I cannot tell you about my favorite Chanukah picture book because....
As far as I know, no truly amazing Chanukah-book-for-kids has yet been written.
And I don't mean an acceptable book. I don't mean a "Wee-ell, it's pretty good, and the pictures are nice, and if we don't give them something they'll read Frosty the snow-man or How Little Bun-Bun Went to Jesus Land..."
I mean GOOD! Nothing GOOD is out there... GOOD like Christmas has good stuff. Good like the Peanuts Special, or the Christmas chapter in Little House in the Big Woods where Laura gets a WHOLE penny, all for herself. Gift of the Magi GOOD or A Christmas Carol GOOD.
Why is this? Why does Christmas only require a special time of year and "spirit", and so it can do a whole range of things... but Chanukah sends us to pancakes and dreidels and candles and that's IT! Why can't there be a Chanukah "spirit" with which to infuse books, so that we might abandon our oily foods as a theme?
Oily foods are NOT A THEME!
And one gets tired of the Maccabees. And the pogroms. Didn't anyone ever celebrate Chanukah in any other place and time than Israel, Poland/Poland-ish place, or [insert present-day name of wherever you happen to be]. Weren't there Chanukahs happening in like, Medieval England? The Wild West? Burlesque stages in the 30s?
Can you imagine if every bit of Christmas media was required to mention candycanes, paperchains, and Jesus?
What's that you say? YOU DO KNOW OF A GOOD CHANUKAH BOOK?
Bring it on!
(and don't you dare send me to look for Moishe and his dumb fry-pan. I'm over the shtetl thing. And don't you DARE send me to look for Sammy the Spider. Sammy the Spider is sooooo last year.)