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on October 12, 2006
Full-color photographs and an attractive layout combine with an interesting, informative text to create a stunning introduction to Hanukkah focusing on light, Jewish identity, freedom, and the celebration of miracles. The photographs include contemporary Jews celebrating Hanukkah in Israel, India, Peru, Uganda, Poland, Los Angeles, Ghana, and Rome, and are all paired with descriptive captions. Phrases like "It was a miracle," "We are proud to be Jewish" and "We share the light in our hearts" are integrated into each page spread. The impressive "More About Hanukkah" section includes basic facts, instructions for lighting the menorah and playing dreidel, a potato latke recipe, books and websites for further reading, a glossary, and a world map indicating the places where the photos were taken. Part of National Geographic's "Holidays Around the World" series, this will be a welcome addition for all libraries. Jewish libraries in particular will anxiously await the upcoming titles on Passover and Rosh Hashanah. Ages 6 and up. Reviewed by Rachel Kamin
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on January 28, 2007
Books explaining the celebration of Hanukkah abound - who would have thought there was anything new to say to children on this topic? However, Heiligman's excellent book, published by National Geographic as part of the Holidays around the World series, offers a unique perspective. The historical roots of the story are told succinctly, and the rest of the book centers around how the holiday is celebrated. What sets this book apart are the first-rate, full-page photographs that depict Jews celebrating Hanukkah all over the world. In places as far-flung as South Korea, Uganda and Peru, the story of Hanukkah is still alive and still holds meaning. Through the photos, it becomes clear that although these Jews are living in a variety of cultures and countries, they all celebrate the holiday in much the same way.

In addition, unusually thorough end notes supplement the text. Here is a summary of facts, information on how to light a menorah, a simple, yet exacting recipe for making latkes, and complete instructions on how to play dreidel. The bibliography and glossary include valuable resources and definitions, and a world map spotlights the countries where the book's photographs were taken. Finally, there is a wonderfully written afterword about Hanukkah's meaning and message written by Rabbi Shira Stern,who consulted in the writing of the book. Highly recommended for synagogue, school and public libraries. REVIEWED BY NANCY AUSTEIN (Temple Emanu-El, Dallas, TX)
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on December 10, 2009
I am not Jewish but have Jewish friends and a desire to teach my children about Hanukkah...which meant I had to learn about it myself first! This book was a perfect simple, straightforward, truly celebratory, introduction to the holiday for myself as well as my kids (age 2, 4.) I also co-teach a little cooperative preschool for 2-yr olds and when it was my week in December we did Hanukkah. This book gave me everything I needed, from a simple explanation of the Hanukkah story to the explanation of the menorah, how to play dreidel, pictures to discuss, etc. And we made and ate latkes from the recipe in the book - DELICIOUS! We made menorahs by gluing large marshmallows on cardboard and sticking/twisting birthday candles into them - adorable - and I made a handout for the kids to take home to teach their families, and almost everything on the handout was copied from the book. Absolutely super!
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on March 30, 2012
I bought this book because my 7 year old daughter needed to do a school book report on a holiday that she celebrates. It is a 32 page book filled with glossy pages and photographs. It gives a nice, brief description of the origins of the holiday on one page and then on several pages explains how the holiday is celebrated today and the different ways it is celebrated around the world. At the end of the book it instructs the reader how to light a menorah and play dreidel as well as including a recipe for potato latkes. It also includes a section called Just the Facts that gives just the facts: Who celebrates it, what it is, when it starts, how long it lasts, also known as (the Festival of Lights), ritual, and food. If the reader wants to find out more about the holiday it has a page filled with information on other books and websites where information can be found. There is a glossary as well as a one page message from Rabbi Shira Stern called Hanukkah: Its Meaning and Message. I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of age, who is looking for information on Hanukkah.
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on January 8, 2007
This is a lovely book with clear, fluid prose and gorgeous photographs. I loved the fact that Jews from such a wide range of countries were depicted and the sense of reverence yet childlike excitement that shines through the whole book.
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on December 7, 2006
Although I've heard the Hanukkah story many, many times, I enjoyed reading this book with my children to experience the many ways this holiday and history is celebrated throughout the world. The author relates the shared story in a beautiful, poignant and delightful way.
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on December 5, 2011
I bought this to add to our Hanukkah collection. Um... I'm glad others liked this. I found it flimsy, not very involved, and cheaply made. There are much better books out there. There's just nothing to it. Disappointing.
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on December 27, 2012
I have purchased other books in this series and of course needed this one too! As we learn about Winter Celebrations these books will be a delight to share with my students.
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on December 12, 2012
Wish this book had been more informative.

Perfect for a surface introduction into what Hanukkah is 'about".

It is a nice presentation
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on September 11, 2014
Purchased for school district. Since I didn't hear any complaints (which I would), I can only assume that teacher was happy with the item.
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