How Do Dinosaurs Say Hap­py Chanukah?

Jane Yolen; Mark Teague, illus.
  • Review
By – February 20, 2013
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.

Read­ing Guide

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.

Discussion Questions