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The Trees of the Dancing Goats (Aladdin Picture Books) Paperback – October 1, 2000
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Polacco has a warm, colorful illustrative style that has enriched her numerous other works such as Babushka Baba Yaga and I Can Hear the Sun. Here she applies it to what at first seems the simple story of a Jewish girl, Trisha, and her Christian neighbors, whose bout with scarlet fever at Christmas threatens to ruin Trisha's Hanukkah. Trisha and her family respond with a loving gesture that is rewarded in kind. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Polacco's (Babushka's Doll) warmhearted memoir can easily be pressed into double duty for both Hanukkah and Christmas reading. On the family farm in Michigan, Trisha and Richard watch as Babushka and Grampa prepare for Hanukkah in their native Russian way, hand-dipping the candles, carving the children gifts of little wooden animals, cooking the latkes. When scarlet fever debilitates their neighbors, Trisha's whole family pitches in to make and deliver holiday dinners and Christmas trees (decorated with the children's wooden animals). Polacco's characteristically buoyant illustrations embody the joy of holiday traditions even as her robust storytelling locates the essence of that joy in sharing and friendship. While this work should have broad appeal, it is in particular an excellent choice for families seeking to mingle Jewish and Christian traditions. Ages 5-10.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
She and her family were preparing for Hanukkah when they realized that all their neighbors were sick with scarlet fever... and the kids were basically going to have no Christmas at all because they and their families were too sick to celebrate. Nobody wants to think of their friends as giving up their holiday, so Patricia's family, who was luckily all well, prepared small Christmas trees for their neighbors and decorated them with the wooden toys they'd made for their own Hanukkah.
This is exactly the example of charity that's right for kids to learn about. You do something nice for people because it's the right thing to do, and you do it gladly. You don't bemoan giving up your things, and you don't expect a reward (although they get one in the form of their neighbors continuing to be good friends.)
A good message for any time of year, whatever your beliefs.