When I was 9 years old, my generous parents started looking at sleep away summer camps for me to attend. My father's business partner had attended a great camp, he recommended we contact the director for information. Mitch Reiter came to our house, set up a slide show, and within 30 seconds he sold me on Camp Towanda. From soccer to swimming, arts and crafts and evening activities, this eight week sleep away camp had it all and my bags were packed! Sign me up!
There was just one thing. It's a Jewish Camp. And I am not Jewish. Would I have a problem attending? Since we weren't very religious, my parents quite liberal, and I had fallen in love with the camp, this is how it came to be that a Presbyterian from Massachusetts would attend a Jewish camp in The Pocanos, attended mostly by Jewish children and teens from New York and New Jersey. The next five summers, I spent 8 weeks at overnight camp with my Camp Towanda family. I have some wonderful friends from camp to this day and also unique appreciation for the Jewish faith.
Perhaps this is why I am always mindful during the holidays of those who don't celebrate Christmas. With Christmas being so commercial these days, if you don't celebrate it, I can imagine as a child you would feel quite alienated. I was delighted to see Miss Nancy's huge selection of Hanukkah books at The Storybook Shoppe. In fact, she has a whole wall!
She sent us home with a few to read and I fell in love with Hanukkah! by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Marilyn Hafner. It's a short book geared for pre-schoolers and toddlers that highlights the warmth of the holiday and the strong traditions of Hanukkah. From the menorah, potato pancakes, dreidel, pot roast and gifts, prayers, and all the love, Hanukkah seems a lot like the holidays I celebrate -- filled with fun, food, and family. After all, that's what all holidays are about regardless of the faith.
We delighted in this cute toddler, Moe, who in the beginning of the story is unable to say "Hanukkah." By the end, not only does he understand the traditions, but he has a new word, too! (Can you guess what it is?) The illustrations in this book are wonderful, and perfectly depict the story, helping young listeners understand what you are reading to them.
We think you will love this story and it also makes a great gift. Buy this wonderful story now, right here on the blog, and support The Storybook Shoppe! It will be shipped to your door in days.
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