cover image Eight Nights of Lights: A Celebration of Hanukkah

Eight Nights of Lights: A Celebration of Hanukkah

Leslie Kimmelman, illus. by Hilli Kushnir. HarperCollins, $19.99 (72p) ISBN 978-0-06324-248-7

Format takes center stage in this novelty picture book, whose covers open to reveal a large menorah with nine pouches (including one for the shamash), each containing a slender volume designed to mimic a candle’s dimensions. On the front cover of each book is a candle with unlit wick; a flame appears on the reverse, so readers can “light” the menorah after reading. Kushnir makes the most of limited space with cheery, efficiently detailed images of young Lena, of Cuban heritage, and her parents and family cat Pickles celebrating with food and fun, family and friends, and teachable moments. Notably, Kimmelman takes some stories beyond a domestic setting: a seventh-night walk sparks a discussion about Jewish pride and religious freedom, and the eighth night sees a lively synagogue fete attended by variously diverse partygoers, where the room is “ablaze with light” from each family’s menorah. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)