Saturday, December 17, 2011

This year Hanukkah overlaps with Christmas. In our secular household we celebrate both, so I will share the books we will be reading during Hanukkah (it starts on December 20) with the hope that maybe you can still find them in the library. This week we read another batch of Christmas books together (one or two each night), and Smarty was powering on through Daisy Meadows Fairies books.
A Family Hanukkah
I was glad to get A Family Hanukkah by Bobbi Katz again from the library. The book is long, and could be about Christmas celebrations except different food choices and a dreidel game. But it does include a good description of the story of Hanukkah – something that I failed to find in most of Hanukkah books we read last year. It also explains the tradition of lighting a Menorah.
It's a Miracle
It’s a Miracle! by Stephanie Spinner is my favorite Hanukkah book. I think this year we will split the reading into 8 nights, because otherwise the story gets really long. Every night after the candles are lit, grandma tells a new story to the main character. The first story is about a young girl who dreamed to become a rabbi, then there is another one about a soldier who convinced other families to pray for his sick wife, etc. It’s a good read, and there is a surprise in the end.
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser/Nancy Cote belongs to our home library. The story focuses around attempts by a young main character to involve their elderly neighbor in Hanukkah celebration. It doesn’t explain why Ms Greenberg doesn’t have anyone to celebrate with, but it’s not really important for the story line. As an additional bonus, there is a latkes recipe in the book. Here is an important tip from me – lots of oil and a really hot pan!
The Best Hanukkah Ever
The Best Hanukkah Ever by Barbara Diamond Goldin/Avi Katz is a pretty entertaining story of a family who listens to their rabbi’s advice of selecting “a perfect gift”. They all think hard about what their gifts will be. A lot of unhappiness is ensued until the problem is solved through the wisdom of a child. It’s a fun read, and the book is not hard to follow for younger kids.


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I noticed it's hard to find picture books with a good explanation of the story behind Hanukkah, too. That's too bad, because it's a very inspiring story. I'm adding The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes to my "books with latke recipes" list - our library has it - but I missed it somehow - thanks!

Ticia said...

Ironically enough the best book I've found explaining the story of Hanukkah is also one I use for American history, I need to look the name up, but it was a great Pennsylvania book.

"It's a Miracle" sounds wonderful. I felt like a I got a miracle when my dishwasher detergent lasted for weeks instead of the day or so I thought I had left.

Christy said...

Thanks for posting these and for reminding me when Hanukkah falls this year. I have to request these because the kids learn a little about the holiday in school and it would be nice for them to understand it better.

MaryAnne said...

We read "It's a Miracle!" and enjoyed it! I'll have to look for these others - and maybe re-read that one as well!

Kelly said...

Little J's teacher has been good about teaching the kids the various winter holidays this year. I'll have to ask what books they're reading.
Little Wonders' Days

Kylie said...

Thanks for these. I really need to include some learning about Hanukkah.

My Child's Diary said...

I wanted to introduce you to our Etsy Shop -
You can find there seasonal products with 12 original illustrations depicting seasonal changes in Israeli nature. And now we offer an illustrated Hanukkah card as well.
You are more than welcome to stop by.
Happy Holidays!

Mom and Kiddo said...

I haven't read any of these -- we've been a little thin on the Hanukkah books this year.

Julie said...

I don't know that we've read these ones. This year, we only got one from the library: A Blue's Clues Chanukah, which actually does cover some of the traditions of the holiday, but doesn't get into the story of it. We aren't Jewish but we always put together a "menorah" with nine mismatched candles and light them each night, so we'll do that again and I figure I'll just tell the story on the first night. I may have to get it from the internet though, since it is so hard to find books describing the actual story.

Elise said...

It's interesting to learn about these books. I am not familiar with any of them.