A thin plot nevertheless affords an unusual and inviting glimpse of Mexican-flavored Hanukkah festivities as well as of Rosh Hodesh, or new moon, the first day of the month in the Jewish calendar. Isobel's parents drop her off to spend Hanukkah with Aunt Luisa from Mexico. A banner reading "Feliz Januca" (Spanish for Happy Hanukkah) adorns the living room, and a dreidel piñata awaits in the dining room, although the stylized illustrations-heavy on the golds and purples, skewed in the angles and proportions-cancel out any traces of Mexican or Latin American design elements. The highlight is Rosh Hodesh, by Jewish tradition given to women as an occasion to celebrate; reading about Luisa's party for Isobel and her female photography students from the university, girls may wish they could observe the intersection of Rosh Hodesh with Hanukkah, too. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Hanukkah Moonby Deborah Da Costa, Gosia Mosz (Illustrator)
When Isobel is invited to Aunt Luisa’s for Hanukkah, she’s not sure what to expect. Aunt Luisa has recently arrived from Mexico. "At Aunt Luisa’s you’ll get to celebrate the Hanukkah Moon," Isobel's father promises. Isobel’s days at Aunt Luisa’s are filled with fun and surprises -- a new camera, a dreidel piñata filled with sweets, and a mysterious late night visit to welcome the luna nueva, the new moon that appears on Hanukkah. An unusual Hanukkah story with a multi-cultural focus, this title celebrates a little-known custom of the Latin-Jewish community.
Gr 1-3-With a golden palette and a soft tone, this lovely story highlights a tradition overlooked in most Hanukkah literature. Isobel has gone to stay with her Aunt Luisa, an artist who has just arrived from Mexico. At her aunt's house, everything seems both familiar and different, like a banner that reads "Feliz Januca" hanging over the fireplace, and a dreidel-shaped piñata. Lighting the hanukkiah, eating latkes, and exchanging gifts are familiar, but the story of Rosh Hodesh, the time of the new moon that occurs once a month, and always during Hanukkah, is not. It is the quiet yet meaningful impact that Luisa has on Isobel that makes this book so special, opening her eyes to different ways of seeing and of celebrating, much as this book will give young readers another perspective on ways that Jews from other countries and traditions celebrate familiar holidays. Soothing watercolor and crayon illustrations in shades of gold and purple beautifully convey the affectionate relationship that develops between the child and her aunt. An author's note relates the traditional story of Hanukkah. A rare and worthy choice that will enhance most collections.-Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public LibraryCopyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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