Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah by Michael J. Rosen, DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah

Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah

by Michael J. Rosen, DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Each of the eight nights has a different focus for this contemporary family living in a city setting. The first night they polish and light Great-grandmother's old menorah (9-branched candelabra), sing songs and read the Hanukkah story (interestingly, the author comments that "nobody in that story gave...presents"). The second night they go to their grandparents for latkes (potato pancakes)—still no gifts in sight. Other nights are designated for gathering household things and toys that they'll give away, for actually taking their gifts and cards to a shelter, attending the temple's party, and other special activities. On the seventh night, the family takes its menorah and gifts to their best friends' house, Christian people of color, and enjoys a latke meal with them, ending with the awkward sentence "...and eat cookies I've sometimes helped decorate earlier in the day." This pleasant sharing is followed by a joint tree-trimming session. The child narrator comments that "Hanukkah is also about people of different religions living alongside one another" but doesn't distinguish between respecting, as different than actually participating in (trimming the tree), another's holidays—which was what the Hanukkah battle between the Jews and the Greeks was all about. However, this book with its warm and fuzzy pictures and de-emphasis on gifts sets a comfortable tone for mutual appreciation of differing heritages. 2000, Holiday, $16.95. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: Judy Chernak
Kirkus Reviews
Rosen (Avalanche, 1998, etc.) follows a family through their traditional celebration of Hanukkah. After each activity, there's an explanation of its meaning in the context of the original miracle. On the first night, they read the story of Judah Maccabee and the narrator comments that "nobody in that story gave Hanukkah presents. . . . They were just glad to be free to be Jews." The second night they go to Grandma's and Grandpa's, where Grandma fixes latkes fried in oil. The third night they fix up some of their toys and clothes that they don't think they'll use next year. "Mom likes to remind us that Jews believe in tzedakah, which means that even little kids have something extra they can share." Other nights find them going to the temple party, inviting friends to their home, playing dreidel, bringing their gifts to a shelter, and helping a Christian family trim their tree. "Did I tell you that our Hanukkah is also about people of different religions living alongside one another?" The eighth and last night is for Dad's summary of the meaning, the miracle, and the lights. Every page of this book is a quiet celebration. DiSalvo's (Grandpa's Corner Store, p. 559, etc.) paintings are soft and impressionistic, yet full of joy and sweet details of the loving family, their friends, and their faith. (Picture book. 58)

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
AD850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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