Skip to content

Diversity in Children’s Books

Shabbat Books

Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom

Sarah Aroeste
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2020

Ladino words are an important part of this board book in rhyme featuring a Sephardi family joyously celebrating Shabbat.

Wait, It’s Friday

Chris Barash
Behrman House, 2019

A young boy in a multi-racial household eagerly awaits the start of Shabbat as the challah rises and the table is prepared by his loving family.

Around the World in One Shabbat: Jewish People Celebrate the Sabbath Together

Durga Bernhard
Jewish Lights Publishing, 2011

Visit children and their families as they celebrate Shabbat in Israel, Argentina, Australia, Turkey, Russia, France, the United States, Ethiopia, Germany, Canada, Morocco, Thailand, and India.

Ezra’s BIG Shabbat Question

Aviva L Brown
Behrman House, 2019

Ezra, a brown-skinned Jewish child, goes in search of the answer to his big Shabbat question: “Can you tie a knot on Shabbat?”

Sign Language Shabbat

Alisa Greenbacher and Jennifer Rosner
PJ Publishing, 2023

With photos to illustrate, the children in this book sign words for things people do on Shabbat.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

It’s Challah Time: 20th Anniversary Edition

Latifa Berry Kropf and Moshe Shai
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2020

Photographs illustrate a diverse preschool class working together to make challah.

Miryam's Dance

Kerry Olitzky
Apples and Honey Press, 2023

Young Miryam wakes to a bright morning and the many chores needed to help get ready for Friday night and Shabbat in her small Ugandan village of the Abuyadaya, or Tribe of Judah. A glossary explains the names of ritual foods, Ugandan terms, and landmarks used in the story.

Day of Delight: A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia

Maxine Schur
Dial Books for Young Readers, 1994

A young Jewish boy and his family prepare for Shabbat in their Ethiopian village by making peppery chicken stew, baking dabo bread, and praying at the mequrab, their synagogue.

Fall Holidays Books

Jackie and Jesse and Joni and Jae: A Rosh Hashanah Story

Chris Barash
Apples and Honey Press, 2019

This illustrated tale features four friends, including an Asian Jewish child, performing the Rosh Hashanah ritual of tashlich.

The Secret Shofar of Barcelona

Jacqueline Dembar Greene
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2009

Set in Spain during the Inquisition, this story for young readers follows a boy who devises a way for his community of secretly practicing Jews to hear the shofar at Rosh Hashanah. Can be borrowed as an eBook here (Bay Area residents only)

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Deborah Heiligman
National Geographic Kids, 2007

This introduction to the High Holidays for children features images of Jews from Zimbabwe, Morocco, Portugal, Mexico, and India.

Two New Years

Richard Ho
Chronicle Books, 2023

Based on the author’s own Asian-Jewish family’s celebrations of Rosh Hashanah in the fall and the Lunar New Year in the spring, the book details “One family. Two New Years. A shared year of double blessings.” Can be borrowed as an eBook here (Bay Area residents only)

Who’s Got the Etrog: A Story from the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda

Jane Kohuth
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2018

This story of family and animal friends celebrating Sukkot is set among the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda. Can be borrowed as an eBook here (Bay Area residents only)

Matzo Ball – Wanton Thanksgiving

Amelie Suskind Liu
Sweet Bungalow Publishing Company, 2021

Amelie, a Chinese-American girl, is excited about having a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. Bubbe’s and Nai Nai’s plans to make their famous matzo-ball and wonton soups upend her expectations.

Pumpkin Pie for Sigd: A Holiday Tale

Tzivia Macleod
Apples and Honey Press, 2021

Maddie, who recently moved to Israel from the US, is excited to celebrate the Ethiopian Jewish holiday of Sigd her new friend, Orly. 

Apples and Pomegranates: A Family Seder for Rosh Hashanah

Rahel Musleah
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2004

Musleah, who was born in India, presents a seder inspired by the Sephardic home ceremonies conducted throughout much of the Sephardi and Mizrahi world at Rosh Hashanah. Can be borrowed as an eBook here (Bay Area residents only)

The Very Best Sukkah: A Story from Uganda

Shoshana Nambi
Kalaniot Books, 2022

Sukkot is Shoshi’s favorite Jewish holiday. She and her brothers love to decorate their sukkah, the hut where her family will celebrate. But who will win the Ugandan Abayudaya community’s annual sukkah contest? While only one sukkah can be the best, everybody wins when neighbors work together.

Hanukkah Books

Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas

Pamela Ehrenberg
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017

A boy is worried that his little sister’s insistence on climbing will spoil the first night of Hanukkah, when his family combines his father’s Jewish traditions with his Indian mother’s traditional cooking.

Hanukkah Moon

Deborah da Costa
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2007

Isobel spends the first three nights of Hanukkah with her Aunt Luisa, who has just emigrated from Mexico. In addition to celebrating Hanukkah in ways that are new to her, Isobel learns how to take pictures, creates a bird scrapbook, and observes Rosh Chodesh, the celebration of the new moon. Can be borrowed as an eBook here (Bay Area residents only)

The Mexican Dreidel

Linda Elovitz Marshall
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2023

Danielito loves Janucá (Hanukkah), and tonight, he and his Bobe will light the first candles. Danielito doesn’t know any of the kids in his grandmother’s neighborhood, but when he sees them playing trompos (tops) in the street, he asks Bobe if she has one. “No,” she tells him. “But I have a dreidel!”

Jeremy’s Dreidel

Ellie Gellman
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2012

At the dreidel-making workshop, Jeremy’s friends think he’s molding a secret code on his clay dreidel. But he’s really making a special gift for his father, who is blind. 

Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah

Deborah Heiligman
National Geographic, 2006

A look at how Jews from the United States to Israel to Africa and India celebrate the Festival of Lights. With photographs and text.

Hanukkah Around the World

Tami Lehman-Wilzig
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2009

Take a trip around the world to see how Hanukkah is celebrated in different countries. Join the torch relay in Modi’in, Israel, dance at a family feast in Samarkand, and honor Jewish history’s brave women on Rosh Hodesh Hanukkah in Tunisia. Includes recipes for latkes, burmelos, precipizzi, and more. Can be borrowed as an eBook here (Bay Area residents only)

Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles

Tami Lehman-Wilzig
Kar-Ben Publishing, 2011

Jacob’s brother Nathan, a boy on the autism spectrum, obsesses about the holiday and ruins the night by blowing out the candles as if they were on a birthday cake. When Jacob’s new friend comes to visit and calls Nathan “weird,” Jacob must deal with the conflicts and embarrassment felt by many siblings of kids with special needs.. Can be borrowed as an eBook here (Bay Area residents only)

Hanukkah: Eight Lights Around the World

Susan Sussman
Albert Whitman & Company, 1988

Each chapter in this book highlights a night of Hanukkah in a different country. The first night is in Israel, followed by Mexico, Argentina, the United States, France, India, Morocco, and the Soviet Union.