As the Hanukkah celebrations begin, here are eight suggestions of stories you can share with your family.
1 Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky, Illustrated by Greg Harlin.
The beautiful artwork in this story evokes a quiet reverence as General Washington comes upon a soldier lighting a candle in the military camp at Valley Forge. The soldier relates the story of Hanukkah to man who would one day become president in this fictional story, which has its basis in a historical anecdote.
2 The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser, Illustrated by Nancy Cote
On the eighth night of celebration, more relatives are coming than was planned, and latkes are running low. Rachel decides to borrow potatoes from Mrs. Greenberg, and seeing that she is all alone, asks Mrs. Greenberg to join her family for Hanukkah.
3 Moishe’s Miracle by Laura Krauss Melmed, Illustrated by David Slonim
Moishe’s generosity in his poor village of Wishniak is rewarded when a gift comes to him through his talking cows, and he becomes the proud owner of a miraculous pan that produces as many latkes as he might need when set empty upon a fire. Within the story is the reminder that selfishness can be a dangerous thing.
4 Hanukkah Moon by Deborah De Costa, Illustrated by Gosia Mosz
Isobel learns about Hanukkah traditions celebrated by Jewish people in Latin America from her Aunt Luisa. Through this charming story, children will enjoy learning how kids just like them celebrate in another part of the world.
5 Light the Candles: A Hanukkah Lift-The-Flap Book by Joan Holub, Illustrated by Lynne Avril Kravath
A title great for the very young; this story invites plenty of reader interaction with its flaps which, when lifted, show children all the fun ways that Hanukkah can be celebrated.
6 Light the Lights! A story about celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman
Many families celebrate both of these winter holidays, and this story examines some of the things the observances have in common. The illustrations are warm and bright, and create a cozy feeling of celebration.
7 The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming by Lemony Snicket, Illustrated by Lisa Brown
In this holiday tale, which is admittedly absurd, a very vocal latke appears, alongside a great variety of fellow seasonable representatives in a mash-up of the holidays celebrated in winter. This one’s not really a Hanukkah tale, and must be embarked upon with the understanding that it will be unusual.
8 Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. Kimmel, Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
In this Caldecott Award nominee, clever Hershel of Ostropol helps the townspeople outsmart the goblins who ruin their Hanukkah celebrations every year. This story is an adaptation of the ancient story of Hanukkah in which the Syrians forbade the Jews to worship freely, and it is told with warmth, hope and humor.