Tour Israel With These Picture Books

Little girl with Israeli flag

May 14th, 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
Recommended for ages 2 to 3

3 Falafels in my Pita

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
Recommended for ages 6 to 7

A Concert in the Sand

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
Recommended for ages 3 to 4

And Shira Imagined

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
Recommended for ages 2 to 3

The Colors of Israel

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
Recommended for ages 2 to 3

Ella's Trip to Israel

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
Recommended for ages 4 to 5

Everybody Says Shalom

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
Recommended for ages 5 to 6

First Rain

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.

Israel by Rachel Shalev
Recommended for ages 7 to 8


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
Recommended for ages 2 to 3

It's Israel's Birthday!

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
Recommended for ages 5 to 6


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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