by Deborah da Costa, illustrated by Gosia Mosz
Ages 6 & up, 32 pages
Isobel visits her Aunt Luisa for a Hanukkah party and to celebrate the Hanukkah Moon. Aunt Luisa just returned from Mexico and displays ‘Feliz Januca’ for Happy Hanukkah and even has a piñata shaped like a dreidal. Isobel notices the unique menorah with animals. Aunt Luisa states that she made it and got the idea from her backyard friends, but there’s no animals when Isobel looks out the window. The first night Isobel receives a camera and Aunt Luisa teaches her photography. Aunt Luisa’s photography students celebrate the evening and she puts out fruits outside for special visitors. They learn about the moon celebration and Rosh Hodesh, which is the beginning of the month with a new moon that celebrates women who refused to give their gold to help build the idol of the golden calf at Mt. Sinai. Aunt Luisa takes everyone outside and they find animal visitors eating the fruit. Isobel asks where the Hanukkan Moon is in the sky, since she can’t find it. Aunt Luisa explains that the luna nueva or new moon faces away and will appear tomorrow night. Isobel leaves Aunt Luisa’s house with special memories that she shares with her family.
I thought Hanukkah Moon was a great book about positive family relationships, cultural elements, and learning about Hanukkah. The illustrations are colorful and highlight the story’s meaning.