The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco


Back of Book:
Trisha loves the eight days of Hanukkah, when her mother stays home from work, her Babushka makes delicious potato latkes, and her Grampa carves wonderful animals out of wood as gifts for Trisha and her brother. In the middle of her family’s preparation for the festival of lights, Trisha visits her closest neighbors, expecting to find them decorating their house for Christmas. Instead they are all bedridden with scarlet fever. Trisha’s family is one of the few who has been spared from the epidemic. It is difficult for them to enjoy their Hanukkah feast when they know that their neighbors won’t be able to celebrate their holiday. Then Grampa has an inspiration: they will cut down trees, decorate them, and secretly deliver them to the neighbors, “But what can we decorate them with?” Babushka asks. Although it is a sacrifice, Trisha realizes that Grampa’s carved animals are the perfect answer. Soon her living room is filled with trees — but that is only the first miracle of many during an incredible holiday season.
Based on a long-cherished childhood memory, this story celebrates the miracle of true friendship.
My Review:
This is another beautiful story that highlights the memories of the incredibly talented Patricia Polacco. The Trees of the Dancing Goats is a story about one families’ perseverance during Hanukkah. While many neighbors in the area come down with Scarlet Fever, Trisha’s family tries to continue to the busy preparations of Hanukkah. At the end of the story Trisha and her go to the neighbors and make sure that no one is without something for Christmas. This is a perfect book that talks about both Hanukkah and Christmas. A great addition to any Christmas list.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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Hanukkah, Uncategorized

Hanukkah Bear by Eric Kimmel

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Back of book: A bear wakes to wonderful smells that leads him to the house of Bubba Brayna. Bubba Brayna makes the best latkes in the village, but at ninety-seven, she doesn’t hear or see well. When the bear arrives at her door, she believes he is her rabbi. Bubba Brayna and the bear light the menorah, play the dreidel game, and eat all the latkes. The mix-up is revealed, Bubba Brayna has a laugh about it, and everyone works together to make more latkes.

My Review:  I read this book as a part of my Christmas around the world unit. It is a fun story that explains the different aspects of Hanukkah. Bubba Brayna is a great representation of a grandma like figure who simply wants to feed people and then enjoy the fun of the evening. My students laughed at the idea of a bear coming for Hanukkah and Bubba Brayna not realizing it until the end. Great story that shows children about a different holiday other than Christmas, there is also a great recipe in the back of the book for latkes.

Ages 5 and up

32 pages