Saturday, December 8, 2012

Non-fiction Picture Book Review: Celebrate Hanukkah

Holidays around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah: With Light, Latkes, and Dreidels

Celebrate Hanukkah
Written by:  Deborah Heiligman, Consultant:  Rabbi Shira Stern
Published by: National Geographic, 2006

* Happy Hanukkah! Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah and the first of eight holiday related book reviews.   I reviewed this book on my original blog The Busy Mom Cafe at Hanukkah last year.  However, it is hard to find children's books that describe and explain holidays so that a 4 and 6 year old can understand them. This book fits so well that I wanted to share it again, in case you might have missed it.  Although this book is geared toward 1st through 4th graders, I was pleasantly surprised to find this book understandable to my 6 year old daughter.  While it may be a little advanced for my son he enjoyed looking at the pictures and I think with repeated readings he learns a bit more each year.  The text is short and simple, yet informative.  Being from National Geographic, you get a global perspective of the holiday with photographs of children from all over the world and information on how they celebrate the holiday.  At the end of the book there are instructions on how to light the menorah and the prayers to say, a recipe for latkes, and instructions on playing the dreidel game. There are also book and websites listed in the back if you want to find out more about the holiday.

My mother-in-law's family celebrates Hanukkah so my children are familiar with the traditions.  During Hanukkah we light a menorah, play dreidel with them, and eat potato latkes.  I like that they get to participate and learn about both Jewish and Catholic holidays throughout the year.  While we enjoy reading fiction picture books about the holidays, I think it is important that they also read and listen to factual books too.  This is a book that is informational and enjoyable for us all.

This book was borrowed from the library.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

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