Chanukah Books for Older Kids

Chanukah Favourites IV

If your kids are a little older–late preschool to early primary–they may be starting to tire of the same old Chanukah stories. Maybe you love the idea of Chanukah storytime, after the chanukiah is lit and the latkes are eaten, but the idea of one more retelling of the traditional Chanukah story makes you want to tear your hair out. Fear not! As always, Noodlenuts has the solution to your problems . . .

(Left: This original artwork by Lisa Berry comes from a set of 4 Chanukah cards with envelopes, available from the artist in her Etsy shop.  You can find this and more of Lisa’s work at Feltypants.)

Below you’ll find a range of Chanukah books that go beyond the usual stories of the Maccabees or latkes & dreidels. From beautiful folktale-like stories with a Chanukah theme, to non-fiction books about Chanukah traditions around the world, to a chapter book especially for the holiday (good for older kids or for reading to your little ones over several nights) and a tale of celebrating Chanukah at Valley Forge, there are many and varied options for your holiday storytime.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
Written by Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

It is the first night of Hanukkah. The traveler, Hershel of Ostropol, is tired and hungry and looking forward to reaching the next village. But Hershel discovers that the villagers aren’t celebrating–they’re too scared of the goblins that haunt the old synagogue at the top of the hill. But Hershel wants to help and comes up with a wonderfully creative plan! Don’t forget to check out the holiday activity sheets from the publisher, especially for Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins!! (Holiday House)

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Hanukkah Around the World
Written by Tami Lehman-Wilzig

Illustrated by Vicki Wehrman

Whoever thought of connecting a candle used on Tisha B’Av to Hanukkah? Or participating in a torchlight relay race to honor the Macabees? How about eight festive family meals for each night that you light the Hanukkiah? Or celebrating Hanukkah in the summer with an annual park event devoted to a specific theme? That’s what happens in Italy, Israel, Uzbekistan and Australia respectively. This is a book that captures everyone’s imagination by transforming Hanukkah into a trip around the world. (Tami Lehman-Wilzig)

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Hanukkah at Valley Forge
Written by Stephen Krensky

Illustrated by Greg HarlinA soldier tells George Washington the miraculous story of how a ragtag army of Jewish soldiers defeated a much larger force of powerful Greeks, a tale that provides just the kind of inspiration the General needs. (Dutton)Where To Buy
Moishe’s Miracle
Written by Laura Krauss Melmed

Illustrated by David SlonimKindness is rewarded and selfishness is punished in this original Hanukkah story that has the sound and feel of a traditional folktale. (Booklist)Where To Buy
The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle
Written by Jacqueline Jules

Illustrated by Katherine Janus Kahn

The Ziz, the giant bird from Jewish folklore, learns about the concept of sharing by helping the Maccabees find oil to light the menorah in the Temple, bringing about the miracle of Hanukkah. (Kar-Ben)

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Zigazak! A Magical Hanukkah Night
Written by Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrated by Jon Goodell

On the first night of Hanukkah, two tricky devils arrive in the town of Brisk to cause mischief. They use a magic word — Zigazak! — to make dreidels dance and latkes fly. (Amazon)

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One for Each Night: Chanukah Tales and Recipes
Written by Marilyn Kallet
Illustrated by Heather Seratt

Short stories and recipes for each night of Chanukah. “Delightful and delicious! I could not resist reading it out loud. An addictive addition to anyone’s holiday bookshelf.” (Ellen Kushner, NPR)

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An Adventure in Latkaland: A Hanukkah Story
Written by Karen Fisman
Illustrated by Thomas McAteer

On the first night of Hanukkah, Jacob Stern and his family are visited by a mysterious stranger who leaves behind a golden dreidl as a gift.  Late that night, with a magical spin of the dreidl, a girl named Sarah appears and takes Jacob on an extraordinary adventure to Latkaland. (Jora Books)

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