Dec 1, 2022

Hanukkah Winners and Activities!

 I'm welcoming in December with two picture books (one a board book) celebrating Hannukkah (no matter how you spell it!). Sunday, December 18, marks the first night of lights for 2022, and the concluding night is December 26. This movable feast is not considered a major holiday within Jewish traditions and yet it is perhaps the best known among those who are not Jewish. 


A delightfully illuminating board book about the holiday is HANUKKAH NIGHTS, written and illustrated by Amalia Hoffman. Each page turn lights yet another candle until all eight (and the server candle) are glowing by the conclusion. The unique things about this new offering is that it is so kid-friendly and also an inspiring book about exploring artistic expression for even the youngest. 

Each spread features two rhymed lines, while revealing another candle, lit in a different colored flame, produced by a different (simply produced) art technique. One principle of Hanukkah gifts is the value of simplicity and handmade gifts presented each day. Craft and art play a central role in the family and community sharing throughout the days and nights and gatherings. I wanted to share this book well in advance to be sure you have time to get your hands on a copy of the book and the materials suggested. 

 Yes, you should search out this book for young folks, whether Jewish or not, but also collect and prepare the simple, inexpensive materials that are demonstrated within the text, in the enlarged art example, and in the concluding "how to" spread. Children (and adults!) of any background will be enthused about exploring these techniques, especially if black background paper is provided among their supplies. (Thank you to Kar-Ben for a preview pdf file without a promise of reveiw.)

Interior: Hanukkah Nights (Kar-Ben, 2022)
Interior: Hanukkah Nights (Kar-Ben, 2022)

Interior:  (Kar-Ben, 2022)

Kalaniot Books, 2022

In addition to this inspiring and fun little offering, check out a lively and lighthearted picture book story, MENDEL'S HANUKKAH MESS UP, written by Chana and Larry Stiefel and illustrated by Daphna Awadish. Storytelling, music, humor, faith, and trust are essential elements in Hanukkah traditions, within celebrations and in the origin story that is honored. When Mendel is invited by his rabbi to drive the Mitzvah Mobile through the neighborhood to spread the good word of celebrations among his neighbors, all of the above are involved in a surprising and "miraculous" contemporary series of events. 

This will please readers of any background and will find eager audiences among those who have been defined as (or defined themselves as) "mess-up" kids.
Don't miss it.

And whatever you celebrate at this time of year, invite books of all kinds into your lives and share them with the lives of your own young audiences.

1 comment:

Picture books are as versatile and diverse as the readers who enjoy them. Join me to explore the wacky, wonderful, challenging and changing world of picture books.