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One Candle

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About the Author

Eve Bunting was born in Ireland and came to California with her husband and three children. She is one of the most acclaimed and versatile children's book authors, with more than two hundred novels and picture books to her credit. Among her honors are many state awards, the Kerlan Award, the Golden Kite Award, the Regina Medal, the Mystery Writers of America and the Western Writers of America awards, and a PEN International Special Achievement award for her contribution to children's literature. In 2002, Ms. Bunting was chosen to be Irish-American Woman of the Year by the Irish-American Heritage Committee of New York. K. Wendy Popp's pastels and drawings have been used to illustrate publications internationally for over two decades, and her artwork is held in private collections and galleries throughout the United States. The illustrations for One Candle feature the faces of children and parents in her community, as well as her own children. Ms. Popp lives and works in upstate New York with her husband, Bill, and two children, Zoe and Wynn.


On the first night of Hanukkah every year, Grandma recites her experience as a 12-year-old in Buchenwald, when she risked her life to steal a potato and margarine to improvise one Hanukkah light. The text feels somewhat forced until Grandma starts speaking, and then the audience will be gripped. Popp's (Sister Anne's Hands) uncannily lifelike, sympathetic group portraits, bathed in soft lighting that visually bridges them to sepia-toned flashback scenes of Buchenwald, evoke the abiding tenderness of family rituals respectfully observed. It would be a pity for the mistake on the cover (the candle is on the wrong side of the menorah here and several times in the interior art) to deter readers from the unusually moving story within. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Gr 1-4-Another finely tuned intimate, first-person narrative from Bunting, who delivers a moving family history framed within the celebration of Hanukkah. Grandma ritualistically makes a candle from a hollowed-out potato in memory of the time she and Great-Aunt Rose spent in Buchenwald. The repeated story unites the family as they celebrate the present and remember the past. Exceptionally handsome illustrations lend a realistic quality to the memorable text: sepia tones mute and distance the concentration-camp flashbacks; softly colored tones define contemporary scenes.-S. P. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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