Four Children's Jewish Fiction Books for Hanukkah
If you're looking for books about Hanukkah or Jewish holidays, you've come to the right place. Here are four wonderful books for children to read on the holiday. Jane Breskin Zalben's Beni's First Chanukah and Charlotte Zolotow's My Grandson Lew are both excellent choices. Margot Zemach's It Could Always Be Worse is another wonderful book for children.
Jane Breskin Zalben's Beni's First Chanukah
A great book for celebrating the holiday with preschool children, Jane Breskin Zalben'S Beni's First Chanukah is sure to please young readers and adults alike. The illustrations are beautifully detailed and softly colored pencils, making them perfect for lap reading. This picture book is a perfect addition to a preschool library. It's a wonderful way to teach preschoolers about the holiday and help them understand the importance of giving thanks.
For young children, the stories in Jane Breskin Zalben' s Jewish holiday picture books are both beautiful and elegant. The Beni character is the star of many of Zalben's books, and in this holiday collection, he celebrates the Jewish holiday with humor and warmth. Whether reading aloud to a toddler or reading with your child on the couch, Beni's First Chanukah will provide hours of entertainment.
The book is filled with a variety of traditions and prayers that Jewish children celebrate. While the author says light flakes of snow dust the trees, the picture shows deep snow. The story can also be used to teach children about the meaning of Hanukah. The children can discuss the story with their parents or grandparents. They can discuss traditions and prayers, and explore the meaning of the holiday together.
The story features a bear named Beni, who helps his parents make latkes and powdered donuts. Beni also plays with squirrels in the neighborhood and invites them home for the celebration. The family then plays dreidel, lights candles, and opens presents. Towards the end of the book, there is a recipe for making latkes.
Charlotte Zolotow's My Grandson Lew
This novel is for middle-grade readers and features a quirky ten-year-old boy who loves dinosaurs and the lake. Set in summer, the story reflects the difficulties of being a Jewish refugee in the United States. The book is bilingual, aiming at readers in the second to fourth grades who would like to learn Spanish. Its pictures are rich and vivid, and the story is told in rhyming verse.
Margot Zemach's It Could Always Be Worse
This book is a wonderful introduction to the idea of "relativism." It argues that what we interpret matters more than what we experience. It follows the story of a poor unfortunate man who seeks advice from a rabbi who tells him to do strange things. The poor man's life gets worse as he does so. A clever rabbi tells him to make his life worse.
The story is a simple one, and Zemach has made it so that even the most apathetic of readers will feel compelled to read on. There are many stories and pages in the book, so readers will find something that appeals to them. It could be a book for the entire family, or for a group of friends. However, for those who find themselves in similar situations, it might be better to pick up another book.
Tia Fortuna's New Home
This children's novel is the debut title by renowned Cuban-Jewish anthropologist Ruth Behar. It follows the story of Tia Fortuna and her niece Estrella as they leave their Miami casita for the new home in Cuba. The story, set in present day Miami, is reminiscent of Jewish history, as Tia Fortuna's story reflects on the migration of Jews from Europe to the Americas.
The language of the Sephardic community, Ladino, is the ancestor language of Jews who emigrated from the Iberian Peninsula in the 15th century. The language is a hybrid of Spanish and Hebrew, including folkways adapted from Sephardic communities. Language activist Kathy Kirschen is aware of the endangered status of Ladino. She hopes that Tia Fortuna's New Home will encourage more readers to learn about the language and culture of the Sephardic community.
The book explores the experiences of Jewish Cubans, and it also introduces children to Sephardic culture. Through her journey, Estrella learns about family, community, and belonging. The story is beautifully illustrated by Devon Holzwarth, whose illustrations bring the characters' memories to life. The book will teach children about the Sephardic culture, while inspiring them to feel confident and strong in their own identities.
Besides being an absorbing children's book, Tia Fortuna's New Home also teaches the importance of family and belongings. In addition to teaching the value of family and belonging, this story teaches the reader about the Jewish and Cuban cultures. As the two become friends, Tia Fortuna gives Estrella a key to the seaway and her new home.
Joanne Levy's Sorry for Your Loss
Although the book is a fictional novel, it does deal with a real subject - death. Evie, the protagonist of the book, helps with the funeral arrangements and other housekeeping tasks. These responsibilities free her parents from having to deal with them. She hopes to become a funeral director when she grows up. However, her hopes for this career are not shared by the other children in her school.
Evie is an outgoing chatterbox with a big heart and a genuine interest in people. She begins to understand her role as a funeral director and gains self-awareness about grief. While she continues to do mundane tasks at the funeral home, she comes to understand the basic principles of counselling and therapy. She also learns to listen instead of talking. While this is a tough topic for young readers, it can be helpful for young people to understand how to deal with grief and cope with the death of a loved one.
The themes of mourning and grief are handled well in this book by Joanne Levy. Evie's knowledge of her parents' death helps him cope with the loss. Evie also explains the Jewish rituals to Oren. She stresses the importance of respect for the deceased, and even lets Oren see behind the scenes at the funeral home. These explanations aren't morbid, but instead help Oren understand the meaning of death and how it affects family members.
Written in a hopeful tone, the book is full of realistic, heartfelt moments. It also contains humorous passages, and the author clearly understands the needs of a young reader who is grieving. In addition, the writing style of the novel is appropriate for tweens and young adults dealing with loss. The book is also written in short chapters, which make it easy to read.