ISBN 0590128361 - Every now and then, stuck in the middle of the kids' Christmas books, there's a Chanukah book. And every time I come across one, I'm pretty excited because - obviously - Christmas gets tons of attention, but other holidays tend to be overlooked. Add Rugrats into the mix, and I'm ready to be wow-ed! This one, not so much wowing.
The kids' parents are taking them to a Chanukah fair at the synagogue, where Grandpa Boris will act in a play about the meaning of Chanukah. Of course, the kids think it's about the MEANY of Chanukah and immediately begin to plan how they will save Grandpa Boris. In the meantime, Angelica is only worried about missing the Cynthia Christmas Show and Stu is working on a giant menorah. During the play, Tommy and the gang find their rescue of Grandpa Boris thwarted more than once, but things somehow still turn out right.
The storytelling is a just little less than flowing, which most adult Rugrats viewers will notice more than the kids will. For example, the havoc the kids bring to the scene, when they rush the stage, is skipped. The story also fails to ever TELL the story of the meaning of Chanukah, although it's included on the last page - where a lot of people will just miss it.
For what isn't here, more than for what is, I detract one star. One really nice thing, for those who aren't Jewish, but want to teach their children about the holiday, is that Christmas is woven in a bit, which will help children relate the two holidays to one another on the calendar. The illustrations by Barry Goldberg are pretty standard for the TV series, a very good thing. For a field that's fairly wide open, with few excellent mainstream kids' book about Chanukah, this one is good - it's just not as good as I'd hoped.
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