Hanukkah

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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My Two Holidays COVERWritten by Danielle Novack, Illustrated By Phyllis Harris

Sometimes it’s easy to feel nervous when other children are sharing their stories of celebrating Christmas OR Hanukkah.  Sammy isn’t sure what to say because his family celebrates both.  This sweet book, written by a clinical psychologist, shares what it’s like to have a family with two sets of holiday traditions, both of which are loved, enjoyed and respected.

As there are more and more families that blend two (or more) faiths, this type of book is a wonderful way to talk about holiday traditions as well as respect, tolerance and the beauty of sharing our treasured beliefs with the world.

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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


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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


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Categories : Animals, Hanukkah, Judaism
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Written by Deborah Heiligman

This beautiful book, written by Deborah Heiligman, is part of a series by National Geographic that highlights holidays as they are experienced around the world with the type of accurate reporting and stunning photographs that you’d expect from this publication. In this book, the common elements of Hanukkah along with it’s history and background are shared as they are celebrated in a variety of countries and cultures ranging from Uganda, India, Israel, Egypt, Italy, Canada, Peru, Poland and the United States.  For example, a picture of a lovely South Korean Hanukkah card is included here as well as photographs of children in Ghana playing dreidel in front of their family’s rural store.  This short book is a wonderful and inspiring journey through Hanukkah celebrations and is as informative as it is enjoyable!

Among the other books in this wonderful Holidays Around the World series are: (Holidays Around the World) Celebrate Diwali: With Sweets, Lights, and Fireworks, (Holidays Around the World) Celebrate Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, (Holidays Around the World) Celebrate Kwanzaa: With Candles, Community, and the Fruits of the Harvest and (Holidays Around The World) Celebrate Christmas: With Carols, Presents, and Peace.  If you are looking to learn more about any of these special and meaningful celebrations, these books make an excellent place to start.


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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.”


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Categories : Christmas, Hanukkah, Judaism
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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!


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Categories : Hanukkah, Judaism
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Written and Illustrated By Patricia Polacco

Trishia’s family lives in a rural area and loves getting ready for Hanukkah.  There’s food to cook, presents to make and so much more.  And when Trisha visits her neighbors who should be getting ready to celebrate Christmas – she finds that they are all sick and can’t get out of bed.  Her neighbors have scarlet fever and it looks like the holidays will not come to their house at all.  In this beautiful tale, friendship and the spirit of giving truly saves the day, leaving both families in awe of holiday miracles.

Based on a childhood memory from author and illustrator, Patricia Polacco, this book is a perfect read-aloud and poses a wonderful question – what can you do for your neighbors or your community this holiday season?


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Categories : Christmas, Hanukkah
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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.


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Categories : Crafts, Hanukkah, Judaism
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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


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Oct
27

Coming Soon!

Great books for counting and learning numbers coming soon!

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