Golems and Goblins and Angels: Jewish Folklore for the Candy-and-Costume Crowd

Candy and costumes are fun for children this time of year, and you too can tap into this energy as an opportunity to learn about Judaism's rich history of mysticism and folklore. Think golems, dybbuks, angels, and the like.

Here are a few of our favorite storybooks for ages 5-8 that feature (non-scary) spirits and creatures:

The Goblins of Knottingham 

By Zoë Klein

Long ago, in the town of Knottingham, there were three little goblins.

Knotty was naughty, Knotsalot was no good, and Notnow was no good, no how, not then and not how!

More than anything else, these mischievous goblins liked to tangle children's hair! Find out how the children fought back, and how their tangled hair led to the unlikely invention of a braided bread called challah in this modern original folktale.


A Zombie Vacation

By Lisa Rose

My walk lacked the proper stiffness. I had lost the urge to moan. My skin no longer had its lovely dull, sickly color. I wasn't scary anymore . . .

Where oh where can a tired, stressed out zombie get a little rest and relaxation? Sounds like the Dead Sea might be perfect!

Take a tour through Israel with an unusually adorable zombie who desperately needs a break.

"Hilarious ... Mordant readers will be thrilled to find a kindred soul." - Kirkus Reviews


American Golem: The New World Adventures of an Old World Mud Monster

By Marc Lumer

A boy arrives in America, where everything is big, crowded, strange, and scary. He builds a golem, a mud monster from Jewish folklore, to protect him from the big kids next door. But he soon learns he doesn’t need the golem for protection. What else can a golem do in America?

Graphic-novel style illustrations provide a fresh approach with kid appeal, and an Author Note introduces the Jewish value of tikkun olam, repairing the world.



The Shabbat Angels

By Maxine Segal Handelman

Each week, the Shabbat angels visit homes around the world, blessing the ones that honor the Shabbat. May next Shabbat be just like this one! Tov, the angel of good, will say. But if they find a home where Shabbat is dishonored, then the opposite angel, Rah, gets a turn: May next Shabbat be just like THIS one! A modern retelling of a classic folktale. 




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