While it’s a bit late for the holidays, today I read Laura Krauss Melmed’s cozy Hanukkah rhyming picture book, Eight Winter Nights.
The story moves through the events characterizing each night of Hanukkah, emphasizing family togetherness and participation in symbolic traditions that include games, gifts, food, and charity. Melmed even playfully integrates Hanukkah songs into her verse.
Illustrator Ilisabeth Schlossberg bathes each evening scene in the muted glow of the menorah.
The story defers explanations and instead lets the reader bear witness to the activities as they unfold. Those (like myself) who are curious can explore the afterward in which a history of the holiday and meaning behind the traditions are explained.
This is an inviting read for Hanukkah observers as well as those curious about holiday customs they might not have grown up with.