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Chanukah Lights
  • Alternative view 1 of Chanukah Lights
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Chanukah Lights

4.0 3
by Michael J. Rosen, Robert Sabuda (Illustrator)

From a pop-up master and an acclaimed poet and author comes a glorious celebration of the true spirit of Chanukah.

Open this beautiful gift book and follow the Festival of Lights through place and time — from Herod's temple to a shtetl in Russia; from a refugee ship bound for the New World to an Israeli kibbutz. Inspired by Michael J. Rosen's reverent


From a pop-up master and an acclaimed poet and author comes a glorious celebration of the true spirit of Chanukah.

Open this beautiful gift book and follow the Festival of Lights through place and time — from Herod's temple to a shtetl in Russia; from a refugee ship bound for the New World to an Israeli kibbutz. Inspired by Michael J. Rosen's reverent poem, Robert Sabuda's striking pop-ups depict each night's menorah in a different scene, using imagery such as desert tents, pushcart lanterns, olive trees, and a final panorama of skyscrapers. Sure to be a treasured family heirloom, this stunning collaboration showcases the spirit and resilience of a people in search of home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is no ordinary pop-up book; open a page and the setting springs into three dimensions, a ship, a temple, street scenes from around the world of the Jewish diaspora. Each of Hanukkah’s eight days has its own spread. Sabuda’s intricate and inventive paper engineering is a little miracle in keeping with the miraculous oil of the event that Hanukkah commemorates. Rosen’s text is in the shade of the white paper architecture, but the theme of the enduring spirit of Judaism emerges. A stunning achievement. Ages 5–up. (Sept.)¦
From the Publisher
A stunning achievement.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Robert Sabuda, master of the modern pop-up book, teams with poet Michael Rosen to celebrate a 2,000-year-old miracle.
—USA Today

Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
This book is another spectacular construction by Robert Sabuda. Rosen's text, which describes the many lands in which Chanukah has been celebrated, from the ancient Holy Land through nomadic desert tribes, to ships bound to other lands such as the West Indies, Eastern Europe, to an Israeli kibbutz, and, ultimately, America. The path of the journey follows the rotation of the Earth, from east to west. Of course, as in any Sabuda book, the text takes a back seat to the paper engineering and this construct is nothing short of spectacular. Each pop-up is slightly more elaborate and bigger than the one preceding it. The paper architecture is all in white against earthy backgrounds, but each set-up includes a menorah hiding in a window with the appropriate number of lights for each night of the holiday. Finally, the last fold-out, the one of a modern city, is painted in pastel colors and the menorah is the shape of the skyscrapers in the background. Robert Sabuda doesn't create books; he creates family treasures and this volume is no exception and clearly will be handed down from generation to generation. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
K Up—Readers of this intricate pop-up book are taken from the miracle of the lamp burning for eight nights 2000 years ago through the spread of the Jews throughout the world to a final scene of a modern city with skyscrapers glowing like a fully lit menorah. The text is spare and poetic, requiring the engineered paper illustrations and, in most cases, an adult's interpretation to understand it. On the fourth night, "…we think how faith was borne to a continent where Hebrew had never been heard, where menorahs had never been lit." The pop-up illustration is of an exotic house framed by palm trees and scampering monkeys, while in the background, a windmill spins. Where is this—Morocco? The Netherlands? There aren't any notes to inform readers. Other scenes—a tenement house, a kibbutz—are clearer, and in every scene, kids will have fun searching for the tiny glowing candles within the white paper layers. This is a gorgeous and fragile holiday book for adults and children to enjoy together.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Dazzlingly intricate paper sculptures commemorate both the holiday and some of the settings in which it has been celebrated over the centuries since "Jewish freedom first was fought." Each night pairs a solemn passage from Rosen ("Tonight, the fifth night of Chanukah, our six lights flicker in a dark shtetl") to a large, multi-leveled white structure that rises, unfolds and weaves into shape against a richly colored background as the spread is opened. An entire ship in full sail, a desert tent, a tenement building with pushcarts out front and laundry swaying on lines of string or, in the final scene, a high-rise city topped by nine slender skyscrapers capped with gold foil "flames" emerge in gloriously solemn spreads. The lacy delicacy of the architectural and other details creates intricate visual mazes that positively compel long, close examination. Some spreads open flat, others to 90 degrees; each will transport viewers to another time and place, leaving them in a properly reflective, celebratory mood. A grand display item, undeniably fragile but capable of surviving--and rewarding--multiple careful readings. (Pop-up picture book/religion. 6-8, adult)
Judith Shulevitz
…a pop-up book with elaborate paper cutouts and an appealing premise: Throughout history, Jews over the world have lighted candles on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, celebrating the holiday of freedom. This gives Sabuda, a talented paper engineer, the chance to fabricate land- or cityscapes of historical interest and architectural charm, one for each night…All of this is done with plain white cardboard, but the absence of color in no way diminishes the magic, and children old enough not to wreck these delicate constructions will surely love them.
—The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Michael J. Rosen has written and edited some ninety books for children and adults, including the critically acclaimed THE CUCKOO'S HAIKU AND OTHER BIRDING POEMS. His books have won many awards, among them the National Jewish Book Award, the inaugural Once Upon a World Children's Book Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance, and three Ohioana Book Awards. He lives in Glenford, Ohio.

Robert Sabuda is the creator of many best-selling pop-up books, including THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, and the WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. He is also the co-creator of the Encyclopedia Prehistorica and Encyclopedia Mythologica series. He lives in New York City.

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Chanukah Lights 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a fantastic mini-history of the Jewish people in eight dazzling pop-up pages. Delightful candy for the eyes, the all-white visions are accompanied by short poems suitable for all ages - a treat for the whole family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a collection of Robert Sabuda and Mathew Reinhart popup books and collateral items. This is the 34th book in my collection and just as wonderful as all the others. The greatest part is watching the reaction of those who look at it, especially the wide eyes of my grandchildren.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This work is a delight to the eye! So intricate, so many details! I will treasure it for a long time!