Book Review: Celebrate Hanukah

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

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When you have a series that covers varying cultures, it helps to have the same people doing the writer. This is the case with Celebrate Hanukkah, the latest in the National Geographic series Holidays Around the World. The author is Deborah Heiligman, who has written the previous three books in the series, on Diwali, Ramadan, and Thanksgiving.

Hanukkah is one of the most famous of Jewish holidays, one that is often overshadowed in Western countries by Christmas, which happens several days later. Hanukkah, however, lasts for a whole week, whereas Christmas is just one day.

The author introduces all the important elements of Hanukkah: the historical tradition, the symbols, the physical elements (like the menorah and the shamash), the food, and (of course) the dreidel.

One amazing thing that this book includes is pictures of Jewish people in countries where their religious population isn't normally thought of when talks about the great Jewish countries of the world. Among these countries highlighted are India, Peru, and Uganda.

As with other books in the series, the book ends with holiday facts, menorah-lighting instructions, and holiday recipes.

Overall, this is a great book. The pictures are fabulous, the words are easy to digest, and the narrative is told well.

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