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A Confused Hanukkah: An Original Story of Chelm Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 16, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–The simple people of Chelm are in a dither. Their rabbi is mysteriously absent, Hanukkah is drawing near, and they've forgotten how they are supposed to celebrate. A mirthful adventure ensues when the town's wise men (an oxymoron, if ever there was one) send the naive, yet likable Yossel to a nearby village in hopes of reclaiming the traditional customs. However, Yossel unwittingly visits the Big City, where preparations are being made for a different holiday than the one he has in mind, and when the rabbi returns, he finds the villagers decorating trees and cavorting with a fat, bearded man in a blue velvet suit named Hanukkah Hershel. After the rabbi reminds the villagers about the miracle of the Festival of Lights, things are quickly set right again, with the requisite latkes, songs, dreidels, and gelt. Schindler's charming, comically detailed watercolor-and-ink illustrations portray the characters endearingly and provide cultural insight that will appeal to children of all faiths. Suitable as a read-aloud or a lap-sit.–L. I.
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Interfaith families would be better served by a warm holiday story of some sort, instead of one that messes with traditional culture.
Just because the Chelmites are fools doesn't make them unaware of how to celebrate Jewish holidays. There are plenty of Hanukkah stories around that feature Chelm and Chelm's silliness. The endorsement by Leonard Nimoy on the book jacket shouldn't compel anyone.