The Best Picture Books About Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas

The Best Picture Books About Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas

Many families have favorite books that they bring out every year during the holiday season, including classics like Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins and The Polar Express. This year, start a new tradition. These books pack in both festive fun and a needed reminder of the meaning behind Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas.



1.  Maccabee!

Watch out, King Antiochus, the Maccabees are coming for you! Judah and his soldiers appear as dynamic as comic book superheroes in this exciting and rhyming retelling of the fight for religious freedom and the origin of Hanukkah.


2. Simon and the Bear

From the author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins comes the tale of shipwreck survivor Simon who befriends a polar bear with latkes and experiences eight amazing Hanukkah miracles.


3. How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?

While the other two titles on this list help to introduce young readers to the history of the Festival of Lights, this book will resonate with silly young readers who also find themselves fidgeting during night prayers and sneaking chocolate coins.



4. The Sound of Kwanzaa

Through this unique telling, readers can explore the seven principles of Kwanzaa in a whole new way. The sounds of sweeping brooms, laughter, and singing highlight not only the meaning behind each principle but the atmosphere created on each night.


5. Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa

Li’l Rabbit’s Granna is sick, meaning that she can’t prepare the Karamu feast, his favorite part of Kwanzaa! Li’l Rabbit sets off alone to find her a special treat to make her feel better, but along the way learns an important lesson about what happens when people come together to help others.


6. Seven Spools of Threads

When their father dies, seven brothers, who argue from dawn until dusk, must find a way to work together if they hope to fulfill the wish he left in his will. This story subtly includes the principles of Kwanzaa, particularly cooperative economics, as well as a history in the introduction.



7. Frankenstein’s Fright Before Christmas

A parody of both Madeline and The Night Before Christmas, this delightfully spooky tale proves that even little monsters love to celebrate with Santa Claus.


8. A Christmas Wish for Corduroy

Poor little Corduroy. He’s the only toy in the toy store that no child seems to want for Christmas. This brave bear sets off on a mission to find Santa and see if the jolly gift-bringer knows of any little girls or boys who might want a bear.


9. Star Bright

A baby is being born and all across Heaven and Earth, gifts are being prepared. One little angel wants to give the child a gift too, but what? A shining story of one small angel’s very big role in the birth of Christ.

Kelly Gallucci
Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of, where she oversees Bookish's editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors like Leigh Bardugo, V.E. Schwab, and Sarah Dessen. She's just coming off of moderating an author panel at New York Comic Con. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and binging Netflix with her pitbull. She is a Gryffindor.


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