These two cute books tell about times when Jews were in peril of death, but ended instead in celebration. The story of each holiday is told in an “ask and respond” format. Bright, age-appropriate but slightly goofy comic book type illustrations demonstrate how the Jews went from peril to victory. The question is phrased on both the left and right hand pages and the answer is revealed through a window on the right page when the flap cover is opened. While the clues are in English, the answers are in English and Romanized Hebrew. An older child might volunteer an additional sign in Hebrew letters. The book can be “played” differently according to the ages of the participants. While some of the words used may be difficult for the youngest child, just one year later, they might be perfect; the baby of the family can just chime in.
Chanukah Guess Who? starts with the lighting of the menorah, then continues on to the making of latkes, the history of the holiday and, finally, shows an illustrated neighborhood totally lit by a Chanukiyah in modern times. Purim Guess Who? is filled with lots of hysterical fun, but there is plenty of history there, as well. It is particularly nice that the detailed illustrations and text show that mitzvot are as much a part of Purim as the fun, maybe more. These are fun question and response type books that work well with participation by any number of listeners, from one to a group. Recommended for ages 3 – 6.
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Marcia W. Posner, Ph.D., of the Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, is the library and program director. An author and playwright herself, she loves reviewing for JBW and reading all the other reviews and articles in this marvelous periodical.