As a young boy, I always felt that there was an abundance of books, songs, movies, and TV specials for kids who celebrated Christmas but a lot less for those who celebrate Hanukkah. I liked Santa and Rudolph enough, but I didn't feel like they were part of my world, and I wished that there were an equivalent character for the Festival of Lights. The part of me who remembers that feels validated that at least the Grinch now has a Jewish counterpart in The Kvetch Who Stole Hanukkah.
I had a lot of fun reading this book aloud (with my best Jewish inflections) to my three-year-old nephew, who remained engrossed and delighted in the rhymes and vibrant illustrations throughout. The book also has a good message for older children (and adults). The book resonated with me as that Jewish kid who wanted more Hanukkah-boooks, but readers certainly do not need to be Jewish to love this book any more than they need to be Christian to love The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Great for One and All2010/10/2
You don't have to be Jewish to love this book! Jewish children and adults will smile at the words and colorful images. Non-Jewish readers will have just as much fun enjoying this new story and learning from the book's universal life lessons. I have read the story of Hanukkah from many lovely books over the years, but this one gets the prize for being the most fun!
The Deeper Truth Inside the Kvetch2010/10/16
I have to admit I was skeptical of this title at first, as it seemed a Jewish knock off of Dr. Seuss, but in the end I was completely won over by the wisdom of the story, and the charm of the rhymes and illustrations. I read the book to my eight-year-old son, who is a very harsh critic, and he turned two thumbs up.
It's probably not apparent to children or even adults on a first reading, that the book touches, in its light way, on problems of vulnerability that are deeply imbedded in the psyche. Even if you're not Jewish, it's possible to identify with the Kvetch, a man who cannot allow himself enjoyment for fear of being hurt when that enjoyment is withdrawn.
The authors are to be congratulated in offering a story that is simple and pleasing for children, yet profound and moving for adults. This book deserves to be read and handed down.
Dickens's Scrooge has nothing on Berlins' KVETCH!!!2010/10/14
"Perhaps you're afraid to see things so bright for fear you'll lose them as day becomes night." This is the important message presented in a most delightful way to young readers of THE KVETCH WHO STOLE HANUKKAH. The book quickly brought me from adult to child, giggling at the novel concept of a miserable yet pathetic kvetch as the ultimate hero?! There I was, in the town of Oyville, one of those kids all excited about the menorah and latkes, when the gloomy KVETCH - who wants to rob others of holiday joy he can't give himself - suddenly stops the fun.
When I returned to my adult view I noted this one-of-a-kind holiday book's ability to send kids beyond the gift part of Hanukkah to its crucial social message: We often won't allow ourselves pleasure because we're afraid it won't last - and if we can't have it, we may resent those who can. As a psychoanalyst and analytic therapist for nearly 35 years, I've treated many children and their parents, and I recommend THE KVETCH WHO STOLE HANUKKAH as a mainstay of children's holiday book selections. Its universal ideas about social skills apply to varied religions (as does Dr. Seuss's book about Christmas), while its hilarious illustrations bring the giggles. By the way, just make sure you and the kids have plenty of latkes and applesauce to munch on while you learn and laugh.
Laura Arens Fuerstein, Ph.D. Author, MY MOTHER MY MIRROR website: mymothermymirror.com
Finally, a children's Hannukah book that I can wholeheartedly recommend!2010/10/22
Jonathan J Hersch
Clearly the title is a play on Dr. Seuss' classic about the Grinch, but, even though this title trades on that theme, it is equally ingenius. What makes the Grinch so great is that it is as much fun for an adult to read as it is for the child to hear it. This tale is equally delightful, but don't expect it to be the exact same story. That is one of the best features of this new story; it is far more clever than just filling in the blanks with Kvetch for Grinch and Hanukkah for Christmas. Additionally, if you are showing the pictures to your child as you read, the illustrations are whimsical enough to keep his or her eyes fixed to the page as you read.