THE HANUKKAH BOOK by Marilyn Burns


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Burns, the author of some of the Brown Paper Bag books, brings much of the same hey-kids informality--and didacticism plus personal guidance--to a subject which calls for more sensitive treatment; for engaging a child's feelings instead of just laying-the-facts-on-the-line. ""This book has three purposes,"" Burns begins pedantically; and then she spells out what they are: ""to give you a source of information about Hanukkah""; ""to get you doing as well as reading about Hanukkah""; ""to help you explore how you feel about Hanukkah."" On the first two scores, Malka Drucker's Hanukkah (1980) completely outpoints this: the story of Hanukkah is told more concisely and more affectingly (Burns is simply no storyteller: ""Another general, General Seron, heard about Appolonius' defeat. He decided to avenge the loss. His army was twice the size of Appolonius' army""); the suggestions for celebrating the holiday are meaningful (and presented as such), not just cut-and-paste activities as here. The one section that some kids might web come, however, is the last one--which airs the discomfiture many Jewish children feel at Christmas, presents the arguments for celebrating it or not, and tells the different ways individual families deal with the problem. Useful in that respect, then; otherwise uninspiring and only superficially informative.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1981
Publisher: Four Winds