Hanukkah begins on this Friday at sundown. If you are looking for items to read this season, I currently have a display of Hanukkah books in the children's area. Feel free to stop by and check out our collection. You can also order books online and have them sent to your community library. This is a free service.
Growing up, my family had a tradition of making gifts for one another during the holidays. The projects that my Mom and I made together are some of my best childhood memories. There are all kinds of art & craft books for children in the library, including those for Hanukkah.
The Jewish Holiday Craft Book by Kathy Ross.
I like books by Kathy Ross for several reasons, but mainly because she keeps projects simple. I appreciate the fact that she uses illustrations to demonstrate the steps of each project. This provides a clear visual outline for children. A personal favorite in this book is the dreidel gift bag. All you need is a paper shopping bag with handles and a few basic craft items.
You can find many informative book on Hanukkah in the nonfiction area of the library. I am especially fond of Harvest of Light by Allison Ofanansky. It is the story of a young girl and her family who grow olives near Safed, Israel. How the olives are used changes throughout the seasons. At the end of the year, the family uses the olives to make oil for their Hanukkah menorah.
Hanukkah Lights by Dian G. Smith.
Children will adore the sparkly illustrations. I love the format of this book, because it provides both a story to share and facts about the holiday. This book is well written, and includes several details about this Jewish holiday such as, tzedakah, torahs, shammash, latkes, and gelt.
Hanukkak: A Counting Book in English, Hebrew and Yiddish by Emily Sper.
When I picked up this book I was immediately impressed with the content. The author has included the spelling and the pronunciation of each word used in the story. Most of all, I was delighted to find that the author, Emily Sper, shares her personal experiences and briefly explains the story of Hanukkah at the end of this book.
Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah by Susan Roth.
This book can be found in the non-fiction section of the library (783.421 Rot). The illustrations are delightful, but a bit small. Therefore, I would not reccomend it for large storytime groups. When reading this book to young children, I typically read through it once, then go back to look over the illustrations, and discuss vocabulary words such as, latkes, menorah, and yarmulke.
The Hanukkah Mice by Steven Kroll.
The bright illustrations are charming and include many cultural details. For example, the cover illustration portrays a mouse family wearing yarmulkes, and the welcome mat says, "Shalom." This book is full of imagination that will delight most any child, and those who are young at heart.
The more you read to your child, the more they will recognize the importance of books in their lives. This is one of the first steps in helping your child become a life long reader.