Mini poems that rhyme and colourful illustrations combine for a family-filled, fun-filled and food-filled holiday book for younger revelers. Hanukkah, Here I Come! (Grosset & Dunlap) by writer D.J. Steinberg and illustrator Sara Palacios is an energetic account that touches upon all the many things a kid might look forward to on Chanukah.
Starting with the setting up of the candles and the stacking of the presents, the meal prep also begins. The children help out their parents.
We briefly learn about the brave Judah Maccabee, “Macca-BAM! Macca-BOOM!” and how he and his brothers made history and the Jews took back their Temple. We light the candles, sharing in the joy with the neighbours across the street, who can be seen from their apartment windows. First gifts are unwrapped and selfies are taken – these illustrations are particularly delightful, as we see and read: “Click! That one cut off my sister.
“Click! Where’s my mother’s head?
“Click! That one’s dark and blurry.
“Click! That’s Mom’s finger instead.”
There is chocolate gelt, a lesson on how to play dreidel and a visit to Bubbe and Grandpa’s (implying a mixed family perhaps, that the grandfather is not Zayde). Latkes and apple sauce – or are you on Team Sour Cream, instead? – follow. The happy noise of the family celebrating together mounts and dinner is served, with a warning that your jelly doughnut dessert might just explode all over your face.
The last night of Chanukah arrives all too soon.
Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, because of supply chain issues, the publication of Hanukkah, Here I Come! has been postponed to fall 2022.