Israel Books For Young Readers

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If you wish to purchase any of these books, click on either the title or the book cover to be directed to Amazon.com. As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly, depending on the speed of your internet connection.

For videos of the Israeli version of Sesame Street go to the Shalom Sesame Video Page

For history books for older readers go to the Israel and Israeli History Books for Older Readers Page

For Israeli historical fiction for older readers go to the Israeli Historical Fiction Books Page

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Other Pages of Interest:

Israel Books for Children (Page 1) | (Page 2)

Easy Reader and Picture Books:
Jewish Children's Books (General) | Jewish Board Books | Biblical Stories for Children | Jewish Holiday Books | Jewish Family Cookbooks | Folktales and Talmudic Stories for Children | Jewish Life Books (Mitzvot, Keeping Kosher, etc.) | Jewish Life Cycle Books | Family Haggadahs | Children's Prayerbooks | Introductory Hebrew Books | Jewish History and Historical Fiction Picture Books | Israel Books

Middle School and YA Books:
Bar Mitzvah Books | Jewish Fiction | Historical Fiction | Torah Study | Prayer and Jewish Life Books | Jewish Holidays | Jewish Biographies | Jewish History Books | Holocaust Books for Teens | Israel Books


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Sammy Spider's First Trip to Israel

By Sylvia A. Rouss
Join Sammy Spider on his stow-away adventure as he tours Israel and learns the many meanings of "shalom."

Description from Publisher

It's Israel's Birthday!

By Ellen Dietrick and Tod Cohen
Awards: Recommended Multicultural and Anti-Bias Book for Children by the ADL's A World of Difference Institute


Board a make-believe plane and fly with our preschoolers to Israel to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel’s celebration of independence. The latest book in Kar-Ben's popular It's Time! series follows the young travelers as they float in the Dead Sea, munch on felafel, shop for souvenirs, and tuck prayers into the Western Wall.

Description from Publisher

This non-fiction picture book is a continuation of a successful series for the Jewish pre-school audience. In it, real youngsters are shown celebrating Israel's birthday at their school. The photos and one-line descriptions depict actual ways children at American Jewish day schools get involved with the celebration of Israel's Independence Day, Yom Ha atz'maut. Because each page shows real children doing real activities that are so often a part of a school celebration of this holiday, the reader is "hooked" by the cuteness of the children and the familiarity of the scenes. Some Hebrew words and typical tourist sites of Israel are depicted and the children look like they are enjoying the celebration. For example, children choose different ingredients at the falafel stand, visit the shuk (market) in Jerusalem, pick fruit on a kibbutz, and even place a prayer into the "cracks" at the Kotel. The simplicity and charm of this book is that it makes younger children feel comfortable with the photos because these photographed children are doing the same kinds of activities that the reader might do at his/her own school. Because children like familiarity, the young reader will be able to relate well as the teacher reads the basic text and shows the photos while stopping for discussion on each page. The teacher can use this book to elaborate more fully on the different aspects of Israel life and culture in terms of special regional foods, important cities, shopping, and most importantly, the feeling of "Am Yisrael Chai.". This simple book will become a first choice for pre-school educators and even for young non-Jewish children as an introduction to the culture of Israel and the celebration by Jewish children of this important day for the Jewish people.

Description from Jewish Book World Magazine

Israel Fun for Little Hands

By Sally Springer
Games, riddles, puzzles, and mazes introduce young children to Israel's famous sites. With full-color postcards for young tourists

Description from Publisher

Kids Love Israel Israel Loves Kids :
A Travel Guide for Families
No one with children along can go to Israel without this book. It features over 300 tourist sites in major cities (especially Jerusalem this year) and "off the beaten track" with a focus on the needs and interests of families. There are the resources travelers need for planning the trip: apartment and car rentals, summer camps, facilities for babies, Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebrations and activities for teens.

Description from Jewish Book World


Imagine...Exploring Israel :
Creative Drawing Adventures
Dozens of creative drawing adventures introduce Israel to young children. By the authors of the popular "un-coloring book" Can You Imagine.

Description from Publisher

Postcards from ... Israel
A collection of fictional postcards, written as if by young people visiting Israel, describes various sights and life in the modern Jewish state of Israel.

Description from Publisher

Chicken Man
On the kibbutz where he lives in Israel, Rody makes his job look so enjoyable that others are constantly taking it over - whether it be taking care of the chickens, gardening, or doing the laundry. Eventually he ends up back at the chicken house, where he is most needed. The humor of the tale is captured in the illustrations, which use rough, dark outlines to convey the vigor and dynamic quality of life on the kibbutz.

Description from Horn Book

Cooking the Israeli Way

By Josephine Bacon
An introduction to the cooking of Israel including such traditional recipes as cheese blintzes, turkey schnitzel, felafel in pita, and poppyseed cake. Also includes information on the geography, customs, and people of the Middle Eastern country.

Description from Publisher

Count Your Way Through Israel

By James Haskins
A social studies book in counting-book format that shows readers how to count from one to ten in Hebrew. Its primary purpose, however, is to teach about the land, agricultural and manufactured products, history, holidays, symbols, fauna, and peoples of Israel. Children will be more apt to remember this information because of the mnemonic device of numbers, e.g., the number three ( shah-losh ) is illustrated by Jerusalem's importance to three religions. All are quite logical. A pronunciation guide (Hebrew letters and transliteration) for numbers one through ten appears on the last page. Hanson's bright watercolor borders and realistic illustrations are appealing. No other book on Israel for this age level is equal to this one. It most resembles a World Book Encyclopedia article adapted for lower elementary grades.

Description from School Library Journal

Colors of Israel

By Laurie Grossman
What color is Israel? It is black like the mud from the Dead Sea, tan like the wild goats that roam the desert, and gold like the dome of the ancient mosque of Jerusalem. As the meaning behind each color is used to describe the culture and customs of Israel, discover a country of ancient history and rich tradition.

Description from Publisher

Children of Israel

By Laurie Grossman
Enter the real lives of children who live in Israel....

Climb through Roman ruins with Yoni, partake in Rawan's Ramadan feast, ride bikes with Shmuel through Jerusalem's Old City and track ibex, wild goats that scale desert cliffs, with Elinor.

This book is a colorful introduction to the wide array of cultures and religions in Israel with profiles of children and families throughout the country. Author and photographer Laurie Grossman illustrates the country's rich history and geographical diversity through breathtaking photographs and compelling text, after spending much time getting to know the children and their lives.

Discover this complex country through the eyes of its children

Description from Publisher

This attractive title in the Carolrhoda series "The World's Children" describes Israel from the perspective of different cultural groups. The lifestyle of Ori, who lives in Holon outside of Tel Aviv and wears a key to his apartment around his neck, can be compared to Tadela, an Ethiopian Jew, who lives in a caravanim, a trailer park for new immigrants. Rawan, an Arab Israeli girl celebrates the holiday of Ramadan with her family in Tsur Bahar, while Abba, an Orthodox boy, poses proudly in front of his family's Torah library in Jerusalem. Ethnic foods, such as "hom-homs," the Sephardic dish of fried dough dipped in honey, are described in mouth-watering detail. Each double-page spread is accompanied by large full-color, captioned photographs. The text flows in a smooth narrative, beginning with four pages of historical background that acknowledges Israel as an ancient homeland of the Jews. Holocaust survivors are mentioned as a large group who found refuge in Israel after World War II. While there are no bold subheadings for quick reference, an index leads readers to specific information. Students should enjoy this book as both an informative read and a rich resource for assignments.

Description from Children's Literature

A Ticket to Israel

by Marcia S. Gresko
Israel introduces young readers to this interesting country by focusing on the land forms, culture, and daily life of its people. From hot sandy beaches to lush green valleys, Israel is a diverse country. Journey to this incredibly beautiful country and discover a whole new world.

Description from Publisher

Of Milk and Honey: A Workbook on Israel and the Bible

By Shoshana Rick
A workbook for children on subjects ranging from Biblical Israel and the Jewish holidays to life in modern-day Israel. Includes word games and puzzles, maps and stories. Of Milk and Honey makes learning fun!

Description from Publisher

Take Me to the Holy Land:
A Youngster's Tour of Eretz Yisrael

By Tsivi Yanofsky
“Someday my little children will want to go to Eretz Yisrael. What would I show them and how would I explain its history to them?”

Mrs. Tsivia Yanofsky asked herself that question and decided to share her answers with the rest of us in this beautiful book. It is a very special kind of travelogue. In it, she visits numerous places, from the Kosel Hamaaravi to Maayan Elisha, and tells her children about them. Some history, some facts, some Midrashim, some interesting tidbits, some personal feelings - all made unusually appealing and interesting with the help of strikingly beautiful full-color photographs.

Description from Publisher

My Land of Israel

By Elizabeth Zinbarg Nover
These activity pages are the next best thing to visiting Israel. After filling in their passports, children will explore Jerusalem, shop in the shuk, climb Masada, inspect cargo in Haifa's port, plant a tree in a JNF forest, and much more.

Description from Publisher

Jerusalem Sky : Stars, Crosses and Crescents

By Mark Podwal
Jerusalem–ancient home to Jews, Christians, and Muslims–is blanketed by a sky like no other. According to legend, the Jerusalem sky held off the rains for seven years while King Solomon built his temple. In the Jerusalem sky, the Bible tells us, a rising star announced the birth of Jesus. Through that same wondrous sky, Islamic belief holds, Muhammad climbed to heaven. In our own times, the Jerusalem sky fills with the sounds of worshippers praying for peace in the synagogues, churches, and mosques below. And each year new voices rise up to the Jerusalem sky, where so many miracles have been witnessed.

Description from Publisher

Behold the Trees

By Sue Alexander
Tracing the horticultural history of the land now known as Israel, Alexander (One More Time, Mama) delicately but powerfully implies a parallel between its trees of and the Jews who settled there. Beginning in 5000 BCE, she fleshes out a timeline that blends history and ecology to chronicle the cycle of bloom, destruction and renewal that has characterized this land over the centuries. She tells of "centuries of wandering the time of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob," of farming and settlement, of occupations and wars, from the Babylonians and Romans to the Turks and the British. The land stands stripped of its timber until "no owls or doves remained to soar through the air or trill their songs." Rejuvenation begins after WW I, as Jews the world over save to fund the purchase of new trees, trees that have restored present-day Israel to its former beauty. Alexander's poetic imagery ("fires sent twists of smoke into the air") and elegiac refrains ("And no new trees were planted") are heightened by Gore's (Sleeping Boy) resonant, haunting pairing of shepherds and prophets, soldiers and settlers with the graceful flow and sweep of branches and leaves. He plants Corinthian columns of a conquering nation side by side with tree trunks, one of many visual metaphors that hint at the interconnectedness of life. Profoundly satisfying.

Description from Publishers Weekly

A combination of lush illustrations and melodious prose tell the story of a land called Canaan, which bloomed with wild trees. During the time of the Israelite kings, cities and towns were built but "no new trees were planted." Then six hundred years of war followed. Fortresses were built out of the trees. Forests were set on fire so that enemy troops would have nowhere to hide. Much later, the Turks ruled the land and used trees to build roads and bridges. The remaining trees were destroyed by black goats who chewed up the roots. Without the protection of trees, the land became a desert. Animals and birds disappeared. Then a little more than fifty years ago, people came back to the land and made the desert bloom by planting millions of trees. This splendid book celebrates an environmental miracle that people of all faiths can admire. Leonid Gore's illustrations are stunning. The trees are drawn with human features. Branches sprout from hands tattooed with concentration camp numbers. Tree trunks reveal a mother cuddling a baby and a scholar holding a scroll. Readers will be mesmerized by these pictures within pictures, dramatizing an impressive story of destruction and renewal.

Description from Children's Literature

Joshua's Dream :
A Journey to the Land of Israel
Joshua's dream of taking part in the transformation of Israel's desert land finally comes true.

Description from Publisher

As Joshua looks through photographs in his family's album, he hears the stories of his Great-Aunt Rivka, a pioneer who went to Palestine in 1906 to "help make the desert bloom.'' Her experiences parallel the frustrations and successes that the early settlers encountered. Joshua dreams that he too will have a part in building the land. The book ends with the family taking a trip to Israel and the boy planting a tree in the Negev Desert. The story explains the concept of Zionism to young children -- it is in no way a political treatise. It is successful in accomplishing what it sets out to do.

Description from School Library Journal

The Never-Ending Greenness: We Made Israel Green

By Neil Waldman
When his family comes to live in Israel after the end of World War II, a young boy begins planting and caring for trees, a practice that spreads across the whole country.

Description from Publisher


An old man recalls his childhood in the tree-lined city of Vilna, where his family escapes from the ghetto and is protected by the forests surrounding the town. Later, following immigration to Israel, the boy helps plant trees in his new desert homeland so that the country can once again become a sea of never-ending greenness. Although the story focuses on the efforts of one family, its actions reflect a national effort to reforest Israel and correlate with contemporary celebrations of Tu b'Shvat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees. Waldman's colorful acrylic paintings, rendered in an impressionistic style, are best viewed from a story-hour distance. Liberal use of greens, blues, and pinks creates a hopeful atmosphere, in keeping with the tone of the story. A perfect choice for Tu b'Shvat story hours, this will also be useful for primary ecology units.

Description from Booklist

The Great Israel Scavenger Hunt

By Scott Blumenthal
Today, more than ever, we need to help our children develop an identification with Israel. The earlier we start, the better. And there's no better, more fun introduction than The Great Israel Scavenger Hunt!

This beautifully written adventure invites students on a scavenger hunt, led by a young American boy, Daniel, and his Israeli cousin, Rivkah. Following the cryptic instructions in a letter from their grandfather, the two cousins travel across Israel in search of the special objects, including the Israeli flag, a palm tree, and the Western Wall.

As they travel, Daniel—and your students—learn about the major cities and extraordinary sites of Israel, the diversity of Israel's people and cultures, our biblical and modern ties with the Jewish homeland, and the geography of Israel. They also learn key Hebrew terms, such as Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel), Ivrit (Hebrew), shalom (hello, goodbye, and peace), and limonada (lemonade). And they learn about important Jewish values, such as rodef shalom (pursuing peace) and ahavat Tzion (love of Israel), that are linked to chapter content.

Designed to intrigue students in grades 2 and 3, The Great Israel Scavenger Hunt includes more than eighty full-color photos, playful illustrations, and age-appropriate maps. Colorful stickers will motivate students and give them a sense of achievement as they travel through Israel with Daniel and Rivkah.

Description from Publisher

Tali's Jerusalem Scrapbook

By Sylvia Rouss
This moving story describes the current situation in Israel as seen through a child's eyes.

Every year Tali's relatives from the States come to celebrate her birthday party in Jerusalem. But this year no one is coming. Why?

Tali shows us her scrapbook of pictures which contrast the happy times of only a few years ago with the sad times of today. Yet, through it all, Tali is certain that life in Jerusalem can once again be wonderful and full of joy.

Description from Publisher

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