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.
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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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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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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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.