Chanukah: A Different Celebration

by Jane Naliboff

Every year, sometime in late November or early December, sometimes crossing over the biggest winter holiday for most Americans, comes Chanukah. Not a major holiday by any means, but one that is associated with gifts, delicious food, and family, if you’re lucky enough to have them near you.

When my husband and I moved to the woods of central Maine with our then 14 month old, income was what we had in mind and there was a good job waiting for my husband amongst the piney woods and lakes. Not having family close by wasn’t an issue, we were strong, independent, and anxious to begin new traditions with our own little family that soon ballooned to five of us. Being on the secular side, we chose to offer culture and holidays that included food and gifts to our girls. Naturally Passover and Chanukah easily became their favorites.

Three small menorahs, three boxes of drippy, colored candles, star of David and dreidel cookies sprinkled with blue sugar, mountains of latkes and sour cream and applesauce, and a pile of blue and silver gifts was a happy time of year. Continue reading “Chanukah: A Different Celebration”

Starting to look for holiday gifts?

The Colorado Parent magazine’s Bookmarkable blog highly recommends Pobble’s Way (Simon Van Booy & Wendy Edelson):

We imagine with Pobble, Daddy, and the forest animals; we believe that something simple is more than it appears; and we know that nature is full of possibilities. I highly recommend this beautifully illustrated and narrated book and think it would make a great holiday gift.

(Read the rest of the Colorado Parent review here)

Winter is about holidays and family and of course gift-giving. But it is also about quit walks together in the snow, the warmth of home, and the light of imagination.  A gift of Pobble’s Way is all of these great winter things wrapped in one.

Veterans Day: A Soldier and Children’s Author Celebrates

In honor of Veterans Day, we asked Flashlight author and US Army Major Thad Krasnesky to share some of his thoughts on being a children’s author and on serving in the military. This is the first in a series of posts from our authors, illustrators, and other Flashlight folk on the holidays.

"Some people find it odd to reconcile the image of a children’s writer with the image that they have of a soldier. I love being able to create that conflict in people’s minds."

by: Thad Krasnesky

Veterans Day is a wonderful time here at West Point.  Although any holiday celebrating the soldier cannot be far removed from the more serious side of the occupation, it is a much less solemn occasion than Memorial Day.  Veterans Day is a celebration of life and a remembrance of victory.  More importantly for the soldier, it commemorates the end of war.  Although some people think that soldiers long for war, this is simply not the case.  There are violent people in any occupation.  Certainly there are some among the ranks of the soldier.  The true soldier however, the one who practices the profession of arms and is not simply a hired gun, longs for peace.  Douglas Macarthur, a West Point graduate and a leader of character once said, “The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”  Dwight Eisenhower, another West Point graduate and distinguished leader said, “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its stupidity.”  Veterans Day remembers that moment in time, when soldiers on both sides of the line in WWI were able to lay down their weapons.  The day that they said, “This many deaths, but no more.” Continue reading “Veterans Day: A Soldier and Children’s Author Celebrates”

Celebrate Sandwich Day with Carla

November 3rd is the anniversary of John Montagu’s birthday. It is believed that this 18th-century English noble, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, instructed his servants to serve him his lunch meat between two pieces of bread, thereby inventing the Sandwich.

To commemorate the occasion, November 3rd is National Sandwich Day. Flashlight Press invites you to celebrate Carla-style with sandwiches and activities based on Carla’s Sandwich (by Debbie Herman, illustrated by Sheila Bailey). Check out our new Carla’s Sandwich Cookbook here.

Happy Sandwich Day!