An unusually thoughtful account of the events celebrated during Chanukah, touching gently on the ethics of violence in the struggle against injustice, the nature of miracles, and why we celebrate holidays. Interfaith friendship and sharing are modeled in a framing story in which the young narrator and his mother tell the Chanukah story to the son's Gentile friend, their guest on the first night. ``Your Chanukah candles and our Christmas lights will shine across the street at each other,'' says the visitor. Kuskin's prose (as in Jerusalem, Shining Still, 1987) has a spare dignity well suited for telling of ancient and sacred things. Parker's command of his medium—delicately sketched lines and subtly glowing watercolors—is total; he suggests the tumult of battle, the warmth of a family dinner table, and the timeless radiance of the menorah with equal facility. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1993

ISBN: 0-06-023617-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1993

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An Oglala Lakota, Montileaux first created the ledger-style paintings (flat, two-dimensional) in this offering for exhibit at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, S.D. The illustrations are characterized by clear vibrant colors and characters that are portrayed in dramatic poses and facial expressions. The exhibit committee selected the traditional text that accompanies the illustrations in this telling of how the Lakota People were tricked into leaving the Underworld through the Wind Cave to live on the surface of the earth. They became “the Ordinary,” or Lakota. Sensing that his people needed help to survive, the holy man, Tatanka, transformed himself into a buffalo and sacrificed his powers in order to provide food and warmth to the Lakota people. Both the English and the original Lakota words are used side-by-side on each page. A beautiful rendering of story and illustration that needs to be in every library interested in building the diversity of their collection. (Picture book/mythology. 5-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2006

ISBN: 0-9749195-8-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: SDSHS Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2006

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More problematic than problem-solving.


A discussion starter offering contrasting answers to the titular question.

Children are likely to find their thinking more muddled than clarified by this set of scenarios, as—whether due to poor phrasing in the original French or awkward translation—the alternatives are often inscrutable or nonsensical. The confusion begins with the title, which is transformed to “What Makes Us Happy?” on an inside gatefold. Either way, the question is addressed in a series of broadly brushed scenes featuring an array of familiar animals with human expressions acting in anti-social ways on the left and, beneath further gatefolds on the right, more cooperatively. Thus, to use one of the less-obscure examples, the alternatives “Keeping everything for yourself? // Or sharing what you have?” caption views of a duckling depicted first clutching a basket full of lollipops, then handing them out. At other times, though, readers are invited to decide between “Being better than others // Or doing well with others”; “Being protected from all dangers // Or daring to jump and have fun”; “Using something until there is no more” (a monkey gulping down a pile of bananas), or (said monkey training a garden hose on a few banana plants) “taking care of things so we can keep enjoying it” (sic).

More problematic than problem-solving. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62795-121-0

Page Count: 60

Publisher: Shelter Harbor Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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