Hanukkah Bear

Hanukkah Bear

by Eric A. Kimmel, Mike Wohnoutka
     
 

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Almost blind and deaf, a woman known for her delicious latkes mistakes a visiting bear for her rabbi. A retelling of The Chanukkah Guest (Holiday House, 1990, o.p.) with new illustrations.

Overview

Almost blind and deaf, a woman known for her delicious latkes mistakes a visiting bear for her rabbi. A retelling of The Chanukkah Guest (Holiday House, 1990, o.p.) with new illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
Kimmel (Little Red Hot) revises a story previously published in Cricket magazine and as a 1990 picture book, The Hanukkah Guest, with cheerful new acrylic illustrations from Wohnoutka (Just Like My Papa). The story follows 97-year-old Bubba Brayna as she hosts her rabbi for a Hanukkah meal. With her failing eyesight and poor hearing, Bubba Brayna doesn’t realize that a hungry bear, not the rabbi, has appeared at her doorstep, clamoring for fresh latkes. They light the menorah, say the blessings, and indulge in traditional Hanukkah fare. Bubba’s remarkable patience as she puts up with the none-too-scary bear’s gruffness will amuse readers as they prepare for their own Hanukkah celebrations. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
One winter night Old Bear wakes up from hibernation to a delicious smell. Bubba Brayna has been making "the best potato latkes in the village," despite her age and her poor eyesight and hearing. She has cooked twice as many as usual because she expects the rabbi this Hanukkah night. When Old Bear knocks on her door, she thinks it is the rabbi and welcomes him. As the bear makes various sounds, hard of hearing Bubba Brayna interprets them as best she can. After she lights the candles on the menorah and says the blessing, Old Bear gobbles down all the latkes. She sends him home with a muffler she has knitted. When her friends arrive, she tells them that the rabbi has eaten all the latkes. Of course he denies it. Seeing bear tracks, they decide that it was "...a very clever bear...or a very foolish Bubba Brayna." As Old Bear sleeps content in his den, the villagers all work together to make more latkes for the holiday. The stylized hungry bear and the smiling Bubba fill the single and double pages with fun. Acrylic paints produce warmth to set the humble interior aglow. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
★ 10/01/2013
PreS-Gr 1—Kimmel has pared down his The Chanukkah Guest (Holiday House, 1990) to create this new, reillustrated version for younger readers. Though a bit of the rich language is gone from this much-loved story about 97-year-old Bubba Brayna mistaking a latke-seeking bear for her rabbi, the essence and the humor remain. Bubba Brayna still tries to take the bear's coat, interprets his "grrrowwws" and "rrrrumphs" as the blessing over the Hanukkah candles, and wipes the jam from his "beard" after he finishes his meal. The book was originally illustrated by Giora Carmi; the new acrylic paintings by Wohnoutka have a warm, mirthful quality. Petite Bubba Brayna is rosy and welcoming toward the large honey brown bear, who is more endearing than menacing. Large textured brushstrokes make the snow on Bubba Brayna's roof look like frosting, while inside her cozy house everything has a golden glow. Successful on every level, this holiday favorite is sure to be popular with anyone who appreciates a little humor with their holidays.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
A well-used trope of misidentification allows a village elder to innocently open her home to a possible predator with humorous, even endearing results. Despite her advanced age of 97 and her poor eyesight and hearing, Bubba Brayna "still [makes] the best potato latkes in the village." When Old Bear is awakened from his winter sleep by the savory aroma of frying latkes and comes to her door, Bubba Brayna invites him in for a fresh batch, mistaking the bear's rotund girth and bushy face for the heavy-set bearded rabbi's. Heading straight for the kitchen, the growling bear is encouraged to play dreidel with nuts he chooses to eat, then devours all the latkes with jam like any hungry bear would. Sleepy and satisfied, he leaves with a gift of a red woolen scarf around his neck. After some investigating by the crowd that has gathered at Bubba Brayna's door, which includes the actual rabbi, a new batch of potatoes are brought from the cellar, and with everyone's help, Bubba Brayna hosts a happy Hanukkah. This newly illustrated version of The Chanukkah Guest, illustrated by Giora Carmi (1990), is a softer rendition, with acrylic paints and curved lines in tints of yellow, brown and green for warm, earthy atmosphere. The now-classic tale's humor still fosters eye-rolling laughter, with Wohnoutka's illustrations as rib-tickling complement. (Picture book. 4-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823428557
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,194,258
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD370L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Eric Kimmel has wanted to be an author since he first discovered back in kindergarten that people called authors make books. His first book came out in 1974. Since then he has published over fifty titles, many of which have won numerous state awards, appeared on school and library recommended lists, and won prestigious awards such as the Caldecott Honor Medal (Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins) and the Sydney Taylor Picture Book Award (The Chanukkah Guest and Gershon’s Monster). He is the only author to win the National Jewish Book Award for picture books twice. The first time was for The Chanukkah Guest. The second time was for The Mysterious Guests. His The Lady In The Blue Cloak, a collection of stories from the Texas missions, was given the Naylor Award by the Daughters of the Texas Revolution.

Since graduating with a B.F.A. in Illustration, Mike has worked with various clients including Random House, Dutton Children's Books, Clarion Books, Holiday House, Scholastic Books, Walker & Co., Hyperion Books, Sterling Books, Cricket Magazine Group, General Mills, 3M, Medtronics, and Peaceable Kingdom Press.

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