Review by School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 2--This new title in the "Here I Come" series presents the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Like the other books in the series, this one is comprised of short poems, each with its own title and focusing on a different topic about the holiday. The rhymes come easily and are rarely forced, though at times the poems are split awkwardly between pages. Steinberg presents many of the basic elements of the holiday, balancing information for those less familiar, such as the rules of playing dreidel, with humorous commentary from a child's perspective, like a warning about messy jelly donuts. Snapshots of family life, such as taking disastrous selfies, are mixed in with occasional unnecessary filler, e.g., on wrapping a present for a rabbit. The background of the holiday is over-simplified--"Macca-BAM! Macca-BOOM! The bad guys ran away!"--and could have been omitted altogether, as the holiday itself is more cultural celebration than historical remembrance for many Jewish families. The recognizably delightful style of Palacios ("Marisol McDonald" series, A Song of Frutas) is slightly muted by a seeming attempt to fit in with the nondescript style of other illustrations in the series. Still, Palacios presents joyful scenes of many diverse families enjoying various elements of the holiday. VERDICT A paperback with stickers included, this book is likely designed to be given as a gift or part of a home collection. Still, it would make a solid addition to holiday collections seeking to build up their Hanukkah section.--Clara Hendricks
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Review by Horn Book Review
This collection of poems covers Hanukkah history ("Macca-BAM! Macca-BOOM!"), eternal questions ("Applesauce vs. Sour Cream"; "Enough Food?"), and modern-day considerations ("Hanukkah Selfies"). The loosely metered poems have plenty of humor and a dash of sweetness (the eighth night features "one last Hanukkah hug"). The inclusive illustrations in Palacios's (A Song of Frutas, rev. 9/21) signature bold style depict a wide representation of families and friends enjoying the holiday together. A sheet of stickers is appended. Shoshana Flax November/December 2022 p.20(c) Copyright 2022. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Come celebrate the joys and traditions of Hanukkah in this poetry collection. The cover of this exuberant book hints at the fun within as a group of diverse children play a game of dreidel with a menorah shining behind them indicating that it's the first night of Hanukkah. Steinberg's poems guide young readers through various aspects of the holiday, explaining its origins in biblical days with the Maccabees fighting to recapture the temple and the miracle of the small amount of oil burning for eight days and nights. Steinberg then focuses on a modern family's celebration, including the lighting of the candles with the shammes, the presents stacked and ready to open, the rules of the dreidel game, the food, and the wonderful, noisy, loving togetherness that pervades it all. Attempts to take family selfies by the menorah are a hilarious failure. Then there's the endless debate over the right condiment to accompany the latkes, with family members declaring themselves Team Applesauce or Team Sour Cream. The poems, generally in simple abcb rhymes, capture the family's love and pride in their religious traditions. Palacios' cartoonish art depicts characters with a wide variety of skin tones and hair colors and who vary in age, complementing and enhancing the text. Stickers with illustrations from the book are appended. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A warm and welcoming Hanukkah story. (Picture-book poetry. 4-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.