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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?”

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.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.