Sunday, December 25, 2016

Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf

Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf
By Greg Wolfe
Illustrated by Howard McWilliam
Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2016. Picture Book.

Shmelf, while working in the List Checking Department for Santa, noticed that there were many good children missing from Santa’s list. When he brings it to Santa’s attention he explains to Shmelf that those children celebrate Hanukkah. Shmelf then investigates what Hanukkah is and in the end gets a special assignment from Santa.

This is a simple introduction of Hanukkah for very young children not of the Jewish faith who might wonder why not everyone gets presents on Christmas. Though crossing Santa into Hanukkah may seem offensive to some, I think what the author is trying to do is bridge a gap between the two celebrations to show how alike they are, building on the concept that we are more alike than different, which I think he does well.

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