The Festival of Lights, also known by the name of Hanukkah will be celebrated by those of the Jewish faith beginning December 1 and continuing through December 9. This holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century B.C.
According to the Talmud, one container of oil was all that was left after the temple was desecrated by Syrian forces. It was enough oil to keep the eternal flame burning for only one day. However, a miracle occurred; the oil burned for eight days. This was enough time to replenish the flame with new oil that took the eight days to prepare. Hanukkah celebrates this miracle.
Just like Christmas, sometimes the true meaning of Hanukkah gets lost in the commercialization of the holiday. The reason for the holiday and the meaning behind the celebrations is forgotten. For those wishing to reinforce the true meaning of Hanukkah or to learn a little more about this Jewish holiday along with their children, the San Francisco Children’s Fiction Examiner suggests the following books. These books can be shared with children and family on these dark and dreary winter days that are fast approaching.
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel (Holiday House, 1994)
Hanukkah: A Counting Book by Emily Sper (Cartwheel Books, 2010)
Chanukah Bugs: A Pop-Up Celebration by David A. Carter (Little Simon, 2002)
The Hanukkah Book by Cader Books (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1999)
Eight Winter Nights: A Family Hanukkah Book by Laura Krauss Melmed (Chronicle Books, 2010)
Hanukkah Lights, Hanukkah Nights by Leslie Kimmelman (HarperFestival, 1999)
Is It Hanukkah, Yet? by Nancy E. Krulik (Random House, 2000)
Happy Hanukkah: A Look and Find Book by John Speirs (Western Publishing Company, 1995)
Where’s My Dreidel? by Betty Schwartz (Little Simon, 1999)
Sammy Spider’s First Hanukkah by Sylvia Rouss (Kar-Ben Publishing, 1993)
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser and Nancy Cote (Whitman, Albert & Company, 1997)
Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah by Tilda Balsley and David Harrington (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2010)
Alexandra’s Scroll: The Story of the First Hanukkah by Miriam Chaikin and Stephen Fieser (Henry Holt & Co., 2002)
Maccabee Jamboree: A Hanukkah Countdown by Cherie Holland and Rosalyn Schanzer (Lerner Publishing Group, 1998)
Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krauss Melmed and David Slonim (Chronicle Books LLC, 2005)
Each of these books about Hanukkah can be found online at Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Powell’s. They are also available at independent retailers like those listed here.
352 Main Street
Placerville, California 95667
416 Main Street
Murphys, California 95247
Graham’s Books N More
328 North Main Street
Angels Camp, California 95221
1150 Sunset Blvd. #155
Rocklin, California 95765
The Book Garden
528 Main St
Woodland, California 95695