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Best New Hanukkah Books of 2020

The Best New Hanukkah Books of 2020

The Children’s Book Review

There have been four wonderful new additions made to the selection of Hanukkah books available for kids. Adding to the ones we’ve shared previously on The Children’s Book Review, here are the titles we consider to be the best new Hanukkah books of 2020.

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah

Written by Leslie Kimmelman

Illustrated by Galia Bernstein

Ages 4-8 | 48 Pages

Publisher: Holiday House | ISBN-13 : 978-0823439584

Publisher’s Synopsis: The whole kingdom has gathered to celebrate Hanukkah–but a dastardly dragon keeps interrupting the festivities. Can the Eight Knights of Hanukkah set things right?

It’s the last night of Hanukkah and everyone is doing their part for the big celebration, but a dragon called Dreadful has other ideas. He roams the countryside, interrupting the party preparations. Lady Sadie must call upon the Eight Knights of Hanukkah to perform deeds of awesome kindness and stupendous bravery and put an end to the dragon’s shenanigans.

When Dreadful eats all the special donuts the baker made, Sir Lily helps the baker make more sufganiyot. Sir Alex makes a young lad a new dreidel after Dreadful scorched his original one. And on the Knights go–but when they finally catch up to Dreadful, a funny surprise awaits them!

Leslie Kimmelman crafts a humorous and touching story out of a bit of wordplay and a love for a holiday that truly shines. Galia Bernstein’s artwork is full of appeal and is sure to satisfy fantasy fans.

Back matter includes a note on the traditions of Hanukkah and directions for playing the dreidel game.

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The Hanukkah Magic of Nate Gadol

Written by Arthur A. Levine

Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Ages 5-8 | 40 Pages

Publisher: Candlewick | ISBN-13 : 978-0763697419

Publisher’s Synopsis: From an imaginative team come a new larger-than-life holiday hero who brings Hanukkah wonder and generosity to anyone in need!

Nate Gadol is a great big spirit with eyes as shiny as golden coins and a smile that is lantern bright. He can make anything last as long as it is needed, like a tiny bit of oil that must stretch for eight nights, a flower that needs to stay fresh to cheer up someone ailing, or a small lump of chocolate that grows to allow the Glasers to treat their children over the holiday and, during a harsh winter when medicine is needed more than sweets, spurs them to share what little they have with the O’Malleys. In this charming holiday hybrid story, well-known children’s author and editor Arthur A. Levine pairs with award-winning illustrator Kevin Hawkes to offer a mythical, magical take on the way Jewish families came to give and receive gifts over Hanukkah, just as their Christian neighbors do at Christmas, thanks to a loving spirit named Nate Gadol working behind the scenes—together with a certain jolly old soul.

Listen to Arthur A. Levine discuss with Matthew C. Winner on The Children’s Book Podcast.

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The Ninth Night of Hanukkah

Written by Erica S. Perl

Illustrated by Shahar Kober

Ages 3-7 | 40 Pages

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | ISBN-13 : 978-1454940883

Publisher’s Synopsis: A heartwarming picture book with a fresh twist on a Hanukkah celebration: celebrating a ninth night with new neighbors and friends!

It’s Hanukkah, and Max and Rachel are excited to light the menorah in their family’s new apartment. But, unfortunately, their Hanukkah box is missing. So now they have no menorah, candles, dreidels, or, well, anything! Luckily, their neighbors are happy to help, offering thoughtful and often humorous stand-in items each night. And then, just as Hanukkah is about to end, Max and Rachel, inspired by the shamash (“helper”) candle, have a brilliant idea: they’re going to celebrate the Ninth Night of Hanukkah as a way to say thanks to everyone who’s helped them!

This book is not only a heartwarming and fun story, it’s also an invitation to join in a beautiful new Hanukkah tradition!

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Happy Llamakkah!

Written by Laura Gehl

Illustrated by Lydia Nichols

Ages 3-5 | 24 Pages

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams | ISBN-13 : 978-1419743146

Publisher’s Synopsis: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Llama family in this joyful, rhyming picture book.
 
Follow along with the Llama family’s Hanukkah traditions as they light their menorah, spin the dreidel, fry latkes, and more. Laura Gehl’s lively rhyming text and Lydia Nichols’s vibrant illustrations make for a festive read. The book also features kid-friendly back matter, with expanded information on the holiday’s history and traditions.

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Bianca Schulze curated the list of best new Hanukkah books of 2020. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Hanukkah and Holiday Gift Guide Kids Books.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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