Hanukkah Bibliography

Hanukkah Bibliography
+ Indicates available in our TTTI Library

Juvenile Literature

Adler, David A. The Hanukkah Story. Illus. by Jill Weber. New York: Holiday House, 2011.
A straight re-telling of the story of how the Maccabeus beat King Antiochus’ army. (For kindergarten – grade 3).

+Balsley, Tilda. ABC Hanukkah Hunt. Illus. by Helen Poole. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2013.
A rhyming search for Hanukkah foods, gifts, and symbols. (For preschool – grade 2).

+Balsley, Tilda. Maccabee! Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2010.
Rhyming text tells the story of how the Maccabees stand up to King Antiochus and his army. The story shows the Jews recovering Jerusalem, re-building the Temple and lighting the menorah that burned for eight days. (For preschool – grade 2).

Binder, Mark. A Hanukkah Present. Providence, RI: Light, 2007.
A collection of short stories for Hanukkah. (For grades 3 – 5).

Brown, Barbara. Hanukkah in Alaska. Illus. by Stacey Schuett. New York: Henry Holt & Co, 2013.
A young girl in Alaska deters a moose from destroying trees with a Hanukkah treat. Includes facts about Hanukkah and the aurora borealis. (For kindergarten – grade 2).

Cartwright, Amy. Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel. New York: Penguin, 2010.
An adorable board book with the words of the song “Dreidel, Dreidel, and Dreidel.” The last page features a pop-up dreidel. (For preschool and kindergarten).

+ * Cohen, Barbara. Molly’s Pilgrim. Rev. Ed. Bantam, 2005.
Molly, a Russian Jewish immigrant, is told to make a Pilgrim doll for the Thanksgiving display at school. She becomes embarrassed when her mother tries to help her out by creating a doll dressed as her before leaving Russia to escape persecution for being Jewish. The RMC owns the film and a teacher’s guide. (For grades 2 – 4).

+DaCosta, Deborah. Hanukkah Moon. Illus. by Gosia Mosz. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2007.
When Isobel is invited to Aunt Luisa’s for Hanukkah, she is not sure what to expect, because Aunt Luisa has just arrived from Mexico. Isobel discovers that one of Aunt Luisa’s customs is the welcoming of the Luna Nuevo, the new moon that occurs during Hanukkah. (For grades 1 – 4).

+Fantastic Foto Hunt, Chanukah: Can You Find All the Differences? New York:
Judaica Press, 2007.
The challenge is to find eight differences between two facing photos of images related to Hanukkah. An answer key is in the back of the book. (For kindergarten – grade 2).

+Gellman, Ellie. Jeremy’s Dreidel. Illus. by Maria Mola. Minneapolis, Kar-Ben, 2012.
Revised from the 1992 version. When Jeremy joins the dreidel-making workshop at the Jewish Community Center, he uses clay to make a Braille dreidel for his blind father. He tells his friends about visual impairment resulting in his friends plan an inclusive Hanukkah celebration. (For grades 1 – 4).

+Greene, Jacqueline Dembar. Candlelight for Rebecca. American Girl Collection. Illus. by Robert Hunt. Middleton, WI: American Girl Pub., 2009.
This is a Hanukkah story about the Rebecca Rubin, the Jewish American Girl who lives on the Lower East Side of New York in 1914. Rebecca is troubled when her teacher assigns her class to make Christmas decorations. Includes an illustrated “Looking Back” section about Christmas and Hanukkah in 1914. (For grades 3-6).

Hanukkah. Denver, CO: Accord Pub., 2010.
A board book that has illustrations with Animation technology which show movement of flickering hanukkiahs, spinning dreidels and flipping latkes. (For preschool and kindergarten).

Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah. Illus. By Olga and Aleksey Ivanov. New York: Marshall Cavendish Children’s, 2011.
An illustrated presentation of the well-known Hanukkah song “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah.” Includes note about the history of the song. (For preschool – grade 2).

+Hyde, Heidi Smith. Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2012.
Emanuel’s family immigrated to America from Portugal, where they were persecuted for being Jews. Angered that his father is too scared to light the hanukiyah, Emanuel stows away on a whaling ship. The ship gets lost in a storm and is guided back by the Hanukkah oil lamps of Emmanuel’s father and all his neighbors. (For grades 2 – 4).

Kimmel, Eric A. The Golem’s Latkes. Illus. by Aaron Jasinski. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2011.
Inspired by The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, this Hanukkah fairy tale takes place in sixteenth century Prague. Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the legendary creator of the golem, visits the Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire, leaving a new housemaid to prepare for his Hanukkah party. The rabbi returns to find that she has misused the golem, the clay man he created, to help make latkes. Includes historical and cultural notes. (For grades 1 – 4).

+Kimmel, Eric A. The Hanukkah Guest Illus. by Mike Wohnoutka. New York: Holiday House, 2013.
On the first night of Hanukkah, Old Bear wanders into Bubba Brayna’s house and receives a delicious helping of latkes when she mistakes him for the rabbi. Includes a recipe for latkes. (For preschool – grade 2).

Krohn, Genendel. The Miracles of Chanukah Then & Now. Nanuet, NY: Feldheim, 2010.
Hanukkah stories based on midrashim (Stories based on the Bible). (For grades 3 – 6).

+Krensky, Stephen. Hanukkah at Valley Forge. Illus. by Greg Harlin. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2006.
A winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers. During the American Revolution, George Washington encounters a Jewish soldier lighting Hanukkah candles. The soldier tells the story of the Maccabees fight for religious freedom against King Antiochus. Washington realizes that the fight for American freedom from England is as meaningful as the Maccabee’s fight for religious freedom. (For grades 3 – 6).

+Kushner, Ellen. The Golden Dreydl. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge, 2007.
A Jewish fantasy novel written by a well-known fantasy author. At a family Hanukkah party, Sara’s eccentric Tante Miriam gives her a golden dreidel. Sara follows the dreidel through a broken television set and enters a mysterious world. Ilene Winn Lederer illustrates with line drawings. (For grades 5 – 8),

+Lehman-Wiling, Tami. Nathan Blows out the Hanukkah Candles. Illus. by Jeremy Taegu. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2011.
Although Jacob finds his autistic brother, Nathan, annoying, he gets angry at a new neighbor who calls Nathan weird. Their mothers help the boys get along with a special Hanukkah observance. (For grades 2 – 4).

* McDonough, Yona Zeldis. NY: Viking.
+The Doll Shop Downstairs. 2009.
When World War I breaks out, nine-year-old Anna thinks of a way to save her family’s beloved NY City doll repair shop. Includes brief author’s note about the history of the Madame Alexander doll, a glossary, and timeline.

+The Cats in the Doll Shop. 2011.
With World War I raging in Europe, eleven-year-old Anna is thrilled to learn that her cousin Tania is coming from Russia to stay with Anna’s family on the lower East Side of NY. Although Tania is shy and withdrawn when she arrives, her love of cats helps her adjust to her new family.

Melmed, Laura Krauss. Eight Winter Nights: A Family Hanukkah Book. Illus. by Elisabeth Schollsberg. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2010.
Moves through the eight nights of Hanukkah with side poems that describe the symbols, customs and foods of the holiday. (For kindergarten – grade 4).

Meyer, Emily Flaschner. Happy Hanukkah, Curious George. Illus. by Mary O’Keefe Young. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.
Tabbed board pages lead the reader to various parts of the story which include Curious George: lighting the menorah, playing the dreidel game and eating latkes. (For preschool and kindergarten).

+Ofanansky, Allison. Harvest of Light. Phot. by Eliyahu Alpern. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2008.
Set in Israel near Sfat, this is a simply told story with color photographs about harvesting olives and pressing them into oil. The story culminates with using some of the oil for the celebration of Hanukkah. (For grades 1 – 3).

* Polacco, Patricia. New York: Simon & Schuster.
+The Blessing Cup. (2013).
A companion to “The Keeping Quilt”. A single china cup from a tea set left behind when Jewish were forced to leave Russia helps hold a family together through generations of living in America, reminding them of the most important things in life. (For kindergarten – grade 3).

+The Keeping Quilt. (1988).
A handmade quilt, crafted by the author’s Russian immigrant grandmother serves as a Shabbat tablecloth, chuppa (wedding canapé) and baby blanket for four generations of her family. A film is also available. (For kindergarten – grade 3).

+*Rael, Elsa Okon. Rivka’s First Thanksgiving. Illus. by Maryann Kovalski. New York: Margaret McElderry, 2001.
Rivka tries to convince her immigrant family that Jews should celebrate Thanksgiving. Her bubbe (the term for grandmother in Yiddish) consults the rabbi and Rivka has to convince him, too. (For grades 2 – 4).

+Rosen, Michael J. Chanukah Lights. Illus. by Robert Sabuda. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2011.
Using very sophisticated pop-up illustrations, this book counts the candles of a menorah on each night of Hanukkah while recalling images of Jewish life in different places and times, such Herod’s temple in Jerusalem, a shtetl in Russia, and a refugee ship bound for the New World. (For grades 4 – adult).

+Schuman, Burt E. Chanukah on the Prairie. Illus. by Charney Rosalind Kaye. New York: URJ, 2002
A story about an immigrant family which settles in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Based on the history of the Jewish community of Grand Forks. (For grades 2 – 5).

+* Yolen, Jane. How do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? Illus. by Mark Teague. New York: Blue Sky Press, 2012.
Illustrations and rhyming text present some of the different ways a well-behaved dinosaur can celebrate the eight days and nights of Hanukkah. (For preschool – grade 2).

+Yolen, Jane. Naming Liberty. Illus. by James Burke. New York: Philomel, 2008.
Two intertwined stories: one factual about the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who created the Statue of Liberty for the United States to build a lasting monument to freedom; and one fictional about a young Jewish immigrant girl. (For grades 2 – 5).

+Ziefert, Harriet. Hanukkah Haiku. Illus. by Karla Gudeon. Maplewood, NJ: Blue Apple Books, 2008.
This clever story is a haiku, a Japanese style poetic form, for each night of Hanukkah. The stepped pages add one candle to the menorah every time the page is turned. (For preschool – grade 3).

Non-Fiction Materials

Ben Artzi, Chagay, ed. Megilat Chanukah. Israel: Sifriyat Beth El, 2007.
Hebrew language material. The book of the Hasmoneans recounts one of the most heroic periods in Jewish history: the rebellion of the Maccabees and the establishment of the Hasmonean State. (For grades 4 – 8).

+Ben-Simon, Rebecca Tova. Four Sides, Eight Nights A New Spin on Hanukkah. Illus. by Susanna Natti. New Milford, CT: Roaring Brook Press, 2005.
Jokes, history, customs, trivia, science facts – everything you wanted to know about Hanukkah – come to life in a witty and informative illustrated book. (For grades 2 – 8).

+Celebrating Hanukkah. Springfield, NJ: Behrman House, 2009.
A folder that contains Hanukkah blessings, a brief history of the holiday and explanations of traditions for celebrating at home. (For all ages).

Chagim B’Ivrit: Holidays in Hebrew: Volume 1-3. Chaverim B’Ivrit. New York: URJ, 2007.
A supplementary Hebrew workbook that includes stories, poems, songs and text for the Tishrei holidays, Hanukkah, Pesah and Shavuot. The workbooks can be used alongside Chaverim B’Ivrit or on their own. (For grades 3 – 6).

The Family Chanukah Book: Stories, Games, Brainteasers and Activities for Chanukah. Illus. by Gadi Pollack. New York: Feldheim, 2010.
Divided into eight chapters for each day of Hanukkah. Trivia, recipes, songs, comics, games, etc. (For grades 3 – 8).

+Groner, Judye. Maccabee Meals: Food and Fun for Hanukkah. Illus. by Ursula Roma. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2012.
A reprint of the Hanukkah cookbook Miracle Meals (1987). Candle blessings, the story of Hanukkah and dreidel games are included. (For grades 1 – 8).

+Heiligman, Deborah. Celebrate Hanukkah with Light, Latkes, and Dreidels. Holidays Around the World Series. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2006.
Uganda, Kenya, Poland, Peru, Israel, Italy, the United States, and Canada and are some of the places where Hanukkah celebrations are photographed. The text describes the two miracles of the holiday: that of the Maccabee’s victory over the powerful Greco-Syrian army and the other of the oil that burned for eight days after the Temple was rededicated. (For grades 3 – 6).

+Heller, Esther Susan. Menorah Under the Sea. Phot. by David Ginsburg. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben, 2009.
While on an expedition to Antarctica, a Jewish marine ecologist creates an underwater menorah out of sea urchins. This book is not only for Hanukkah, but can be read year-round as an example for creating Jewish spaces. (For grades 2 – 6).

JECC. Fingerprints: Discovering Jewish Life. Cleveland: JECC, 2008.
Includes a Hanukkah unit for early childhood. (For preschool).

JECC. Me and You: Jew & Jew. Cleveland: JECC, 2010.
A holiday curriculum for supplementary school.
• Teaches the holidays through the lens of the Talmudic saying “Kol Yisrael areivim zeh lazeh.” “All Jews are mutually responsible for one another.” (For preschool).
• Teaches the holidays through the lens of “V’ahavta le rei-aha kamohah” “Love your neighbor as yourself” from Leviticus 19:18. (For kindergarten).

JECC. Proclaim Freedom Throughout the Land! A Holiday Curriculum with a Focus on Freedom. Cleveland: JECC, 2003.
The Hanukkah section of this Project Curriculum Renewal curriculum retells the story of the Maccabees’ fight for freedom. It explains that Jewish people have the obligation to cherish and promote “Freedom throughout the land.” [Leviticus 25:10] (For grades 5-6). Available for free download at: http://curriculumjecc.wikispaces.com/Holidays

Levy, Benjamin, Rabbi, ed. A Faithful Spirit: Preparing for Chanukah. New York: URJ Press, 2008.
A study text based on the midrash “M’gillat Antiochus” which was traditionally read during Hanukkah in Italian and Yemenite synagogues. The text gives a deeper understanding of Hanukkah. Also, the author discusses how to maintain a Jewish identity while living in a non-Jewish world. (For high school – adult).

TurkeyShapiro, Rona, Rabbi. Give Me Your Tired, Give Me Your Poor. Los Angeles: Torah Aura, 2011.
Includes a teacher’s guide and three posters. (For grades 7 – 12).

+* Silverman, Erica. Liberty’s Voice. Illust. by Stacey Schuett. New York: Dutton’s Children, 2011.
A biographical account of Emma Lazarus in picture book format. Emma’s father insisted that she be educated despite being a girl. She started writing articles for the rights of immigrants. (For grades 2 – 4).

Steinberg, Paul. Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Winter Holidays: Hanukkah, Tu b’shevat, Purim. Philadelphia, PA: The Jewish Publication Society, 2007.
The stories, essays, poems, anecdotes, and rituals about the history of each holiday, as well as its theological, ethical, agricultural, and seasonal importance and interpretation. (For adults).


Agent Emes and the Happy Chanukah: Episode 5. The Adventures of Agent Emes Series. Pittsburg, PA: Reel Jewish Entertainment, 2006.
DVD, 60 minutes, color. Once again Dr. Lo-tov and Agent Emes face a showdown over the Hanukkah celebrations planned by the Jews of Shpittsburgh. (For grades 2 – 6).

* Island of Hope, Island of Tears. New York: Guggenheim Productions, 1990.
DVD, 30 mins. Moving video telling the story of Ellis Island and the immigrants who were processed there. Shows how Ellis Island symbolized the gateway to freedom or the place where immigrants, fleeing persecution and poverty, could be rejected and turned back. This video is shown to visitors at Ellis Island. Good piece to convey the immigrant experience. (For grades 9 – adult).

* The Jewish Americans. Hollywood, CA: PBS, 2008.
+2-DVD-set, 6 hours. Filmmaker David Grubin traces 350 years of Jewish American history, from the arrival of the first Jews in 1654 up to the present day. Tells the story of the struggle of a minority to make their way into the American mainstream, while at the same time, maintaining a sense of their own identity as Jews. (For grades 11 – adult).

Miracle of Lights. Chicago, IL. Shazak Prod., 2004.
DVD, 50 min. An animated cartoon that tells the story of Hanukkah. Accompanied by a book. (For grades 1 – 4).

+Shalom Sesame: Chanukah: The Missing Menorah. New York: Sesame Street Workshop/Sisu 2010.
DVD, 28 min. In this new Shalom Sesame series, Grover helps the host Anneliese Van Der Pol fined her missing menorah. The theme is that one can be a hero like a Maccabee by simply helping others. (For preschool – grade 2).

+Wurzel, Yehuda. Lights. New York: Gesher, 1984.
DVD, 24 min. Lights is a modern midrash. It is not the story of Hanukkah as it is traditionally told. Rather, it is an allegory that offers a simple and moving statement about the right to be different. The film projects similarities between the time of the Maccabees and the world of today and provides a stimulus for youngsters to express positive feelings about Jewishness. A teacher’s guide is available. (For grades 5 – 12).

Electronic Resources

NSW Board of Jewish Education. Learning. Judaism. Holydays. Chanukah. http://www.bje.org.au/learning/judaism/holydays/chanukah/
Features information and learning activities for Hanukkah.

Jewish Outreach Institute. (JOI). Celebrate. Hanukkah. http://www.joi.org/celebrate/hanuk/index.shtml
This section of the JOI website includes Hanukkah blessings, traditions, history and activities.

* National Museum of Jewish History. Creating American Jews. http://www.nmajh.org/exhibitions/caj/immigrant.htm
This online exhibit explores the evolution of Jewish identity in America of immigrants.

* ReformJudaism.org. Blog. Celebrating Thanksgivukkah, a Once-in-a-Lifetime Holiday.
An article by Kate Bigam.

* The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island.asp
The Ellis Island Museum website has timelines of immigration, records of passengers, family histories, etc.

* Tenement Museum. Lesson Plans. http://www.tenement.org/education_lessonplans.html
The Tenement Museum tells the stories of immigrants who lived in 97 Orchard Street, a tenement built in 1863 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The “Lesson Plans” section has downloadable lessons in PDF format including primary resources. Also, there are online activities.

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