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Hanukkah Is Coming!

Hanukkah Is Coming!
Tracy Newman By (author)
Viviana Garofoli Illustrated by
Board book
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Lerner Publishing Group

Limited ***

6.5 X 6.5 in
12 pg

JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Hanukkah
JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Jewish
JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Jewish


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.


"A simple introduction for very young children to some of the ways Hanukkah is celebrated. A girl, a boy, their mother and father, and their playful dog prepare for Hanukkah in this sweetly illustrated board book. In rhyming text readers follow the family as they make preparations for the eight-day celebration. The candles are set in the menorah; the latkes go 'Hiss, sizzle, pop' in the kitchen, while the children look in excitement at the wrapped gifts that will later be traded. The songs have been practiced and learned, and so has the dreidel game. Chocolate-covered faces mean the eagerly anticipated Hanukkah gelt has already been sampled. With paper hats, swords, and shields, the children (and their dog) march like Maccabees. At the end of each page the text is brought to a close with the titular phrase, 'Hanukkah is coming,' the repetition contributing to the mounting excitement. Finally, the sun sets, the menorah has been lit, and as the family contemplates the stars through the window of their home, the book ends with a satisfying 'Hurray! Hanukkah is here!' Garofoli's richly colored cartoon illustrations contribute to the playfulness of the story. A joyful and sweet introduction to the holiday." -- Kirkus ReviewsJournal

"In this board book, a companion to 2014's Shabbat Is Coming!, rhythmic verse follows a family as its members light the menorah, fry latkes, enjoy dreidels and gelt, and spend time together during Hanukkah. The title repeats as a refrain after each of Newman's gentle rhymes, giving the book a soothing structure: 'Winter is near./ Long nights are here./ Hanukkah is coming./ All in a row/ Our candles will glow./ Hanukkah is coming.' Skillful use of drop shadows brings a subtle three-dimensional quality to Garofoli's crisp digital illustrations, while the images' canvaslike textures are suggestive of the homey closeness of the family's Hanukkah celebrations." -- Publisher's WeeklyJournal

"The family from Shabbat Is Coming! and other board books in publisher Kar-Ben's series about Jewish life eagerly awaits the start of Hanukkah. 'Winter is near. / Long nights are here. / Hanukkah is coming.' The yarmulke-wearing dad, pigtailed big sister, and strawberry-blondies mother and son - plus cheerful dog - light candles, fry latkes, sing songs, spin dreidels, and pretend to be Maccabees, all shown in warm digital-looking illustrations. The timeline is a titch confusing (are these scenes all in flashback? Is the family doing prep work? Are they imagining what Hanukkah will be like this year?), since it's not until the last spread that 'Hanukkah is here!' But the 'Hanukkah is coming' refrain, coupled with simple, child-friendly rhymes, is reassuring, and effectively builds anticipation for the Festival of Lights." -- Horn Book MagazineJournal

"A contemporary family prepares for Hanukkah by cooking latkes, wrapping gifts, rehearsing Hanukkah songs, practicing dreidel spinning, sampling the chocolate gelt, and marching like Maccabees. As with its predecessor, Shabbat is Coming (Kar-Ben, 2014), rhyming couplets are included on each page followed by the refrain, 'Hanukkah is coming.' The final spread depicts the family looking out their window as their menorah blazes with the shamash and the first candle, and concludes: 'Flames burning bright, Light up the night. Hurray! Hanukkah is here!' This is a nice, fresh addition for holiday board book collections, preschool classrooms, and for gift giving. This same family will star again in Passover is Coming which will be released in January 2016." -- AJL NewsletterMagazine

"This is a cheerfully illustrated board book written in rhyme with meter that properly scans. Each three line stanza shares an aspect of Hanukkah and ends with the line 'Hanukkah is coming', building excitement and glee. The final page satisfyingly ends with the line 'Hurray! Hanukkah is here!' A fun addition to the shelf for the very young who want to turn the pages themselves." -- Jewish Book CouncilWebsite

Author Bio

Tracy Newman has written numerous books for children, including Itzhak: A Boy who Loved the Violin, which won a Schneider Family Honor. Her writing inspiration comes from her adventures raising her children. She lives in Connecticut.
Viviana Garofoli was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She has illustrated more than 70 children's books.