Babies Love Chanukah, Too!

Chanukah Favourites I

Potato Latkes by Laura Bolter

Chanukah is one of the most beautiful holidays that we have. Full of light and miracles and lovely family traditions–dreidel games, latkes, sufganiot and shiny Chanukah gelt–it’s a holiday that even the littlest members of your family can participate in with glee.

(Left:  Potato Latkes Illustration Print by Laura Bolter.  You can find this and more of Laura’s artwork at LauraBolterDesign.)

To that end, here is a list of some of my favourite Chanukah books for babies and toddlers. It includes board books and touch-and-feel books–simple, colourful, basic examples of the hallmarks of Chanukah that will help introduce your youngest family members to the wonders of this favourite holiday.

You’ll notice, as well, that there are several books included here based on popular characters from TV and other book series. While I normally shun books involving licensed characters such as these, I think that at holiday time they serve a very important purpose: helping Jewish kids to not feel excluded from the greater community, by showing them that their religion and traditions are recognized and celebrated even in familiar pop-culture venues.

Bright Baby HanukkahBright Baby Touch & Feel Hanukkah
by Roger Priddy

A board book all about Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Little ones will love to learn about the lighting of candles, latkes, gelt, the dreidel, and more. (Priddy Books)

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Touch of ChanukahTouch of Chanukah
Written by Sylvia Rouss

Illustrated by Boruch Becker

In this exciting book, children can touch an ancient jug of oil and feel a wooden dreidel, all while reading about the miracle of Chanukah. (Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch)

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Biscuit's HanukkahBiscuit’s Hanukkah
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Illustrated by Pat Schories & Mary O’Keefe Young

Biscuit tries to do everything that his friend does, but that silly puppy keeps getting into scrapes. Will he be able to give Sam the perfect Hanukkah present? (Alyssa Satin Capucilli)

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Happy Hanukkah CorduroyHappy Hanukkah, Corduroy
Written by Don Freeman
Illustrated by Lisa McCue

Corduroy’s having a Hanukkah party for all of his friends. First they light the menorah, then they eat yummy potato pancakes. After they open presents, there’s time for a game of dreidel. Introduce little boys and girls to all of the Hanukkah traditions with Corduroy, one of the most beloved children’s books characters for over forty years. (Penguin)

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Elmos_little_dreidelElmo’s Little Dreidel
Written by Naomi Kleinberg

Illustrated by Christopher Moroney

What’s a dreidel? Elmo wants to know!  This sturdy board book introduces little ones to a few of the traditions of the Jewish Festival of Lights. (Random House)

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Chanukah BugsChanukah Bugs: A Pop-Up Celebration
Written & Illustrated by David Carter

Celebrate the eight nights of Chanukah with the Shammash Bug, the Dizzy Dreidel Bug, and many others. Bugs fans of all ages will get in the spirit and join in the fun with this holiday pop-up! (Simon & Schuster)

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Happy Hanukkah Curious GeorgeHappy Hanukkah, Curious George
by H.A. Rey & Margaret Rey

It is the eighth night of Hanukkah, and George and his friends have gathered for a celebration. They light the menorah, spin the dreidel, make latkes, and learn the importance of mitzvah! In this tabbed board book, youngsters will even find a tasty latke recipe and instructions for constructing a dreidel, with rules for play. A festive foil-stamped cover makes this a fine holiday gift for fans of Curious George.

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It's Hanukkah Time!It’s Hanukkah Time!
Written by Latifa Berry Kropf
Photographs by Tod Cohen

This photo essay shows preschoolers celebrating with their grandparents at a Hanukkah party. Vibrant full-color photos show students lighting the menorah, playing dreidel and telling the story of Judah Maccabee. Kids will love seeing children their own age in the pictures. (Kar Ben)

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