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Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles Paperback – September 1, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A life-long lover of the sea, Jeremy Tugeau decided to become an artist while playing on the beach as a child. Tugeau also illustrated Graham Blanchard s All of Me That You Can t See released in 2013. His faithful accomplices and primary inspirations are his wife Nicole and their three young children.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076136658X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761366584
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,808,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Deb HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Jacob's older brother, Nathan, was so annoying it was pathetic. He just stood in front of the coffee table repeating himself until Jacob could hardly stand it. "Is it Hanukkah? Is it Hanukkah?" Their mother said his brain was "wired differently" and hoped that Jacob would be able to understand, but it was still difficult. It wasn't long before Nathan, who had a huge smile on his face, was bouncing up the stairs yelling something about how Hanukkah had eight days, there were fifty states, and then he started naming them. Jacob's Mom asked if he'd like to set up the menorah and soon he was pretending to be Judah Maccabee "winning the war against King Antiochus." That was lots of fun, but what Jacob was really going to do was to pray that Nathan would change stop repeating himself. Miracles do happen don't they?

That night they would light the first candle of Hanukkah with the "shamash, the helper candle," but that afternoon there was something else that was as exciting. A new boy named Steven moved in next door. They played together until Jacob's Dad came home with their Hanukkah desert, a box of jelly doughnuts. The family gathered around the menorah and the first candle was lit. After the blessings were said and everyone sang "ma'oz Tzur" Nathan leaned forward, took a deep breath and BLEW out the candles! Jacob was very angry, but Mom and Dad gently put their hands on Nathan's shoulders while Dad said, "Hanukkah candles are not like birthday candles. We don't blow them out." The next night the when Steven and his family came over Jacob just knew there was going to be trouble when his Mom invited them to stay and light the menorah. Would Nathan blow out the candles again? Would Steven still want to be his friend when he found out that Nathan was autistic?
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Format: Paperback
This title tries to shed light on the experience of dealing with autism in the realm of Judaism. I was saddened to read about a child with no understanding of his sibling's condition. I was offended by the depiction of Nathan as being simply annoying with no redeeming features.

As a Jewish mother of four boys, two of whom are on the autism spectrum, I found no valuable message within this story. There is no coming together of the family around the challenges of autism, there is only a pat resolution of a social crisis where the neurotypical child is helped to feel less marginalized by his brother's odd behaviors.

My children who are on the spectrum are wonderful individuals who really add to our holiday experiences. Their siblings who do not share their diagnosis love and appreciate them. They also understand them and their quirks.

I think a children's book about autism from a Jewish perspective should provide a positive vision of differences where neurotypical kids interact with and grow with their friends or siblings who have neurological differences. This is especially the case as more and more families and friends experience close encounters with autism. The diagnosis is only becoming more prevalent over time.
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Format: Paperback
This is a children's book, not a novel. There are only a few pages to get an idea and a significant insight across. When I started to read this book, thinking it was just one more book about Hanukkah, I had no idea about the surprise ending. It touched my heart. Its message is applicable to all kinds of situations where someone is "wired differently", whether it be due to a difference in their physical or emotional make-up, or a difference in ideology. It is about a moving towards being accepting of and respecting differences, even if we don't entirely understand the reasons or the differences. You don't need to understand all the biological reasons for autism or Asperger's to accept and accommodate. Also recommend for adults, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

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