Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review - The Count's Hanukkah Countdown


The Count's Hanukkah Countdown: Shalom Sesame

By: Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2012
ISBN: 978-0761375562
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 2012

Grover stuck his pointer finger in his mouth as he carefully looked over his grocery list. Onions, potatoes, apples, flour, eggs, sour cream, salt, and juice were all the things he needed to pick up for his Hanukkah celebration. It was going to be very special because Brosh and Avigail had come all the way from Israel to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah with their family. The Count held out his hand because he wanted to take a peek at Grover's list. Oh, my oh my! There were eight things on that list and the Count smiled and exclaimed, "Oh, how I love the number 8, ah ah ah!"

There were going to be just the perfect number of guests ... one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight! The Count considered the number eight to be the "perfect Hanukkah number." Later when he arrived at the house, the kitchen was buzzing with activity as everyone began preparing for the celebration. Grover and Brosh sat at the table "peeling potatoes for latkes" while Aunt Sara measured up just the right amount of oil. There was so much to be done. Soon it was time to light the shamash candle, but the Count thought there was a mistake. "Where are the other candles? We need 8." What was wrong? There were many things the Count needed to learn about Hanukkah, but how could the family help him?

This is a marvelously fun tale as Count von Count happily counts his way through Hanukkah. This book dances with Muppet excitement as everyone prepares for the celebration. Every youngster who watches Sesame Street knows how the Count loves to count and, of course, Grover's special Hanukkah celebration gives him the perfect opportunity to count up a storm. The eight guests, candles, days, nights, verses of a Hanukkah song, and other opportunities to count kept Count von Count smiling throughout these pages as he often declared that 8 was the "perfect Hanukkah number." I was especially impressed with the amount of historical information packed in this book, including the story of Antiochus and the Maccabees. The artwork was impressively colorful, dazzling, and lively. This is a new twist on Hanukkah that you most assuredly can count on becoming a classic countdown to the celebration!

Quill says: If you want a perfect countdown to Hanukkah you can count on Sesame Street's Count von Count to help you learn about the celebration!