give books

Chanukah is early this year.  It starts November 27 and coincides with Thanksgiving.  In keeping with my header, I would like to suggest you give some thought to including books in your gift giving for the Chanukah season.  I would like to share some titles with you that I found at the Nerdy Book Club:


The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snickett and illustrated by Lisa Brown (2007)

Reminiscent of the Ginger Bread story, Snickett’s latke scampers out of the kitchen and encounters several Christmas icons. The dialogue between the latke and symbols expresses the differences between the rituals and the importance that one’s identity be accepted.

The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate  by Janice Cohn and illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (1995)

Cohn’s story is based on events that occurred in Billings Montana in 1993. Families of different backgrounds and faith united against anti-Semitic attacks. The book provides multiple avenues for discussing the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs.

Elijah’s Angel  by Michale J. Rosen and illustrated by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. (1992)

A renowned African American Christian woodcutter and a young Jewish boy create a memorable relationship that illustrates the importance of respecting religious differences.  This book can be a starting point for understanding the fundamental differences between Judaism and Christianity.


Hanukkah Lights: Holiday Poetry Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and pictures by Melanie Hall (2004)

This small collection of poetry is found in An I Can Read Book Level 2 book.

Hanukkah Haiku by Harriett Ziefert and illustrated by Karla Gudeon (2008)

This is a very short book designed for preschoolers. However, it provides good examples of how haiku can describe simple aspects of Chanukah

Holocaust and Chanukah

One Candle by Eve Bunting and illustrated by K. Wendy Popp (2002)

Through the eyes of a child, readers will learn about how Jews celebrate Chanukah as well as hear a retelling of how some Holocaust survivors cherished the celebration of Chanukah in Buchenwald. Passing the story from one generation to the next reaffirms the importance of following traditions.

Nine Spoons: A Chanukah Story by Marci Stillerman and illustrated by Pesach Gerber (1998)

See previous Nerdy Book Club posting- Notable Holocaust Picture Books Illustrate People Making a Difference.

Historical Fiction

Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue by Heidi Smith Hyde and illustrated by Jamel Akib (2012)

Readers will get a glimpse of 18th century American Jewish history in Massachusetts. Jewish immigrants from Portugal were afraid to reveal their Jewish identity. The use of their menorah becomes a lifesaver.

Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Greg Harlin (2006)

This book takes Chanukah back to the time of the Revolutionary War.  George Washington comes upon a soldier who is lighting Chanukah candles. The dialogue provides information about Chanukah and the significance of fighting for freedom.

Folk Tales

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (1985)

Hershel comes to the rescue when a town is besieged by goblins who prevent them from celebrating Chanukah. While fighting off the goblins readers learn various things about Chanukah. Good overcomes evil when Hershel is able to outsmart the group of scary goblins.

The Magic Dreidels: A Hanukkah Story by Eric A Kimmel and illustrated by Katya Krenina (1996)

Story teller Kimmel retells the tale of “The Tablecloth, the Donkey and the Stick” in a Chanukah setting . A goblin outwits a trickster woman who is trying to take advantage of a young Jewish boy. Everyone benefits from the goblin’s goodness.

Also, don’t forget my book, Before I Was Born.  It makes a wonderful present. When you buy Before I Was Born you are giving two gifts.  A gift to the child who receives the book and a gift to a unknown child who benefits from the sale of the book.  I donate 100% of the cost of the book to Story Storks.  The folks over at Story Storks give a new book and a packet on literacy to children born in two area hospitals.  If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, just send me an Email at  The cost of the book is $20 and will be tax deductible for you.

One thought on “Chanukah

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