The Hanukkah Hop!

Overview

Rachel’s twirling streamers
Daddy blows up blue balloons
Mommy sizzles latkes as she hums a Hanukkah tune.

It's Hanukkah! It's a time to celebrate family and enjoy festive traditions. As Rachel and her parents prepare the house, grandparents, cousins, and friends travel from near and far to sing and tell stories. Together, they will light ...

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Overview

Rachel’s twirling streamers
Daddy blows up blue balloons
Mommy sizzles latkes as she hums a Hanukkah tune.

It's Hanukkah! It's a time to celebrate family and enjoy festive traditions. As Rachel and her parents prepare the house, grandparents, cousins, and friends travel from near and far to sing and tell stories. Together, they will light candles, play games, and eat scrumptuous holiday foods... and, of course, dance the Hanukkah Hop. The stamping, the hopping, and the bim-bim-bopping is sure to go on all night!

Erica Silverman's lively, rollicking text is sure to inspire every member of the family in celebrating the Festival of Lights!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Silverman (Sholom’s Treasure) conjures a “bim-bom bop” of a Hanukkah party at Rachel’s house, complete with a klezmer band (the Mazel-Tones) to juke the joint after the candles are lit, the latkes and sufganiyot are eaten, and the dreidls are spun. Young Rachel is finally the last one dancing, long after the music stops. D’Amico (Ella the Elephant series) uses an urbane retro style for his illustrations, pencil sketches that have been digitally rendered and colored on a computer. Ages 3–6. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
A fresh and festive choice for the Festival of Lights.
SLJ, October 2011
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
What a delightful little book! The glossary appears at the front—before any Yiddish or Hebrew words have been used. The only descriptive word I can think of for the rhymes is "rollicking." Rachel and her family are decorating their house for their Hanukkah party, and even the cat (Kitzel) and dog (Doodle) have something to do—although chasing dreidels and sneaking donuts from the table probably aren't what the parents had in mind. Outside the living room window, Rachel can see a city street, with planes, trains, cars, motorbikes, and even campers—and they're all coming to her house! Well, no, they're not all coming to her house, but the relatives and friends who all seem to arrive at once have come in every conveyance possible. This city scene is my favorite in the whole book. Streetlights are lit, there are piles of snow at the curbs and on an awning, and some windows—but not all of them—have lights on. The snowflakes are flashing six-pointed stars. The few pedestrians on the street look as if they're hurrying! After the menorahs are lit, "Mommy tells the story of the band of Maccabees..." and then it is time for dreidels and latkes. The surprise of the night is the appearance of the klezmer band! The dancing and singing seem to go on for hours, and even after the guests and musicians have all gone to sleep (on chairs, sofas, and cots) Rachel is still dancing. Read it again—this is too much fun for a one-time read. Recommended. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Evoking a joyous refrain found in traditional Hasidic music, this celebration of Hanukkah brings a family together for a jubilant night of dancing. A chant of "Biddy-biddy bim-bom bim-bom bop" sets both the tone and the beat of the energetic rhyming text, building from a jazzy syncopation to a whirling, rollicking climax reminiscent of a piece of Klezmer music. "Spin! Swing! Sway!/Dive! Jump! Pop!/The party's going wild/at the Hanukkah Hop!" Charmingly retro, digitally rendered illustrations, reminiscent of '60s-era cartoons, are animated and joyful. One should probably read through the text a few times before reading aloud to be sure to catch the syncopated beat. A fresh and festive choice for the Festival of Lights.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

The arrival of some special guests transforms the traditional family Hanukkah gathering into a dance fest that has everyone moving to the rhythm of a bopping, hopping beat.

Excitement mounts while Rachel and her parents get ready to host the extended family. Streamers, blue balloons and shiny menorahs are all arranged while latkes fry and the family listens to a "jazzy bim-bom beat." Unlike Lisa Wheeler's sprightly, zesty jitterbug verse inJazz Baby(illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, 2007), Silverman's forced, uneven rhymes are only marginally successful at achieving that bebop syncopation. She seems to struggle with her verse framework to include all the conventional elements (dreidels, menorahs, latkes) and a very brief summary of the origin of the holiday along with the description of a joyous celebration. Her inclusion of a Klezmer band (the Mazel-Tones) injects much-needed energy into the party with its version of the ever-changing refrain. "Biddy-biddy bim-bom / bim-bom bop. / Spin! Swing! Sway! / Dive! Jump Pop! / The party's going wild / at the Hanukkah Hop!" While the text falls short and is difficult to read aloud with an appropriately fluid musical swing, the digitally rendered cartoon-style art provides retro-cool images of a raucous, frenzied shindig.

An unsuccessful blending of the holiday's history and rituals with a boogie-woogie theme leaves this Hanukkah addition on the sidelines. (glossary)(Picture book. 4-7)

Pamela Paul
It may not quite be the hora, but the Hanukkah Hop swings.
—The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442406049
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,460,743
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Erica Silverman is the author of several books including Big Pumpkin; When the Chickens Went on Strike, which was a Sydney Taylor Honor book; and Sholom's Treasure, which won the Sydney Taylor Award and was a runner-up for the National Jewish Book Award. Her books have received the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award, the California Young Reader Medal, ABA Pick of the List, and the first book in her early-reader series Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa won the Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Visit her at www.ericasilverman.com.

Steve D'Amico is a Senior Art Director at Smashing Ideas, Inc. He and his wife co created the Ella the Elephant picture book series. He has produced illustrations that have appeared on PBS Kids, Nick Jr. and the Disney Channel. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 19, 2011

    I LOVED THIS BOOK!

    The Hanukkah Hop captures the spirit and excitement of the holiday. The rhythm and pace perfectly suits the celebration. I can't wait to share it with my grandchildren this Hanukkah. They'll love it, too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    A terrific book to share for Hannukkah!!

    In great rhythm and rhyme this wonderful book makes the holiday of Hannukah come alive. The words and illustrations are full of life. This is a great holiday read to share with all the family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2011

    A new Hanukkah Classic

    Rachel and her family are hanging streamers, blowing up ballons, sizzling latkes, shining menorahs all in anticipation of a glorious Hanukkah Hop. The beautiful and rhythmical language echoes the enthusiasm of the preparations and carries the reader along as excitement builds and relatives appear along with the klezmer band (the Mazel-Tones.) What joy when all the strutting, swinging, bouncing tapping, snapping begins! Bright illustrations feel like they might leap of the page. A unique and wonderful book for the holidays.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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