|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Kar-Ben Publishing ®|
|Number of Pages||12|
Author: Lesléa Newman
Leslea Newman has created 80 books for readers of all ages. Her awards include two National Jewish Book Awards, the Massachusetts Book Award, and the Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award. She lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Illustrator: Amy Husband
Amy Husband graduated from Liverpool School of Art with a B.A. in Graphic Art. Based in York, England, she loves illustrating children's books as well as drinking tea and eating biscuits.
“Award-winning children’s book author and past poet laureate of Northhampton, Massachusetts, Newman needs only a single line of text on each page to convey the rituals—and fun—of Hanukkah to the very littlest ones in this happy board book. The joy of the holiday is further enhanced by the amusingly illustrated celebrants filling the brightly-colored pages—from the smiling bunny family hosting the Hanukkah party, to the variety of the other anthropomorphized guests.
Highly recommended for the board book, preschool set.”—Jewish Book Council
“In brief board-book form Newman revisits the familiar Hanukkah traditions she successfully introduced in Eight Nights of Chanukah, illustrated by Elivia Savadier (2005), and Here Is the World, illustrated by Susan Gal (2014). Here the holiday stands on its own without parodying a Christmas tune or being lost in a compendium of the Jewish year. Of course, a board book has space for much less information. The essential ingredients of the celebration—candles, blessings, latkes, dreidels, and gelt—are mentioned in nine lines of text that all rhyme with ‘delight.’ The finer points of theology, including the miracle Hanukkah commemorates, are left for older children to learn from experience, their own reading, or stories told round the holiday table. The fun is in the detailed pictures. Husband uses cheerful, well-dressed bunnies to depict a family as they celebrate the Jewish holiday American gentiles know best. Some subtle stereotypes still creep in. The family consists of papa, mama, big sister, and baby. A crocodile in a tie and a portly and bespectacled owl are among the friends. The males all wear yarmulkes, and the females all wear dresses. Otherwise they are just like anyone else who can be depicted as talking animals. Useful for both Jewish families and others seeking to give children a head start on religious pluralism.”—Kirkus
“In lines with simple meter that all rhyme with the second word in the title,
this board book runs through the high points of Hanukkah (‘Dreidels spinning
through the night / Chocolate gelt—come take a bite’) during a friendly
eighth-night gathering at a rabbit family’s house. The pastel-toned mixed-media
illustrations show the visiting ‘friends and neighbors’ as a congenial assortment of
animals, and they include accurate holiday details such as a row of dreidels with
correctly ordered Hebrew letters. A very first introduction to blessings, candles,
and latkes as well as holiday joy: ‘Hanukkah—a wondrous sight!’”—The Horn Book
“Newman (Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed) and Husband (The Noisy Foxes) team up for a blithe rhyming account of a festive Hanukkah celebration: ‘Friends and neighbors to invite./Ancient blessings we recite./ Gleaming candles burning bright./ Crispy latkes taste just right.’ The celebrants include a family of rabbits, a mouse and her daughter, a tall alligator, and an owl who walks with a cane, creating a sense of warm inclusivity throughout. Newman hits all the key Hanukkah moments (‘Dreidels spinning through the night./Chocolate gelt—come take a bite’), and Husband’s collages brim with joyful energy.”—Publishers Weekly