Beni's First Chanukah

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"Appropriate for lap reading with preschoolers, this quiet story of family holiday togetherness is well served by Zalben’s highly detailed, soft, colored-pencil drawings." —School Library Journal

A perfect companion to Zalben's story, Papa's Latkes, this cozy minibook edition of a holiday classic celebrates the sharing and close family feeling of Chanukah. An American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. Full color.

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Overview

"Appropriate for lap reading with preschoolers, this quiet story of family holiday togetherness is well served by Zalben’s highly detailed, soft, colored-pencil drawings." —School Library Journal

A perfect companion to Zalben's story, Papa's Latkes, this cozy minibook edition of a holiday classic celebrates the sharing and close family feeling of Chanukah. An American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. Full color.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Appropriate for lap reading with preschoolers, this quiet story of family holiday togetherness is well served by Zalben’s highly detailed, soft, colored-pencil drawings." —School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is the first Chanukah in which Beni is old enough to participate fully. Beni and his charming bear family busily prepare for the first evening's festivities. Beni helps his mother prepare potato latkes while sister Sara makes applesauce for them. The children search for their presents, to no avail, and then brave the winter chill to visit friends. On the way they decorate a tree with red berries and pinecones. Later Beni gets to hold a green candle and repeats a prayer after his father. The first evening two candles burn brightly on the menorah as the snow falls outside. The children teach their friends how to spin the dreidel and everyone sings songs. At the end of the day, a tired Beni murmurs, ``This was my best Chanukah ever.'' This is an enchanting first Chanukah book. Zalben's text is light and tender, a gentle reminder that children take pleasure in simple things and that holidays need not be elaborate to be memorable. And the lovingly rendered illustrations sparkle with beautifully muted hues. Thoughtfully included is the recipe for Beni's mother's latkes. Ages 5-8. (Dec.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Beni can hardly wait¾ he will be involved in this year's Chanukah preparations and celebration. First he helps peel the potatoes for latkes, then he and his sister hunt for their Chanukah presents, but to no avail. A trip to their neighbors' results in friends coming back to the house to join Beni's immediate family and relatives in the games and religious rituals. It is a lovely introduction in a recent mini book version that will be enjoyed by young and old. Instructions for playing dreidel are included. A Sydney Taylor Honor Book and an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
A perennial favorite for Chanukah is tiny in size so that children can carry the season's warmth with them. Zalben tells the story of Beni, a bear who shares Chanukah with his squirrel friends. It is a good way to talk about different celebrations and the importance of sharing festivities. A strong sense of family and family traditions come across in both text and illustration.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805035391
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 9/15/1994
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 5.32 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Breskin Zalben is the author and illustrator of Papa's Latkes, Beni's First Wedding, and Beni's Family Cookbook for the Jewish Holidays, which was named an American Library Association Notable Book, "A Not Just for Children Anymore!" Children's Book Council Selection, and an American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists." Ms. Zalben lives with her family on Long Island.

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