5 Books to Celebrate Love on Tu B’Av

"There were no happier days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Israel go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards."

- the Mishnah


Love is in the air, as the Hebrew month of Av brings us the ancient Jewish holiday of Tu B’Av. The holiday occurs on the 15th day of Av, and it presents a time for expressing love to others. A famous rabbi, Rabbi Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler, is frequently quoted as defining love from the Jewish point of view as "giving without expecting to take."

With that in mind, enjoy the picture books in this list – each is about the different ways love can be shared, expressed, and felt.

Hillel Takes a Bath book cover

Hillel Takes a Bath by Vicki L. Weber

Recommended for ages 5 to 6 Years

When Rabbi Hillel tells his students that he’s using a cloth to do a mitzvah, they’re all confused. What mitzah could he possibly be doing that involves a cloth? Here’s a hint: They’re forgetting about the mitzvah of taking care of one’s body. Here’s another: After reading this book, you might be in the mood for a good bubble bath!

The Market Wedding book cover

The Market Wedding by Cary Fagan

Recommended for ages 7 to 8 Years

In this love story set in turn-of-the-century England, the village fishmonger schemes to give his bride everything she deserves, with unexpected results!

The Heart-Shaped Leaf book cover

The Heart-Shaped Leaf by Shira Geffen

Recommended for ages 5 to 6 Years

One day, as Alona walks home in the rain, a very special leaf falls on her head. This gentle story illustrates the unique relationship human beings have with the natural world -- especially trees.

Somone for Mr. Sussman book cover

Someone for Mr. Sussman by Patricia Polacco

Recommended for ages 7 to 8+ Years

In this contemporary tale, humor and perseverance are necessary for a matchmaker to find just the right someone for a very picky bachelor. As Bubbie always says: There’s no pot so crooked that there isn’t a lid to fit it!

The Market Wedding book cover

Be Kind by Naomi Shulman

Recommended for ages 8+ Years

Being kind really does make the world a happier place. There are countless ways to be kind -- here are just a few!


10 Books to Read On Tu B'Av
Tu B'Av: A Holiday of Love
How to Keep in Touch With Faraway Friends