8 Books To Inspire Curious Kids

Kids like to ask questions – lots of questions. What might be commonplace to an adult can be astonishing and peculiar to a child. Every day, kids have a marvelous desire to understand, explore, and improve upon their world.

Judaism values curiosity and teaches that a person should always be questioning (something to consider when your three-year-old goes on a “why” spree). Many Jewish traditions, from the Passover seder to text study, involve asking, answering, and reasking questions.

Two Jewish values, nissim she b’chol yom, recognizing the wonders of everyday life, and hakarat hatov, recognizing the good, reinforce the power of asking questions and wondering about the world around us. Curiosity leads children—and grownupsto new ways of thinking about and expanding their world. Use the stories below to tap in to and encourage your child’s naturally inquisitive and questioning mind:

Baxter: The Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher
by Laurel Snyder

Recommended for children 6 to 7 years old

Upon hearing of the joys and sweetness of Shabbat and, especially, of Shabbat dinner, Baxter the pig sets out to understand what it means for something to be kosher.

Bagels from Benny
by Aubrey Davis

Recommended for children 5 to 6 years old

While working in his grandfather’s bakery, Benny learns the joys of giving and receiving, caring, and gratitude.

Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy
by Richard Michelson

Recommended for children 8 years or older

You may know that Leonard Nimoy played an alien on Star Trek. But do you know that drew inspiration for his role some of his childhood experiences as the child of Jewish immigrants in Boston’s North End? This story draw the connection between otherness, perseverance, and pursuing a dream.

How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box
by Linda Heller

Recommended for children 5 to 6 years old

As Dalia explores tzedakah (charitywith her friends, she creates a tzedakah box where she can keep the money she’s saving to help those in need. In the process Dalia, her friends and her little brother Yossi learn about the power and joy of giving to others.

Izzy the Whiz and Passover McClean
by Yael Mermelstein

Recommended for children 3 to 5 years old

Izzy the Whiz is an amateur inventor who, right before Passover, creates a super-duper machine that whirs and purrs and munches and crunches and miraculously cleans the entire house just in time for the holiday -- but not without creating havoc along the way.

The Night World
by Mordicai Gerstein

Recommended for children 3 to 4 years old

While the rest of the world is asleep, the night world is awake and alert with curiosity and gratitude -- and so are we.

Raisel's Riddle
by Erica Silverman

Recommended for children 5 to 8 years old

In this Jewish variation on the Cinderella theme, Raisel is a heroine who understands what is important in life as well as what it takes to be truly happy.

Rise & Shine: A Challah Day Tale
by Karen Ostrove

Recommended for children 3 to 4 years old

When Sammy and Sophie find a crumpled piece of paper in the attic, it leads them on a delicious adventure with Grandma Gert at her retirement center.

What is your child curious about? What kinds of questions are they currently asking? Join the conversation with us on Facebook.


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