A joyful and sweet introduction to the holiday.

HANUKKAH IS COMING!

From the A Holiday Is Coming! series

A simple introduction for very young children to some of the ways Hanukkah is celebrated.

A girl, a boy, their mother and father, and their playful dog prepare for Hanukkah in this sweetly illustrated board book. In rhyming text readers follow the family as they make preparations for the eight-day celebration. The candles are set in the menorah; the latkes go “Hiss, sizzle, pop” in the kitchen, while the children look in excitement at the wrapped gifts that will later be traded. The songs have been practiced and learned, and so has the dreidel game. Chocolate-covered faces mean the eagerly anticipated Hanukkah gelt has already been sampled. With paper hats, swords, and shields, the children (and their dog) march like Maccabees. At the end of each page the text is brought to a close with the titular phrase, “Hanukkah is coming,” the repetition contributing to the mounting excitement. Finally, the sun sets, the menorah has been lit, and as the family contemplates the stars through the window of their home, the book ends with a satisfying “Hurray! Hanukkah is here!” Garofoli’s richly colored cartoon illustrations contribute to the playfulness of the story.

A joyful and sweet introduction to the holiday. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-5241-1

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read.

THE ABCS OF CHRISTMAS

Little ones are taught their ABCs with Christmas iconography.

A CAT nibbles on a candy cane, and FOXES sing holiday carols, while LANTERNS glow and ORNAMENTS sparkle on festive trees. Christmas is in the air, and so are the letters of the alphabet. Each letter gets a corresponding Christmas illustration, charmingly colored and cozily composed. The easily read text beneath each picture forms rhyming couplets (“GEESE with gumdrops stacked up tall. / HOME is where we deck the halls”), with the key word set in all caps. The imagery mixes spiritual and secular icons side by side: there are baby JESUS, SANTA, the “Three kind KINGS,” and (a little mystifyingly) “UNICORNS donning underwear.” The warm color palette draws little readers in, and the illustrations have a gingerbread-cookie aesthetic, though there is no real attempt to include Christmas traditions such as luminaria from nondominant cultures. The picture that groups a stereotypical Eskimo, an igloo, and some penguins will madden many readers on both cultural and geographical fronts.

A sweet but standard-issue Christmas read. (Board book. 1-3)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7624-6125-7

Page Count: 26

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world.

ABCS OF KINDNESS

Rhyming couplets use the alphabet to simply explain the abstract concept of kindness.

Each letter of the alphabet stands for a word that adds nuance to the notion while line drawings of pink-cheeked stuffed animals—bear, bunny, elephant, mouse, lion, and giraffe—illustrate the behavior. The verses hint at exactly how to act kindly. Some are concrete: “Ii is for inviting everyone to play.” Some suggest attitudes that facilitate kindness. For example, “Bb is for believing things will be okay in the end!” and “Hh is for hope—tomorrow’s another day!” While many might take issue with the simplistic assertion that “Ee is for everyone—we are all the same,” taken as a whole, the book will lead even the youngest toddlers to the message. Organizationally, the book devotes one page each to 11 letters while 14 others share pages. “Zz is sleeping peacefully when your day of kindness is through” sprawls across a final double-page spread, showing all the animals fast asleep. Creating an ABC book is harder than this makes it look. The true test is what is chosen to represent Q, X, Y, and Z. “Quiet times,” “Yes I can,” and the aforementioned “zzz”s ably rise to the challenge. “Xx is for kisses” is a bit of a stretch but understandable. Pastel backgrounds, uncluttered design, and unforced rhymes keep the focus on the concept.

Light, friendly, and not at all preachy—a gentle win for a kinder world. (Board book. 1-4)

Pub Date: Dec. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-12307-2

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more