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Hanukkah Moon


by Deborah da Costa    

illustrated by Gosia Mosz

Kar-Ben Publishing, Inc., a Division of Lerner Publishing, 2007

A story picture book for ages 5-10.   An unusual Hanukkah story with a multicultural focus, Hanukkah Moon  tells the story of young Isobel who is invited to her Aunt Luisa’s for Hanukkah.  Isobel is not sure what to expect.  Aunt Luisa has only recently arrived from Mexico.  Will she know how to celebrate Hanukkah? Isobel’s father’s promise is even more intriguing.  “At Aunt Luisa’s you’ll get to celebrate the Hanukkah Moon,” he says.  Isobel’s visit is filled with fun and surprises--a new camera, a dreidel pinata filled with sweets, and a mysterious late night celebration to welcome the luna nueva, the new moon that appears during Hanukkah.

     In addition to being an author, Deborah da Costa is a reading specialist, educational consultant, psychologist, college writing instructor, and a former classroom teacher in grades K-12.  She lives in Maryland.

     Illustrator Gosia Mosz is a native of Poland.  Hanukkah Moon is her first picture book for an American audience.

Hanukkah Moon is available in book stores and online book stores.  Order your copy of Hanukkah Moon from


Selected by the Association of Jewish Libraries as a "Notable Children's Book of  Jewish Content". 


“With a golden palette and a soft tone, this lovely story highlights a tradition overlooked in most Hanukkah literature....this book will give young readers another perspective on ways that Jews from other countries and traditions celebrate familiar holidays....A rare and worthy choice that will enhance most collections.”
                     School Library Journal

“...a pleasant and offbeat Hanukkah story with a slight Sephardic flavor...a text that combines three subjects---Hanukkah, Rosh Hodesh, and kindness to animals---in a childlike and natural way.”
                              Jewish Valuesfinder

“...a valuable contribution to the canon of holiday literature,...the focus on the feminist aspect of the new moon celebration is a welcome one.”
                              Center for Children’s Books

“...lends Hispanic spice to the Festival of Lights...Gosia Mosz’s skillful earth-colored drawings complement the graceful text.”
                              Hadassah Magazine

“...warm-hearted story offering a new perspective on an age-old Jewish holiday.”
                              Kirkus Reviews

“...personal pick of the season, Hanukkah Moon, shines with warmth and will draw in anyone who loves children or has ever been one...”
                              World Jewish Digest

“...Hanukkah Moon tells the story of Isobel who visits her Aunt Luisa, a lovely, talented lady having just arrived from Mexico.  Aunt Luisa is a college photography teacher, a maker of woodland menorahs and huge dreidel pinatas, and a baker of cookies.  Isobel learns new traditions and new ways to celebrate the holiday.What a terrific way to say Feliz Januca!
                   Jewish Retailer Bookshelf

Snow in Jerusalem


by Deborah da Costa

illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu

Albert Whitman & Company, 2001

A story picture book for ages 5-10. Snow in Jerusalem  is the tale of two boys who live in separate sections of Jerusalem’s Old City.  One boy an Arab Muslim and one a Jew squabble over a stray white cat they have both been feeding.  However, on a cold, snowy day they realize they must work together to help the cat and her kittens survive.  Essentially a story about peace and resolving conflict, Snow in Jerusalem received many honors.  It is currently available in an Italian version as Neve Su Gerusalemme (Edizioni il Punto D’Incontro, 2002) and in paperback (Albert Whitman, 2007).

Honors and Awards

-A Junior Library Guild Selection
-A University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice for 2002
-An Association of Jewish Libraries Notable Children’s Book of Jewish Content for 2001
-A Children’s Literature Choice List of Books for 2002
-A Jewish Theological Seminary Notable Book for Younger Readers
-Harold Grinspoon Foundation PJ Library Selection


“...thought-provoking...uplifting, very highly recommended...with a core message of hope and love.”   --Midwest Book Review

“...a gentle story with a worthy message.”  --Book Page

“...engaging, tender story of ...understanding and peace.”     --Jewish Book World

“...a serviceable title for opening discussions about the Middle East”  --School Library Journal

“...the book’s optimism is appealing...”  --Booklist

“...even-handed...”  --Horn Book




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