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8 Best Hanukkah Books For Kids

Hanukkah Books

For the child that celebrates Hanukkah  or just wants to learn more about the traditions and history related to the Jewish holiday  there are some wonderful books that exist for them to experience, share, and maybe even make a part of their own future family’s new traditions.

The Festival of Lights is a wonderful story with a beautiful message, and while it may not get the same degree of pomp that Santa gets, there’s a whole lot to enjoy and celebrate.

There are eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, or the evening of November 28th. That means it’s only fair to have one book for each day/night of celebration. 

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Here are the 8 best Hanukkah books for kids:

1. Goodnight Chamudim: An Israeli Parody (Goodnight Baby) by Natalie Geller Kaldes

This is a super-cute Israeli parody of the famous children's book, Goodnight Moon. Under the backdrop of a traditional Israeli home, there’s tons of Jewish holiday decor that imitates the Goodnight Moon style book with entirely Israeli/Jewish contributions.

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2. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins: 25th Anniversary Edition by Eric A. Kimmel

Sometimes, there’s nothing quite like a classic, and this story is an old, award-winning children's book about a village that does not celebrate Hanukkah for the strangest of reasons. Apparently, there are goblins who haunt the synagogue and are trying to derail any effort to observe the Hanukkah rituals.

While this is a rather fictional story the parallels to the real Hanukkah story are rather clear and can be a really useful opener for meaningful conversation about the history of the Jewish people.

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3. The Night Before Hanukkah by Natasha Wing

The Night Before Hanukkah is a beautiful book that is on many Jewish families’ bookshelves, telling the adventurous story of Ryan and his family.

Ryan lives in New York City and every year on the night before Hanukkah, Ryan can’t wait to light the menorah, and we experience this excitement with Ryan and his family as they share traditions like eating latkes, playing dreidel, and exchanging gifts. 

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4. Grover's Eight Nights of Light by Jodie Shepherd

We maybe never have seen this on the television show, but Grover is Jewish, and celebrates Hanukkah!

In this book, Grover invites his friends to a Hanukkah party, and everyone is there, from Elmo to Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert, Ernie, and so many more.

While this book is a good time, it also shares the story of Hanukkah’s origins and traditions, from lighting the menorah to playing dreidel and eating latkes. It’s also just a beautiful example of friendship and kindness that we all can use — from kids to adults!

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5. In a Latke Trouble by Dori Weinstein

In a Latke Trouble is the fourth installment in the popular YaYa & YoYo book series by author Dori Weinstein, and while it’s about Hanukkah, it’s also about universal themes like bravery and the dangers of group conformity. We watch the twins try to make good choices as they face peer pressure, and just try to be good people in a difficult world.

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6. Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah by Sylvia A. Rouss

The book is sweet and fun and watches Sammy Spider as he watches the Shapiro family light candles each night of Hanukkah. Sammy is sad because he really wants to take part in the celebration himself, but he can’t, because he’s a spider. But ultimately he discovers a way to join in on the celebration.

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7. Happy Llamakkah!: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Gehl

Follow this llama family in this colorful and rhyming book as they do all their Hanukkah traditions, like spinning the dreidel and lighting the Menorah. There is also a ton of information at the back of the book about the history and traditions of Hanukkah.

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8. The Eight Knights of Hanukkah by Leslie Kimmelman

In this book, there are 8 brave knights who must perform deeds of awesomeness to stop the dragon, Dreadful, who is disrupting the townspeople and their celebrations on the last night of Hanukkah. They must band together and perform daring and funny tasks as they try to catch up to Dreadful, where a surprise may await them.

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Aly Walansky is a writer focused on lifestyle topics. Andrea Zimmerman is the editor-at-large at Yourtango.

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