Read Hanukkah, Shmanukkah! by Esmé Raji Codell Free Online
Book Title: Hanukkah, Shmanukkah!|
The author of the book: Esmé Raji Codell
Edition: Hyperion Books
The size of the: 2.70 MB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: September 1st 2005
ISBN 13: 9780786851799
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 1161 times
Reader ratings: 3.2
Read full description of the books:
I was suspicious of this book as I started reading it. A Hanukkah version of Dickens' Christmas Carol depicting the Scrooge character as a typically offensive Jewish stereotype --- a penny-pinching, slave driving old miser.
I was reading the book with my boyfriend's 9 year old who has had little to no exposure to Jewish culture, so I stopped reading it with him after the first couple pages. I didn't want his view of Jews to be shaped by this caricature. Also, the dialogue is filled with yiddish phrases and he was confused as to why they were speaking a different language. It seemed to be coming across to him as making fun of a Christmas story he knew and loved.
So… not the best FIRST Hanukkah book to learn about Jews for the first time. But I do love me some Yiddish, so I picked the book back up again this morning to read on my own. I loved it!
It drew on the Christmas Carol construct of being visited by ghosts (in this case, Rabbis) of past, present and future, in order to illuminate lessons like the importance of a world view of generosity, an appreciation of those who came before, and those who continue to struggle.
And perhaps my favorite lesson of all was demonstrated by the Rabbi of Hanukkah Future (a lady Rabbi! much to the surprise of Scroogemacher) --- in an assimilated world, where an East coast Jewish girl like me is making a life for herself in Northern Alabama, it becomes even more important to remember where we came from.
When Scroogemacher dismissed the tradition of lighting Hanukkah candles with a "Hanukkah, Shmanukkah!" the sentiment was not foreign to me. Why bother with these little rituals? I'm Jewish, I don't need to prove how Jewish I am by embodying traditional methods. But what comes through the Scroogemacher story, is how these little traditions are remnants of a cultural history that must not be forgotten. That we honor those who came before us, many many of whom withstood persecution and terrible odds in order to remain Jewish, by enacting these rituals of lighting candles and observing holidays.
I do love that the Jewish religion has so many holidays drawn from tragedy upon tragedy, setting aside time in the Jewish calendar to celebrate the fact that WE'RE STILL HERE! Hanukkah is one such holiday (along with Passover, Purim, Holocaust Rememberance Day, and many others) where we remember an attempt to wipe us out as a people, not with anger and bitterness, but with an appreciation of our perseverance and a commitment to remembering where we came from.
Also, if you enjoy invoking Yiddish at all possible opportunities, you might just LOVE its incorporation into this book!!
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Read information about the authorEsme Raji Codell is the recipient of a prestigious James Patterson Pageturner Award for spreading the excitement of books in an effective and original way. She has been a keynote speaker for the International Reading Association and the American Library Association, a “virtual” keynote for the National Education Association’s “Stay Afloat!” online conference for first-year teachers, and a featured speaker at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. She has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, CNN, C-SPAN, and NPR, among other media outlets across the country. The author of How to Get Your Child to Love Reading, as well as five award-winning books for children, Esmé runs the popular children’s literature Web site and the unique literary salon, PlanetEsme.com
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