Reviews for Eighth Menorah
Booklist Reviews 2013 September #2
Sam is worried about making a menorah in his Sunday school class; after all, his parents already have seven of them at home. How could they possibly need another? His teacher assures him that they'll love his homemade clay menorah, which he decorates with a shiny, silvery piece of rock. On the phone, Sam tells his grandma, newly moved into a condo, that he's got a secret Hanukkah present for his parents. As the first night of Hanukkah approaches, however, Sam, still skeptical about adding another menorah to the masses, has a brilliant idea: give the menorah to Grandma. In the community room of the condo, along with neighbors, Sam's family celebrates the holiday--and his special creation. This heartwarming story features an anxious little boy that kids will easily relate to, along with a loving family. British illustrator Hughes' wide-eyed characters (the kids are particularly cute with their pencil-like legs) will appeal to the youngest child, and the soft but bright palette creates an inviting atmosphere. Great to share at the holiday, especially when another handmade you-know-what is on its way home. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
"Sam's family already had lots of menorahs. They didn't need another one." This is Sam's predicament as he makes a Hanukkah menorah with his Hebrew school class. Sam's distress about this problem seems excessive, but it's resolved in a touching, if expected, way. The delicately rendered illustrations feature a loving family. Instructions for playing dreidel are (somewhat incongruously) appended.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 September #1
This evenly paced story explores a common dilemma in Jewish families—that of multiple menorahs—and gives a little boy the opportunity to do some independent problem-solving. One more menorah may be just one too many for Sam's household, and at Hebrew school, Sam complains about the menorah-making activity. "My family has seven menorahs! Maybe I can make something else." Undaunted, the teacher encourages Sam to make one anyway, so Sam resolves to give it to Grammy. Grammy's weekly phone call reveals that Hanukkah will be quite different in her new building, as open flames are not permitted in the apartments—just in the community room. Even so, everybody just uses the electric menorah. After some reflection, Sam decides his newly created menorah will be the perfect Hanukkah surprise for his grandmother and her condo neighbors, and on the first night, he gives it to her so she can share it and light it in the community room with her friends. Childlike illustrations in muted soft colors depict a particularly appealing Hebrew school classroom and a modern elderly city dweller in striped socks and pink slippers. The dialogue-heavy text is delightfully natural: "Nuh uh," Sam replies during a guessing game with Grammy. Sam and his Grammy are a simpatico pair, one readers of all ages will be able to relate to. (Picture book. 5-7) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2014 January/February
While set around the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, this story will help children faced with the issue of which creation to use and how to deal with extras. Sam's family has seven menorahs and faces the decision each year of which one to use. This year, Sam's Hebrew school class will be making menorahs to bring home; his teacher is adamant parents will cherish these despite Sam's concerns. Sam is at a loss, as he does not want to bring home yet another one; he comes up with a solution when he learns that his grandmother is only allowed to use an electric menorah in her room at the assisted living facility. Sam decides to surprise his grandmother with his handmade menorah to use in the community room. This book ties in well with sharing, problem-solving, and caring for others. The underlying theme and message make this book appropriate for any group of students. Sara Marcus, Contributing Methodologist, Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota. RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 September #3
Sam knows that his family already has plenty of menorahs, so when his Hebrew school teacher announces a menorah project for Hanukkah, Sam fears his will be useless. He works diligently on it and keeps it hidden, but still worries it won't serve a purpose. It is only when his grandmother and her friends share their own predicament that Sam comes to realize his menorah will find a beautiful home. Brightly colored and empathic pictures by Hughes bring this charming Hanukkah story to life. Ages 4-7. Author's agent: Steven Chudney, the Chudney Agency. Illustrator's agent: the Bright Agency. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 October
PreS-Gr 1--When Sam's Hebrew school teacher announces that the students will make menorahs to give to their parents for Hanukkah, Sam is worried. Though his creation, shaped like a hill and decorated with twigs, pebbles, and a special silvery rock, looks fine, he knows that his family already has seven special menorahs and doesn't need another. Luckily, his Grammy provides the solution-and her building receives a new menorah for its community room. A brief mention of the holiday's origins is woven into the text, and directions on how to play dreidel are appended. The cheerful cartoon illustrations complement the easygoing story; the only quibble is that most drawings of Sam's menorah don't show the silvery rock, twigs, or pebbles mentioned in the text.--Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library [Page 74]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.