Sukkot Stories for Young Readers
After a fun day of building the sukkah, spend some quality time reading!
After the day of solemnity that is Yom Kippur, families with small children can hardly wait to begin celebrating one of the most joyous festivals of the Jewish year: Sukkot. This year’s holiday will begin at sunset on October 8 and end at nightfall on October 15. Constructing a sukkah with your child is a momentous occasion, one that will undoubtedly sparkle in your little one’s memory for years to come.
Every sukkah is comprised of three basic structural features: three and a half walls, coverings for those walls, and a sechach (an assortment of raw vegetable matter that forms the roof, often layers of bamboo shoots or tree branches). Additionally, since the sukkah will likely be your family’s dining room for the next week, tables, chairs, lighting, and decorations are ideal for the coziest rooms. These days, the majority of the materials needed to construct a sukkah can be found at your local home improvement store, which can turn into a family activity in itself! But for those with a busier schedule, or who are a bit hesitant to jump in head first, a number of assembly kits are available for purchase online.
After a fun day of building the sukkah, what better way to break in the new addition to the backyard than by spending some quality time reading? With the Festival of Sukkot fast approaching, tie in the themes of the joyous celebration with some of our children’s titles:
The Remarkable Journey of Josh’s Kippah by Barbara Elissa
A Bar Mitzvah boy’s kippah falls off his head and journeys around the world before finding its way back home. Follow the madcap adventure of Josh’s kippah from his Bar Mitzvah in New York to a sukkah in Israel and a Hanukkah party in Argentina, with many stops in between. Young readers get a glimpse at Jewish holiday celebrations all over the world, and can have fun tracing the kippah’s route. A map of the kippah’s journey is included.
Sammy Spider’s First Sukkot by Sylvia A. Rouss
Inside, outside, upside down! Where is Sammy Spider now? Swinging on an apple, from the roof of the Shapiro family sukkah, he is learning about the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Sammy watches as Josh and his parents build and decorate the little hut. Then as a special treat, Sammy even gets to sleep there under the stars!
A Watermelon in the Sukkah by Sylvia A. Rouss
All the children in Miss Sharon’s class have brought their favorite fruits to decorate the sukkah. But when Michael brings a watermelon, the class must find a way to hang it!
Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake by Kelly Terwilliger
In this charming folktale, Bubbe Isabella builds a sukkah to celebrate the harvest holiday. She bakes a special cake and hopes to share it with her animal friends—only to find that they prefer to eat the fruits and vegetables that decorate the sukkah—and finally the sukkah itself! You’ll be surprised what finally happens to the cake.
The Vanishing Gourds by Susan Axe-Bronk
When Sara’s gourds—decorations for the family sukkah—start mysteriously disappearing, the hunt for the culprits is on. The family of squirrels who is to blame pays the family back for the missing gourds in a surprising way.