From the Publisher
Reviews of the original hardcover edition:
Excerpt from Publishers Weekly Review
Noteworthy graphics and clever use of design elements jazz up a small (9" 7") paper-over-board book that counts up from one through the eight nights of the holiday. Die-cuts show the correct number of "candles" on each spread, made all the more pleasing by strong, clear color combinations and color-coded fonts. Each page includes Hebrew and Yiddish words, transliterations and pronunciations.
Excerpt from School Library Journal Review
In this visually appealing book, children are invited to count menorah candles and other holiday objects in English, Hebrew, and Yiddish. The three languages are printed in different colors, and the Hebrew and Yiddish are shown both phonetically and in the Hebrew alphabet. A pronunciation guide and a brief explanation of the Hanukkah story are included. The strength of the book is its use of simple, bold illustrations and colored fonts against solid backgrounds..-E. M.
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
Bright colors against dark backgrounds make this happy little book glow with holiday spirit. Toddlers can count the die-cut candles in the book, as well as the symbolic pictures connected with Hanukkah. The usual dreidls, gelt (money), and latkes are included in the count-up, as well as Sephardic suvganyot (jelly donuts) and elephants (which Greek soldiers who attacked the Maccabees rode into battles). The elephants are a stretch, but children will like identifying and counting them. There are, however, some problems with the book. The author counts the numbers in both Yiddish and Hebrew with English transliterations. The base of peopleeven grandparentswho know Yiddish is small so an explanation of why it is included is merited. Also, both Hebrew and Yiddish are written right to left and Hebrew does not include vowel markings. No mention is made of these facts. Families using the transliteration who are missing this information will be reading the corresponding letters in the wrong direction. Also, giving a pronunciation key in which the guttural "ch" sound is explained as the "ch" in "chutzpah" (the Yiddish word for "nerve") is an interesting choice for a children's book. Finally, the translation of "gut yontif" as "Happy Hanukah" is incorrect. "Gut yontif" is a broader Yiddish greeting for all holidays. The book does provide a brief explanation of the origins of the holiday. A well-meant gift for the littlest readers. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross