A handbook to help families make Hanukkah—the Jewish Festival of Lights—even more meaningful.
Candles are lit for each night of Hanukkah, starting with one for the first night and finishing with eight for the eighth night. Jules offers eight free-verse poems and eight reflections that combine a history of the holiday with moral teachings that can be followed by those of any or no specific faith. Readers are urged to “brighten the darkness,” to “add our light,” to “appreciate each flickering moment,” and to live with tolerance for all peoples. There is also a retelling of the origins of Hanukkah, factoids (including how many candles are needed in all: 44), and mention of two women associated with the festival. Directions are provided for playing with a dreidel, words and music for two songs, recipes for potato latkes and jelly doughnuts, and simple crafts made from household objects. The illustrations depict a white, observant family and pages filled with flickering lights and stars against a blue background. Other pages show a diverse array of children playing games as well as images of the Holy Land at the time of the first Hanukkah. Caregivers and teachers looking for a general introduction to a plane of higher principles may find this helpful.
A thoughtful exhortation to have “the light of freedom always burn brightly in our homes and in our hearts.” (Picture book/religion. 5-7)