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Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama
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Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama

3.31 of 5 stars 3.31  ·  rating details  ·  104 ratings  ·  33 reviews
I am a mix of two traditions.
From Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama.
How lucky am I?


Holiday time at Sadie's house means golden gelt sparkling under the Christmas tree, candy canes hanging on eight menorah branches, voices uniting to sing carols about Macabees and the manger, and latkes on the mantel awaiting Santa's arrival.

Selina Alko's joyous celebration of blended fa
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 164)
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Elise
I am incredibly conflicted with this book. On one hand I think the way the two holidays were integrated into the story was great however I think it went a little too far. Christmas decorations on a menorah and dreidels on a Christmas tree make me uncomfortable. There is a way to celebrate and intergrate holidays into your family without mixing the two.
Tasha
Sadie celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah in her house. Their family celebrations are a delightful mix of the two holidays. Latkes are on the mantel waiting for Santa to come, he’s a big fan of the family recipe. Carols are sung about dreidels and mangers. Gelt is spread under the Christmas tree. Food is a huge part of both traditions and then stories are shared from both as well. This is as warm and joyous a celebration as anyone could wish.

Alko nicely draws both holidays together, mixing t
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Dani Heller
Selena Alko's book, "Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama," is told from the perspective of a young girl named Sadie as she explains some of her family traditions around the holidays. The wonderful pictures help move her story along and explain to the reader all of the different types of things Sadie's family does to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. On each page there are many traditional Jewish and Christian symbols to represent the holidays of Hanukkah and Christmas. I loved how Alko's pict ...more
Katie Krimmel
What a great book by Selina Alko to share with children and teach them that it’s okay to have two different religions and traditions in one household. This book Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama is about a young girl named Sadie and how her family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah. They decorate the Christmas tree and menorah branches. Different family members tell stories from both religions. What fun it must be to have so much celebration in one house.

The illustrations were also done by
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Shannon
Here's what's confusing to me. The author/illustrator picture at the back of the book is GORGEOUS. Alko's family is adorable and charming and sweet. So why not base the main characters in the book on them? Why have the hipster tattooed scruffy-beard dad and the distracting collages (and you know I normally love collages, so it's rare that they irritate me)? I liked the idea of the holiday timeline at the end.

Also, the story seems to begin abruptly and transition its time weirdly... BAM on one pa
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Taylor Railey
The lesson behind the book is great. Children need to be aware that it is alright to be of different religious backgrounds. With that being said I believe the author went a little over board trying to include both of the celebrations into Sadie's family. The story also did not flow very well. It gave great points and information about both Christmas and Hanukkah it just simply did not flow very well when I was trying to read the book. I was also back and forth on the illustrations. The bright co ...more
Hapzydeco
A clever way to present a mix of two traditions. While the illustrations (created by gouache, collage, and colored pencil) underscore the theme of blending elements, the bland prose is a bore. However, the recipes for Cranberry Kugel and turkey dressing on the end page show that diversity can be easy and delightful.
Sarah George
This is a story from a young girl's perspective about how the family combines two holidays - Christmas for her father, and Hanukkah for her mother. She seems of how lucky she is to experience both holidays, and how lucky these traditional families can overlap and mesh together. Although it's a informational story for young children to understand the difference between these religious practices, and how they combine ornaments and dreidels, I didn't like the story overall. It didn't explain things ...more
Jupiter Sinclair
The best thing my kid got out of this book: The Daddy has tattoos that look really cool and..."Hey...how come there aren't more moms and dads in books who have tattoos?"
Alice
I hated some pictures, I loved others, I hated parts of the story I love others.

The use of textures for the pictures are cool. It looks like a picture of the fabric of a hat on one of the pages. What I don't like about the pictures is the strange looks the people have.

What I liked about the story is it explains that some kids have two holiday and that is okay.

On the other day what I don't like about this book is the mixing of the Holiday. I am all over Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas but I
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Emelda
This book is cute. I got it out to read to my kiddos and I think another year I would definitely read it to them but this year one girl is having such a hard time not having a Christmas tree to decorate that I'll pass. I want a book that won't inspire her to ask for a tree to decorate with menorahs and dreidels, haha.
Sharon Lawler
Beautiful mixed media collage is the backdrop for this story about the blending of two faiths within one family. Written with the two-five year old child in mind, the story unfolds with Sadie and her parents decorating with stockings and menorah, stuffing the turkey with cranberry kugel dressing, and singing both "Dreidel,Dreidel, Dreidel" and "Silent Night". Aunts and uncles entertain with stories like the miracle if the oil and the animals in the manger. A timeline of additional national and r ...more
Yapha
A sweet look at the blended traditions of a family that celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. Recommended for grades Pre-K to 2.
Erin
Great for those mixed families who celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.
Dolly
Feb 14, 2013 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a nice book that celebrates mixed faith families. I love the ecumenical nature of the book, with two religions coexisting peacefully and in harmony. This is not the experience of so many people in the world, but for a children's book, it works.

The narrative is short and the illustrations are colorful. I read an ebook version of this story on my iPad. I liked that the author based the story on her own family, but I was a bit surprised that she changed the characters, so it's not strictly
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Pam
I gave a three rating to this book because it addresses how people of different religions can bridge the gap between their traditions. This book tells the story of how one family with a Christian father and Jewish mother celebrate the holiday. I wonder, if this can be done at the level of a single family why can't we do this as communities and nations? Selina Alko's story was a bit too simplified and would have betterd with additional information on both religions and the traditions they celebra ...more
Cheri
I think I like this one. I gave it a high rating because I've never seen anything else like it. The traditions are woven together really well, and I like how the people look like people. I was a little thrown off by the oil paint plus collage style of illustrating, but that's probably just personal preference. It was pretty inventive!
I would recommend this to ANY kid living in an interfaith Jewish/Christian household. It's good to see your own story told in some way!
Teacher.
I'm the Christmas Mama in my family and my husband is the Hanukkah Daddy. I was so anticipating this book when I requested it from the library. The text was decent and the illustrations were quite beautiful (they would have gotten 4 stars). I wished for something a little deeper that taught more about the traditions. Overall, I liked the book and will be sure to share it with my Lil Guy this holiday season.
Kimberly
While I personally think raising a child to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah causes more confusion for the child, many interfaith families choose to do so. That being said, this is a good book for those families. it is well written and I loved the illustrations. Plus the cranberry kugel dressing recipe sounds yummy.
Amy Rhilinger
Loved the illustrations, loved that our family could relate to the family in the book in a number of ways - friends that celebrate 2 holidays, the father looks like my husband, the joy that comes from family time, just to name a few. Loved that there was a recipe in back since we were intrigued by kugel stuffing!
Lauren
This is a book about dealing with parents for the holidays when they celebrate different holidays. I think this is a good book for K-3. It talks about the many different traditions of Christmas and Hanukkah. I could use this towards winter break to talk about the different holidays there are to celebrate!
Nancy
Sadie’s family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah in her home. She tells us that she is a mix of two traditions. And she loves it that way. We get to visit the family as they blend traditions into their own special time of year.
Peacegal
3.5 stars -- A hip little book about how different family traditions can be blended into a celebration for all.

Veg*n parents note: A turkey is cooked (and referenced in the text) during the story.
Michelle
The illustrations are colorful and interesting, but the text is a) a bit higher than my two year olds can grasp, and b)kind of boring, haha. I think if the text rhymed, it might have worked better.
Jen
Nov 18, 2012 Jen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: pb
beautiful mixed media illustrations. Daddy has the typical ornate cross tattoo on his arm. this book probably would connect with a lot of families that are trying to honor more than one tradition.
Kim
A young girl whose parents hail from different religious backgrounds relates how her family makes the holidays special. A sweet story that embraces the diversity of different traditions.
Beverly
Interesting mix of Christmas and Hanukkah traditions.
Sarah
A simplistic but nice story showing how a young girl's family celebrates the holiday traditions of both a Christian father and Jewish mother. Good for interfaith families.
The Styling Librarian
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko - special holiday book showing how a family can have respectful integrated religious family... My son enjoyed this one.
Elizabeth
It's a nitpick, but I'm concerned that the family scatters chocolate Gelt on the floor under their christmas tree, as the family seems to own a dog.
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