A thoughtful exhortation to have “the light of freedom always burn brightly in our homes and in our hearts.” (Picture...

LIGHT THE MENORAH!

A HANUKKAH HANDBOOK

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)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-8368-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses.

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS

From the How To Catch… series

An elusive new quarry leads the How To Catch… kids on a merry chase through a natural history museum.

Taking at least a step away from the “hunters versus prey” vibe of previous entries in the popular series, the racially diverse group of young visitors dashes through various museum halls in pursuit of the eponymous dino—whose quest to “spread kindness and joy ’round the world” takes the form of a mildly tumultuous museum tour. In most of Elkerton’s overly sweet, color-saturated scenes, only portions of the Loveosaurus, who is purple and covered with pink hearts, are visible behind exhibits or lumbering off the page. But the children find small enticements left behind, from craft supplies to make cards for endangered species to pictures of smiley faces, candy heart–style personal notes (“You Rock!” “Give Hugs”), and, in the hall of medieval arms and armor, a sign urging them to “Be Honest Be Kind.” The somewhat heavy-handed lesson comes through loud and clear. “There’s a message, he wants us to think,” hints Walstead to clue in more obtuse readers…and concluding scenes of smiling people young and otherwise exchanging hugs and knuckle bumps, holding doors for a wheelchair rider, and dancing through clouds of sparkles indicate that they, at least, have gotten it. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Sugary uplift, shrink-wrapped for the masses. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 9781728268781

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2023

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These reindeer games are a bit tired but, given the series’ popularity, should have a large, ready-made audience.

HOW TO CATCH A REINDEER

The How to Catch A… crew try for Comet.

Having already failed to nab a Halloween witch, the Easter Bunny, a turkey, a leprechaun, the Tooth Fairy, and over a dozen other iconic trophies in previous episodes of this bestselling series, one would think the racially diverse gaggle of children in Elkerton’s moonlit, wintry scenes would be flagging…but no, here they lay out snares ranging from a loop of garland to an igloo baited with reindeer moss to an enticing candy cane maze, all in hopes of snagging one of Santa’s reindeer while he’s busy delivering presents. Infused with pop culture–based Christmas cheer (“Now I’ve already seen the shelf with the elf”), Comet prances past the traps until it’s time to gather up the kids, most of whom look terrified, for a group snapshot with the other reindeer and then climb back into harness: “This was a great stop but a few million to go / Christmas Eve must continue with style!” Though festive, the verse feels trite and unlikely to entice youngsters. A sprinkling of “True Facts About Reindeer” (“They live in the tundra, where they have friends like the arctic bunny”) wrap up this celebration of the predatory spirit. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

These reindeer games are a bit tired but, given the series’ popularity, should have a large, ready-made audience. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 9781728276137

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sourcebooks Wonderland

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2022

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