Our family celebrates Christmas, but I also feel it’s important to learn about other cultures and traditions. And of course, when we want to learn something new, we turn to — books! That’s where the inspiration for this list of Hanukkah books originated.
These books about Hanukkah are great for families who celebrate the holiday, as well as families like ours who want to learn more about a different religion. Big thanks to my good friend Becci for recommending some of her favorites and helping me put this list together!
Hanukkah Books for Kids
Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel — Every year, the goblins ruin Hanukkah for the people of a small village. But one year, a smart man named Herschel arrives with a way to outwit them. A great story about perseverance in the midst of what seems like a hopeless situation.
Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia A. Rouss — Sammy Spider wants so badly to celebrate Hanukkah with the Shapiro family, but Mrs. Shapiro insists that spiders spin webs, not dreidels. Will Sammy get to join in the fun?
How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? by Jane Yolen — The dinosaurs are very excited about the season…but sometimes they have a hard time holding still or staying quiet! Kids will love this funny story about how dinosaurs celebrate a special holiday.
Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer — Latke was adopted from the animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah — what a lucky pup! He has a hard time learning the ropes of his new home at first, but soon finds his place in the family. The story is sweet, the illustrations are gorgeous, and I love any book that highlights animal adoption!
The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler — I love Adler’s straightforward and educational Picture Book Biographies, and this book is just as good. A lovely retelling of the Hanukkah story that is enjoyable, whether it’s your first time hearing or your hundredth. It also includes a recipe for latkes and instructions on playing dreidel.
Macabee! The Story of Hanukkah by Tilda Balsley — This is a fun rhyming book that tells the story of Hanukkah in a way that is easy for kids to understand. My favorite part would have to be David Harrington’s illustrations, which are bright and full of life!
My Two Holidays: A Hanukkah and Christmas Story by Danielle Novak — All of the students in Sam’s class are taking a turn to share what winter holiday they celebrate. Sam is a little worried because he is different than the other kids in his class; Sam celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas! This very sweet story tells why it’s ok to find meaning in more than one holiday, and is a perfect encouragement for kids in that situation.
My First Chanukah by Tomie dePaola — The perfect way to introduce your littlest book lovers to the holiday. This board book features gorgeous illustrations and a simple explanation of the holiday.
The Night Before Hanukkah by Natasha Wing — This take on the Christmas classic shares all the reasons to get excited about the arrival of Hanukkah. This is a particularly good choice for explaining Hanukkah traditions to those who might be unfamiliar with them.