“Mrs. Maccabee’s Miracle” by Elka Weber, illustrated by Amélie Videlo, published by Kar-Ben Publishing
This book puts a cute twist on the story of the Maccabees. Mrs. Maccabee helps her five sons find their missing items like a cloak, dreidel and spear. She responds with, “Where you leave them is where they stay.” This message helps the Maccabees find the last jug of untouched oil, which is then used to light the menorah. Instead of lasting one day, the oil lasts eight days. Fun illustrations support this book’s lovely message.
“Until the Blueberries Grow,” by Jennifer Wolf Kam, illustrated by Sally Walker, published by PJ Library
When Ben’s grandpa says he is going to move to a smaller home, Ben begs Grandpa to stay a little longer, then a little longer in his too big home. They go through several seasons, picking blueberries, celebrating Sukkot and Chanukah. Finally, it’s time for Grandpa to move. This is a story about change and the bittersweet challenges of growing older as a part of the cycle of life. Yet, it’s also joyful as Ben and his grandpa celebrate their unbreakable bond.
“Baby Loves Angular Momentum on Hanukkah!” by Ruth Spiro, illustrated by Irene Chan, published by Charlesbridge
In this adorable board book, Chanukah mixes with the science of how dreidels spin, then stop. The engaging illustrations highlight the holiday, giving toddlers the opportunity to learn about the miracle of the small amount of oil that stayed lit for eight days instead of one. Little ones will also learn the Hebrew letters on the dreidel and what they mean. This is a wonderful addition to any kid’s Hanukkah book collection.
“Eight Nights of Lights: A Celebration of Hanukkah” by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Hilli Kushnir, published by HarperCollins
Beginning by highlighting the shammash, this delightful picture book goes on to celebrate each night of Hanukkah in special ways. This includes sharing the story of Judah Maccabee, playing dreidel, giving tzedakah, frying latkes and more. Unlike some picture books, this one provides comprehensive coverage on some of the traditions of the holiday. The illustrations are bright and diverse and will grab your child’s attention. Song lyrics are also included for “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah.”
Educator and author Liza Wiemer, of Fox Point, has taught in nine of our Milwaukee-area Jewish religious schools and day schools. Her latest novel, “The Assignment,” is appropriate for ages 12 and up.