Celebrate Hanukkah! Music and Books for the Season
Hanukkah begins Saturday night. Celebrate Hanukkah with books, music, and stories that explore the holiday’s history and the traditions surrounding it.
by Michael Rosen, with illustrations and pop-up artwork by Robert Sabuda
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Hardcover Price: $34.99
This magnificent gift book celebrates the Festival of Lights by pairing the poetic talents of Michael J. Rosen with the artistry of Robert Sabuda’s ingenious paper sculptures. On each of eight nights, candles burn against the backdrop of the night sky to illuminate a setting in the rich history of this holiday: from an ancient temple to a tent in the desert; from a Russian shtetl to a refugee ship sailing on the open sea; from an olive grove on a kibbutz in the Promised Land to the heart of a vibrant city. Chanukah Lightsis a collectible treasure that will undoubtedly become part of many families’ annual holiday celebration.
by Laura Krauss Melmed with illustrations by David Slonim
Publisher: Harper Collins
Hardcover Price: $15.95
Music and stories for celebrating:
Artist: Joel ben Izzy
Artist: Rachel Buchman
Accompanied by a chorus of children and friends, Rachel Buchman performs a collection of Chanukah songs in English, Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino.
Artist: Sam Glaser
Think of a Jewish themed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and you have a pretty fair approximation of Sam Glaser’s Rockin’ Chanukah Revue. The opening, horn and electric guitar infused “We Light The Lights” is a right-on rock and roll interpretation of the core teachings of Chanukah. “Dreidl Star!” is an hilarious Kiss-like rocker, while “Macabee” incorporates Lennon and McCartney’s “Let it Be” into a very silly retelling of the story of Judah Macabee.” Elsewhere, he rewrites “My Girl” to celebrate Jewish soul food, while “Chanukah History” uses a swinging blues riff to tell the main tale of Chanukah. “Eight Crazy Nights” uses the melody of “Twist and Shout,” coupled with an extremely tuneful kid chorus to great effect. This might not be the most orthodox method of learning about the Torah but you will find no kids complaining, and many adults will first fall down laughing, before they join in on the chorus and celebrate. Not to worry; this is fun and respectful.