The Best Hanukkah Books for Kids

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Hanukkah is coming! Whether your family celebrates the holiday, or you want to help your children have a better understanding of different religions, Hanukkah books are a great place to start. Read on for the best Hanukkah books for kids!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, that also means that Hanukkah is too! The word Hanukkah means “rededication,” and it is an eight-day holiday that is celebrated by Jewish people all over the world.

While our family isn’t Jewish, one of my closest friends is. It was important to my husband and I that our children learn about different religions and holidays. Last year we celebrated Hanukkah for the first time, and our boys had so much fun.

My friend brought over her menorah, and we lit the candles and listened as she sang a traditional song and recited a prayer. My oldest was especially excited to try his hand at spinning a dreidel and getting to nibble on the special gelt, or holiday chocolate.

What Is Hanukkah and Why Is It Celebrated?

If you’re unfamiliar with the history of Hanukkah, it is a Jewish holiday which celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the larger Syrian army. It also celebrates the miracle that happened during this time. In the story of the Maccabees, they only had enough oil for one day, but the menorah was able to remain lit in the rededicated Temple in Jerusalem for eight days. Hanukkah 2021 starts this year at sundown on November 28th.

The first night of Hanukkah usually involves a big family dinner. After dinner, the family gathers to light the menorah. The menorah is made up of 8 special candles and 1 helper candle.

The eight candles symbolize the number of days that the Temple lantern blazed. The ninth candle, called the shamash, is used to light the other candles. Families light one candle on the first day after sundown, two on the second (and so on) during the eight days of Hanukkah, while reciting prayers and singing songs. A new candle is lit each night on the hanukkah menorah until all 8 are lit.

One of the most important things to me as a mom is teaching our children how wonderful it is that our country is made up of so many different cultures and traditions. With how young my boys are, one of the ways I like to do this is through books!

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The Best Hanukkah Books for Kids

There are so many great Hanukkah books out there for kids of all ages. If you’re looking to add a few new Hanukkah books to your child’s library this holiday season, here are a few to check out!

I’ve split this list into two sections: The Best Hanukkah Books for Babies, and the Best Hanukkah Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers. You don’t need Christmas trees to celebrate with one of these as a special gift this year! Read on for a run down of some of the best children’s books to read during this important holiday.

Looking for Christmas books, too? Be sure to also check out The Best Christmas Books for Babies and Toddlers

Hanukkah Board Books for Babies

Dreidel Day by Amalia Hoffman

Recommended for ages 6 Months to 2 Years

dreidel book

During Hanukkah, every day is a dreidel day! Your little ones will love counting along with the kitty in this picture book as the holiday celebration progresses from 1 to 8.

Hanukkah: A Counting Book by Emily Sper

Recommended for ages 6 Months to 2 Years

hanukkah board book for babies

Count the number of candles lighted each night of Hanukkah in Hebrew, Yiddish and English!

Happy Hanukkah, Curious George by H. A. and‎ Margret Rey

Recommended for ages 1-4

curious george hanukkah

In this story, Curious George attends a Hanukkah party. At this event Man in the Yellow Hat lights the menorah and Curious George helps make latkes. Kids love to help turn the pages on this tabbed board book.

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel! by Shahar Kober

Recommended for ages 6 Months to 2 Years

dreidel book for babies

Your littles will love the fun of this book celebrating the dreidel, the fun game Jewish children look forward to playing each holiday.

Hanukkah is Coming! by Tracy Newman

Recommended for ages 6 Months to 2 Years

hanukkah book for kids

Latkes are frying, the menorah is shining, the dreidel is spinning — what holiday is this family getting ready for? By the story’s end, your child will be reciting this book with you.

Hanukkah Delight! by Lesléa Newman

Recommended for ages 6 Months to 2 Years

hanukkah kids book

A cute book about Hanukkah riturals with a sweet bunny. Gather round to light the menorah, spin the dreidel, eat latkes, and sing songs!

Hanukkah Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer

Recommended for ages 3+

Latke the dog has just been adopted from the animal shelter by a new family, and on the first night of Hanukkah! They name him after the golden potato pancakes that his scruffy fur resembles. Now it’s time for him to learn the rules of the house, as well as the traditions of the Festival of Lights.

Chanukah Lights Everywhere by Michael J. Rosen

Recommended for ages 2+

A little boy counts the Chanukah lights and, at the same time, considers all the light in the world around him.

Biscuit’s Hanukkah by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Recommended for ages 2+

Hanukkah is all about sharing fun, food, and festivity with family and friends, even the furry ones!

How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? by Jane Yolen

Recommended for ages 2+

My oldest loves the original “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight,” so this was a perfect one to add to our collection. From the warm glow of holiday candles to the fun of family gatherings, dinosaurs love to celebrate the Festival of Lights in this funny story!

Happy Hanukkah Corduroy by Don Freeman and illustrated by Lisa McCue

Recommended for ages 2 and up.

The lovable bear and his friends light the menorah and enjoy other Hanukkah traditions together. Read the story of Corduroy’s Hanukkah’s party with your children to get them excited about the holiday to come. This sweet old bear continues to delight new generations!

Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf by Greg Wolfe

Recommended for ages 3+

Shmelf is an elf who is a member of Santa’s List Checking department. As he checks his list, he realized that some children are missing from Santa’s list. He later learns that these children celebrate Hanukkah and he ends up learning about all of their traditions and having a ton of fun at the same time. Young readers will love this one, and it’s a fun read for the whole family.

Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia A. Rouss

Recommended for ages 3 and up

After watching a family celebrate the different nights of Hanukkah, Sammy Spider is sad that he cannot participate in what he sees as a colorful celebration. But Sammy finds that in the end he gets to share the holiday after all.

The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin by Martha Seif Simpson

Recommended for ages 4 and up

In this folklore-inspired tale, a magical dreidel just won’t spin for spoiled, greedy children. The shopkeeper wonders: will it spin for another child — one who carries the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart? The book also includes a useful section that explains Hanukkah, and how to play the dreidel game.

Hannukah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel

Recommended for ages 4+

In this funny holiday book, Bubba Brayna makes the best latkes in the village, and the scent of her cooking wakes a hungry, adorable bear from his hibernation. He lumbers into town to investigate, and Bubba Brayna—who does not see or hear very well—mistakes him for her rabbi. She welcomes the bear inside to play the dreidel game, light the menorah, and enjoy a scrumptious meal.

The Hanukkah Bear is perfect for this time of year!

Moishe’s Miracle by Laura Krauss Melmed

Recommended for ages 4 and up

In Moishe’s Miracle, Moishe, a milkman who is kind to everyone in his poor village, receives a magic frying pan that produces an unlimited supply of delicious Hanukkah latkes. The magic gift, of course, comes with one condition: only Moishe can use it. But what harm could breaking this rule bring?

The Night Before Hanukkah by Natasha Wing

Recommended for ages 3 and up

The Night Before Hanukkah captures all the joy and love in one of the most wonderful times of the year.

Mensch on a Bench by Neal Hoffman, Illustrated by Necdet Yilmaz

Recommended for ages 3 and up

The Mensch on a Bench is a Jewish take on the popular Elf on a Shelf! The story centers on Moshe the Mensch who helps the Maccabees by watching over the Hanukkah oil as it burns for eight days and nights. Parents have the option of hiding the Moshe doll that comes with the book throughout the home during Hanukkah as well.

This one has become a classic story for many Jewish families to read this time of year!

Amazon Hanukkah Books for Kids

I love that all of the books I mentioned above are easily available for order on Amazon, too! Start a new family tradition this year with one of these great options.

Did I miss any of your favorite Hanukkah books for kids? Let me know in the comments! Wishing you a wonderful time celebrating and exploring these books this special holiday season.

Related Holiday Posts: DIY Christmas Crafts for Toddlers, Giant Gingerbread Man Christmas Craft

list of hanukkah books for kids and toddlers

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