Zayde spoke in the Old Country, Zayde refuses. In America, Aaron is told, Jews should speak and read English just like everyone else. As the years pass, Zayde grows old, and Aaron grows up. It isn’t until Zayde himself abandons his heritage that they both realize the importance of preserving their family history and culture. Aaron and Zayde’s bond grows even deeper as they realize you’re never too young-or too old-for Yiddish.

  4. The Story of Hanukkah - Hanukkah is a wonderful time filled with games, food, family, and fun. It’s also the celebration of an ancient miracle, and retelling and remembering the story of that miracle is an essential part of the holiday, for young and old. The story of the courageous Maccabees is retold in simple yet dramatic text, accompanied by vibrant paintings of the battle, the Temple of Jersualem, and the oil which miraculously burned for eight long nights. A traditional recipe for latkes is included, as are directions for the dreidel game, for readers who want to continue the festivities at home.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? book
#19
How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?
Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the warm glow of holiday candles in the menorah to the fun of family gatherings, little dinosaurs love to celebrate the Festival of Lights. But sometimes the excitement of Chanukah, its treasured rituals, and the tradition of gifts can tempt a youngster to misbehave. . . .

Come along on a joyful romp filled with tumbling dreidels and melting gelt as America’s favorite prehistoric pals spread a little mischief this season. Children will laugh out loud as dinosaurs fidget, fuss, and stomp through every occasion, while their human parents shift from shock to weary patience.

Filled with warmth and cheer, this new book by the bestselling team of Jane Yolen and Mark Teague makes a perfect gift to be read again and again, year after year. How do dinosaurs say Happy Chanukah? The same way they say Merry Christmas: With an abundance of love, joy, memory, and gratitude.

Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons book
#20
Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons
Written by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Rabbi Benjamin loves his congregation, and they love him. That’s why on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the Rabbi’s congregation presents him with a special holiday vest with four silver buttons and decorated with designs symbolizing the major holidays celebrated throughout the year. Rabbi Benjamin loves it! He also loves all the holiday treats that his families proudly fill him with-including delicious, crispy latkes; scrumptious matzoh-ball soup; irresistible apple torte; and honey cake. As the year passes, Rabbi Benjamin’s beautiful vest stretches tighter and tighter across his belly, and one by one the shiny silver buttons pop!-pop!-pop! off. When summer comes, Rabbi helps his congregation with their gardening, with the hiding of Chanukah presents, with the apple picking, and the fishing. Will all this hard work help Rabbi fit into his beautiful vest when Rosh Hashanah rolls around again?

Irving Berlin book
#21
Irving Berlin
Written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by James Rey Sanchez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With “God Bless America,” he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

The Eighth Menorah book
#22
The Eighth Menorah
Written by Lauren L Wohl and illustrated by Laura Hughes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Hanukkah is a few weeks away, and Sam can’t wait to celebrate with his family, especially his grandma. At Sunday school, everyone in his class is busy making clay menorahs to give as Hanukkah gifts! Sam likes how his menorah is turning out, but he’s worried—his family already has seven menorahs! Will they want another one? His teacher reassures him that his parents will love it, but Sam is determined to solve this problem on his own and find the perfect home for his menorah. Sam’s dilemma in this sweet and simple Hanukkah story is one that rings true for kids and their families.

Is It Purim Yet? book
#23
Is It Purim Yet?
Written by Chris Barash and illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s nearly spring, which means it’s time to celebrate the cheerful Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim recounts the time when Esther, Queen of Persia, saved the Jews from the evil Haman, who wanted to execute the Jewish people. It’s a time to dress up in costumes, fill the hamantashen, swing the noisemakers, and read the Megillah scroll. Join a family as they celebrate the bravery of Queen Esther and the joy of being together.

  1. Jewish Holidays All Year Round - Explains the origins and meaning of the major Jewish holidays, describes how they are observed, and suggests related crafts and recipes.

  2. Here Is the World - Here is the world, ever changing and new, Spinning with joy at the wonder of you! Here Is the World is a joyous celebration of the Jewish holidays throughout the year for young children. Beginning with the weekly observance of Shabbat, readers join a family through the holidays and the corresponding seasons. From sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashanah to lighting the menorah for Chanukah to rattling a grogger for Purim, and on through the Jewish year, the joy and significance of each holiday beautifully come to life.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!