Light the Menorah! A Hanukkah Handbook

Jacqueline Jules, illus. by Kristina Swarner. Kar-Ben, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5124-8368-0
In this collection, which pairs themed poems and prose passages on each spread, Jules (Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva) expands on typical Hanukkah how-tos with short, imaginative reflections, one for each night of candle lighting. For the first night, readers are reminded of how Judah Maccabee stood up for what he thought was right and how “it is not easy to be the first.” The fourth night becomes a tribute to the shamash—the “helper candle” on the menorah used to light all the others—and reminds readers to be thankful for teachers, librarians, parents, and others who “serve and help us.” Softly textured pastel drawings by Swarner (Little Banty Chicken and the Big Dream) show quietly proud and happy characters from history and the modern day (one family includes a same-sex couple), with festive decorative borders framing the scenes. The calm tone, scrupulous sourcing of information (as in the distinction between history and rabbinic lore), and clear instructions make this an excellent choice for families who are creating their first Hanukkah traditions. Ages 4–10. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 40 pages - 978-1-5415-2404-0
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-1-5124-8369-7
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