The Family Chanukah Book
Stories, Games, Brainteasers and Activities for Chanukah
Illustrated by Dovid Goldschmidt, Gadi Pollack, and Yoni Gerstein
Ohrot Publications (2010)
Distributed by Feldheim Publishers
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - November 28, 2010
The Family Chanukah Book is an oversized book chock full of fun-filled activities for the whole family. It is illustrated by three world renowned artists, namely Dovid Goldschmidt, Gadi Pollack, and Yoni Gerstein, making this book a treat not only for the mind and spirit, but for the eye as well.
This book is organized into eight sections, one for each night of Chanukah. Each section includes a lively collection of activities such as a story, bits of trivia, a Chanukah comic based on history, a game and/or puzzle, a historical overview of Chanukah, a recipe, and much more. You'll also find a list of questions about Chanukah in each section. There are three levels or grades of questions, making them answerable by all but the youngest members in your family. For example, a level one question includes "What do we call the flame that is used to light the menorah?" whereas level three questions are much harder, such as "Is it permissible to light the menorah with oil that was hefker?" You'll even find a short piece of Chanukah music (or at least a small section of the musical selection) with words in Hebrew at the end of each section. These musical selections run the gamut from Berachos for lighting the Menorah to Ma'oz Tzur and other popular Chanukah songs, and much more. At the end of the book you will find answers to all the brainteasers and questions located throughout the book, as well as all needed cut-outs for the games. Combined, the information presented in this book serves to provide readers with a concise overview of the history and practices related to Chanukah, the world over, while also providing hours of entertainment for the entire family.
In addition to being of practical use on and around Chanukah time, this book can be used year-round. The Chanukah comic that is based on historical events was created by Dovid Goldschmidt, and each night serves as a new installment in the story. Read all together, you have a complete tale that will delight readers no matter what time of year it is. The same applies to all the stories and games in this book. My family's favorite game in this book is called Chanukah Checkers, it uses a dreidel to determine how players move their game pieces. This is a game that my kids are likely to play year round, along with several other games in the book.
From beginning to end, The Family Chanukah Book will enliven your Chanukah celebration and deepen your understanding and appreciation of this uplifting and joyous holiday.
The Miracles of Chanukah: Then & Now, by Genendel Krohn.
Featuring Chanukah stories, both ancient and contemporary, these sensitively and beautifully written stories are sure to please children of all ages.
Jewish Fact Attack, Created by Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz
Six Great Games that Teach Basic Jewish Concepts. (Software)