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Hanukkah: Picture Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days in December. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Jewish Temple by the Maccabees, and is also referred to as the Festival of Lights.

Grab some of our favorite Hanukkah books, enjoy, Hanukkah Sameach (Happy Hanukkah)!

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The Trees of the Dancing Goats
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This is a wonderful story of helping one another celebrate the holidays, no matter which one you celebrate. I loved the message that giving to those in need is always better than getting. This is also a great story about the miracles of Hanukkah!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Trisha loves the eight days of Hanukkah, when her mother stays home from work, her Babushka makes delicious potato latkes, and her Grampa carves wonderful animals out of wood as gifts for Trisha and her brother. In the middle of her family’s preparation for the festival of lights, Trisha visits her closest neighbors, expecting to find them decorating their house for Christmas. Instead they are all bedridden with scarlet fever. Trisha’s family is one of the few who has been spared from the epidemic. It is difficult for them to enjoy their Hanukkah feast when they know that their neighbors won’t be able to celebrate their holiday. Then Grampa has an inspiration: they will cut down trees, decorate them, and secretly deliver them to the neighbors, “But what can we decorate them with?” Babushka asks. Although it is a sacrifice, Trisha realizes that Grampa’s carved animals are the perfect answer. Soon her living room is filled with trees — but that is only the first miracle of many during an incredible holiday season. Based on a long cherished childhood memory, this story celebrates the miracle of true friendship.

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The Night Before Hanukkah
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Amy Wummer
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This was a clever Hanukkah rendition of 'Twas the Night before Christmas, filled with catchy rhymes and explanations for different Hanukkah traditions. It moves right along and is a fun one to listen to being read aloud!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The newest title in the bestselling Night Before series is the perfect gift for every girl and boy who celebrates Hanukkah!

It’s the night before the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah begins, and everyone is excited! Each evening, the family gathers to light the candles and share holiday traditions such as playing dreidel, eating latkes, and exchanging gifts. The seventeenth title in Natasha Wing’s bestselling series, The Night Before Hanukkah captures all the joy and love in one of the most wonderful times of the year!

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Hanukkah Bear
Written by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
I LOVED the illustrations in this one. The story about a bear who (unwittingly) impersonate a rabbi is silly and fun, and gives you a taste for some Hanukkah traditions. I was definitely hungry for latkes after reading this one!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A bear wakes to a wonderful smell that leads him to the house of Bubba Brayna. Bubba Brayna makes the best latkes in the village, but at ninety-seven, she doesn’t hear or see well. When the bear arrives at her door, she believes he is her rabbi. Bubba Brayna and the bear light the menorah, play the dreidel game, and eat all the latkes. The mix-up is revealed, Bubba Brayna has a laugh about it, and everyone works together to make more latkes. The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel (Holiday House, 1990, o.p.) now has a new title, a shorter text, and new illustrations.

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Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale
Written by Eric A. Kimmel & illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This was a great story about miracles, selflessness, Hanukkah and friendship. The illustrations were beautiful too!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Before Simon sails to America, he promises his family that he will get a job and send for them. Simon’s mother knows he will need a miracle, so she reminds him to celebrate Hanukkah wherever he may be. Little does either of them know that Simon will spend the first night of Hanukkah on an ice floe after his ship sinks.The lone survivor out in the wide ocean, Simon lights the first candle, and it attracts a visitor: a polar bear. Does she eat him? No! She shares his latkes, enjoys his songs, goes fishing for him, and even keeps him warm at night. By the last day of Hanukkah, Simon has nearly given up hope of ever being rescued. But then he recounts all of the miracles that have befallen him so far. Perhaps it is not too much to hope for one more, he thinks, as he lights all of the candles in the menorah. The bright glow signals a passing ship, and Simon makes it to New York after all. This fanciful Hanukkah tale-like none you’ve ever read before-celebrates eight miracles: family, friendship, hope, selflessness, sharing, faith, courage, and love. A retelling of the ancient Hanukkah story is included on the last page.

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Maccabee!: The Story of Hanukkah
Written by Tilda Balsley & illustrated by David Harrington
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This was a fantastic telling of the story of the Maccabees and the origin of Hanukkah, at least for someone like myself who wasn't super familiar with the full history before! The rhyming keeps the story moving, and there's enough detail given to make me feel like I learned a lot without being bogged down.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein book
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My First Chanukah book
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Hanukkah Harvie Vs. Santa Claus book
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How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? book
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  • Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein - B is for Bookworm -

    This is a great holiday book for those who celebrate Hanukkah and have many friends that celebrate Christmas. Rachel feels a little left out since she doesn't get to celebrate Christmas, but learns that there are a lot of great holidays! The illustrations in this book are pretty cute, and there are some funny moments to the story that I appreciated. :)

  • My First Chanukah - B is for Bookworm -

    This book does a great job of simply explaining Chanukah without crowding in too many facts. It also has cute illustrations.. :)

  • Hanukkah Harvie Vs. Santa Claus - Everything was going smoothly, a typical first night of Hanukkah. Or so Harvie thought! There was someone else in the house, and he had presents, too - Santa Claus! Hanukkah Harvie vs. Santa Claus is the hilarious and heartfelt story of how two holiday heroes wind up with the greatest gift of all: friendship.

  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? - Mr. Staccato -

    Will the dinosaurs be mischievous and blow out the menorah candles or will they join in the prayers and sharing the dreidel? Those are the questions posed in this humerous book about celebrating Hanukkah. It's a fun book that teaches good behavior and covers several aspects of the holiday.

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Daddy Christmas & Hannukah Mama
Written & illustrated by Selina Alko
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This book shows how both Hanukkah and Christmas can co-exist in one home over the holiday season, their traditions intermixing and adding to each other! I enjoyed that this showed some traditional elements from both cultures in a passing rather than fully educational way.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A delightful holiday offering no matter what you celebrate in December!

I am a mix of two traditions. From Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama. How lucky am I?

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 mantel awaiting Santa’s arrival.

Selina Alko’s joyous celebration of blended families will make the perfect holiday gift for the many Americans who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.

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The Story of Hanukkah
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by Jill Weber
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
A nicely illustrated story of the history of Hanukkah! This book does a good job of summing up the story without being too long for younger readers. There's even a recipe at the end for Latkes and instructions for playing Dreidel. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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The Dreidle That Wouldn’t Spin
Written by Martha Seif Simpson & illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“This dreidel doesn’t work!” the father had cried. “What do you mean? How can a dreidel not work?” the shopkeeper asked. It was certainly the most beautiful spinning top the shopkeeper had ever seen, with magical golden letters on its sides. But it just would not spin for two spoiled children who insisted on owning it! Later, the shopkeeper decides to try it one last time: would it spin for another child, one who carried the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart?

In this beautiful holiday story by award-winning author Martha Simpson, and brought to life by the imaginative illustrations of award-winning illustrator D. Yael Bernhard, the happiness and joy of the Hanukkah miracle will warm the heart of young and old alike with its simple message: wonders still occur for those who are ready for them. Included is a useful appendix that explains Hanukkah, and an explanation on how to play the dreidel game.

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Meet the Latkes
Written & illustrated by Alan Silberberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Imagine James Marshall’s The Stupids celebrating Hanukkah, and you’d get the Latke family!

Lucy Latke’s family is just like yours or mine. Except that they’re potato pancakes. And also, they are completely clueless. After lighting the menorah and gobbling the gelt, Grandpa Latke tells everyone the Hanukkah story, complete with mighty Mega Bees who use a giant dreidel to fight against the evil alien potatoes from Planet Chhh. It’s up to the Latke family dog to set the record straight. (To start with, they were Maccabees, not Mega Bees…) But he’ll have to get the rest of the Latkes to listen to him first!

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Is It Hanukkah Yet?
Written by Chris Barash & illustrated by Alessandra Psacharopulo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From snow on the ground to making applesauce and latkes to lighting the menorah, this sweet, lyrical story shows the seasonal and traditional ways we know Hanukkah is on its way.

All-of-a-kind Family Hannukah book
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The Eighth Menorah book
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Snowboy 1,2,3 book
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Chanukah Lights book
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  • All-of-a-kind Family Hannukah - The beloved characters from Sydney Taylor’s All-of-a-Kind Family return in this heartwarming picture book from a critically adored team—perfect for Hanukkah gift-giving! “Share this joyous holiday tale of a Jewish immigrant family all year long.” — Kirkus Review, starred review Acclaimed author Emily Jenkins (A Greyhound, a Groundhog) and Caldecott Award-winning artist Paul O. Zelinsky (Rapunzel) bring the beloved All-of-a-Kind Family to life in a new format. Fans, along with those just meeting the five girls (“all of a kind,” as their parents say), will join them back in 1912, on the Lower East Side of NYC, and watch as preparations for Hanukkah are made. When Gertie, the youngest, is not allowed to help prepare latkes, she throws a tantrum. Banished to the girls’ bedroom, she can still hear the sounds and smell the smells of a family getting ready to celebrate. But then Papa comes home and she is allowed out—and given the best job of all: lighting the first candle on the menorah. First published in 1951, Taylor’s chapter books have become time-honored favorites, selling over a million copies and touching generations of readers. In this time when immigrants often do not feel accepted, the All-of-a-Kind Family gives a heartwarming glimpse of a Jewish immigrant family and their customs that is as relevant—and necessary—today as when it was first written. Jenkins and Zelinsky’s charming compliment to Taylor’s series perfectly captures the warmth and family values that made the original titles classics.

  • The Eighth Menorah - 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.

  • Snowboy 1,2,3 - One snowboy all alone . . . . . . but he’s not alone for long! Join this cheerful snowman for a wintertime counting romp, complete with a whole host of animal friends. Playful rhythms and exuberant illustrations come together to celebrate the wonder of winter.

  • Chanukah Lights - The ultimate Chanukah gift—a glorious celebration of the true spirit of the holiday from a pop-up master and an acclaimed poet. 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 such imagery as desert tents, 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.

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Jackie's Gift
Written by Sharon Robinson & illustrated by E. B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Young Steve Satlow is thrilled when his hero Jackie Robinson moves onto his block. After the famed second baseman invites Steve to a Dodgers game, the two become friends. So when Jackie hears that the Satlows don’t have a Christmas tree, he decides to give them one, not realizing the Satlows are Jewish. But Jackie’s gift helps these two different families discover how much they have in common.

Written by the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and illustrated by a Caldecott Honor winner, Jackie’s Gift is a holiday tale-based on a true story-about friendship and breaking barriers.

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Hanukah money
Written by Uri Shulevitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Two young brothers wonder how much money they will receive from their relatives for Hanukkah.

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Goodnight Bubbala: A Joyful Parody
Written by Sheryl Haft & illustrated by Jill Weber
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This festive parody reimagines a classic bedtime book as a lively Jewish family gathering complete with bubbies and zeydes, a dreidel, and a shmear on a bagel. Includes an exclusive latke recipe by Ina Garten, TV’s Barefoot Contessa!

In the small blue room there was a bubbala, and a little shmatta,
and then—oy vey!—came the whole mishpacha!

This zesty parody of one of America’s favorite picture books offers a very different bedtime routine: one that is full of family exuberance and love. Instead of whispers of “hush,” this bedtime includes dancing and kvelling, and of course, noshing—because this little bunny is a Jewish bunny, and this joyous book celebrates the Jewish values of cherishing your loved ones, expressing gratitude, and being generous.

Filled with Yiddish words, the book includes a phonetic glossary and even an easy latke recipe by beloved cookbook author Ina Garten, who calls the book “brilliant, beautiful, important, and so much fun!”

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Chanukah Lights Everywhere
Written by Michael J. Rosen & illustrated by Melissa Iwai
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

One crescent moon glows in the sky. Two headlights shine through the window. . . . On each magical night of Chanukah, a young boy and his sister count more lights shining all around them! Join them as they discover what it means to celebrate Chanukah in a world filled with so many other lights.

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