A Woody Guthrie Hanukkah folk tune written in part for his wife’s Jewish family is brought to life with droll cartoon illustrations and a toe-tapping klezmer musical arrangement.
Construction-paper cutouts make up basic body parts, and they are embellished with charcoal and colored pencil. These illustrations create cheery double-page scenes to accompany each four-line verse. A barefoot, curly-haired guitar player is joined by children parading in song, a father playing an accordion and a mother with a fiddle. They are accompanied by a pet dog hauling a wagon full of gifts. In warm complement to the musical atmosphere, a grandmother is baking honey cake and cookies to go with latkes, and all the candles on the menorah are lit. Guthrie’s simple message that money is not as important as sweet hugs and kisses to go all around at “Honeyky Hanukah time” is reflected in each jovial illustration. While the book itself can stand alone, the accompanying CD with music by the well-known Klezmatics will encourage dancing and singing along to the joyously performed adaptation.
Sure to become a tradition at Hanukkah parties everywhere. (Picture book. 3-6)