It’s now Hanukkah 2015 + #Readukkah

After posting one of the incredible poems of the Karen Hesse/

Brian Pinkney Hanukkah book, THE STONE LAMP last Friday,

I was away for the weekend with my hubby on a delayed & delicious

anniversary trip to the coast. It was accented with lighthouse

lights, not Hanukkah lights & by long walks on near-wild beaches.

So – I’m late in posting the second part of that column & I’m

eager to make the rounds of Poetry Friday columns from the first Friday

of this festive month. I’m alsp part of Heidi Estrin’s round

up of Hanukkah columns, so for Heidi I’ll add – #Readukkuh.

Along city streets or in country village homes menorahs in

windows through Dec. 13 are a special sight.

So I have a video treat for this season. I’m of Christian

faith, with an interest in some other faith’s ways of worship. I

feel that we all deserve the advantage of knowing about a variety of

holiday faith traditions. Especially so for children, who are likely

to wonder about new ways when overheard at school or when visiting new

friends. I’m also researching my Holocaust-topic illustrated

manuscript, finding myself immersed in all manner of good books on

Jewish themes.

HANUKKAH in ALASKA, read for BookPALS

HANUKKAH in ALASKA, read for BookPALS

I’m tickled to share a lively animated children’s menorah story,

read engagingly from the book, which was written Barbara Brown.

The reading is by a young talent you may recognize.

It’s fun to see the clever animation of the mighty fine book

illustrations Stacey Schuett created for HANUKKAH IN ALASKA.

The animator is Jacqueline Godsey. It puts a whole new spin

on Hanukkah!

The video comes to us via a volunteer literacy organization I love

deeply – BookPALS. (I’m lucky to have many years experience reading in

schools for BookPALS.)

Here are more Hanukkah picture book titles I’m happy to share:

BEAUTIFUL YETTA’S HANUKKAH KITTEN
by the husband and wife children’s literature team of Daniel
Pinkwater (author) & Jill Pinkwater (artist.)

HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY HAPPY CHANUKAH?
by the team who bring us all these fun dinosaur
visits – Jane Yolen (author) & Mark Teague (artist)

HANUKKAH BEAR
by Eric Kimmel & Mike Wohnoutka

Thank you Diane Mayr for the Hanukkah Bear recommendation and I like it that it was already on my list. Diane also thoughtfully suggests LATKES and APPLESAUCE by Frank Manushkin.

I appreciate Buffy Silverman’s idea to look for HANUKKAH GHOST & HERSCHEL and the HANUKKAH GOBLINS, which are also by Eric Kimmel.

And I’m grateful to Liz Steinglass for mentioning her family’s
fun in reading THE MIRACLE OF POTATO LATKES by Malika Penn.

Now, here is a light of the coast kind, with my wishes for bright & peaceful December lights, to all. It is from our area’s historic
Crooked River Lighthouse, a treat to visit in Florida’s Panhandle.

c. 2013 Bob May, for Crooked River Lighhouse Association Lanternfest, all rights reserved.

c. 2013 Bob May, for Crooked River Lighhouse Association Lanternfest/McKenzie News Service, all rights reserved.

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Hello, it’s almost Hanukkah

(A weekly Friday roundup of doings in the children’s literature world that centers on poetry is provided by the delightful
BUFFY’s BLOG.)

Today I share lines from the poetry of Karen Hesse in
THE STONE LAMP, which features the artwork
of Brian Pinkney.

Third Night,
Third Light

by Karen Hesse

Venice, Italy 1546

. . .

Mother makes ready the lamp,
though she dare not place it in the tall window.
The stone lamp is not our most beautiful.
But it is our oldest and dearest, a present from Uncle Diogo,
dear uncle Diogo, who always smelled of honeyed lemons.
.
. .

Outside, the call of geese.
I glimpse a flutter of white
and for a moment I see
angels gliding past our widow,
the light from our room glazing their wings.

© Karen Hesse

This excerpt above is from the poem-story of Reyna, age 15, one of eight child characters, ages eight through 16, Karen Hesse creates to tell of the endurance of Jewish families through history.

Reyna’s story is for all. Adults, surely, and let’s say, students
ages 9 and up, maybe younger, depending upon the family & the school.

The full title is THE STONE LAMP, Eight Stories of Hanukkah Through History.

I feel when you locate it at your library, you will want this collection for your school or home library,
The free verse poems are offset with a page of history, for each period of time reflected.

Because the artist for this project is Brian Pinkney,
you also know that the illustrations are museum quality. If you are
seeking to add one in-depth, beautiful, illustrated resource about
the enduring love of family, and the resilience of a celebration of
freedom of religion against indescribable hardship, this can be it.

9853

Each of eight poem stories, beginning in 1190 at the time of
the Christian war against the Muslims to retake Jerusalem,
and completing the circle with a night after Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated in Tel Aviv in 1995,
reflects a child’s beloved moment with Family and with
the treasured Hanukkah lamp.

I have become educated in a way I already should have been
by now, from this richly researched and exquisitely illustrated journey among Hanukkah ceremonies that span the centuries.

THE STONE LAMP pulls me in with a similar luminous effect
as I feel from the poems in AMONG ANGELS, by Jane Yolen and
Nancy Willard, (illustrations by S. Saelig Gallagher.)
AMONG ANGELS is not about the Holocaust or Hanukkah; it shares
meditations between friends, one Jewish and one Christian writer
(but O, like Karen Hesse, what masterful writers we know they are) about angels.

Your titles?

This Monday, Dec. 7, the second night of Hanukkah
2015(and also, we know, Pearl Harbor Day), I plan to post a sweet Hanukkah
book-video for young readers.
I’ll also share two other young-reader Hanukkah picture book titles that
I felt fortunate to carry home this week from the library.

It would be nice to have more titles, so if you can recommend Hanukkah picture books,
now or next week, I will want to light a candle to celebrate you!