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Hanukkah Harvie vs. Santa Claus Paperback – November 1, 2017
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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"A new holiday tradition deserves a new holiday classic, and David MichaelSlater has delivered just that."
David Lubar, Authorof Hidden Talents and Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie.
"This is the most Hanukkool book I've read this year! David MichaelSlater is one funny mensch--and Hanukkah Harvie is my favorite new holiday hero."
Bart King, Author of The Big Book of Boy Stuff
"Great fun! I always wondered who brought the Hanukkah gifts."
Eric Kimmel, Author of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
"What do you do when your family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah?You celebrate Chrismukkah! David Michael Slater has written a delightful storycapturing the joy of the holidays with humor and sensitivity. A must read forfamilies of all faiths!"
Penny Warner,Author of the award-winning series, The Code Busters
"Anew book about Chrismukkah could bring about world peace, but only if you doyour part...It's not only for Chrismukkah households: this funny, fast-pacedvisual delight about the rival gifters duking it out--spoiler alert--untilfinally they realize they share the same generous-spirited goals (imaginethat!) is for anybody who wishes we could all just agree to disagree about thewhole God thing, respect each other's choices and get along."
Judith Basya, LiteraryEditor of Heeb Magazine
About the Author
David Michael Slater is an acclaimed author of over 20 books for children, teens, and adults. He teaches middle school English in Reno, Nevada, where he lives with his wife and son. You can can learn more at davidmichaelslater.com.
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I love the illustrations that are colorful and fun. I also loved the fun language in this book. This is perfect for the holiday season - and as I know several Jewish/Christian households this is a great book for the children in these homes who celebrate both holidays.
It's only when they encounter a little girl at one of the houses, sort of reminiscent of Cindy Lou Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Classic Seuss), that they stop their competition and don't tell her what they both originally wanted to tell her--that there is something wrong with families that celebrate "Christmukkah"! They realize doing so would hurt her feelings, and that there is nothing really wrong with individuals who celebrate both. There's something wrong with those who make children feel that it is wrong, and there's something wrong with the two holidays "competing" with each other.
Thus, the story emphasizes kindness and tolerance, but it also highly emphasizes getting a lot of presents during those two holidays. Cindy Lou Who taught the Grinch that presents weren't important, but that love and fellowship were the most important things on Christmas Day. The little girl in this story simply starts to sniffle, her eyes filling with tears, when she thinks Santa and Harvie are going to say something mean to her. Mind you, I am not making this comparison between the two little girls because I think children in holiday stories should be "wise souls", as opposed to typical little kids. I don't know. I'll leave this story to those who celebrate both holidays. Their opinions of it will be far more valuable to readers deciding if they want to get this book for young children or not.
I was hoping his book would have more substance on the holidays, but it didn't. Which was disappointing to me. I didn't particularly enjoy the book because it went on page after page (a little too long) of Santa and Harvie competing by dropping lots of presents at each house. The book isn't even a morality story of less ismore at the holidays. It really is just a book for kids celebrating book holidays to help understand that they can like both holidays.
With no need to educate anyone on the North Pole, we get a quick glimpse into Hanukkah Harvie's workshop only before he heads out in his Hanukkopter to deliver eight days worth of presents to all the Jewish children. All's going well until he bumps into Santa Claus while in the home of a blended family. Not to be outdone, each leave extra presents as they vie to have their own holiday be the most beloved. When a little girl discovers them fighting she tells them about Chrismukkah, which leads the present-givers to work together instead of fight.
As most holiday picture books go, there is no talk about actual religion or the meaning of the various symbols (good opportunity to teach children a thing or two about other religions). I feel as though there could be a bit more substance to the story overall, especially in the beginning, but I, and my children, enjoy the book nonetheless, and I'm sure your family will, too.