Celebrating Hanukkah

Hanukkah begins tonight! To celebrate, here are some Hanukkah picture books to share with the family, and we couldn’t resist including some delicious recipes at the very bottom of this post!

Syndetics book coverHanukkah is coming! / Tracy Newman ; illustrated by Viviana Garofoli.
“Readers join a cute family and their dog as they light the menorah, eat latkes, unwrap gifts, sing songs, play dreidel, eat chocolate Hanukkah gelt, and march like Maccabees during the eight nights of Hanukkah in this cute 12-page board book. Includes “3D-feeling”art by Viviana Garofoli.” (Syndetics summary)

Not seasonally appropriate for New Zealand, but still very sweet…

Syndetics book coverIs it Hanukkah yet? / Chris Barash ; pictures by Alessandra Psacharopulo.
“From snow on the ground to making applesauce and latkes to lighting the menorah, this sweet, lyrical story shows the seasonal and traditional ways we know Hanukkah is on its way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe latke who couldn’t stop screaming : a Christmas story / by Lemony Snicket ; illustrations by Lisa Brown.
“Latkes are potato pancakes served at Hanukkah, and Lemony Snicket is an alleged children’s author. For the first time in literary history, these two elements are combined in one book. A particularly irate latke is the star of The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming, but many other holiday icons appear and even speak: flashing colored lights, cane-shaped candy, a pine tree. Santa Claus is briefly discussed as well. The ending is happy, at least for some. People who are interested in any or all of these things will find this book so enjoyable it will feel as though Hanukkah were being celebrated for several years, rather than eight nights.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNonna’s Hanukkah surprise / Karen Fisman ; illustrated by Martha Avilés.
“Rachel loves visiting her grandmother, even though Nonna celebrates Christmas and Rachel and her parents celebrate Hanukkah. When Rachel’s special hanukkiah goes missing, Nonna steps in to save the day.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Jewish holiday cookbook : an international collection of recipes and customs / Gloria Kaufer Greene ; illustrations by Linda Tunney!
“Here is a book for every Jewish cook – for the one who keeps a kosher household all year round and the one who likes to cook a traditional Jewish meal only at the holidays, for the cook who has been running a home for twenty-five years and the one who’s about to prepare a first Seder. The Jewish Holiday Cookbook is filled with 250 strikingly original recipes, many of them annotated with fascinating stories about the customs and cultures from which they derive. Chicken soup and gefilte fish, brisket and potato pancakes are here — what Jewish cookbook would be complete without them? — but The Jewish Holiday Cookbook goes far beyond the expected, presenting exciting, authentic recipes from the many varied traditions of Jewish cuisine all over the world.” (Syndetics summary)

Also, just because these are wonderful, have a listen to these music videos from Yeshiva University’s Maccabeats – enjoy! And Happy Hanukkah!


Hanukkah | Festivus | Christmas | New Year

Hanukkah – Saturday 8th December – Sunday 16th December

microsoft clip artHanukkah/Chanukah/Chanukkah/Chanuka/Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday.

Want to know more:

Festivus – Sunday 23rd December

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  • Festivus is a secular holiday seen on Seinfeld.
  • The name “Festivus” has now begun to be used as a general term for any type of December party not related to religious holidays. It has been referred to as “Festivus for the rest of us,” and described as “another way” to celebrate the holiday season without participating in pressure and commercialism.
  • To celebrate one puts out an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole,” and takes part in the “Airing of Grievances” (consists of lashing out at others and the world about how one has been disappointed in the past year), “Feats of Strength” (a wrestling match and tradition states that Festivus is not over until the head of the household is pinned), and “Festivus Miracles.” (the labelling of easily explainable events as miracles).
  • For more information: festivusbook.com and festivusweb.com

Christmas – Tuesday 25th December

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  • Explore Christmas and find interesting facts, stories and recipes on Wellington City Libraries’ Kids Catalog Web.

Other useful links in our collection to help you celebrate:

New Years Eve – Monday 31st December

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For fabulous food and beverage ideas:

Happy Hanukkah! Celebrate with music from the Maccabeats, Hanukkah picture books, and more!

Celebrating Hanukkah with your family? Sharing the holiday with children? Try one of these titles:

Syndetics book coverHanukkah! / written by Roni Schotter ; illustrated by Marylin Hafner.
“Ages 4-7. An especially warm and joyful Hanukkah book that captures the spirit of the holiday. There’s not much plot here, the words and pictures simply follow a family of five children, their parents, and their grandmother as they celebrate with food, fun, and laughter. Though succinct, the text has a poetic flavor: “In darkest December / Night steals in early / and whisks away the light. / But warm inside, / Mama, Papa, and Grandmother / light the sun.” Both the picture depicting a neighborhood nighttime scene and the one that follows, showing the family gathered while Grandmother lights the candles, have a cozy air that is carried throughout the book. A slight plot thread in which little brother Moe tries in vain – until the conclusion – to say the word Hanukkah brings a smile. For those who want to know more about the holiday, the book concludes with its history and a brief illustrated glossary.” (BookList)

Syndetics book coverThe Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story / by Lemony Snicket
This one hasn’t quite arrived in the library yet, but we’re excited to finally get our hands on it!
“The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming is, hands-down, the funniest holiday book I’ve ever read. The fact that it also manages to tell the story of Hanukkah in a kid-friendly way and get across a message of tolerance makes it one of the best kids’ holiday books I’ve seen. And yes, it’s written by Lemony Snicket (whose real name is Daniel Handler). The book tells the story of a latke that begins to scream when it’s dropped into a pan of hot oil. It runs down the street, encountering along the way several different kinds of Christmas decorations, each of which can talk (just as the latke can). The latke explains part of the Hanukkah story and traditions to each of the decorations, and then each decoration mistakes the latke for something to do with Christmas, which prompts the latke to scream again. It’s just as silly as it sounds, with simple but very amusing illustrations by Lisa Brown.” (Reviewed on Wired.com) Reserve this title today!

Also, just because these are wonderful, have a listen to these music videos from Yeshiva University’s Maccabeats – enjoy! And Happy Hanukkah!