On the First Night of Chanukah: 01/19/08
The first book I finished this year was On the First Night of Chanukah. Sean and I ordered two books about Hanukkah from his school but the orders arrived after the holiday was over. As always my "to be reviewed" pile is longer than my "to be read" pile. We read this for the Jewish Literature Challenge.
I have mixed feelings about On the First Night of Chanukah. I love that it is easy to read being less in depth than The Eight Nights of Hanukkah but I'm irked by the way the book is begging to be sung to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Having the song just constantly lingering makes the story too kitschy.
On the hand, I really like Brian Schatell's illustrations. Except for the Saturday Night Fever cover, Schatell's illustrations are both cute and informative. There is more useful information packed in his drawings than there is in the accompanying text.
I think the two books work well together. On the First Night... can get children in the mood for the holiday while Eight Nights... can answer questions about the holiday.
I've never seen that book! It's hilarious that it's to be sung to that Christmas song! Kitschy is right! Sooo kitschy! Ha!"
I've actually read the kitschy one to me first grade class. They love it. There's one for Thanksgiving too!"