There’s no bet­ter Hanukkah gift than a book; there’s no Hanukkah activ­i­ty more engag­ing than a read-aloud ses­sion; there’s no bet­ter way to enhance the hol­i­day glow than shar­ing illus­trat­ed sto­ries, both clas­sic and new. Here are eight chil­dren’s books that fam­i­lies can enjoy togeth­er, and that will fur­ther illu­mi­nate the Fes­ti­val of Lights.

All-of-a-Kind Fam­i­ly Hanukkah by Emi­ly Jenk­ins, illus­trat­ed by Paul O. Zelinsky

Jenk­ins cap­tures the tough real­i­ty of sib­ling rela­tion­ships with brief but res­o­nant words, almost like those of a play.” — Emi­ly Schneider

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah by Leslie Kim­mel­man, illus­trat­ed by Galia Bernstein

Every now and then [a book] ris­es above the crowd because of its cre­ative approach, dis­tinc­tive humor, or all-around charm. Such a book is The Eight Knights of Hanukkah—with its quirky and love­able male and female mul­ti­cul­tur­al knights, their lady moth­er, and — of course — a das­tard­ly drag­on deter­mined to derail the hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tion.” — Michal Hoschan­der Malen

How It’s Made: Hanukkah Meno­rah by Alli­son Ofanan­sky, pho­tographs by Eliyahu Alpern 

This infor­ma­tive and engag­ing book is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for all ages as the expla­na­tions are sim­ple enough to be under­stood by preschool lis­ten­ers, although the con­tent has sub­stance and will inter­est old­er read­ers as well.” — Michal Hoschan­der Malen

Larry’s Latkes by Jen­na Wald­man, illus­trat­ed by Ben Whitehouse

The rol­lick­ing tale has a num­ber of gen­tle mes­sages: find­ing new chal­lenges, stick­ing to them until you achieve suc­cess, com­bin­ing fam­i­ly tra­di­tions with cre­ative approach­es, and more.” — Michal Hoschan­der Malen

Meet the Latkes by Alan Silberberg

For kids who like sil­ly puns and bright, car­toon­ish images, the book is a blast. Adults, too, can enjoy the ride as a Juda Mega-Bee and his band emerge from a Tro­jan-horse-like drei­del on wheels to fight alien pota­toes from out­er space.” — Emi­ly Schneider

The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Eri­ca S. Perl, illus­trat­ed by Sha­har Kober

With thought­ful words which acknowl­edge children’s needs to cope with dis­ap­point­ment, and with cheer­ful­ly vibrant pic­tures, The Ninth Night of Hanukkah offers a new per­spec­tive on the fes­ti­val. Hanukkah retains its dis­tinct­ly Jew­ish mean­ing, while becom­ing an oppor­tu­ni­ty to include oth­ers.” — Emi­ly Schneider

Shield of the Mac­cabees: A Hanukkah Graph­ic Nov­el by Eric Kim­mel, illus­trat­ed by Dov Smiley

This graph­ic nov­el presents a cre­ative and unusu­al take on the sto­ry of the Mac­cabees as a Jew­ish boy and a Greek boy in ancient Judea become friends despite their polit­i­cal dif­fer­ences.” — Michal Hoschan­der Malen

Hap­py Lla­makkah! by Lau­ra Gehl

The snowy out­doors with a cozy house, com­plete with a glow­ing meno­rah in the win­dow, win­some­ly beck­ons chil­dren and invites them in to share a hearty help­ing of col­or­ful Hanukkah delight.” —Michal Hoschan­der Malen

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.