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Fiction Picture Book
Pages: 24
Themes: sharing, friendship, interfaith
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 15/Sep/2010
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Charlotte and her family have just moved to France. Charlotte is Jewish, but longs to join in the Christmas celebrations as the holidays approach - can she find a way to celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah?

School Library Journal
"[A] quiet and charming slice of life…The attractive, realistic paintings depict a timeless French village…A fine cross-cultural choice."
Booklist
"Based on a true incident, this historical picture book… capture[s] both the holiday spirit and the feeling of a French village. Good to have on hand at holiday time."
Quill & Quire
"Warm-hearted but not overly sentimental...Jennings writes with gentle affection for her displaced heroine and sensitively addresses both the Jewish and Christian celebrations...Jennings' evocative descriptions, together with Gillian Newland's finely rendered illustrations, capture the sights, scents, and tastes of the French countryside...Though Charlotte's story is set in the past, the book's message is timeless: the joy of giving and sharing with family and friends far outshines a thousand shiny baubles."
The Globe and Mail
"Sharon Jennings's recounting of Charlotte's story is perfect in every way, as are Gillian Newlands's powerful paintings, which reflect the depth and weight of this Chanukah/Christmas story."
The Ottawa Citizen
"This book owes much of its appeal to the illustrations by Gillian Newland."
The Montreal Gazette
"A Christmas story with a difference. As its title implies, it involves someone who's Jewish...In the end, Charlotte gets her Christmas experience and readers learn a universal truth: It's better to give than to receive."
The Georgia Straight Magazine
"A poignant story for kids aged five to nine, in which a young Jewish girl who has moved with her parents to a new country answers a classmate's cruelty with an act of simple generosity that transforms the holidays."
The Toronto Star
"This true story comes from the life of a beloved champion of children's literature, Charlotte Teeple of the Canadian Children's Book Centre."
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"Simply a lovely story...Sharon Jennings is a superb storyteller, creating an interesting tale depicting the complications of real life. As a reader I felt compelled to read on...The illustrations, created by Gillian Newland, serve well in creating a lovely flow to the timing of the story...The final illustration in the book and the scene of the Christmas market are exquisite. They begged my eyes to linger on these pages...Invites children to explore their own feelings about being different, being new and about welcoming those who have different cultural backgrounds. I highly recommend A Chanuka Noel for purchase."
Homeshuling Blog
Her family's resolution to this dilemma evokes our own family's, but adds an important lesson about tzedakah to boot. I highly recommend this book, and not just for interfaith families.
The Midwest Book Review
"A Chanukah Noel" is an unforgettable tale of reaching across differing cultures, religions, geographies and classes to find the best truth of all: The gift of love is from the heart in any language.
Kidswwwrite.com website
A Chanukah Noel is a beautiful Christmas story. The illustrations in this book are amazing. Congratulations to illustrator Gillian Newland, as her pictures are just as touching as the story. There is so much detail in each picture that you just can't take your eyes away.
ETFO VOICE
A Chanaukah Noel touches on themes of acceptance, empathy, respect, and kindness... [so] worth purchasing and reading to your class during the holiday season. 5/5 hearts.

Awards

The Canadian Children's Book Centre's "Best Books for Kids and Teens 2011" List  | 2011 | Commended

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