Eight Nights of Lights: A Celebration of Hanukkah

HarperCollins. Sept. 2023. 72p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063242487.
PreS-Gr 2–This interactive menorah and storybook set includes nine stapled eight-page paperback booklets (1 ½ x 6 inches) depicting a young girl celebrating Hanukkah with her family and friends. On the first night, Lena cleans and polishes her menorah with the help of her cat Pickles. On the second night, she teaches her neighbor Jules, a dark-skinned boy, how to play dreidel. On night number three, Lena and her cousins act out the story of the Maccabees. On the fourth night, Lena and her parents discuss how “one small person can make a big difference,” and on the fifth night they deliver toys, books, and socks to the children’s hospital, donate money to a hurricane relief fund, and volunteer at the animal shelter. A Hanukkah cook-off with potato and Cuban-inspired plantain pancakes and a hike to see all of the lights in the neighborhood fill nights six and seven. And on the eighth night, Lena attends a festive party at her synagogue with games, crafts, jelly doughnuts, singing, and dancing. Children will enjoy removing each candle from the menorah and flipping it over to “light” it.
VERDICT Not ideal for library circulation. However, this fun, informative, and educational offering is perfect for story hours built around the holiday.

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