Holiday High Notes 2022

Sleigh bells ring. People pleading
for some gifts made for reading.
They’re new and they’re old
and festively told:
stories for a winter wonderland.

Here’s our annual list of recommended illustrated holiday books, new or reissued — season’s greetings from the Horn Book staff!

*with apologies to lyricist Jeremy Stuart Smith

The Night Before The Nutcracker
by John Robert Allman; illus. by Julianna Swaney
Primary    Doubleday    40 pp.    g
9/22    978-0-593-18091-4    $18.99
Library ed.  978-0-593-18092-1    $21.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-18117-1    $10.99

Presented by American Ballet Theatre. A Clement C. Moore–inspired text and lively illustrations offer a tantalizing look at the before, during, and after of “tomorrow’s opening night” for four young dancers. From auditions to learning the steps, from “­rehearsals…with the pros” to backstage jitters, before finally: “Tchaikovsky’s music sets a mood of jolly jubilation.” The seven ensuing double-page spreads provide front-row seats to the performance, including a glimpse behind the scenes during intermission. A story synopsis and original costume illustrations from the ABT’s 2010 world premiere of the ballet end this engaging look at the seasonal staple. KITTY FLYNN

Strum & Drum: A Merry Little Quest
by Jashar Awan; illus. by the author
Preschool, Primary    Tundra    56 pp.    g
10/22    978-0-7352-7239-2    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-7352-7240-8    $10.99

Guitarist Strum and drummer Drum “wanted to march all the way to the Great Star in the north!” Off they go, in a mysterious forest with lanterns that flicker off and on, a waterless waterfall, and glass bubbles that don’t pop. Awan’s unique stylized illustrations are effectively varied, ­heightening the little drama. A soldier prince warns them about a “beast with green eyes,” but the two bravely march on. And then the beast strikes: “Strum and Drum went tumbling through the air…away from all they had known.” The illustrations, now in black and white and rendered realistically, offer a different, holiday-centered perspective on the situation. And by the end, Strum and Drum reach the Great Star, where they make music from on high. KITTY FLYNN

The BIG Christmas Bake
by Fiona Barker; illus. by Pippa Curnick
Preschool, Primary    Happy Yak/Quarto    32 pp.    g
10/22    978-0-7112-6814-2    $18.99

In some traditions, a special cake with a dried bean hidden inside is made on Twelfth Night, January 5, to mark the end of Christmas. Barker cleverly incorporates “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song into her text as each day animals bring another ingredient that two children need to make such a cake. “The list of what we need is long! Where will we find it all? / A ­partridge brings dried fruit and says he’ll give some friends a call.” ­Curnick’s colorful and exuberant illustrations feature a bevy of ­animals — some faithful to the song, some not (four calling penguins) — pitching in, but it’s the pet dog that receives the biggest surprise of all. More about Twelfth Night cake, a Christmas cupcake recipe, and the song’s original lyrics are appended. CYNTHIA K. RITTER

Eight Nights, Eight Lights
by Natalie Barnes; illus. by Andrea Stegmaier
Preschool, Primary    Kane Miller    32 pp.    g
12/22    978-1-68464-441-4    $14.99

As the families in one city neighborhood celebrate Chanukah, readers get a night-by-night glimpse into their homes and practices. Young Max, his grandparents, and his mother light the chanukiah, “Small and silver. Old as time.” His friend Lara’s family makes fresh jelly doughnuts with enough to share. Others play dreidel, exchange gifts, and relate the Maccabees’ tale. On the eighth night, the story ends back with Max looking out at a fireworks display and the neighbors’ windows that “all burn bright with light.” An introductory note on the title page tells more about chanukiot (with occasional later slight errors). A warm and welcoming tale, with colorful illustrations in subdued hues that reflect an array of Jewish experiences and representation. ELISSA GERSHOWITZ

The Best Gift for Bear
by Jennifer A. Bell; illus. by the author
Preschool    Two Lions/Amazon    40 pp.    g
9/22   978-1-5420-2922-3    $17.99

Hedgehog has been baking cookies for her friends and neighbors, but “Bear should have a grand gift, a special gift, something wonderful…just like Bear.” Nothing seems good enough until her home’s decorations give her the best idea: a giant gingerbread house. When a gusty wind turns Hedgehog’s creation into a pile of crumbs, Bear comes to her rescue and reveals her own present attempt, reminding the two just how well suited they are as friends. Red ribbons and berries plus snow-covered pines, wreaths, and other greenery give the gouache and colored-pencil illustrations a cheerful wintry feel. The front endpapers feature “Hedgehog’s Gingerbread Cookies” and “Grandma’s Honey Icing” recipes. CYNTHIA K. RITTER

Hanukkah in Little Havana
by Julie Anna Blank; illus. by Carlos Vélez Aguilera
Primary    Kar-Ben    24 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-7284-4284-6    $19.99
Paper ed.  978-1-7284-4285-3    $8.99
e-book ed.  978-1-7284-6918-8    $7.99

A Maryland family spends Hanukkah with their Nonna and Nonno (the Ladino names for grandparents) in Miami’s Little Havana. The lighthearted text takes them through their sun-kissed holiday: they run on the beach, spin a dreidel “on cool patio tiles,” and enjoy mouthwateringly described buñuelos alongside their latkes. Vividly colored illustrations add to the sense that this welcome Sephardic celebration is both a loving family visit and an ­exciting vacation. Back matter includes a glossary and an author’s note about Blank’s childhood memories of Ladino-speaking Cuban Jews from her visits to Miami. A handful of minor errors appear, including a dreidel with letters out of order. SHOSHANA FLAX

Moo, Baa, Fa La La La La!
by Sandra Boynton; illus. by the author
Preschool    Boynton Bookworks/Simon    16 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-6659-1435-2    $6.99

The familiar farmyard gang celebrates Christmas Eve in Boynton’s latest holiday-themed board book (Christmas Parade, rev. 11/20; Boo! Baa, La La La!, rev. 9/21). After “deck[ing] the halls with cows and holly,” singing, trimming the tree, and making merry (“All the happy pigs go HA HA HA!”), it’s time to settle down and go to bed. Chickens and other animal friends offer quiet sounds…until (classic Boynton) a rowdy bunch goes “a little wild.” Excited little ones will love the implicit invitation. KITTY FLYNN

Pookie’s Thanksgiving [Little Pookie]
by Sandra Boynton; illus. by the author
Preschool    Boynton Bookworks/Simon    18 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-6659-2263-0    $6.99

On Thanksgiving Day, Little Pookie (Spooky Pookie; Merry Christmas, Little Pookie) helps make apple and pumpkin pies and sets the table with his parents before Nemmy and Boppa arrive. After dinner, the pig family members each share what they’re thankful for, with Pookie’s closing “and pie” leading to a joyful dessert-eating finale. The simple rhyming text features excited asides from Pookie (“Ooo! Butter!”) that fans of this series, especially young listeners, should enjoy along with Boynton’s ever-pleasing signature illustrations. A board book embracing family togetherness to be “so thankful for” this season. CYNTHIA K. RITTER

Twelve Dinging Doorbells
by Tameka Fryer Brown; illus. by Ebony Glenn
Primary    Kokila/Penguin    32 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-9848-1517-0    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-9848-1518-7    $10.99

“At the first dinging doorbell this ­holiday I see… / a sweet potato pie just for me!” In this delightful takeoff on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” a little Black girl’s house begins to fill with family, friends, music, dancing, and food. The celebration brings, among others, “seven brothers repping,” “six toddlers squealing,” and “LOTS OF MACARONI AND CHEEEEESE.” The growing (mostly happy) chaos is cleverly reflected in a subtly changing text and especially in the illustrations, which employ unusual perspectives and dynamic angles to great effect. A warm, funny, original book — and don’t worry, our little girl gets her pie in the end. ­MARTHA V. PARRAVANO

Mother Winter
by James Christopher Carroll; illus. by the author
Primary    Creative Editions    16 pp.    g
8/22    978-1-56846-377-3    $16.99

“If you are awake, / on the longest cold night, / when the wind curls and frost holds time, / you’ll hear her bells and smell the first snow, / when Mother Winter goes walking.” This lyrical, luminous winter solstice book exhorts readers to go outside and experience the season’s natural wonders. The title character appears in the glowing, moonlit illustrations as a benevolent, larger-than-life figure whose blue cape trails behind while (in the text’s refrain) she “goes walking” through a town. Swirls of light and color abound in spectacular cool-toned art whose effect is ­breathtaking. ELISSA GERSHOWITZ

Clarice Bean: Think like an Elf
by Lauren Child; illus. by the author
Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    240 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-5362-2365-1    $19.99

Clarice Bean fans rejoice: the star of highly illustrated chapter books (and of picture books) brings her trademark exuberant stream-of-consciousness narration (with occasional sly authorial snark) to Christmas. Twelve brief chapters touch on card giving, gift exchange (who doesn’t love fudge?), favorite carols, Ruby Redfort, and more, as the narrative — with the series’ recognizably quirky shifts in font, type, format, and mixed-media illustrations ­throughout — follows our plucky protagonist through the highs (singing a solo) and lows (ruining the turkey) of the season. An enjoyable chapter book full of wit and good cheer. ELISSA GERSHOWITZ

The Perfect Tree
by Corinne Demas; illus. by ­Penelope Dullaghan
Preschool, Primary    Cameron/Abrams    32 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-951836-42-9    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-647007-95-9    $15.54

It’s the day before Christmas, and Bunny is searching for the perfect tree, one that is just her size. Along the way she meets various friends who each add a different request, sending Bunny farther and farther from home. Suspense builds as listeners wonder if Bunny will ever find the sought-after tree, while repetition in the text (each friend asks, “What are you looking for?”) will support new readers. The narrative is poetic and rhythmic, with occasional ear-pleasing alliteration. Illustrations in a muted, wintry palette nicely complement the story. LISA ROBERTS

Harvest Days: Giving Thanks Around the World
by Kate DePalma; illus. by Martina Peluso
Primary    Barefoot    40 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-64686-626-7    $17.99
Paper ed.  987-1-64686-627-4    $9.99

A series of eye-pleasing, digitally rendered double-page spreads depicts twelve different holiday traditions around the world (e.g., Martes de Challa in Bolivia; Crop Over in Barbados) related to giving thanks. The text is rhyming couplets, with useful explanatory sidebars and pronunciations that make potentially unfamiliar vocabulary approachable. Thorough back matter further describes the cultures, histories, beliefs, and food. Also appended are a calendar of when these holidays are celebrated, questions to encourage contemplation of how food is sourced, and author and illustrator notes. ROSHNI PATEL

A Very Mercy Christmas [Mercy Watson]
by Kate DiCamillo; illus. by Chris Van Dusen
Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-5362-1360-7    $18.99

In this Mercy Watson picture-book spinoff, young Stella Endicott is feeling the Christmas spirit. She asks her neighbors to go caroling, but all the humans are either too busy or not interested. Eugenia Lincoln even closes the door in her face. So it’s just Stella, pig Mercy Watson, cat General Washington, and horse Maybelline who raise their voices in song. “It was very loud, and very joyful, and not very musical.” When the other residents hear them, they all join in — even Eugenia Lincoln. As usual, Van Dusen’s humorous, sharply characterized illustrations pair well with DiCamillo’s mix of down-to-earth language and transporting lyricism. “They stood together, and above their heads, above Deckawoo Drive, above the tired and hopeful earth, the stars were shining, shining, shining down.” MARTHA V. PARRAVANO

Through the North Pole Snow
by Polly Faber; illus. by Richard Jones
Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g
11/22    978-1-5362-2852-6    $18.99

While searching for food in the snow, a white fox is rescued by a kindly bearded man. Though the man’s identity as Santa Claus isn’t revealed until the end, perceptive readers will notice text and illustration clues throughout (e.g., “Stuck? Now that’s a problem I understand!”; the red-and-white suit hanging by the fireplace). Faber’s quiet narrative recounts the animal’s year watching its host create toys he matches with letters from children. Any remaining mystery is cleared up once eight reindeer arrive to fly Santa’s sleigh full of toys. Jones’s textured mixed-media illustrations beautifully contrast the bold hues of cold winter nights and the pastel warmth inside the fox’s new North Pole home. CYNTHIA K. RITTER

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story
by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, and Alexis Bunten; illus. by Garry Meeches Sr.
Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.    g
8/22    978-1-62354-290-0    $16.99

“Many Americans call it a day of thanksgiving. Many of our people call it a day of mourning.” A team of Native creators provides an illuminating look at what the ­Wampanoag called Keepunumuk, or “the time of harvest,” highlighting that the ­Pilgrims’ survival was largely due to the assistance offered by the ­Indigenous people who lived on the land. In the framing narrative, an elder speaks to children about their ancestors, and how Weeâchumun, the seed of corn and one of the Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash), witnessed the struggles of the newcomers. Using an earth-tone palette, the impressionistic illustrations beautifully convey their settings. Front and back matter include a glossary, a recipe, and more information about Wampanoag traditions, storytelling, and ­contemporary life. DONNA SABIS-BURNS

Hanukkah Nights
by Amalia Hoffman; illus. by the author
Preschool    Kar-Ben    24 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-7284-2883-3    $8.99
e-book ed.  978-1-7284-6921-8    $7.99

“1 light. / Special night. / 2 lights. / Happy nights.” A soothingly simple text guides young listeners through the nights and lights of Hanukkah in this counting board book. The main attraction here is the striking art: against a black background, each added flame is shown in a different radiant color, with white lines filling in a few more details. A final spread explains briefly how to create the varying types of marks used for the flames: “drip: Use an eyedropper to drip paint”; “crisscross: Use pencils, crayons, or chalk to make fine lines.” A bright little gift for budding young artists. SHOSHANA FLAX

Happy All-idays!
by Cindy Jin; illus. by Rob Sayegh Jr.
Preschool    Little Simon    16 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-6659-2141-1    $7.99
e-book ed.  978-1-6659-2548-8    $7.99

“The time has come to send holiday cheer / to family and friends far and near.” Outside an apartment building whose windows showcase holiday decorations (including Christmas, ­Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa), a woman is mailing something. On each subsequent spread of this informative and cheerful board book, left-hand pages show families celebrating their traditions (some religious, some secular, and even a nod to the interfaith “­Chrismukkah”) while right-hand pages display their holiday greeting cards. Sayegh’s inclusive illustrations feature one child in a wheelchair and others from same-sex, opposite-sex, interracial, intergenerational, and single-parent families, all gathered outside as a community on the last spread. Happy all-idays, indeed! CYNTHIA K. RITTER

Murray Christmas
by E. G. Keller; illus. by the author
Primary    Abrams    40 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-4197-5392-3    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-6470-0269-5    $15.54

Scrappy little mutt Murray takes his ID-tag label of “Patrol Dog” seriously, barking at any and all perceived threats to his humans. Christmastime and its confusing home decorations bring additional challenges, but he’s most confounded by Santa. Who is this person he sees on TV and in shop windows, and why do his humans love him? On Christmas Eve, Murray defends his domain from this red-suited intruder, but the chase through the house results in a big mess. “This wouldn’t do at all!” Murray and Santa join forces to clean up, and the next morning Murray is rewarded with a gift of his own from Santa — a new ID tag reading “Very Helpful Dog.” Lively digital illustrations portray a vibrant, diverse city neighborhood and cast of characters (Murray’s humans are a same-sex interracial couple and their daughter). A mix of full-page and panel art full of action, personality, and humor keeps the pace brisk. MARTHA V. PARRAVANO

The Christmas Book Flood
by Emily Kilgore; illus. by Kitty Moss
Primary    Farrar    40 pp.    g
11/22    978-0-374-38899-7    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-374-39163-8    $10.99

Kilgore introduces readers to a popular Icelandic tradition, where people give one another books on Christmas Eve and then read all night long. Her free-verse text sets the mood, a mix of awe and excitement as it describes the build-up to December 24 (“Could it be? That one there? Tucked just out of sight? / Yes, that magical book to bring loved ones joy”). The art complements the text, following one little girl’s search for the perfect books. Moss’s gorgeous full-bleed collage illustrations appropriately feature printed paper, and their rich hues perfectly capture the beauty of the northern lights. An author’s note explains more about the Christmas Book Flood tradition. CYNTHIA K. RITTER

The Boston Chocolate Party
by Tami Lehman-Wilzig and Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz; illus. by Fede Combi
Primary    Apples & Honey/Behrman    32 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-68115-576-0    $17.95

Lehman-Wilzig and Prinz set their story during Hanukkah 1773 in the American colonies, centering ­Sephardic New England Jews. Protagonist ­Joshua’s friend Isaac and his family have meager resources to celebrate Janucá (the Spanish name for Hanukkah), but innovation from Joshua, and chocolate (an alternative to tea!) imported by Joshua’s father and his crew, provide help. The Boston Tea Party actually took place on the last night of Hanukkah; the somewhat lengthy text draws connections between the colonists’ “fight for freedom” and the ­Maccabees’. The muted palette of Combi’s digital-looking illustrations lends a historic feel. Back ­matter provides more information about Hanukkah, the Boston Tea Party, and early ­American Sephardic Jews — and, of course, recipes. SHOSHANA FLAX

Twinkle, Twinkle, Winter Night
by Megan Litwin; illus. by Nneka Myers
Preschool, Primary    Clarion/HarperCollins*    40 pp.    g
9/22    978-0-358-57204-6    $18.99

A gentle text inspired by “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” notes the qualities of a winter evening. From the peaceful snow-covered woods, to a decorated town, to excited kids nestled in their beds, “Magic, / wonder, / beauty bright — / twinkle right on through the night.” Myers’s wonder-filled digital illustrations capture the warmth of the season as they follow several different families’ activities and feature Hanukkah and Kwanzaa lights along with Christmas decorations. KITTY FLYNN

*HarperCollins Union members (UAW Local 2110) continue to be on strike.

Snow Horses: A First Night Story
by Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Micha Archer
Primary    McElderry    40 pp.    g
11/22    978-1-5344-7355-3    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-5344-7356-0    $10.99

On New Year’s Eve, young Jenny drives Percheron horses Tim and Tom from their farm to the market for a bustling celebration (“There is laughter and talk” is a refrain) and then back home; a dog gets the cozy last word. MacLachlan’s poetic text is hushed (“the sleigh makes a / whisper sound in the / snow — a comforting / swish, swish, swish”) but allows excitement to build (“in every window / of every house / there are little lights. / The town sparkles”). Archer’s illustrations, rendered in collage with homemade papers and inks, create luminous landscapes and invite poring over for details. A joyful, homey way to ring in the new year. SHOSHANA FLAX

Latkes and Applesauce: A Hanukkah Story
by Fran Manushkin; illus. by Kris Easler
Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp.    g
9/22    978-1-62354-156-9    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-63289-937-8    $9.99

It’s Hanukkah, and the Menashe family is stuck at home during a blizzard in this picture-book reissue, with new illustrations and an updated text. The family is out of apples, and their potatoes are buried under the snow. As the snow keeps falling throughout the holiday and the lack of food becomes more serious, a cat and then a dog arrive in need of help — and ultimately lead the family to discoveries that feel miraculous…and are definitely delicious. The tale of generosity rewarded draws readers (and listeners) in with a storyteller’s cadence, and the mixed-media illustrations show deep-blue winter nights and warm, glowing family scenes. Back matter gives more information about various elements of Hanukkah. SHOSHANA FLAX

Randy, the Badly Drawn Reindeer
by T. L. McBeth; illus. by the author
Primary    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.    g
11/22    978-1-250-26384-1    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-250-90590-1    $10.99

Back in his third book, (not-so-­badly-drawn) horse Randy dreams of flying with Santa’s reindeer on Christmas Eve, “But alas, I’m just a beautiful horse!” An unseen kid artist provides speech-bubble commentary about what makes a good reindeer (being able to withstand the cold and enjoying reindeer games, for example), and Randy gives it all his best effort: “I love games…Checkers? Chess? Monopoly?!” Randy’s can-do attitude helps him ignore the obvious and feel confident that he’s ready “to join [Santa’s] team of flying horses.” He is not…until Christmas morning provides just the right bit of magic. Plenty of white space focuses attention on crayon-colored Randy’s goofy shenanigans and clueless narration. KITTY FLYNN

Season of Light
by Jess Redman; illus. by Ramona Kaulitzki
Preschool, Primary    Farrar    40 pp.    g
9/22    978-0-374-31460-6    $18.99

Redman’s lyrical rhyming text describes with anticipation the preparations that take place before Christmas. She showcases common traditions of the holiday that explain why this is a season that includes “wonder,” “song,” “faith,” and “light.” It’s a heartwarming display of decorations, families gathered together, gifts given, and community shared. Kaulitzki’s cheerful, bright digital art features characters of varying skin tones as it follows the festive activities of five young children, via a mix of spot illustrations and spreads, in one cozy snow-covered town. CYNTHIA K. RITTER

When Santa Came to Stay
by Billy Sharff; illus. by Eda Kaban
Primary    Dial    40 pp.    g
10/22    978-0-593-32523-0    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-32524-7    $10.99

“Each meal was full of Christmas cheer, / With treats and sweets to spare.” What happens when Santa returns to one family’s house on New Year’s Eve (he really liked their Christmas cookies) and doesn’t leave? And then his extended family and pets show up, too? This story imagines the almost-year-long celebration/intrusion. It’s festive fun at first (mostly to the young narrator, not to her parents), but eventually only Santa and his gang are enjoying it. Kaban’s energetic cartoon illustrations, featuring a creative problem-solving Black girl in an interracial family, capture the over-the-top premise, making the most of the hilarious chaos. KITTY FLYNN

Hanukkah, Here I Come! [Here I Come!]
by D. J. Steinberg; illus. by Sara Palacios
Primary    Grosset    32 pp.    g
10/22    Paper ed.  978-0-593-09426-6    $5.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-38525-8    $5.99

This collection of poems covers Hanukkah history (“Macca-BAM! Macca-BOOM!”), eternal questions (“Applesauce vs. Sour Cream”; “Enough Food?”), and modern-day considerations (“Hanukkah Selfies”). The loosely metered poems have plenty of humor and a dash of sweetness (the eighth night features “one last ­Hanukkah hug”). The inclusive illustrations in Palacios’s (A Song of Frutas, rev. 9/21) signature bold style depict a wide representation of families and friends enjoying the holiday together. A sheet of stickers is appended. SHOSHANA FLAX

Mendel’s Hanukkah Mess Up
by Chana Stiefel and Larry Stiefel; illus. by Daphna Awadish
Primary    Kalaniot/Endless Mountains    32 pp.    g
10/22    978-1-7350875-7-3    $19.99

Mendel loves Hanukkah but is prone to, and known for, making mistakes. He over-onions the latkes, for example, and uses sparklers in place of Hanukkah candles. “Oy, Mendel!” When Rabbi Klein asks him to drive the Mitzvah Mobile to spread the word about the big Hanukkah bash, everyone is nervous. Things go surprisingly well — at first. Details in the childlike illustrations give this community lots of personality; and Mendel’s personal journey very loosely mirrors the Hanukkah story in a lighthearted way. “A Brief History of Hanukkah,” a glossary, and some holiday activities are appended. ELISSA GERSHOWITZ

Ava’s Homemade Hanukkah
by Geraldine Woberg; illus. by Julia Seal
Preschool, Primary    Whitman    32 pp.    g
9/22    978-0-8075-0495-6    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-8075-0496-3    $9.99

For Ava’s family, Hanukkah tradition involves everyone bringing their own unique menorah (one is non-kosher) and telling the story behind it. Great-Aunt Sylvia’s, “made long ago by a silversmith in Poland,” was lost, then retrieved; Mom’s, made of tin, helped her cope with homesickness; Aunt Tamar (who married into the family via Aunt Rachel) learned of her Jewish ancestry through one that is generations old. Ava is determined to make her own menorah, but she’s not sure how or what her story might be. Cartoony digital-looking illustrations feature Ava’s fluffy pet bunny, Maccabee, to whom she has been narrating and whose presence helps her figure it all out. ELISSA GERSHOWITZ

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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