Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 6: Hanukkah Books

Welcome to Day 6 of our 8 crazy days of Hanukkah! I'm here today to share a couple of our favorite Hanukkah books (and I hope you'll share your family favorites too).

For the younger set (and for introducing the basics of the holiday to older children), we like Harriet Ziefert's lift-the-flap story called "What is Hanukkah?" This book answers questions like why we light candles, play dreidel, eat latkes, and exchange gifts as well as presenting the history of the holiday in an easy-to-understand way. It follows a boy named Josh, and his family, as they ready for the holiday and every page features a flap with additional text or illustrations.

Fran Manushkin's book, "Latkes and Applesauce", starts off like a fairytale — "It happened long ago in a village far away..." and follows the Menashe family as their village is hit with a terrible blizzard and they realize there will be no apples for applesauce or potatoes for latkes. A stray dog and cat help them realize the miracle of the holiday and find a way to bring apples and potatoes to the family's home just in time. At the end of the book there is a historical account of Hanukkah as well as a latke recipe and directions for playing the dreidel game.

Last on my list today (but definitely not least) are two books by Linda Glaser — "The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes" and "Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah". The first book starts on the last night of Hanukkah when Rachel's mother discovers she doesn't have enough potatoes to make latkes for all of their guests. Rachel is sent next door to Mrs. Greenberg's house to borrow some potatoes and what ensues is a sweet story of friendship and caring. Mrs. Greenberg and Rachel appear again in "Mrs. Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah". This time the pair attempts to make latkes in Mrs. Greenberg's sparkling clean kitchen. It turns out to be a really messy job and exhausts poor Mrs. Greenberg. Mrs. Greenberg, who lives on her own, soon learns that it is a wonderful mess, not a terrible one.

We're always looking for new books to read so please let me know what your favorite Hanukkah story is. Share your ideas and you'll be entered into the grand prize drawing.

Happy Hanukkah to you all!


  1. The strange thing I just understood: only deep religeous kids read Hanukkah books in Israel.. All others just ask for toys as a present.. Never had such a book even with 4 kids..Did have some coloring books for sure..

  2. We also love the borrowed latkes book. As my boys have gotten older, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is the newest favorite.

  3. We have that one too, Rachel. :)

  4. Our family has a wonderful Hanukkah tradition using children's books. On the first night of Hanukkah I give each of my grandchildren a package with eight individually wrapped books. Every night after the menorah is lit, each child unwraps one small package and everyone sits together while the books are read.

  5. We love the Mrs Greenberg book, and also a book called the Chanukah Guest, by Eric Kimmel, about an elderly woman who mistakes a bear for the rebbe and feed him latkes for dinner.

  6. Love the Mrs. Greenberg books! We had the "borrowed latkes" come to life when we ran out of eggs while making latkes the other day! Thankfully, we have a neighbor as wonderful as Mrs. Greenberg, who saved the day!