HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-37 of the Best Jewish Books for Kids
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7 of the Best Jewish Books for Kids

The Children’s Book Review | December 1, 2018

Hanukkah is here!  It’s time to pull out the menorahs and the dreidels and celebrate the Festival of Lights with some great books. From an irresistible board book that gives little ones an alphabetical introduction to Judaism, to a fun new format for All-of-a-Kind Family, to outstanding novels set in Holocaust-era Europe, we have curated a list of seven of the best Jewish books for kids that released during 2018.

My First Jewish Baby BookMy First Jewish Baby Book: Almost everything you need to know about being Jewish―from Afikomen to Zayde

Written by Julie Merberg

Illustrated by Beck Feiner

Publisher’s Synopsis: This irresistible board book gives little ones (ages 0–3) an alphabetical introduction to Judaism—the delicious foods, meaningful rituals, lively holidays, expressive language, and more.

Hip illustrations accompany snappy, rhyming text in a fun, fabulous package that is  a must-have for any Jewish baby’s nursery. This tiny tome covers quintessential foods such as bagels and brisket, rituals and holidays including Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Shabbat, and Hanukkah, as well as important cultural references (F is for Fiddler on the Roof!) with a little Yiddish thrown in. Parents and grandparents will love sharing every concise, funny entry with the little ones in their lives.

Age Range: 2+

Buy Now: IndieBound | Amazon

 

A Moon for Moe and MoA Moon for Moe and Mo

Written by Jane Breskin Zalben

Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

Publisher’s Synopsis: An interfaith friendship develops when Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, overlaps with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan–an occurence that happens only once every thirty years or so.

Moses Feldman, a Jewish boy, lives at one end of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, while Mohammed Hassan, a Muslim boy, lives at the other. One day they meet at Sahadi’s market while out shopping with their mothers and are mistaken for brothers. A friendship is born, and the boys bring their families together to share rugelach and date cookies in the park as they make a wish for peace.

Age Range: 3-7

Buy Now: IndieBound | Amazon

 

All-of-a-Kind Family HanukkahAll of a Kind Family Hanukkah

Written by Emily Jenkins

Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Publisher’s Synopsis: Acclaimed author Emily Jenkins (A Greyhound, a Groundhog) and Caldecott Award-winning artist Paul O. Zelinsky (Rapunzel) bring the beloved All-of-a-Kind Family to life in a new format. Fans, along with those just meeting the five girls (“all of a kind,” as their parents say), will join them back in 1912, on the Lower East Side of NYC, and watch as preparations for Hanukkah are made. When Gertie, the youngest, is not allowed to help prepare latkes, she throws a tantrum. Banished to the girls’ bedroom, she can still hear the sounds and smell the smells of a family getting ready to celebrate. But then Papa comes home and she is allowed out–and given the best job of all: lighting the first candle on the menorah.

Age Range: 3-7

Buy Now: IndieBound | Amazon

 

Irving Berlin- The Immigrant Boy Who Made America SingIrving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing

Written by Nancy Churnin

Illustrated by James Rey Sanchez

Publisher’s Synopsis: Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With “God Bless America,” he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

Age Range: 6-9

Buy Now: IndieBound | Amazon

 

Regina Persisted- An Untold StoryRegina Persisted: An Untold Story

Written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

Illustrated by Margeaux Lucas

Publisher’s Synopsis: From a young age, Regina Jonas loved to read stories from the Bible. She loved to read Hebrew. She wanted to be a rabbi.

There had never been a woman rabbi before, and some people said, ‘You should learn to cook and sew like the other girls.’ But Regina persisted.

They said, ‘Don’t make trouble.’ But Regina persisted.

They said, ‘Women are not smart enough.’ Regina heard, but still she persisted.

Finally, in 1935, Regina Jonas became the first woman ever ordained as a rabbi. Her story inspires us to pursue our dreams and to persist even in the face of great challenges.

Age Range: 8-12

Buy Now: IndieBound | Amazon

 

Resistance by Jennifer A NeilsenResistance

Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Publisher’s Synopsis: Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people.

Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis’ supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya’s network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live — or die — with honor.

Age Range: 8-12

Buy Now: IndieBound | Amazon

 

The Length of a StringThe Length of a String

Written by Elissa Brent Weissman

Publisher’s Synopsis: Imani is adopted, and she’s ready to search for her birth parents. But when she discovers the diary her Jewish great-grandmother wrote chronicling her escape from Holocaust-era Europe, Imani begins to see family in a new way.

Imani knows exactly what she wants as her big bat mitzvah gift: to find her birth parents. She loves her family and her Jewish community in Baltimore, but she has always wondered where she came from, especially since she’s black and almost everyone she knows is white. Then her mom’s grandmother–Imani’s great-grandma Anna–passes away, and Imani discovers an old journal among her books. It’s Anna’s diary from 1941, the year she was twelve and fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg alone, sent by her parents to seek refuge in Brooklyn, New York. Anna’s diary records her journey to America and her new life with an adoptive family of her own. And as Imani reads the diary, she begins to see her family, and her place in it, in a whole new way.

Age Range: 10-14

Buy Now: IndieBound | Amazon

 

Header image from Regina Resisted: An Untold Story, written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and illustrated by Margeaux Lucas (Apples & Honey Press, 2018)

The book list 7 of the Best Jewish Books for Kids was curated by Bianca Schulze. For similar articles, follow along with our content tagged with , and .

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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