One Candle

Overview

"What do you think Grandma wants to do this every year?"

I don't know for sure. But I think it has to do with being strong in the bad time and remembering it in the good time.

For one family the traditional Hanukkah celebration has a deeper meaning. Amidst the food and the festivities, Grandma and Great-Aunt Rose begin their story-the one they tell each year. They pass on to each generation a tale of perseverance during the darkest hours of the...

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Overview

"What do you think Grandma wants to do this every year?"

I don't know for sure. But I think it has to do with being strong in the bad time and remembering it in the good time.

For one family the traditional Hanukkah celebration has a deeper meaning. Amidst the food and the festivities, Grandma and Great-Aunt Rose begin their story-the one they tell each year. They pass on to each generation a tale of perseverance during the darkest hours of the Holocaust, and the strength it took to continue to honor Hanukkah in the only way they could.

Best-selling author Eve Bunting's touching and joyous story about the importance of remembrance is exquisitely rendered by K. Wendy Popp's remarkable pastels. One Candle reaffirms the values of tradition and family, but also shows us that by continuing to honor the tragedies and the triumphs of the past there will always be hope for the future.

Every year a family celebrates Hanukkah by retelling the story of how Grandma and her sister managed to mark the day while in a German concentration camp.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On the first night of Hanukkah every year, Grandma recites her experience as a 12-year-old in Buchenwald, when she risked her life to steal a potato and margarine to improvise one Hanukkah light. The text feels somewhat forced until Grandma starts speaking, and then the audience will be gripped. Popp's (Sister Anne's Hands) uncannily lifelike, sympathetic group portraits, bathed in soft lighting that visually bridges them to sepia-toned flashback scenes of Buchenwald, evoke the abiding tenderness of family rituals respectfully observed. It would be a pity for the mistake on the cover (the candle is on the wrong side of the menorah here and several times in the interior art) to deter readers from the unusually moving story within. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Another finely tuned intimate, first-person narrative from Bunting, who delivers a moving family history framed within the celebration of Hanukkah. Grandma ritualistically makes a candle from a hollowed-out potato in memory of the time she and Great-Aunt Rose spent in Buchenwald. The repeated story unites the family as they celebrate the present and remember the past. Exceptionally handsome illustrations lend a realistic quality to the memorable text: sepia tones mute and distance the concentration-camp flashbacks; softly colored tones define contemporary scenes.-S. P. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
This Hanukkah story about a family’s ritual reenactment of Grandma and great-aunt Rose’s Hanukkah spent at Buchenwald many years ago during the "bad time" propounds a disturbing view of the Holocaust. Grandma and great-aunt Rose demonstrate to the family how they hollowed out a potato stolen from the kitchen at the camp, filled it with a dab of stolen margarine, made a wick from a piece of thread, and lit a candle to commemorate the holiday. Popp’s (Sister Anne’s Hands, 1998) realistic drawings of the celebration are soft and subtly colored, reflecting the family’s warmth and closeness, while the drawings of the camp are ghostly in sepia tones. Afterwards the whole family steps outside to look at the Hanukkah lights through the window and drink a toast to life. The disturbing piece is Grandpa’s comment that "The Germans didn’t like a lot of people. It wasn’t only the Jews." For many, this is a deeply offensive statement, implying as it does that the Jews were not singled out by Hitler and the Germans for the very specific goal of total destruction. Even in the context of human history, the single-mindedness, efficiency, and technological resources put to the task make Hitler’s war against the Jews exceptional. Grandpa’s comment would be problematic in any event, but out of the mouth of the husband of a Holocaust survivor it is troubling indeed. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060281168
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Eve Bunting was born in Ireland and came to California with her husband and three children. She is one of the most acclaimed and versatile children's book authors, with more than two hundred novels and picture books to her credit. Among her honors are many state awards, the Kerlan Award, the Golden Kite Award, the Regina Medal, the Mystery Writers of America and the Western Writers of America awards, and a PEN International Special Achievement award for her contribution to children's literature. In 2002, Ms. Bunting was chosen to be Irish-American Woman of the Year by the Irish-American Heritage Committee of New York.

K. Wendy Popp's pastels and drawings have been used to illustrate publications internationally for over two decades, and her artwork is held in private collections and galleries throughout the United States. The illustrations for One Candle feature the faces of children and parents in her community, as well as her own children. Ms. Popp lives and works in upstate New York with her husband, Bill, and two children, Zoe and Wynn.

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