The monthly Sephardic Jewish celebration of the new moon, or Rosh Hodesh, which always falls during the eight days of Chanukah is cheerfully highlighted in this unusual holiday offering. A young girl spends a couple of nights with her aunt who “just moved here from Mexico” and is introduced to the celebration that marks the beginning of the new month. A custom reserved for women (rewarded for their refusal to contribute the golden calf, according to Jewish tradition), Rosh Hodesh takes on special meaning at Chanukah, and DaCosta and Mosz team up to pro-duce an evocative portrayal of this multicultural festival. Mosz’s purple and gold crayon and watercolor illustra-tions feature characters with large, dreamy eyes against a background of dreidel-shaped pinatas and cookies, “Feliz Januca” banners, and whimsical menorahs. DaCosta’s first-person text, if a bit static, aptly conveys a child’s won-der at new experience and the warmth of a growing bond with a beloved adult.
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