By: Tilda Balsley
Illustrated by: Helen Poole
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: November 5, 2013
It’s time for the ABC Hanukkah hunt, a hunt that will take you through the eight-day Festival of Lights. “It’s Hanukkah from A to Z. / An alphabet of things to see.” Can you see those latkes being fried, the donuts, the menorah, and little sister playing with the dreidel? A is for King Antiochus, a king who was not a friend to the Jews. Traveling through this ABC book there is a full rhyme on each page, many asking the young reader to find something on the page or recall a bit of history they may have learned at home or in Hebrew school. “This calendar shows Kislev’s here. / Which holiday starts this time of year?” Of course most children know that Kislev is when the Festival of Lights begins.
There are many special things that happen during the Festival of Lights, otherwise known as Hanukkah. Do you know what sufganiyout or latkes are? They are very special yummy things that are served during Hanukkah. A sufganiyot is the doughnut that you just cannot resist. “Sufganiyout! This One’s for me. / How many doughnuts do you see?” Hanukkah is a time to be generous and you have to think about who you will help with the coins you put in your tzedakah box. There are all kinds of fun things in this ABC book to check out. Do you know what a shamash candle is? If not you will see one in this book!
This is a marvelous rhyming ABC book that helps young children explore the events of Hanukkah. Each letter is found within the full rhyme, with the letter capitalized. For example, when we look at the letter V, it is within the poem. “All Voices sing a Hanukkah song. / What family member ‘howls’ along?” Of course that family member is the dog. The artwork is bright, bold, colorful, and expresses the childrens’ joy as they anticipate Hanukkah events. The poems have that pep that’s needed to keep it’s young audience captivated. This is a perfect book to use at home or in Hebrew school to help young children learn about Hanukkah. In the back of the book is a brief descriptioin of the Hanukkah celebration.
Quill says: This is an wonderful book to introduce many of the events and things to be found during Hanukkah to the youngest participants!