Hanukkah in Alaska

by Barbara Brown

Other authorsStacey Schuett (Illustrator)
Book, 2013



Call number

E 247 BRO



Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (2013), 32 pages


A little girl describes the short, harsh days of winter in Alaska and her efforts to keep a moose from destroying trees and the swing in her back yard, which she finally succeeds in doing with the help of a Hanukkah treat. Includes facts about Hanukkah and the aurora borealis.

User reviews

LibraryThing member AllieR93
This story shows the importance of family during the holidays. The little girl had such a good Hanukkah because of the games she played with her parents as well as watching the aurora borealis with them. The author also showed aspects of Alaska. The little girl had a moose in her backyard because
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there are a lot of moose in Alaska. The story also showed traditions of Hanukkah. The family played dreidel and had latkes. The little girl even gave the moose in her backyard a latke to get him to go away.
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LibraryThing member susan.mccourt
The book focuses on a little bit of everything: a stubborn moose, the weather in Alaska, the Northern Lights, and the customs of Hannukah. The story of the moose is enough to keep a young reader interested, and the pictures and descriptions of the bits of culture and tradition are great for
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exposing kids to other cultures and climates without making them the primary focus. It raises curiosity about both life in Alaska and Jewish tradition. I appreciated the Author's Note at the end describing a little more about the topics covered.
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LibraryThing member Sullywriter
It's not every kid who has a moose at her window watching her light the menorah.
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
As a young Alaskan girl goes about her winter activities, from attending school mostly in the dark to making dreidels in the snow with her friends, she also makes every effort to drive the moose which has taken up residence in her yard, eating all of the bark off the trees, away from the tree
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holding her favorite blue swing. But nothing she offers as a tempting treat, from carrots to cookies, seems to interest the moose. Then, on the last night of Hanukkah, when her family is outside witnessing the beauty of the Northern Lights, a celestial occurrence that feels very significant to people observing the Festival of Lights, the girl comes up with the perfect solution: latkes!

An engaging tale of a young Jewish girl in Alaska, one which highlights the realities of winter-time in the far north, Hanukkah in Alaska isn't really a story about the holiday as such, but rather a story set during the holiday, which incorporates some of its rituals and observances into the narrative. For children who do not live in Alaska, Barbara Brown's tale will provide them a window into life in that state, just as it will highlight the religious diversity to be found there. A brief afterword gives more information about the story of the revolt of the Maccabees and the miracle in the temple, which the holiday of Hanukkah commemorates. The artwork, created by Stacye Schuett in acrylic and gouache, is colorful and appealing, with a nice contrast provided between the cold, bluish scenes occurring outdoors, and the warm, earthy-toned scenes taking place indoors. Schuett also illustrated Michelle Edwards' Papa's Latkes, another Hanukkah picture-book I have enjoyed. Recommended to anyone looking for Hanukkah stories where the focus is less on explaining the holiday than on the lives of the children who celebrate it, as well as to anyone searching for books about Jewish children in geographically diverse locations.
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LibraryThing member ebrossette
Hanukkan in Alaska is about a young girl who is having a rough Hannukah. There's a moose trying to break her swing, and it's freezing cold. Things look up a bit when her dad takes her out in the snow to see the Northern Lights.
I thought this book was a bit al over the place. It bounced between the
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moose, Hannukah, and the cold with little rhythm.
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