Hanukkah is early this year and books make great presents. Here is a roundup of some terrific books for all ages.
Baby Loves Angular Momentum on Hanukkah! by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Irene Chan (Charlesbridge)
Against the backdrop of Hanukkah, this board book features the scientific concept of angular momentum. Using a dreidel as an example, very young readers are introduced to the concepts of torque, friction, angular momentum, and gravity in a baby and kid-friendly way.
Dreidel Day by Amalia Hoffman (Kar-Ben)
Featuring a cheerful cat who loves to play dreidel, this charming counting Hanukkah board book is fun and playful. Young readers are introduced to the elements of Hanukkah as they watch the cat spin, bounce, tumble, hop, and more.
A Dreidel in Time by Marcia Berneger (Kar-Ben)
This Hanukkah time-travel chapter book follows siblings Devorah and Benjamin as a magical dreidel transports them from the present day to the time of the Maccabees. Readers will enjoy learning details about the historic events through the eyes of the resourceful siblings.
Hannah’s Hanukkah Hiccups by Shanna Silva, illustrated by Bob McMahon (Apples & Honey)
As young Hannah prepares for her Hanukkah performance, she gets the hiccups and they don’t stop! How will she perform if she can’t stop hiccupping? With the help of friends and neighbors, Hannah tries a variety of hiccup remedies, but nothing works. When her hiccups last all eight nights of Hanukkah, Hannah comes up with her own creative solution.
Hanukah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka (Holiday House)
Bubba Brayna’s makes the best latkes in the village, and on the first night of Hanukkah, the scent of her cooking wakes a hungry, adorable bear. Bubba Brayna—who does not see or hear very well—mistakes the bear for her rabbi and invites him in to play dreidel, light the menorah, and enjoy some scrumptious latkes. After her well-fed guest leaves and her friends arrive for dinner—along with her actual rabbi—together, they discover who really ate them.
How It’s Made: Hanukkah Menorah by Allison Ofanansky, photographs by Eliyahu Alpern (Apples & Honey)
Filled with wonderful photographs, this book highlights artists who craft different types of menorahs. Chockful of information, young readers are encouraged to tap into their own Hannukah creativity by making latkes, candles, dreidels, and more. Instructive, engaging, and fun!
The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler, illustrated by Jill Weber (Holiday House)
Adapted from the picture book of the same name, this engaging board book will introduce youngsters to the story of Hanukkah, including the Maccabean Revolt, the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and the oil that burned for eight nights.
To round out this round-up, I would also like to share that my own Hanukkah chapter book, Like a Maccabee, is now available as an e-book. Days before Hanukkah, ten-year-old Ben’s soccer team makes the league championships. Only one thing stands between Ben and victory: the rival team’s best defender, a school bully whose favorite sport, other than soccer, is tormenting Ben. No one at home seems to understand. And now he has to share his bedroom with his grandfather, a man he barely knows! But, Ben finds an unexpected friend in his grandfather, learning ancient wisdom and steadfast strength, enough for the big game and beyond.