A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lots of information on Hanukkah, the lighting of the candles, the traditional foods eaten, the meaning of the rituals. Back matter includes a glossary (including definitions of latke, menorah, schmaltz, shamash), notes on original author Sydney Taylor and the diverse neighborhood and history of the Lower East Side, the origin of Hanukkah, a note from the illustrator, and a list of Taylor's five All-of-a-Kind chapter books.
Implied message that family is important, and that traditional rituals handed down through generations help people of faith remember and reflect upon events recounted in their religious scriptures. Also, sometimes little kids are kept from helping when they're too young to handle tools safely and avoid being burned or cut. Giving little kids a significant task to do can make them feel valuable and included.
Positive Role Models
Mama is kind and protective. Papa is loving and knows what to say to draw Gertie out and help her feel better and more included. Gertie wants to assist and gets mad when she's told she's not allowed to. Her sisters help Mama and are kind and protective of Gertie.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Emily Jenkins' All-of-a Kind Family Hanukkah is a picture book adaptation of the classic book of the same name by Sydney Taylor, which introduced this Jewish family of five sisters to readers in 1951. Taylor published a total of five books in the series, the last of which was published in 1978. Warmly illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky, it shows a loving family preparing the family feast for the first night on Hanukkah in their tenement apartment on New York City's Lower East Side in 1912.
Is It Any Good?
This cozy holiday tale focuses on one family's religious and cultural tradition but has broad appeal as a story of a sibling feeling left out and then finally valued. All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah moves along at a brisk pace, amplified by engaging art that has an inviting old-fashioned feel and is framed in different perspectives -- from panoramic views of the busy, crowded tenement apartment to intimate closeups of parent and child.
Helpful, informative back matter includes a glossary, notes on original author Sydney Taylor and the diverse neighborhood and history of the Lower East Side, an explanation of Hanukkah's biblical origin, a note from the illustrator, and a list of the five All-of-a-Kind chapter books by Sydney Taylor.
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