Linda Silver’s Picks for the Top Five Hanukkah Books

Published November 24, 2010, issue of December 03, 2010.
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“The Stone Lamp”
by Karen Hesse and Brian Pinkney.
Hyperion, 2003

Eight powerful poems in free verse, arranged chronologically and told in the voices of Jewish children who lived during periods of crises in Jewish history. Each poem is accompanied by a succinct statement about the historical event and by dramatic illustrations.

“In the Month of Kislev”
by Nina Jaffe.
Penguin, 1992
One of the best picture books for Hanukkah, this is the story of a rich but stingy man who wants to charge the children of a poor man for merely smelling his latkes.

“The Chanukkah Guest”
by Eric A. Kimmel
Holiday House, 1992

Old Bubba Brayna doesn’t see or hear very well anymore. She has invited the rabbi to her home in the forest for latkes, but welcomes, instead, a hungry bear. Children find this story laugh-aloud funny.

“A Hanukkah Treasury”
by Eric A. Kimmel
Henry Holt, and Company, 1998

This compendium of stories, songs, poems, recipes, legends, history and tradition makes for a wealth of information about Hanukkah. The bright acrylic paintings add style.

“Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins”
by Eric A. Kimmel
Holiday House, 1989

Hershel of Ostropol, one of the central characters of Eastern European Jewish folklore, is the hero of this suspenseful tale. The illustrations and text are in perfect harmony, making this one of children’s most beloved Hanukkah stories.

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