Best Chanukah Books for kids 0-10 in 2017

Resource Roundup

Best Chanukah Books for kids 0-10 in 2017

Chanukah is fast approaching. We hope the following books will help you share the miracle of this holiday to capture the hearts and imaginations of children 0-10. As you prepare to celebrate with your family, please sing, create, share and learn with any of the resources we’ve curated on our Chanukah resource page. You can always search our resources and filter by age group or resources type if you want more ideas or to explore a different topic!

These are guidelines, but there is some wiggle room here- each child is different- so use your own discretion! Your 2 year old might be ready for the book recommended for 4 year olds, and the 9 year old book might be too much for your 10 year old.


Bright Baby Touch and Feel Hanukkah by Roger Priddy

In baby’s first year, establishing connected routines that help prepare the family to celebrate in meaningful ways can be done in an ENORMOUS number of ways- I like this book because my two year old toddler can ‘read’ the book to my 9 month old baby and the textures provoke all sorts of exploration for both of them.

“Cute to share with babies and toddlers. The pages feature familiar Hanukkah images, such as lighting candles, eating latkes and playing dreidel, and there are lots of different touch-and-feel textures, which little fingers will love to explore.” - Amazon


Hanukkah Is Coming!  By Tracy Newman and Viviana Garofoli

The refrain "Hanukkah is coming" is on every page of this sturdy board book, encouraging active participation for even barely verbal toddlers. When I share this story, I point to those words and my daughter delights in recognizing the pattern of the words as well as the familiar imagery the book offers.
"Readers join a cute family and their dog as they light the menorah, eat latkes, unwrap gifts, sing songs, play dreidel, eat chocolate Hanukkah gelt and march like Maccabees during the eight nights of Hanukkah."-Amazon



 Hanukkah: A Counting Book by Emily Spier 
Many varieties of Hanukkah counting books are available (Sesame Street even produced one) but I like this one best. It is sturdy and the cut-outs on each page of the board book version add another level of sensory interest. Contrast colors draw attention from even the littlest eyes and I love that it exposes the reader to three different languages.
is book is based on the familiar song by the same name. 

"Readers will learn about Hanukkah, as well as how to count all 8 nights in Hebrew and Yiddish! Pronunciation guides help kids say the words, and die-cuts reveal the candles as they are lit each night. Simple graphics and design elements enrich this holiday offering." - Amazon

The Eight Nights of Chanukah by Leslea Newman Illustrated by Elivia Savadier

I tend to avoid Jewish songs and stories based on Christian traditions- but for this, I made an exception- my toddler has no idea that this book was inspired by a Christmas carol and I enjoy the repetition and rhyme this book offers.

On the first night of Chanukah..." begins the familiar tune in a book that sees the wondrous days of Chanukah through the eyes of young child. The child's family grows bigger and bigger as the holiday gets closer and closer. Each night, one new item or person is added to the celebration-and there is always a present for every child in the room!  The accumulating text makes this book fun to read (and sing!) aloud while the bright and cheerful illustrations allow a young reader to count each object added. Educational and a joy for adults and children, The Eight Nights of Chanukah is a wonderful book for the whole family to share."- Amazon

Farmer Kobi’s Hanukkah Match by Rabbi Ron Isaacs and Karen Rostoker-Gruber, illustrated by‎ CB Decker
In this Hanukkah story, lots of animal sounds and silly scenarios engage children while also highlighting important Jewish values- compassion for animals and welcoming guests.

"Come join Farmer Kobi and his animals for a hilarious Hanukkah dinner. Kobi's well-mannered goats, donkey, and sheep know just how to play host, and they give Polly, Kobi's Hanukkah guest, a gracious welcome. But when Polly isn't sure animals belong in a house, what will happen next? Find out with laugh-out-loud pictures and puns that are sure to entertain all readers. As donkey says: Hee-Haw-Yahoo"- Amazon 

The Clever Dreidel’s Chanukah Wishes by Sarah Mazor, illustrated by‎ Mary Kusumkali Biswas

The text of the story can be sung to the tune of “The Dreidel Song” and details different types of blessings, sources of gratitude, and ways to celebrate the non-material gifts in our lives. The illustrations aren’t the richest- but the re-framing of each night as an opportunity to ask for and share blessings is a wonderful way to counter what seem to be the default focus on gifts and getting in many other books.

"The clever dreidel knows that lighting the Chanukah menorah is in celebration of the miracle that happened to the Jewish people in the Land of Israel over 2000 years ago. So, it encourages kids to enjoy the holiday and its treats. But the dreidel also has a very special request. The clever dreidel asks kids to pray for new miracles as they light the candles each day and to wish for a world where all the children are happy and healthy and full of hope."- Amazon

Nathan Blows Out The Hanukkah Candles by Tami Lehman-Wilzig and Nicole Katzman Illustrated by Jeremy Tugeauvv
I love this story not only for the story itself but for presenting children with the dynamics of a family that might be different than their own. Families with or without a child who has special needs can recognize the love, concern and frustration that siblings and parents encounter. 

"Jacob loves his autistic brother, Nathan, but when Hanukkah comes, Jacob worries that Nathan might embarrass him in front of his new friend. What if Nathan blows out the Hanukkah candles?!"- Google Books

PJ Library created a resource with more ideas to help families understand and engage in this story: Book Based Family Program 


The Only One Club by Jane Naliboff and Jeff Hopkins

This story supports Jewish kids who live as a minority population in their classroom understand that their experience isn’t unique, and learn to have pride and work towards inclusion from the examples the characters give. It can also offer perspective to children in large Jewish populations that their experience is exceptional.

"This heartwarming story explores the many ways in which children feel unique and special. Mrs. Matthews' first grade class begins making Christmas decorations, but because Jennifer is Jewish, Mrs. Matthews allows her to make Hanukkah decorations instead. Jennifer enjoys the attention and creates "The Only One Club," of which she is the sole member. When her classmates want to join, she is resistant until she realizes that each of her friends is also "the only one" at something. As she inducts them into her club she reveals the unique qualities that make each of her classmates extraordinary. Through this touching story, young children are encouraged to discover and treasure their own uniqueness and to actively look for special qualities in others beyond race or culture. A medley of pencil, watercolor, acrylic paint, and pastel illustrations bring this inspiring and humorous tale to life."- Amazon

8 Hanukkah Cookies with Sprinkles by David Adler

This is a wonderful story of kindness, inclusion and the power of good deeds. I also love that the family pictured appears to be a Mom, a Grandma, and a girl. While no mention is made of this being a non-traditional family, the book provides an opportunity for kids who don’t live in a two parent household to recognize themselves in a story.

"Sara sees an old man pick up a bruised apple from the discarded pile next to the local market. She wonders if he's hungry, as she eats her own breakfast. She wonders if he's lonely, as she shares Shabbat dinner with Mom and Grandma. As Hanukkah approaches, a season of light and hope, Sara discovers that tzedakah can be as bright and colorful as a Hanukkah cookie with sprinkles."- Amazon

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Tanya and Richard Simon Illustrated by Mark Siegel.

A story about a refugee seeking sanctuary, Oskar is heartwarming and meaningful and will impact both children and adults. The contemporary refugee crisis makes this book especially relevant and can serve as a talking point to help you discuss what your child knows and what you want them to understand about it.

"On the seventh day of Hanukkah in 1938, which also happens to be Christmas Eve, a young refugee boy named Oskar arrives in New York City from the horrors of Nazi Europe with only a photograph and an address to find an aunt he has never meet. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his aunt's home in the north end of the city, he passes and encounters the city's many holiday sights and residents. Each person he meets offers Oskar a small act of kindness, such as the newsstand man who gives Oskar a Superman comic book. Each encounter is a reference to an event which took place in the city in 1938. A constant for Oskar is remembering his father's last words, "Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings." - The School Library Journal

10 Hanukkah at Valley Forge Written by Stephen Krensky Illustrated by Greg Harlin

This historical fiction tells a story connected to the celebration that is a based on an anecdote- the book includes an author’s note that details the historical facts relating to the story which provided an interesting perspective for students already familiar with the ancient version of the tale.

"A soldier tells George Washington the miraculous story of how a ragtag army of Jewish soldiers defeated a much larger force of powerful Greeks, a tale that provides just the kind of inspiration the General needs. Quietly beautiful watercolor illustrations draw a visual distinction between the frigid blue Pennsylvania night and the golden light of ancient Israel, which is further reflected in the warm glow of the Hanukkah candles." -School Library Journal

These are certainly not the only 11 great Chanukah books available- but they are a collection of my favorite Hanukkah books for kids. Please send any other suggestions you might have to [email protected] and we can read and review them, too!

Happy Chanukah!

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Tagged in Hanukkah