I don't know about you, but when it's time to learn about a new topic or brush up on what I already know, I pick up a book. And the same goes for teaching my little one about everything from her favorite animals to children's books for Rosh Hashanah. Books have taught her how to make new friends and the ins and outs of her pleases and thank yous, so when my husband and I wanted to help her learn about Judaism's High Holidays, we did the research on the best kids books to help us do so. Curious about what's out there? There are several children's books for Rosh Hashanah that are perfect if you want your kids to learn more, too.
You'll find options for kids of all ages including board books, like Happy Birthday, World and Rosh Hashanah Is Coming!, as well as books that will help older children learn about some of the holiday's most treasured traditions, like eating apples and honey. And in that vein, there's even one book — What Do You See on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? — that lays out all of the basics associated with Rosh Hashanah, including the words your kid will hear throughout the New Year celebration.
So, before Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday, Sept. 29, here are a few of the books you'll want to add to your shelf.
1. 'Sammy Spider's First Rosh Hashanah' By Sylvia A. Rouss
2. 'Rosh Hashanah Is Coming!' By Tracy Newman
The perfect board book for little ones you are seeking to teach about the holiday, Rosh Hashanah Is Coming! relies on fun rhyming to tell the story of the New Year, including: Crack the eggs/Hear the sound?/Make this braided challah round./Rosh Hashanah is coming.
3. 'I'm Sorry, Grover: A Rosh Hashanah Tale' By Tilda Balsley & Ellen Fischer
The final book in the Shalom Sesame series, I'm Sorry, Grover: A Rosh Hashanah Tale tells the story of Grover and Cookie Monster's trip to Israel to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Along the way, readers meet Grover's Israeli friend Brosh who has lost his favorite hat and thinks someone might have stolen it. What he learns is a lesson in how to say he's sorry and how to commit to being a better friend in the New Year.
4. 'Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride' By Deborah Bodin Cohen
Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride is a story about "the first historic train ride from Jaffa to Jerusalem in 1892, shortening the journey between the two cities from 3 days to 3 hours," according to Amazon's website. In this book, Engineer Ari's train makes the trip to Jerusalem and collects goodies along the way to celebrate the Jewish new year, while also sharing with readers an important lesson he learns during his journey.
5. 'Apple Days: A Rosh Hashanah Story' By Allison Sarnoff Soffer
In Apple Days: A Rosh Hashanah Story, readers meet Katy, whose favorite holiday is Rosh Hashanah because she gets to make applesauce with her mom. But as the pair is about to embark on their tradition, Katy's new baby cousin is born and her mom has to leave town. Can Katie create a new tradition with the help of her dad, rabbi, teachers, and friends?
6. 'What a Way to Start a New Year!: A Rosh Hashanah Story' By Jacqueline Jules
What happens when you start the New Year in a new city? Well, just ask Dina and her family in this fun book, What a Way to Start a New Year!: A Rosh Hashanah Story.
7. 'New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story' By April Halprin Wayland
Main character Izzy’s favorite part of Rosh Hashanah is Tashlich, a ritual where people apologize for the past year's mistakes and, therefore, kick off the New Year with a fresh start. But New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story is the story of how Izzy is having a difficult time admitting to one mistake and how he goes about finding the courage to do so.
8. 'What Do You See on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?' By Bracha Goetz
If you've been looking for a book that can help teach your children about the customs associated with the High Holidays, including Rosh Hashanah, then What Do You See on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? is the book you've been waiting for.
9. 'How the Rosh Hashanah Challah Became Round' By Sylvia B. Epstein
In How the Rosh Hashanah Challah Became Round, Yossi's dad is the town baker, giving him the ideal opportunity to make challah bread, the classic High Holidays staple.
10. 'Happy Birthday, World: A Rosh Hashanah Celebration' By Latifa Berry Kropf
Want to introduce your littlest ones to Rosh Hashanah? Pick up Happy Birthday, World and start flipping the pages.