A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A family doesn't let disappointment ruin their holiday. By sharing what they have they find joy even in a hard situation.
Positive Role Models
The parents and kids pull together and are able to celebrate the holiday even without their traditional foods.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this pleasant little tale presents a positive, friendly message. This book offers a good explanation of Hanukkah traditions in folk tale form.
Is It Any Good?
Though this is a new story, it sounds a lot like a familiar, comforting folk tale that might have been passed down through the generations. Its tone is simple, the language folksy, and the message loving in a very traditional way. The small family lives in a candlelit cottage in a time far away in the past, and their story gives a new and pleasant twist to the miracle of Hanukkah.
The chalk-drawn illustrations by Robin Spowart are amazing, even in the paperback edition. Inside the house, soft, golden candlelight floods the shadowed background of each room with a warmth that positively glows. Outside, snow swirls in a blue-black cold until finally it settles into a peaceful mound of silver-blue light under a star-speckled sky. Rounded lines and gentle curves, nothing too startling in its contrast, create the perfect enhancement for this gentle tale. Even readers who don't celebrate Hanukkah will feel the happiness that emanates from both the text and the illustrations of this book. They will also appreciate the explanation of the holiday as well as the recipe for potato latkes and instructions for playing dreidel that follow.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.