Judy’s Library Corner: Eight Wild Nights

Photo: Kar-Ben Publishing

Okay, I’m back again. The crazy library lady. But this time I have a holiday relevant book for you. It came across the desk at work this week and I just had to snatch it up and share it with you.  It’s called Eight Wild Nights, by Brian P. Cleary.

I’ll tell you up front, unlike most of the books I share with you, it’s not new. It was published in 2006. But it’s one of the best books I’ve seen so far on the topic of Hanukkah. Our family is not Jewish, but I enjoyed it so much I read it out loud to my older kids at the dinner table. The pictures are fun to look at and the text is clever and fun to read (especially out loud).

Here’s a sample:

“This time of year always,

The bedrooms and hallways

Get vacuumed, and

Straightened and dusted.

The kitchen is spotless,

No light bulb is watt-less

And nothing that’s showing

Is busted.

Photo: Judy Berna

Each frying pan’s shining,

As plates in the dining

Room gleam, we await the arrival

Of eight days of guests,

Friends and family, and pests,

Who will threaten our very survival.”

What proceeds is a house full of family and friends, celebrating the Hanukkah holiday in all the conventional ways, with a bit of family hijinxs mixed in. This book is full of fun pictures to pore over and the author has incorporated much of the traditional Hanukkah vocabulary (blintzes, Maccabaeus) into the text in a meaningful way.

The page that brought laughs, even from my older kids, was, appropriately, the one concerning gifts. Our favorite text and accompanying picture:

“What present for me, is beside the TV?

A Gameboy?

A laptop computer?

Photo: Judy Berna

Instead it’s pajamas

That look like my grandma’s

Which mom says just couldn’t

Be cuter!”

If you celebrate Hanukkah, or just want your kids to be educated about holidays of different faiths, this is a great book to have on the bookshelf. It’s detail heavy pictures and rhythmic text will make it a must read for many nights in a row.

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