Chanukah Lights Everywhere

Overview

One crescent moon glows in the sky. Two headlights shine through the window.. On each magical night of Chanukah, a young boy and his sister count more lights shining all around them! Join them as they discover what it means to celebrate Chanukah in a world filled with so many other lights. And look carefully at each of Melissa Iwai's delightfully playful illustrations, in which an ever-growing number of cats and cleverly hidden objects serve as reminders of each day's joyous ...
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Overview

One crescent moon glows in the sky. Two headlights shine through the window.. On each magical night of Chanukah, a young boy and his sister count more lights shining all around them! Join them as they discover what it means to celebrate Chanukah in a world filled with so many other lights. And look carefully at each of Melissa Iwai's delightfully playful illustrations, in which an ever-growing number of cats and cleverly hidden objects serve as reminders of each day's joyous Chanukah celebration!

This gentle and fun-filled exploration of the meaning of Chanukah reminds families everywhere that the warmth of the holiday extends far beyond the menorah. 8-1/2 X 10. Full-color illustrations

Author Biography: MICHAEL J. ROSEN is the award-winning author of more than two dozen picture books. He lives in central Ohio.

MELISSA IWAI has illustrated two other picture books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

A young boy counts the candles on the family menorah and the lights he sees in the world around him on each night of Hanukkah. Includes information on the history and significance of the celebration.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Will fill your heart with joy and light . . . [A] lovely story."—Boston Herald

"Kids will respond to . . . the warm feeling this generates and the sheer sense of wonder that the narrator so innocently exudes."—Booklist

Publishers Weekly
Rosen (Elijah's Angel) stresses multiculturalism in this bland venture. For example, on the seventh night of Hanukkah, the child narrator notices that the house of his best friend, who celebrates Christmas, is lit with lamps, "seven altogether"). The focus is so secular that the ending ("I think about... being Jewish in such a wide world of so many other lights") feels hollow. Iwai's (Night Shift Daddy) cheery acrylics contain an unannounced game: the numbers of cats per spread correspond to the successive nights. Ages 3-7. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a great book for counting and noticing since each night's candles are a jumping-off point for the child's finding one or two or three other lights shining somewhere. As the family lights one candle, the child notices a sliver of moon in the sky. The second two candles coincide with headlamps from his grandfather's car shining into the window as he pulls up to the house (although I do wish they had waited for Grandpa to light those candles!). On the seventh night, they go for a ride to see the brightness everywhere and notice seven single candles in the windows of his best friend, who "celebrates Christmas," thus giving an opportunity for Dad to mention that "Chanukah is also about the joy of different religions sharing a street." The acrylic paintings done on board are absolutely wonderful—bright, happy, warm and homey, and there's a Note at the end with some details of the Chanukah story. 2001, Harcourt, $16.00. Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer: Judy Chernak
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In this title a little boy notices the lights not just on his family's menorah but all around him. On the first night of Chanukah, he helps to light one candle and reflects on the moon "like a proud candle flame." The second night brings two lit candles and the two car headlights of Grandpa's car and so on through the seventh night when the boy notes his Christian friend's house with seven Christmas lights in the window and the eighth night full of stars "as though God, too, were lighting his own menorah." The text ends with the boy thinking beyond the holiday season "about being Jewish in such a wide world of so many other lights." The light-filled illustrations beautifully match the tone of playful wonder informing text. Kids will get a kick out of finding the many cats in the pictures, from a paw-washing tabby to a white snow-cat to a little girl dressed in a kitty snowsuit.
School Library Journal
PreS-On each of the eight nights of Chanukah, a young boy finds a matching number of lights in the world around him to remind him of the burning candles on his family's menorah. The warm, appealing acrylic illustrations and the counting element make this a good choice to share with preschoolers.-E. M. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This Chanukah offering from Rosen (Elijah's Angel, 1992, etc.) attempts to find metaphoric comparison for the lights of the Chanukah menorah. But while Angel soars, Lights falls flat. The metaphors are forced, the language stilted, and Iwai's (Night Shift Daddy, 2000, etc.) illustrations, while colorful and appealing, are flawed. On the first night of Chanukah the moon is like a flame. On the second night two headlights from grandpa's car resemble the Chanukah lights, defying the laws of parallel parking as well as the laws of physics by shining directly into the living room of the family's brownstone walk-up. On the third night, cousins come to visit and the young narrator switches on the lamps outside, "and suddenly there are three more lights, like in our menorah!" On the fifth night, five silver dollars shine like lights. By the seventh night, the family finds a Chanukah analogy in the seven bulbs burning in the windows of a Christian friend. Dad declares that "Chanukah is also about the joy of different religions sharing a street." So far, the story has revealed little about the meaning of Chanukah. Iwai's illustration for this spread shows a suburban neighborhood, despite already having depicted the family's street in the heart of a neighborhood that looks a lot like Brooklyn. A note following the text explains the origins of the holiday. Disappointing. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152056759
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 171,038
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL J. ROSEN is the award-winning author of more than two dozen picture books. He lives in central Ohio.

MELISSA IWAI has illustrated two other picture books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Nice introduction for the non-jewish.

    We aren't Jewish, but we wanted our kids to understand some of the traditions of our friends. We liked the way this book was accessible to young children who needed an introduction. Most of the Chanukah books assume (and rightfully so) a level of understanding that my kids don't have, so this was a nice choice for us. We read the book every day during the holiday season. My 5-year old liked it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2006

    One book, not EVERY book, about Chanukah

    Reading the various reviews posted here, you realize that some folks feel that a book for young readers has to do everything: retell the story of Chanukah, reveal the symbols and religious practices associated with the holiday, and create a engaging story for readers of all faiths who are just beginning to enjoy the pleasure of reading a book by themselves. As a teacher, I've found this book to be a generous and welcome introduction to the holiday season. My classes always contain children of various religious backgrounds--like most communities--and Rosen has captured something of what a four- or six-year old would be drawn to. There's a simplicity and an inventiveness in finding the menorah's lights--one more for each of the eight nights--'reflected' in the child's own neighborhood and surroundings. It's almost like an applied version of the beauty celebrated and commemorated by the holiday. Iwai's introduction of the cats (always a new cat image to spy with every night of Chanukah) gives readers another way to engage with the story. My four library classes--and my own kids--have enjoyed this book for three seasons now. It's not the WHOLE story of the holiday. It's not the story of the Macabees or the Old Temple. But it is a very appealing and bright story about lighting the menorah from a child's curious and heartfelt perspective. Highly recommended.

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