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Review of A Hanukkah with Mazel

A Hanukkah with Mazel by Joel Edward Stein; illus. by Elisa Vavouri Primary    Kar-Ben    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-4677-8171-8    $17.99 Paper ed.  978-1-4677-8176-3    $7.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-5124-0936-9    $6.99 Artist Misha doesn’t have much, but he has enough milk to share with the cat he finds in his barn, whom he names Mazel (“luck”). He can’t […]

Holiday shopping

So you’ve read Roger’s holiday classic, “What Makes a Good Gift Book? Step Aside!” (If you haven’t, hop to it!) But what if you live far away from the young gift recipient, and there’s not much opportunity to arrange an in-person bookstore outing? The Horn Book’s got you covered. Head to your own local independent […]

Move Over, Shmelf…There Are Other Books on the Shelf

This past fall I posted a critical review of picture book Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoodReads, and Facebook. This caused quite a brouhaha. My review was quoted in the Tablet magazine article, “Stay in Your Lane, Elf,” by Marjorie Ingall, and I was interviewed (along with my colleague Kathy Bloomfield) […]

’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah…

’Twas the eighth day of Hanukkah. (Chanukah? Well, it’s easy to celebrate, harder to spell.) The table was covered in relics of wax, and presents long-opened were sitting in stacks. The gelt was just wrappers. The dreidels were spun. The Maccabees’ moment was quite nearly done. Then off near the shelves, there arose such a […]

Happy (C)Han(n)uk(k)a(h)!

The Festival of Lights began last night, and I’ve got the latke lunch to prove it. Here are some recent Hanukkah-themed picture books to (let’s be honest) get smothered in applesauce. Reviews are from The Horn Book Magazine’s 2015 Holiday High Notes and from The Horn Book Guide Online. For more Horn Book Hanukkah recommendations, […]

Review of Oskar and the Eight Blessings

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon; illus. by Mark Siegel Primary, Intermediate   Roaring Brook   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-59643-949-8   $17.99 In 1938, the last night of Hanukkah coincided with Christmas Eve, and for a young Jewish refugee in Manhattan, both holidays provided blessings. Following Kristallnacht, Oskar’s parents had put him on […]

Review of I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel

I Know an Old Lady Who 
Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz; 
illus. by David Slonim Primary   Levine/Scholastic   32 pp. 9/14   978-0-439-91530-4   $17.99 The American Gothic parody on the 
first wordless spread — showing Ma 
and Pa, a boy, a cat…and a menorah — previews this freewheeling volume, part warm family holiday story, part art […]

Chanukah at the Chorn Book

“Oh Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah / Come eat the menorah…” The Festival of Lights begins at sundown tomorrow, Tuesday, December 16. Here are some recent Hanukkah-themed picture books to enjoy (by candlelight?). Reviews are from The Horn Book Magazine‘s Holiday High Notes and from The Horn Book Guide Online. For more Horn Book Hanukkah recommendations click […]

Recommended Hanukkah picture books

Hanukkah is here! These picture books, all published in the last several years and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine, will get you in a festive mood for the Festival of Lights. In Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama, Sadie describes her family’s December holiday traditions. Daddy Christmas makes latkes for Santa while Hanukkah Mama hangs […]

Reading is the reason for the season

  Deck your shelves with Holiday High Notes, the Horn Book’s selection of the best Hanukkah* and Christmas books of the year. (*or Chanukah. Jane, Yolen, if you’re there, we notice your new Dinosaurs book uses this spelling. Mistle-tov!)