Hello, Hanukkah!

Kar-Ben. Oct. 2021. 18p. Board $7.99. ISBN 9781728403441.
Toddler-PreS–This delightful Hanukkah board book combines counting, colors, and a variety of holiday traditions in an inviting package. On each spread, a young badger participates in a Hanukkah tradition, followed by lighting a certain number of candles in a specific color. Badger opens the candles and lights one red candle, plays dreidel and lights two orange candles, etc. For the final eight candles, the badger family says the blessings and fills the menorah with a rainbow of candles, including a white shammash. The story is appropriately simple for a board book audience, but still hits most of the rituals, including making latkes, telling the story, singing songs, and eating gelt. The text is beautifully concise and accessible, but the real star here is the artwork. Done in a layered collage style reminiscent of Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, the renderings look so tactile that children will want to touch them. They are done in bright, appealing colors, with single or two-color backgrounds, and only the items needed for each activity pictured. Toddler’s eyes will be drawn to the numbers, the candles, and Badger and his friend bird. Readers will need to be familiar with the holiday, as there is very little explanation; however, families in search of simple books for toddlers will find this fits the bill.
VERDICT This is a perfect Hanukkah package of colors, counting, and traditions. All libraries serving Jewish patrons will want to add this little gem to their board book collections.

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