November 13, 2022

Hanukkah Gifts for Young Children

I’m always on the lookout for books to give as presents to young children. (Okay, let’s be honest, I love children’s book illustrations.)

Here are two you might like, both of which feature winter landscapes, perfect for December cuddling and reading.

Happy Hanukkah, Curious George  

(We’re a little confused about authorship of this book. According to, H.A. and Margret Rey wrote Happy Hanukkah, Curious George, but the book itself shows Emily Flaschner Meyer and Mary O’Keefe Young as author and illustrator. In any case, we’re fans.)

I’m drawn to Curious George because that playful monkey was one of our daughter’s absolute faves. In this Hanukkah book, you get the cute simian himself, along with the man in the yellow hat, in a series of poems about different aspects of the holiday.

Here are a few things I especially like:

  • Each poem is a two-page spread, with tabs on the end illustrated with Hanukkah and other symbols. So it’s very tactile and inviting.
  • The illustrations are, as you’d expect, absolutely charming.
  • It’s a board book, so it’s very sturdy for young readers.
  • It plays on the idea of Curious George and his special abilities and mishaps. For instance, when George spins the dreidel, he can use “both hands and feet.” And when he helps make the potato latkes, one egg ends up a gooey mess on the counter.

Snow. By Uri Shulevitz

This Caldecott Honor Book isn’t about Hanukkah, but it is about winter magic.

Our first Shulevitz book, Rain Rain Rivers, is now a favorite of our grandson, something you might not expect because it’s so poetic, spare in its illustration, and full of soothing greens and grays.

So shhh.  This book might end up to be a Hanukkah present for him.

Here, Shulevitz illustrates a gloomy gray day that, little by little, is filled with snowflakes. The characters, initially, are equally gloomy adults who don’t believe it’s going to snow.  After awhile, they are covered with inches of heavy snow that forces them to bend over under the weight. .

Gradually, the snow overtakes the community and begins “circling and swirling, spinning and twirling.”  The characters who are now out in this snowy scene are joyful (canine and human), as they watch the formerly gray landscape turn totally, totally white.


Our Hanukkah Surprise Pack Giveaway starts November 8th. To participate, sign up at Spread the word!