Hanukkah comes early this year—November 28th marks the first night! This means that right after our Halloween costumes are put away, it’s time to start preparing for the festival of lights. Hanukkah is a truly special time in our house, and with an earlier start date, it’s even more important to make the holiday stand out. For us, this means decorating the house in blue and white at the start of November, adding latkes and gelt to our Thanksgiving menu, and incorporating some of our favorite Hanukkah books into our reading rotation.
Whether you are celebrating your first Hanukkah with your little one or looking to spice up your bookshelf with some new tales, these books are some of our favorites for the holiday. Don’t celebrate Hanukkah? Kids of all religions can enjoy these adorable books that explain the story of the Jewish holiday. Just be sure to incorporate some gelt (chocolate coins) as you read!
Hanukkah Books Your Kids Will Love
The Story of Hanukkah
Hanukkah is a fun holiday filled with celebrations, but the story behind it is just as important. This book explains the miracle behind Hanukkah in an easy-to-understand way. Great for preschoolers and toddlers, David A. Adler introduces them to the miracle of light, the Maccabean Revolt, the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and more, alongside vibrant photos.
The Night Before Hanukkah
Get your kids excited for the holiday by reading The Night Before Hanukkah before bed on November 27th. This book explains what can be expected from the celebrations to come and some insight into why we celebrate. The Night Before Hanukkah is part of the “night before” series by Natasha Wing. So if you celebrate Christmas, pair it with The Night Before Christmas or double up on holiday fun with The Night Before Thanksgiving.
Hanukkah Bear is a classic Hanukkah children’s book beloved by many. The cute tale follows Bubba Brayna, who is known for her latkes, and a bear who wanders in to eat them after a long hibernation. Each year, this is a book you can come back to no matter how old your kids get. Plus, it includes a delicious latke recipe you can make with your kids afterward!
Latke, The Lucky Dog
This book is great for explaining some holiday traditions, but it is even better if you are looking for something that helps teach kindness as well. The story centers around Latke, a dog rescued from the shelter on the first night of Hanukkah. Your kids will love learning about the holiday while seeing what mischief Latke gets into. Great for kids 2 to 8 years old.
Chanukah Lights Everywhere
Light is the basis of Hanukkah celebrations, and this book takes that up a notch by helping children discover all the light around them. Geared a bit older, this is a good option for those with kids ages 4 through 7. The book also focuses on the miracle of Hanukkah, rather than the gifting aspect, which is great for elementary-aged children who can start to understand this concept a bit better.
Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah
The big red dog is a classic book series that nostalgic parents everywhere love introducing to their kids. If your kids are already fans of Clifford, this is an excellent option for explaining the celebrations of Hanukkah, with a cute story of a missing menorah light sprinkled in.
Happy Hanukkah, Curious George
Another classic character helps tell the tale of Hanukkah with this adorable tabbed board book perfect for the younger set (ages 2-4). Curious George and his friends celebrate Hanukkah together in the best way: spinning the dreidel, making latkes, and learning about what makes the holiday so special. Plus, the board book is super durable, ensuring you can read it over and over, even with younger ones getting their hands on it.
Elmo’s Little Dreidel
Spinning the dreidel is one of the best games to play with young kids to get them ready for Hanukkah. This Sesame Street board book helps to teach the game in a fun, easy-to-understand way. If this is your little one’s first Hanukkah, this is a great first book to start your holiday collection with. If you want to give this book as a gift, add a dreidel for the perfect present!
Little Red Ruthie: A Hanukkah Tale
Little Red Ruthie is a favorite among Jewish families everywhere. It is an adorable take on Little Red Riding Hood, where Ruthie has to convince the wolf that latkes are tastier than she is! Geared for ages 4-8, your kids will love following along with Ruthie as she ventures through the forest to her grandmother’s house for Hanukkah.
Meet the Latkes
This hilarious book about a family of potato pancakes is a great addition to your Hanukkah collection. Younger children will love hearing the story of the family and their dog applesauce, while older kids will laugh along with the countless jokes sprinkled throughout the story. Plus, the illustrations are quirky and adorable. This is one your kids will ask for over and over again each of the eight nights!
Happy Hanukkah, Little Dreidel
This book was the very first Hanukkah book I got for my daughter as a baby. The finger puppet is a great addition for babies to interact with as you read, and toddlers will love using the puppet themselves. Not only does this book teach Hebrew letters, the dreidel game, and the story of Hanukkah, it also helps your little one with hand-eye coordination and language patterns.
Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy
I love incorporating things from my own childhood with my kids, and Corduroy is a great way to do this. This board book is super simple and easy to read and is ideal for babies under two years old. Corduroy plays the dreidel, eats latkes, and celebrates Hanukkah in the cute, approachable way only Corduroy knows how to do.
Indestructibles: Hanukkah Baby
My daughter was constantly ripping apart books, so these indestructible books became a lifesaver! Not only are they rip-proof, but they are also waterproof and safe to chew on. The picture-heavy pages make it ideal for babies and young children, and it’s an excellent addition for on-the-go as well. If you are traveling for Hanukkah, this one is a must!
Hanukkah is Coming!
Board books are great for young kids, and this one is no different. It is simple and straightforward and a great way to introduce them to all the best parts of Hanukkah—from spinning the dreidel to eating chocolate coins. The author also has similar books for other Jewish holidays, so you can collect them all and create a mini holiday book collection.
Where is Baby’s Dreidel?
This lift-the-flap book is a great interactive read for babies and toddlers. They can follow along with the story and lift the flaps as they search for the dreidel.
I hope you will add some of these books to your Hanukkah book reading this year. Happy Hanukkah!
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