Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah
Every year as a teacher, I check out books from the library that include different holidays celebrated during the winter. This year...no students, no libraries. Oscar, however, devours books faster than I can pull them off the shelves. My plan, this year, was to gather those same books from the library and introduce my little guy to all the different holidays.
Alas. No library.
Tomorrow is the first day of Hanukkah and I only have one Hanukkah book on my shelves. I swore I had more at some point but many of my books have ended up elsewhere so who knows? If anyone wants to send a favorite Hanukkah book my way, Oscar and I will gladly read it! Also, here are some of the blog posts from past years that include other Hanukkah books I've read. (My apologies for the missing pictures. Let's blame 2020 for that one too, shall we?)
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown
First, yes, it is that Lemony Snicket. Second, yes, I did blog about it in another post. This is our only Hanukkah book at home and it's a different kind of Hanukkah book so it is also worth revisiting. Here's what I said the first time,
"In a town where everyone celebrates Christmas, except for one family, a latke is sizzling in a pan when he jumps out because the oil is so hot. As the Latke wanders around the village he is questioned by traditional Christmas cheer brought to life. "Why is he making so much noise?" ask the Christmas Lights. "Why is he changing the scent floating in the air?" asks the Candy Cane. The poor Latke can't stop screaming as he has to explain, over and over again, that he has nothing to do with Christmas. He is part of a different holiday all together! Lemony Snicket offers a poignant message about feeling part of traditions during the holidays."
Here's what I'll add. I really love the amount of information the reader gets about Hanukkah. While it seems like a simple "Gingerbread Man" kind of story, this is packed full of the history behind the holiday. When I read it to my class years ago, those 4th graders loved it. When I read it with Oscar, he was a little bored with all the words, "No words, Mama, just pictures." However, once I got to the Latke screaming part he was in stitches. Slowly, after hearing my mom-abridged version, we were able to add more words and he has now heard the entire story.
I'm glad one student is getting introduced to new holidays this year. We'll be celebrating by making latkes from our favorite cookbook and laughing over and over at The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming.
Note: Author Lemony Snicket has stirred up a bit of controversy in recent years. I feel like it is something that I shouldn't ignore in this post. I can't tell you how to interpret the actions of every controversial author but I offer you this as information to make your own decision.