From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Originally published as a story in A Hanukkah Treasury (Holt, 1998), this book is only nominally about the holiday. Rewritten and packaged as a picture book, it features a nameless young narrator who describes what it's like living in urban Alaska, where winters are short on daylight and long on snow, and where a hungry moose might choose to eat the trees in your backyard. Several pages into the book, readers learn that it is Hanukkah, but even pretending to be a spinning dreidel in the snow doesn't stop this girl from worrying about the moose, particularly when he gets too close to her swing. On the last night of the holiday, the girl's father takes her outside to behold the aurora borealis, "Our very own Hanukkah Festival of Lights." The glorious colors remind her of melting candles on the menorah, but then once again the girl is distracted by the moose, and finally has the clever idea of luring him out of the yard. Acrylic and gouache illustrations beautifully display the shadowy, rich palette of winter in Alaska, tempered by the glow of candles and the northern lights.-Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Here’s a new twist on the celebration of Hanukkah—this story features a moose. The narrator, like author Brown, lives in Alaska, where a moose might be right around the corner. In fact, there’s one in the girl’s backyard, and she is not happy. Even Hanukkah hasn’t cheered her, because that voracious moose seems determined to tear down her swing. Not until her father takes her out to look at the amazing northern lights does she perk up and figure out just what kind of food will take the moose’s attention away from the swing—latkes! This is a splendid mix of information about the state, the holiday, moose, and the aurora borealis (an author’s note adds info). The acrylic-and-gouache art often glows, echoing the theme of light that threads the story. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ilene Cooper