BOOKS

Book cover of A Chanukah Noel
A Chanukah Noel
Sharon Jennings, Illustrated by Gillian Newline. Toronto: Second Story Press, 2010. 24 pages, $15.95 
*****
Reviewed by Jodie Howcroft

A Chanukah Noel is a beautifully written and illustrated picture book about Charlotte, a young Jewish girl who moves with her family to France. The transition is not easy. The food tastes different and everyone speaks French. Most of the girls at school are nice, but some make fun of her for being a foreigner.

As Christmas approaches, Charlotte feels left out of the Christian celebrations around her. Busy Christmas markets, delicious smells, and decorated shops all entice Charlotte. Although her family celebrates Chanukah, Charlotte wishes to celebrate Christmas too. Her parents quickly dismiss this idea until she makes a proposal.

Colette, a classmate, is very poor. If Charlotte can’t celebrate Christmas, perhaps her family can provide a Christmas for Colette. In a lovely way Charlotte ends up celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah. At the same time, she learns about the spirit of giving. Sharon Jennings based A Chanukah Noel on the childhood experiences of a good friend.

A Chanukah Noel is an excellent resource for the Traditions and Celebrations unit in grade 2. This book opens up many comparisons and contrasts between Chanukah and Christmas.

A Chanukah Noel touches on themes of acceptance, empathy, respect, and kindness. It is best suited for Primary-level children (grades 1 to 3) but could be used up to grade 5. A Chanukah Noel is worth purchasing and reading to your class during the holiday season.

Jodie Howcroft is a member of the Hamilton- Wentworth Teacher Local.

MORE BOOKS

Book cover of Oral Language at Your Fingertips
Ontario Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, 2016 (To order visit osla.on.ca) 141 pages, $40.00.
Book cover for Migrant
Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault Groundwood Books, 2016 30 pages, $18.95.
Book cover for Arctic Adventures
Raquel Rivera, illustrated by Jirina Marton House of Anansi Press, 2007 47 pages, $18.95.
Book cover for Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged
Jody Nyasha Warner, illustrated by Richard Rudnicki Groundwook Books, 2016 32 Pages, 18.95.
Book cover for Making a Global City
Robert C. Vipond. University of Toronto Press, 2017. 249 pages, $34.95
Book cover for Secret Path
Jeff Lemire, music by Gord Downie. Simon and Schuster Canada, 2016. 96 pages, $26.99
Book cover of Student Diversity, 3rd Edition
Faye Brownlie, Catherine Feniak and Leyton Schnellert. Pembroke Publishers, 2016. 160 pages, $24.95
Book cover for In a Cloud of Dust
Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Brian Deines. Pajama Press, 2016. 32 Pages, $19.95

Pages