Yolen and Teague’s rascally dinosaurs bring their mischief to the titular holiday, illustrating the many ways it is recognized and celebrated by similarly behaving children in American Jewish households.
Yolen’s facile rhyme in question-and-answer format subtly displays the poor and corresponding acceptable conduct for each aspect of the celebratory eight nights. “Does a dinosaur act up / on Chanukah nights / when Mama comes in / with the holiday lights?” Fidgeting through the nightly prayers, grabbing the chocolate candy coins and snatching the dreidels so no one can play are examples judiciously countered with “No – / a dinosaur doesn’t. / He sings every prayer, // takes turns with the dreidel, / remembers to share.” Teague’s familiar collection of humorous, oversized dinosaurs sporting scaly bodies, clawed feet and fang-filled smiles within the confines of a normal home will keep young Paleolithic enthusiasts riveted. Per the series formula, each page features one labeled prehistoric beast, and the endpapers contain all 10 varieties included in the visual portion of the story.
Entertaining and loving, though the concepts and legend behind the annual weeklong winter remembrance are missing. (Picture book. 2-5)