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Hanukkah in Alaska by Barbara Brown

Hanukkah in Alaska

by Barbara Brown

Other authors: Stacey Schuett (Illustrator)

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I had mixed feelings about this book after reading it. I liked how this book can be used as informative for Children. The author describes life in Alaska. Days in Alaska are 5 hours long and snow often piles up on the houses and roads. Moose like to parade around town and in the backyard of homes. The Moose around town can be described as disruptive. A particular one continuously destroys the swing in the back yard of one Jewish family. Although the story is informative, I believed the climax and resolution could possible leave children unamused and confused. At the end of the story, the moose was lured away by Latkes, which is a pastry dish. I believed students would have to be explained to regarding the ending to understand the story. ( )
  jdanie23 | Sep 12, 2017 |
I enjoyed this book for a few different reasons. I mainly enjoyed it because of the colorful illustrations and interesting story line. I think this book had a lot of cultural information that can teach students about Alaska and the Jewish religion. I would focus on the Alaskan component because we do not teach religion in public school. But this book covers a lot of important and unique information about Alaska. For example, The main character shares with us that "daytime is only five hours long." Overall, this was a very interesting book and i would recommend it to any young student. ( )
  epugli2 | Mar 13, 2017 |
I had mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed finding a winter book about Hanukkah when most winter books are typically about Christmas. I also enjoyed learning about the culture of Alaska in wintertime, which is something that not many people know about. For instance, Barbara Brown says, "In Alaska in winter we have to watch out for moose. We have to look both ways when we go out the door making sure there are no moose around." This is a unique fact that I didn't know about! However, I did not like that the book did not talk about Hanukkah that much. The majority of the book was spent talking about the moose in Alaska and how troublesome they can be, with intermittent Hanukkah themes like feeding the moose latkes and the Aurora Borealis reminding her of Hanukkah candles or the festival of lights. When a book has Hanukkah in the title, themes of Hanukkah should be prominent throughout the story, not just every once in a while. ( )
  kuhl2 | Mar 13, 2017 |
As a young Alaskan girl goes about her winter activities, from attending school mostly in the dark to making dreidels in the snow with her friends, she also makes every effort to drive the moose which has taken up residence in her yard, eating all of the bark off the trees, away from the tree holding her favorite blue swing. But nothing she offers as a tempting treat, from carrots to cookies, seems to interest the moose. Then, on the last night of Hanukkah, when her family is outside witnessing the beauty of the Northern Lights, a celestial occurrence that feels very significant to people observing the Festival of Lights, the girl comes up with the perfect solution: latkes!

An engaging tale of a young Jewish girl in Alaska, one which highlights the realities of winter-time in the far north, Hanukkah in Alaska isn't really a story about the holiday as such, but rather a story set during the holiday, which incorporates some of its rituals and observances into the narrative. For children who do not live in Alaska, Barbara Brown's tale will provide them a window into life in that state, just as it will highlight the religious diversity to be found there. A brief afterword gives more information about the story of the revolt of the Maccabees and the miracle in the temple, which the holiday of Hanukkah commemorates. The artwork, created by Stacye Schuett in acrylic and gouache, is colorful and appealing, with a nice contrast provided between the cold, bluish scenes occurring outdoors, and the warm, earthy-toned scenes taking place indoors. Schuett also illustrated Michelle Edwards' Papa's Latkes, another Hanukkah picture-book I have enjoyed. Recommended to anyone looking for Hanukkah stories where the focus is less on explaining the holiday than on the lives of the children who celebrate it, as well as to anyone searching for books about Jewish children in geographically diverse locations. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jan 2, 2017 |
I like that this book focuses on a Jewish holiday because most of the time winter books are about Christmas. Children are able to learn more about Hanukkah from reading this book. Children are also able to learn more about Alaska where this book focuses on the different characteristics in the wintertime. Such as, the moose, the short 5-hour days of sunlight, and the Northern Lights. All of which are different and will be able to catch the readers attention.

The illustrations are wonderful. You almost feel like you are in Alaska with the many vibrant colors that are added. Very well written with loads of information throughout the book explaining the state of Alaska, as well as Hanukkah celebrations. All explained in a fun and educational way!

I enjoyed this book because it wasn't just about the holiday, it was also very informational towards learning about the environment in Alaska. It's a great book to use in the classroom if you are doing a lesson of compare and contrasting different states, as well as different holidays. ( )
  mwatki5 | Oct 6, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Brownprimary authorall editionscalculated
Schuett, StaceyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805097481, Hardcover)

Hanukkah in Alaska is unlike anywhere else.

Snow piles up over the windows. Daylight is only five hours long. And one girl finds a moose camped out in her backyard, right near her favorite blue swing. She tries everything to lure it away: apples, carrots, even cookies. But it just keeps eating more tree! It’s not until the last night of Hanukkah that a familiar holiday tradition provides the perfect—and surprising—solution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:08 -0400)

A little girl describes the short, harsh days of winter in Alaska and her efforts to keep a moose from destroying trees and the swing in her back yard, which she finally succeeds in doing with the help of a Hanukkah treat. Includes facts about Hanukkah and the aurora borealis.… (more)

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