While here in the United States Christmas tends to get the most publicity there are several other holidays that fill the winter season with warmth and great foods, and gathering with family and friends. Hanukkah is another big one that gets quite a lot of attention. In honor of this eight day long celebration, how about some great books to give as gifts, or keep for yourself, this year.
1. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by: Eric A. Kimmel, Illustrated by: Tina Schart Hyman.This classic Jewish folk tale offers a fun look at the holiday of Hanukkah as well as a great tale of outwitting the bad guys. Troublesome goblins beware, Hershel has a few tricks up his sleeve as well in this fun retelling of a Hanukkah classic.
2. The Latke That Wouldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by: Lemony Snicket, Illustrated by: Lisa Brown. The illustrious and somewhat twisted author of the Series of Unfortunate Events young adult fiction stories is back with a gift for the holidays. Offering a blended story of Christmas and Hanukkah, Lemony Snicket shares the amusing tale of a young Latke.
3. Light the Lights: A Story About Hanukkah and Christmas by: Margaret Mooreman. Another story for the young or the young at heart. A bit less on the strange side as we are invited into the home of a young girl who celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas with her blended faith family. There is little in the way of religious information on the holidays and focuses more on the family and the things we do to celebrate the season.
4. Miracle of the Bellskis by: Astrid Amara. Stepping far from the books for the young ones that may be gathering to learn about holiday traditions and into a steamier as well as very poignant story about how couples deal with families and holidays. Not only is the couple in Amara’s romantic story coming from two different faith backgrounds, they are also still working on telling their families about their same sex relationship.
5. The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate by: Janice Cohn and Illustrated by: Bill Farnsworth. Keeping with the deeper themes of public acceptance, and learning to love one another as humans rather than hating the differences. This story focuses on the troubles created when a rock is thrown through the window because of the menorah in a young boy’s bedroom. Helping kids to understand how love can overcome hate, and coming together can defeat fear.
For more great reads relating to the holiday of Hanukkah, check out Goodreads Shelves on this holiday. There are over a hundred and fifty titles listed and there is sure to be at least one that lights your candle.