Celebrating Hanukkah in Picture Books

December 13, 2012

Whenever I am asked for recommendations for Hanukkah books to read to children, the first author whom I recommend is always Eric Kimmel. His books fascinate young and old because he is a gifted storyteller, and some of his books are based on Hanukkah themes. I am probably partial to Eric because he understands what makes a good story. His background includes work as an elementary school teacher, librarian, and college professor who taught language arts, children’s literature, and storytelling. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins was awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal. Kimmel is also the only author who has won the National Jewish Book Award for picture books twice. The illustrators with whom he has collaborated are an impressive group too.

While he has written collections of short stories for Hanukkah, my favorites are some of his individual titles.

The Channukah Guest illustrated by Giora Carmi (Holiday House, 1992)

Asher and the Capmakers : A Hanukkah Story illustrated by Will Hillenbrand (Holiday House, 1993)

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman (Holiday House, 1994)

The Magic Dreidels : A Hanukkah Story illustrated by Katya Krenina (Holiday House, 1997)

The Golem’s Latkes illustrated by Aaron Jasinski (Marshall Cavendish Children, 2011)

This acclaimed and talented storyteller has written numerous other folk tales, trickster tales, fairy tale adaptations, and Christmas stories…but, those are a subject for another time.

Happy Hanukkah!




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