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A Chanukah Noel Hardcover – October 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Second Story Press (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897187742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897187746
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,844,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–When Charlotte and her parents move “across the ocean” to France, she finds it hard to adjust to life in a small village, especially when Colette teases her about her bad French. At Christmastime, Charlotte is jealous of all the village activities–her family is Jewish and is lighting a menorah for Chanukah–so when she learns that Colette is very poor, she convinces her parents to give Colette's family a tree and other Christmas trappings, thus spreading and sharing the joy of the season. This quiet and charming slice of life, which assumes a basic knowledge of both holidays, shares enough details (chocolate on a baguette as a school snack) to give readers a flavor of Charlotte's new life. The attractive, realistic paintings depict a timeless French village–this story might take place now or several decades ago. A fine cross-cultural choice for larger collections.Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Based on a true incident, this historical picture book is about Charlotte, who has moved to a small town in France. Charlotte feels left out, especially at Christmastime, not only because she’s American but also because she’s Jewish. At least Charlotte can participate in the school holiday activities, but during the grab-bag pull, she realizes that classmate Colette Levert is too poor to purchase a present for the exchange. This gives Charlotte an idea. Perhaps she can bring Christmas to Colette’s family. On Christmas Eve, Charlotte’s family carries a Christmas tree, decorations, food, and gifts to the Leverts. In return, the Leverts ask Charlotte’s family to stay and share their holiday feast and “the joy of Christmas and Chanukah.” Although the art is problematic—Charlotte appears to be different ages throughout—it does capture both the holiday spirit and the feeling of a French village. Good to have on hand at holiday time. Grades 1-3. --Ilene Cooper

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jewish Book World Magazine on January 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Charlotte is suddenly told that her family is to move to France. Not only must she learn a new language, make new friends, and get used to a new school, but no one prepared her for the entire town's all-out celebration of the Christmas season. The streets are decorated, the shops full of presents and in school, all the children are told to bring gifts to exchange. Charlotte is bewitched by Christmas and longs to have a Christmas too, but her family is Jewish. Helping to decorate the classroom, singing carols, and eating holiday treats does not suffice. After the only nasty girl in the class, who was not nice to her, doesn't have a present to contribute to the class gift exchange because her family is too poor, Charlotte figures out a "solution" for her own yearning to have a Christmas celebration. Charlotte becomes Santa Claus. She convinces the Christian father that he is doing her a favor by allowing her to provide an almost total Christmas event -- tree, decorations, holiday meal and presents for this Christian family--with her parents' cooperation. She is rewarded by being invited to share the party with their family. This is a beautiful book, well written and marvelously illustrated, but it teaches the wrong lesson. Charlotte's family's Chanukah observance is minimal, as my own family's had been when I was a child; but not so my children's which was filled with meaning, story, decorations, games, family and invited friends of all religions and shades. Nor do I like the image of a Jewish family playing such an ostentatious "Lady Bountiful" role to a Christian family. Enjoy this Christian holiday as a visitor, but do not try to make it your own, especially to serve one's own needs. Charlotte's gift is too elaborate, too much of a contrast between what the Jewish family can easily provide that this Christian family cannot. Well intended, but ill conceived. Grades K - 2. Marcia Posner
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Format: Hardcover
"A Chanukah Noel: A True Story" is a child's experience of winter holidays in a strange land, based on a true story of a real young Jewish girl, Charlotte Teeple. Beautiful dark-tinged color illustrations convey an aura of uncertainty and festivity combined Charlotte has moved to a small village in France with her parents, from Canada. Many things are strange and difficult to adjust to in her new life, but one thing she longs to experience more closely is the joy of Christmas . Her parents explain to her that since they are Jewish, they do not celebrate the Christian holiday, but instead will celebrate Chanukah. Charlotte discovers that a girl named Colette, who has teased her and made her adjustment difficult, is too poor to have gifts or special foods to celebrate the Christmas holiday her friends will enjoy. A wonderful idea comes to Charlotte. She will ask her father if they can give the gift of celebrating Christmas, complete with special foods and gifts to Colette and her family. But Charlotte's father warns her that they must find a way to offer the gift that will not embarrass Monsieur Levert and his family. The fathers meet and talk, and it is agreed upon. Charlotte spends some of her Chanukah gift coins to get Colette a doll. gifts are wrapped and special foods are bought and cooked, though Charlotte's mother has to ask for help in cooking some of the strange French Christmas delicacies. The day arrives and Charlotte is excited beyond belief. What finally occurs is heartwarming in a very special way. "A Chanukah Noel" is an unforgettable tale of reaching across differing cultures, religions, geographies and classes to find the best truth of all: The gift of love is from the heart in any language.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading this book, my 7 year old daughter argued that we should celebrate Christmas as well as Chanukah. I agree with an earlier reviewer who said that this was well intended but ill conceived.
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