“There’s a dino knocking on my door, It’s Hanukkah, you see. He’s come to decorate our house/And celebrate with me.” So begins this light, cheerful picture book that will captivate all those little ones who are crazy about dinosaurs. Written in short, rhyming passages of no more than four lines, the text is surrounded by full-page, brightly colored illustrations that reveal all the fun and mess that a very large, very child-like dinosaur can make as he marches around the room playing Maccabee, wraps presents, juggles latkes, drips candle wax, and finally gets shown the door, albeit with the invitation “Don’t wait a year to celebrate — Shabbat comes every week!” Through the antics of the dinosaur and his host, a young boy, some familiar Hanukkah customs are depicted and an atmosphere of revelry prevails. A short note following the story explains Hanukkah in terms that intended readers, children from ages 3 – 6, can understand. The author is one of several Jewish librarians whose books have been published recently.
Linda R. Silver is a specialist in Jewish children’s literature. She is editor of the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Jewish Valuesfinder, www.ajljewishvalues.org, and author of Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens: A JPS Guide (The Jewish Publication Society, 2010) and The Jewish Values Finder: A Guide to Values in Jewish Children’s Literature (Neal-Schuman, 2008).