This is an addition to the popular series which includes How Do Dinosaurs: Say Good Night?…Say I Love You?…Eat Their Food?…Go to School?, and many other titles. All of these use naughty dinosaurs to demonstrate ways children should behave in various situations. Each double page spread features a different, whimsically illustrated dinosaur that corresponds to one on the end papers. In this Chanukah title, the huge dinosaurs are cleverly shown holding tiny menorahs, bags of gelt, or wrapped Chanukah gifts.
The author and illustrator team also wrote How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? at the same time, so both have similar messages. A note at the beginning of each of these titles tells us that we say both Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas “with an abundance of love, joy, memory and gratitude.” In How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah?, the rhyming text mentions “the holiday lights” and “candlelight prayer,” but does not explain the menorah shown in the pictures. Oversize dinosaurs tower over different families and different pets on various pages, including one dinosaur holding little tiny blobs that are supposed to be latkes but the author does not explain this traditional Chanukah food.
The story needs to be read with one or two children sitting next to you, so they can see the pictures. That way the person reading the story can explain the significance of the menorah, and latkes. The pre-school class I read it to couldn’t see the extremely tiny latkes or gelt.
Children who love the How Do Dinosaurs Say…series will enjoy How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukah? and following the holiday adventures of the colorful dinosaurs. Recommended for ages 3 – 5.
Andrea Davidson is the librarian of The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the University of Michigan and is a former member of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards Committee. She enjoys trying out the books she reviews on the kids at the Temple and on her grandchildren.