cover image The Chanukkah Guest

The Chanukkah Guest

Eric A. Kimmel. Holiday House, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8234-0788-0

It's Hanukkah time and Bubba Brayna is preparing latkes. She's expecting the Rabbi and relatives for dinner, but hardly a bear. Waking from his long winter nap, however, is Old Bear, who follows ``that delicious smell'' and presents himself for the feast. Bubba, with her weak eyes and hearing, mistakes him for the Rabbi, and lavishes him with food. In this comical story, Kimmel ( Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins ) captures the kindness of an old woman and the innocence of a hungry bear in an unusual visit. Carmi's ( And Shira Imagined ) airy pastel illustrations shade the tale with a golden glow appropriate for the Festival of Lights. Readers will surely chuckle to see the ravenous bear eat all the latkes, and laugh as Bubba tries to wipe his face. (``I must tell you, Rabbi. You eat just like a bear,'' says the confused hostess.) Indeed, the string of continuous misunderstandings between Bubba and bruin provides nonstop mirth. Festivity, generosity and cooperation are all celebrated in this wintry holiday tale that children of all religions will enjoy. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)