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20 December 2011

Seasons Readings: Hannukah Moon

Today is the first night of Hanukkah.  Even though I do not have any students that celebrate Hanukkah, I feel that they should be exposed to other cultures and religions.  Hanukkah Moon by Deborah da Costa is a sweet, easy read that is about a little girl (who is Jewish) going to a Hanukkah party at her aunt's house (who recently moved to the States from Mexico)  and is about the celebration of the new moon that happens during Hanukkah.
Here is the summary from Goodreads:
When Isobel is invited to Aunt Luisa's for Hanukkah, she's not sure what to expect. Aunt Luisa has recently arrived from Mexico. "At Aunt Luisa's you'll get to celebrate the Hanukkah Moon," Isobel's father promises. Isobel's days at Aunt Luisa's are filled with fun and surprises -- a new camera, a dreidel pinata filled with sweets, and a mysterious late night visit to welcome the luna nueva, the new moon that appears on Hanukkah. An unusual Hanukkah story with a multi-cultural focus, this title celebrates a little-known custom of the Latin-Jewish community.
I loved that this book combined the Mexican culture that my students are familiar with, and the Sephardic Jewish (people of Jewish descent whose ancestors came from Spain and moved to Latin America) tradition.  It builds on what my students already know with a new idea and custom.  While it didn't mention the traditional Hanukkah story, I don't feel like the story needed it. 
The illustrations were interesting, almost dreamy.  But, they really lent another level of understanding to the story.
  Don't forget to head over to the Seasons Readings page to see the other books / reviews and to link up your own!

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