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Parents' Guide to

Beni's First Chanukah

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Insipid text, pictures present nothing new.

Beni's First Chanukah Poster Image

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There is certainly a need for more good picture books for young children about Hanukkah, but this isn't one of them. Both pictures and text are insipid. The author offers nothing new, either in story or language -- this is a connect-the-dots celebration of the holiday. The pictures, full of smiling, cuddly bears, are reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, but without the charm.

Oddly, the author passes up chances to add any real content: Beni and Papa recite a prayer, but the prayer isn't given. Grandpa tells the story of Hanukkah, but it's assumed that readers already know it. There are other problems as well. For example, the ornate wallpaper patterns distract from the characters, and the author says "light flakes of snow began to dust the trees," but the picture shows the world covered in deep snow.

Book Details

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