Whether you are looking for a quick Hanukkah read aloud to share with students on one of the days leading up to winter break or are doing a holidays around the world unit and need a collection of Hanukkah books for kids, this list of Hanukkah children’s books has you covered! These Hanukkah stories are a great way to teach this special holiday to your elementary students because they include Hanukkah facts for kids and present it in story format. Each Hanukkah story included on this list was carefully selected and is sure to help students better understand and appreciate the holiday. Check out the full list of Hanukkah books below!
7 Hanukkah Books
Below are a list of some of my favorite Hanukkah books to share with elementary students.
Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel
Bubba Brayna is ninety-seven years old, and, although she can no longer see or hear very well, she still makes the best potato latkes in the whole village. This year’s Hanukkah is special because the rabbi will come to visit, so Bubba Brayna makes extra latkes. When a bear arrives at her home, she mistakes it for the rabbi and invites it inside. Luckily, the bear is satisfied with the latkes and jam, and does not eat Bubba Brayna!
How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? by Jane Yolen
This book imagines different ways that dinosaurs might act up and disturb different Hanukkah traditions, then explains that, in reality, the dinosaur is actually very well behaved and takes part in every activity! Using humor, this story introduces many different Hanukkah traditions that many families celebrate during the holiday.
Meet the Latkes by Alan Silberberg
The Latke family is just like any other family, only they’re made of potato pancakes! They are preparing to celebrate Hanukkah, but, during the holiday, they have to clear up some misconceptions, such as which spelling of the holiday is correct, and how the story behind Hanukkah does not involve bees, but Maccabees. As Grandpa tells the story of Hanukkah, his version of events becomes crazier and crazier. While their dog, Applesauce, corrects him, Grandpa continues his version of the story, involving alien potatoes fighting huge bees. After Grandpa’s tale, Applesauce tells the real story behind Hanukkah!
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A Kimmel
In the Jewish village of Ostropol, goblins had stolen Hanukkah, and the people of the village can no longer celebrate the holiday. Even the rabbi is afraid of encountering one of these supernatural creatures. One day, Hershel appears and promises to spend the eight nights and days of Hanukkah at the old shul atop the village’s hill in order to defeat the goblins. Each night, a new foe appears, and Hershel must use his wit to defeat them. Eventually, Hershel is able to persevere and bring a Hanukkah miracle to the village!
The Story of Hanukkah by David Adler
This book tells the story about the events from long ago that led to the celebration of the holiday Hanukkah. Along with a history of the holiday, The Story of Hanukkah also explains some traditions that many celebrating families partake in, such as food that is eaten, gifts that are exchanged, and games that are played. The book also includes a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel at the end.
Goodnight Bubbala by Sheryl Haft
Based on the classic picture book Goodnight Moon, the main character, a little bunny’s, joyous, fun-loving relatives all pile into one bedroom. They are accompanied by bagels, latkes, a flute, a lute and spinning dreidels, among other objects. After everyone has arrived, a huge celebration ensues! This book, which includes some basic Yiddish vocabulary, explores Jewish customs and culture through one close-knit bunny family.
Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer
Zoe and Zach got to pick out a dog as a Hanukkah present. They chose a medium, playful dog and named him Latke. When Latke makes it home, he is very excited about his new house. He thinks he is so lucky to live with Zoe and Zach. When Latke sees treats on the table, he thinks he can eat them because it is his home. Latke is curious about candles so he chews them. He keeps chewing and slobbering on things and his family starts to get angry and upset. Latke worries that his family will bring him back to the shetler.
Eventually, Latke learned that he should only be eating his food, and his family gave him a chew toy as a Hanukkah gift. Students will love this story about a puppy adjusting to his new home. This book is a great way to teach students about Hanukkah traditions.
This list of Hanukkah books make great read alouds for the month of December. They offer elementary students the opportunity to learn about the special holiday in a fun and engaging way. Your students will love listening to these Hanukkah stories, sharing their connections, and participating in thoughtful conversations about the holiday.