It is always a pleasure for me to celebrate new books from authors I have previously interviewed. It is with great delight that I share FIVE new HANUKKAH books from Jewish Books for Kids friends. Hanukkah begins on December 10th. It’s not too early to start planning. Be sure these titles are on your gift-giving list this year.
THE EIGHT KNIGHTS of HANUKKAH by Leslie Kimmelman Illustrated by Galia Bernstein (Penguin Random House) introduces a dastardly dragon named Dreadful is foiling all the party preparations for the big Hanukkah celebration. Will the eight knights of Hanukkah be able to save the day with their deeds of awesome kindness and stupendous bravery? Worryeth not! In this medieval tale of derring-do, readers will discover that dragons are not always what they seem, and there are always opportunities to make the holiday lights shine a little more brightly.
HAPPY LLAMAKKAH! by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Lydia Nichols (Harry N Abraham) is an absolutely adorable family celebration, llama style! Simple rhyme, graphic illustrations, and traditional Hanukkah activities make this a perfect choice for the younger set. Who wouldn’t want to make latkes with a llama family? A cozy Hanukkah read that reminds us all of the simple joys of Hanukkah.
KAYLA AND KUGEL’S HAPPY HANUKKAH by Ann Koffsky (Apples & Honey Press) features the sweet relationship between Kayla and her dog, Kugel. Kayla tells Kugel the story of Hanukkah and Kugel “helps” with the preparations. Kugel isn’t always the most effective helper but gets perfect marks for enthusiasm. What a fun way to learn the story of Hanukkah! Charming illustrations coupled with sepia-toned art in historical scenes about Hanukkah make this an engaging read for all ages.
THE LITTLEST CANDLE: A HANUKKAH STORY by Rabbis Kerry and Jesse Olitzky, illustrated by Jen Kostman (Kalaniot Books) celebrates the true stars of Hanukkah – the candles! Young readers will enjoy the fun “back drawer” view of candle dynamics as the shamash is chosen for a family Hanukkah celebration. It is a clever concept with kid-friendly illustrations. The party scene at the end of the book is delightful, filled with jelly donuts, latkes, and even a cat playing with a dreidel.
THE NINTH NIGHT OF HANUKKAH by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Shahar Kober (Sterling Children’s Books) is about a family who just moved and can’t find their menorah or any other Hanukkah items. Every night Rachel and Max borrow something from a neighbor to help them celebrate. Each time, the family is grateful but it still doesn’t feel like Hanukkah. Finally, their box of Hanukkah items arrives, but Hanukkah is over. Is it too late? Rachel and Max come up with a plan! If you include the shamash, there are nine candles, so the kids create a Ninth Night of Hanukkah! They invite all their new friends, who were “helpers” just like a shamash! The celebration feels “exactly like Hanukkah.” A wonderful family-friendly story about helping others and showing gratitude.
Such a terrific variety of books – something for everyone! These wonderful books will help make the holiday even brighter!