Judaism

daliaHow Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box: And Other Wonders of Tzedakah
Written By Linda Heller, Illustrated By Stacey Dressen McQueen

Do you know about the Jewish tradition of Tzedakah?  This enchanting and inspiring book will tell you all about it.

Dalia is a young girl whose teacher encourages her to start a little fund in a box and her fellow students are intrigued by what their contributions could create.  Dalia shares her ideas with her younger brother who doesn’t want to be left out of the fun.  And when it’s all said and done, there’s an amazing party that takes care of someone special in their community changes her life!

Although this is a book is about a specific, beautiful tradition of Judaism, it is a wonderful books for people of any faith as it delves into up the topic of giving, sharing with others and good deeds.  It’s a great book for talking to kids about empathy, compassion and how meaningful it can be to express love for humanity and community.

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always oliviaby Carolivia Herron, Illustrated by Jeremy Tugeau 

Sometimes family histories are complicated.  And exciting.  And amazing!

“Always An Olivia” is written as the story of an elderly African-American grandmother who lovingly passes along the details of an incredible tale to her granddaughter.  It’s the story of the journey their family made as Jews escaping persecution in Spain. Then there’s a pirate ship and a brave young girl and a landing in the US Georgia Sea Isles in a community of descendants of West African slaves. And so much more!  But throughout all this, one thing remains the same.  There is always an “Olivia” in each generation of the family.

Critically-acclaimed author Carolivia Herron shares this amazing tale that is actually based on her own unique family history and how one daughter in each generation is given the name “Olivia” to honor the past.

Along with being an exciting and informative read, the book is a good conversation starter on topics such as multiculturalism, tolerance, Jewish history, family history and discovering your roots.

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Abuelita secret coverWritten by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Illustrated By Diana Bryer

What a wonderful book!

It starts as young Jacobo enjoys life with his grandmother (Abuelita) in a small town in New Mexico in the United States.  Although the young boy and his grandmother love their community and are active in their Catholic church, some things do seem out of place to Jacobo.  Abuelita cooks differently than her neighbors and she has her own special rituals, like lighting candles on Friday nights.  When a new family moves into the neighborhood who are Jewish, Jacobo starts asking more questions and finds out about his family history – one that started with an exodus of Sephartic Jews from Spain, centuries ago.

This short but powerful tale written by a woman rabbi and scholar; Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, is a perfect way to begin discussions on topics such as multicultural families, Jewish history, tolerance, religious identity and family secrets.

Read it in Spanish:

Las Matzas Secretas de Abuelita 
by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

 

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Written by Michelle Edwards, Illustrated By Stacey Schuett

It’s really hard to celebrate a holiday after a loved one has passed away.  And this family of a dad and two children miss their mom terribly as Chanukah approaches.  Dad wants to come to the rescue and make the special treats – potato latkes – with his kids, but the experience is just not the same.

How does the family come to understand the miracle and beauty of the holiday, despite the sadness?  This story weaves a wonderful, sweet, sensitive Chanukah tale.

Suggested Reading Level – Ages  5 – 7



Papa's Latkes (Hardcover)

By (author): Michelle Edwards

A family prepares to celebrate Chanukah for the first time since Mama died — in this heartfelt, bittersweet tale that will resonate with anyone who has ever faced an empty chair at the holiday table.

Three plates, Selma reminded herself. Just three plates this Chanukah.

For Selma and her little sister, Dora, this is their first Chanukah without Mama. When Papa comes home carrying a big bag of potatoes and all the ingredients for latkes, Selma is worried. Mama always made the Chanukah latkes. Could they make them without her? In Michelle Edwards's poignant story, illustrated with Stacey Schuett's warmly glowing artwork, Selma comes to realize that while Chanukah — and especially latkes — will never be the same without Mama, Selma can still celebrate, and will always remember.
List Price: $15.99 USD
New From: $3.25 USD In Stock
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Written By Fran Manushkin, Illustrated By Robin Spowart

This is one of my favorite Hanukkah stories!  Set in a cozy cottage in the woods, a family of four is preparing for Hanukkah and the weather becomes frightful.  During this terrible blizzard the family cannot get their potatoes for latkes or any more apples for applesauce – special foods that are a welcome part of the Hanukkah celebration.  Still the family is grateful each night as they prepare the candles and – lo and behold- out of the storm come some little miracles.  And the little miracles lead the family to another rather miraculous discovery that means their holiday table will have all they need.

A lovely and special little story that makes you feel as if you were hearing an expert storyteller weave a delightful tale from times long past.  Especially heart-warming for animal lovers, this tale involves a little stray cat and dog who not only find a home, but also a special name during this family’s beloved celebration of the festival of lights.

Suggested Reading Level – 5 and Up




NOTE ISBN MAY CHANGE FOR BKSHELF REISSUE. The beloved story of a joyous Hannukah celebration--reissued in Scholastic Bookshelf paperback!

The Menashe family enjoys a joyous holiday celebration despite a scarcity of food. Includes notes on Hanukkah, a bibliography, a recipe for making latkes, and rules for playing dreidel.



List Price: $5.99 USD
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Categories : Animals, Hanukkah, Judaism
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Emma lives in a bustling city and has been watching the days get shorter and darker.  People hurry by getting ready for both Christmas and Hanukkah. One cold winter day her Dad tells her it’s time to get out the menorah and her family and extended family’s celebration of Hanukkah begins.  Later that same month, her mother takes down some beautiful boxes and tells Emma, it’s time to get the Christmas tree.  Her whole family shares Christmas preparations with more neighbors and friends.  This quiet little tale shares a thoughtful approach to respecting and cherishing both sets of holiday customs instead of choosing between them.

Perfect for reading aloud in a classroom or library to start a discussion about holiday customs and how they can be shared in a way that respects and values all participants. I especially love the last line of the book telling how the young girl has a lasting memory of the joy of both celebrations.  It tells us that she remembers “the bright lights of both celebrations long after the dark winter nights are gone.”




Every December, Emma and her family celebrate two special holidays. First comes Hanukkah, with dreidel games and lighting the menorah. Then comes Christmas, with carols, bright lights on the tree, and presents for everyone!
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Written By Linda Glaser, Illustrated by Nancy Cote

It’s the last day of Hanukkah and Rachel and her family are getting ready for quite a celebration when the phone rings.  Guess what?  More company.  Rachel’s mom sends her to borrow potatoes for latkes and she runs over to visit her neighbor, Mrs. Greenberg.  Although Mrs. Greenberg’s house if beautifully decorated, it’s clear to Rachel that she’s spending this special day alone.

Rachel asks her to join her family while borrowing potatoes. Mrs. Greenberg says “no”. Rachel asks her to join her family while borrowing eggs. Mrs. Greenberg says “no”. But Rachel won’t take no for an answer and finds a clever way of making it a happy, joyous holiday for all.

This book also has a wonderfully simple recipe for latkes – eat them in good health!




It's the last night of Hanukkah, and more relatives are coming than originally planned. Rachel decides to borrow potatoes from Mrs. Greenberg. She asks Mrs. Greenberg, who is all alone, to come for Hanukkah. But Mrs. Greenberg is very stubborn!
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Written by Judy Bastyra

Are you feeling crafty for the holidays?  Judy Bastyra’s book will take you thorough some wonderful and wonderfully simple crafts and activities for a happy Hanukkah.  This book teaches the history of Hanukkah shows you how to make (and bake) a dreidel, craft a Hanukkah shield and make delicious treats, lovely essential oils or a truly crazy candle.

Delightfully hands-on, this book shares creative ways to celebrate the holiday of lights.  Excellent for those who are celebrating Hanukkah or for teachers, educators or parents looking for great ways to teach about the beauty of diverse holidays.




Begin the holiday by making a menorah, one with specially decorated candles. Have fun singing some holiday songs or playing with a newly crafted dreidl, and don't forget to send friends handmade Hanukkah cards you've made yourself.
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Written by by Lesléa Newman

Illustration by Krysten Brooker

Everyone’s heard the poem that starts: “ Twas the Night Before Christmas, and all through the house…”.  Well, this book has the story of it’s Hanukkah cousin.  In this clever, silly and fun little book, it’s the night before Hanukkah and the whole family is getting ready for the celebration when a dreidel suddenly spins out of control.  The glorious illustrations take you through a busy holiday home, a cityscape and then out to the country and up to the stars, all the while, sharing the most exciting and wonderful parts of a Hanukkah celebration.

This book is a delightful way to share the customs that make Hanuakkah such a beloved holiday.  Clever rhymes and fanciful pictures are ideal for sharing with families who celebrate Hanukkah as well as classrooms where kids celebrate other holidays and want to know more about this bright and beautiful celebration.

Suggested Reading Level – Preschool and up



Runaway Dreidel! (Paperback)

By (author): Lesléa Newman

When a dreidel that takes off through a boy’s living room, the boy—and readers—are taken on a runaway adventure through city streets and along country roads, where modern times and history blend together in magical ways. This celebration of one of Chanukah’s most fun traditions—spinning the dreidel—is sure to be a welcome addition to this healthy holiday category.

List Price: $6.99 USD
New From: $16.50 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.98 USD In Stock

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