Happy New Year! 6 Books About Rosh Hashanah for Young Readers

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and its traditions with these six titles perfect for reading and sharing with young readers.

Rosh Hashanah book covers with holiday-themed decorative elements surrounding them.

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and its traditions with these six titles perfect for reading and sharing with young readers.

Measuring a Year: A Rosh Hashanah Story by Linda Elovitz Marshall. illus. by Zara González Hoang. Abrams/­Appleseed. ISBN 9781419744976. 
PreS-Gr 1–Sparse poetic text celebrates various changes and experiences throughout a year in this engaging, multicultural Rosh Hashanah book. The book starts with the question, “How do you measure a year?” This sweet, accessible book would be a lovely Rosh Hashanah addition to any library collection.

The Rosh Hashanah Recipe by Laura Gehl. illus. by Olga Ivanov & Aleksey Ivanov. Albert Whitman. ISBN 9780807571712. 
PreS-Gr 2–Ruby and her cousins go apple picking just before the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. While they will need apples to dip in honey to symbolize a sweet New Year and to make the traditional apple cake, they realize that they have picked far too many. Jewish and non-Jewish readers will relate to Ruby’s family outing to the apple orchard. 

Happy Roo Year: It’s Rosh Hashanah by Jessica Hickman. illus. by Elissambura. Kar-Ben. ISBN 9781728427904. 
PreS–This brief Jewish New Year board book starring kangaroos breaks no new ground but may please preschoolers. Rhyming four-line stanzas cover the basics of a kangaroo family’s celebration of Rosh Hashanah as they attend synagogue, hear the blast of the shofar (ram’s horn), eat round challah, and enjoy a family meal.

Rosh Hashanah with Uncle Max by Varda Livney. illus. by Varda Livney. Kar-Ben. ISBN 9781728429069. 
PreS-Gr 1–On Rosh Hashanah, Uncle Max comes to visit, and together, a Jewish family lights the holiday candles, blesses the wine and grape juice, dips challah and apples in honey, eats other traditional foods, attends synagogue to hear the shofar, and enjoys a special cake to celebrate the birthday of the world. A strong choice for board book collections and holiday displays.

Something New for Rosh Hashanah by Jane Yolen. illus. by Christine Battuz. Kar-Ben. ISBN 9781728403397. 
PreS-Gr 1–“‘Rosh Hashanah starts tonight,’ Mama says with great delight." When Dad announces that he’s going to shave off his mustache and Mom decides to take up knitting, Becca is inspired to start the Jewish New Year by trying something new, too: one big green bean. Of course, she discovers that she likes it and promises to try gefilte fish next year. Repetitive, rhyming text, combined with speech bubbles, makes this a fun read-aloud. 

Jackie and Jesse and Joni and Jae: A Rosh Hashanah Story by Chris Barash. illus. by Christine Battuz. Apple & Honey. ISBN 9781681155500. 
PreS-Gr 1–This rhyming story introduces the Jewish concept of tashlich. One fall Rosh Hashanah day, Jackie, Jesse, Joni, and Jae head with their families, other members of the Jewish community, and their rabbi to the riverbank, carrying bags of stale bread. The rhyming text is concise and accessible, if occasionally forced, and for the most part does a good job of explaining the tradition of tashlich in a way that will be accessible to preschoolers.

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