By: Bill Berlin and Susan Isakoff Berlin
Illustrated by: Peter J. Welling
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company
Publication Date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: October 2010
The children in Oyville are very, very excited. You see, the holiday of Hanukkah is drawing near. The girls and boys enjoy all the presents, food and festivities, but most of all, they love hearing the story of Judah Maccabee, “his bravery and toil. They imagined the Temple, its lights needing oil.” Unfortunately, not everybody in Oyville is excited. You see, the town is also home to one very, very grouchy grump of an old man, “…the kvetch who lived high on the hill.”
While the town is a flutter with preparations for Hanukkah, the kvetch goes around grumbling and looking miserable. He thinks Hanukkah is just about presents and wants it stopped. Will he be able to stop Hanukkah?
He sneaked into Oyville on Hanukkah’s first night,
Helped through the dark by the menorahs’ bright light.
“Aha,” said the kvetch, “it’s time for my scheme.
No more menorahs! Not another bad dream!”
The Kvetch Who Stole Hanukkah is written in the mold of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and like the original, is quite funny and entertaining. With a wonderful rhyming tale and silly and bright artwork, the book draws readers in on the first page. Children will learn about the importance of Hanukkah, what it means, why it is celebrated, and have a lot of fun at the same time. We cheer for the kids who want to teach the kvetch the true meaning of Hanukkah and hope that the old man will see the error of his ways. And yes, there is a happy ending!
Quill says: One grouchy kvetch, a group of enthusiastic children, quirky artwork and a terrific rhyming story make this book a winner.
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