Hanukkah Blog Hop 2016

Hanukkah for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our second annual Hanukkah for Kids blog hop, sponsored by Multicultural Kid Blogs! Be sure to visit all the participating blogs for ways to share this special time of year with kids. Plus you can find all these and more on our Hanukkah Pinterest board! (And don't miss last year's series!)

Participating Blogs


December 2005
The Book of Life's very first episode was a Hanukkah Celebration. In December 2005, I interviewed Eric Kimmel about the classic Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins and talked to Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi about her new book Four Sides, Eight Nights: A New Spin on Hanukkah. I also got a contributor review of Craig Taubman's CD The Hanukkah Lounge.

December 2006
This "Joyous Hanukkah" episode included an interview with author Stephen Krensky and illustrator Greg Harlin, creators of the picture book Hanukkah at Valley Forge, as well as an interview with Deborah Heiligman about her nonfiction picture book Celebrate Hanukkah with Light, Latkes and Dreidels. I was also very excited to speak with Woody Guthrie's daughter Nora about the Klezmatics CD Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanukkah.

December 2007
"Hooray for Hanukkah" was the name of this episode. I spoke with artist Ann Koffsky about the snowflake she painted for a cancer charity. Author Sarah Marwil Lamstein and illustrator Neil Waldman talked about their picture book Letter on the Wind: A Chanukah Tale. Musician Kenny Ellis spoke about his jazz album Hanukkah Swings! And Barbara Bietz told us about her chapter book Like a Maccabee.

December 2008
This episode called "Spin the Dreidel" featured Sylvia Rouss talking about her Sammy Spider series of picture books, which began with Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah. Musician Josh Nelson talked about his role in Craig Taubman's Lights Hanukkah concert and his own CD, Lift. And Rabbi Ilene Schneider discussed her mystery novel, Chanukah Guilt.

November 2014
The Association of Jewish Libraries created an excellent recommended Hanukkah reading list, and I was happy to blog about it to lead more readers to it.

December 2015
A Diverse Dozen was a guest post I developed for Multicultural Kid Blogs, in which I highlighted Hanukkah books featuring Jewish characters of color, of disability, Sephardic Jews, and interfaith families.

September 2016
Most episodes of The Book of Life promote books I've enjoyed. This interview with two Jewish kidlit experts is different: it's a highly critical review of a picture book called Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf by Greg Wolfe.

November 2016
Mosaic published an opinion piece, "Why Are Jewish Children's Books So Bad?" and I could not let that stand. I wrote a comprehensive response to it, which included a list of recommended Hanukkah titles for children.

December 2016
Coming Soon! Watch this space for my interview with Joel Ben Izzy, storyteller turned novelist, about his chapter book Dreidels on the Brain. Joel kindly offers that the first five readers who can send him a count of all the ways he spells "Hanukkah" in the book will win a copy of his storytelling CD Lights & Laughter: Joel ben Izzy Spins Hanukkah Tales!