Happy Hanukkah!


At the Atascocita Branch Library, we recently had Rabbi Dan Gordon of Temple Beth Torah as a special guest for Twilight Tales Storytime. The program was very successful and we received several positive comments from families who partook. If you were not able to attend the program or simply want to expand your experience here are a few book suggestions for you to enjoy

Picture Books about Hanukkah

One Candle Eve Bunting 

"Why do you think Grandma wants to do this every year?" I don't know for sure. But I think it has to do with being strong in the bad time and remembering it in the good time. For one family the traditional Hanukkah celebration has a deeper meaning. Amidst the food and the festivities, Grandma and Great-Aunt Rose begin their story-the one they tell each year. They pass on to each generation a tale of perseverance during the darkest hours of the Holocaust, and the strength it took to continue to honor Hanukkah in the only way they could.

Best-selling author Eve Bunting's touching and joyous story about the importance of remembrance is exquisitely rendered by K. Wendy Popp's remarkable pastels. One Candle reaffirms the values of tradition and family, but also shows us that by continuing to honor the tragedies and the triumphs of the past there will always be hope for the future.


How do Dinosaurs say Happy Chanukah?  Jane Yolen

With more than 10 million copies in print, America's favorite dinosaurs now celebrate Chanukah! Little dinosaurs love to celebrate the Festival of Lights, from the warm glow of holiday candles in the menorah to the fun of family gatherings. But sometimes the excitement of Chanukah, its treasured rituals, and the tradition of gifts can tempt a youngster to misbehave.  Come along on a joyful romp filled with tumbling dreidels and melting gelt as America's favorite prehistoric pals spread a little mischief this season. Children will laugh out loud as dinosaurs fidget, fuss, and stomp through every occasion, while their human parents shift from shock to weary patience.

The Golem's Latkes   Eric A. Kimmel 

Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel visits the Emperor, leaving a new housemaid to prepare for his Hanukkah party, but returns to find that she has misused the clay man he created. Includes historical and cultural notes.

Jeremy's Dreidel  Ellie Gellman

A boy makes a Braille Hanukkah dreidel for his father, who is blind. Includes instructions for making different types of dreidels.

Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue Heidi Smith Hyde 

Angry that his father is afraid to kindle the Hanukkah lights, Emanuel stows away on a whaling ship. When a storm overtakes the boat, it is his father's change of heart and the family menorah that light the way home.


Fiction Books about Hanukkah

The Golden Dreydl Ellen Kushner

Sara finds Chanukah celebrations boring. When her Tante Miriam arrives and gives her a Golden Dreydl, everything changes. The dreydl, an enchanted princess in disguise, takes Sara on a journey to a magical world. When the princess is taken by the Demon King, who possesses the power of the Tree of Life, it is Sara who must use her wit to save the princess and return her to her parents,  King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. A delightful holiday tale that weaves together threads of Jewish folklore and tradition with fantasy and humor.

Jason's Miracle: a Hanukkah Story  Beryl Lieff Benderly.

It's the first night of of Hanukkah and Jason can't sleep. Maybe when I get older I can have a Christmas tree, he tells himself. It's tough listening to kids at school brag about presents. But his family won't celebrate Christmas even a little. His dad thinks the miracle of the lights is such a big deal. Who cares about some old legend?Then comes an urgent message . . ."If we don't get help, our revolt will fail!" says a strange boy who appears in the night. He claims to be with the Maccabees, fighting in ancient Judea.Jason can't believe it,  the Maccabees? "But that was thousands of years ago!""I don't know what you're talking about", the boy replies. 

Alexandra's Scroll: the story of the First Hanukkah  Miriam Chaikin

A young girl's account of life in Jerusalem in 165 B.C. When the hated Syrian-Greek king fills ancient Jerusalem with statues of Greek gods and destroys the Jewish temple, feisty Alexandra takes up reed pen, ink, and sheet of papyrus and turns "scribe." In her scroll Alexandra records the everyday happenings of her life, as well as the events of the Jewish rebellion led by the Maccabees. When her father joins the resistance against the Greek authorities, Alexandra must leave her friends and the city she loves. The victory of the Maccabees three years later returns the family to Jerusalem - to old friends, new ones and, for Alexandra, a new life. Place and time are recreated in this story of a girl caught up in the events that led to the rebuilding of the temple, the miracle of oil that burns eight days, and the celebration of the first Hanukkah.

Non-Fiction Books about Hanukkah

The Story of Hanukkah  David A. Adler 

No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recounting the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. In a simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem is retold. For readers who want to continue the festivities, a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel are included.

A Hanukkah Holiday Cookbook  Emily Raabe

Hanukkah is a time of feasting and celebration for Jews around the world. In this book, kids find out the story behind the Jewish festival of lights while learning how to make Star of David cookies, potato latkes, and other Hanukkah treats. The clear, step-by-step instructions make the recipes a snap for kids to prepare.

Hanukkah Crafts  Karen E. Bledsoe.

Provides information about the origin and customs of Hanukkah, ideas for celebrating this holiday, and directions for making such crafts as a dreidel mobile, holiday cards, and candle candy holders.