Friday, December 11, 2009

8 books for Hanukkah

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah! To celebrate, here are eight great children's books about the Jewish holiday:

Melmed, Laura Krauss, and David Slonim. Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story. [New York]: HarperCollins, 2000.
Poor Moishe the Milkman. His wife is mad at him for giving food to their neighbors, so she banishes him from the bedroom and sends him outside to sleep with the cows. Moishe's generosity is rewarded, though, when he discovers a magical frying pan that can make latkes out of nothing.

Yorinks, Arthur, William Steig, and Paul Colin. Arthur Yorinks's The Flying Latke. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1999.
The Flying Latke is an original slapstick holiday story by Caldecott Medalists, Arthur Yorinks and William Steig. Adults will probably appreciate the humor more than children.

Kimmel, Eric A., and Giora Carmi. The Chanukkah Guest. New York: Holiday House, 1990.
The delicious smell of fresh potato latkes awakens a bear from his long winter nap. He follows his nose to old lady Bubba Brayna's house where he is mistaken for the rabbi.

Snicket, Lemony, and Lisa Brown. The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story. San Francisco: McSweeny's Books, 2007.
I really like this review from Publisher's Weekly:
"Go ahead and cover this book in red, stamp it with gold foil and label it a Christmas story—Lemony Snicket fans won't be fooled. The miraculous birth here is of a potato pancake, which, unlike its less loquacious literary cousin the Gingerbread Man, begins screaming the moment it gets cooked."

Kimmel, Eric A., and Mordicai Gerstein. The Jar of Fools: Eight Hanukkah Stories from Chelm. New York: Holiday House, 2000.
Chelm, the "City of Fools" is a popular locale for many Jewish folktales. This book has eight funny stories--one for each night of Hanukkah.

Krensky, Stephen, and Greg Harlin. Hanukkah at Valley Forge. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 2006.
A Jewish soldier from Poland tells General George Washington the story of Hanukkah. Surprisingly, this book is based on a true story.

Kimmel, Eric A., and Will Hillenbrand. Asher and the Capmakers: A Hanukkah Story. New York: Holiday House, 1993.
Asher gets lost in a blizzard and is rescued by fairies who take him on a magical journey to Jerusalem.

Baum, Maxie, and Julie Paschkis. I Have a Little Dreidel. New York: Scholastic, 2006.
Folksy illustrations make The Dreidel Song a little bit more interesting.