Tour Israel With These Picture Books

Little girl with Israeli flag

April 25th is Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day. In Israel, the day is celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, and public concerts. Outside Israel, Jewish communities host parties and gatherings to celebrate Israel. Often, the focus of these events is on Israeli culture, everything from classic Israeli foods -- hummus, falafel, schnitzel, and shawarma -- to Israeli dance, Israeli music, and all things Hebrew. People wear blue and white, and wave Israeli flags. You can celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut too by trying Israeli foods, listening to music, and "visiting" Israel with these books:

3 Falafels in My Pita
by Maya Friedman

How many ways do we love Israel? Let's count least up until we reach the number 10!

A Concert in the Sand
by Tami Shem-Tov

Walking along the beach in Tel Aviv, what does this grandmother and her grandson come across? A world-class orchestra performance, that's what. Based on the true story of the birth of the Israeli Philharmonic, this story is also a metaphor for the grit and vision that brought the State of Israel into being.

And Shira Imagined
by Giora Carmi

The history of the ancient land comes to life when a young girl and her family tour Israel.

The Colors of Israel
by Rachel Raz

When you think of Israel, you think of blue and white -- but Israel is really an entire rainbow, and this book has the pictures to prove it.

Ella's Trip to Israel
by Vivian Newman

A little girl named Ella travels through Israel with her parents, enjoying many sights. With her is her best friend, her stuffed monkey, Koofi, whose misadventures are never a problem.

Everybody Says Shalom
by Leslie Kimmelman

The first thing to know about Israel? Everybody says shalom -- a little word that means so many things -- and there are so many places to see and visit.

First Rain
by Charlotte Herman

When Abby moves with her family to Israel, she misses her grandmother and remembers the fun they had with each other. Writing to each other helps, but it doesn't take the place of spending time together.

by Rachel Shalev

This Where's Waldo-esque tale is a great book to foster dialogue and entice young readers and their families to find out more about the state of Israel through independent exploration. Learn more about why we chose this book for PJ Library.

It's Israel's Birthday!
by Ellen Dietrick

Preschoolers take a pretend trip to Israel to celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). After taking an imaginary plane ride, the children pick oranges from a kibbutz orchard and visit a Western Wall made of blocks. The youngsters also explore the desert, swim in the Dead Sea, and join a parade.

Shmulik Paints the Town
by Lisa Rose

Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, is here -- and the mayor wants Shmulik to paint a mural to celebrate. But what should Shmulik paint? Read our interview with author Lisa Rose, here.

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