A family visit from Israel to Sesame Street includes a traditional Hanukkah observance while the number-obsessed Count happily looks for ways to include the perfect Hanukkah numeral 8 whenever possible.
With Grover’s assistance, Aunt Sara, Uncle Joe and the twins get ready to celebrate the holiday with their Israeli guests, Brosh and Avigail (all are Muppets). Latkes are made, the table is set, the menorah is cleaned and polished, and Uncle Joe recounts the legend of Judah Maccabee and his small, brave army. As the Count participates, he insists on counting to eight (represented as 8 throughout) for everything. He takes 8 bites of latkes and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), sings 8 songs and hands out 8 gifts. But “[e]verything at Hanukkah doesn’t have to be 8,” points out one of the twins when there is only one dreidel to play with. Leigh’s signature Sesame Street illustrations in bright, bold colors authenticate this Shalom Sesame tale, the first in a new series focused on Jewish culture and life.
It may not be the most traditional-looking celebration, but the familiarity of Grover and the Count will draw little ones in, with the added fun of counting aloud and recognizing the numerals 1 through 8 continuing the engagement. (Picture book. 3-5)