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The Trees of the Dancing Goats

por Patricia Polacco

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5601631,622 (4)4
During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle. Based on a memory from the author's childhood.
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During a scarlet-fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors.
  NMiller22 | Aug 10, 2019 |
I dunno. Yes it's an important message and all, but to me it's more of a 'should read' than a 'want to read' - like so many of the 'classics' we were pushed to read in school. Neither the pictures, the story, or the idea charmed or delighted me. Sorry. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Trisha's family is ready to celebrate Hanukkah when they learn that all of their neighbors are struck with scarlet fever. The family puts their own holiday on hold so they they can minister to their sick neighbors. They use the hand carved and painted animals that their grandpa made to decorate Christmas trees for them and take them baskets of food and candles. This book is based on a true story from Polacco's own past.

Curriculum connections: This is a great book to compare Christmas and Hanukkah and their traditions. You could also discuss immigration and how people bring their religions, traditions, and language with them when they move to a new places. ( )
  danielle.trotter | Feb 27, 2016 |
I hoped to read all of Polacco's books in 2014, but alas fell short of that goal. Rich in detail and personal history, her books bring a rich meaning to family values.

As her beloved Babuska prepares for Hanukkah, her loving grandfather hand crafts lovely wooded animal toys. As her brother Ralph and she grow excited by the day, they relish the time when their school teacher mother will have two weeks to be with them on their grand parents Michigan farm.

On a cold winter night, when the snow is thick and white, the family learns that their Christian neighbors are ill with Scarlet Fever. Extending love and kindness, the family finds small trees to decorate with the hand carved animals. Delivering the gifts during the snow storm, leaves them with a warm feeling.

When the neighbors are better, they provide a hand-made Menorah.

The best thing about not reaching my goal, is that there are so many more wonderful books of this author to cherish and read in 2015. ( )
  Whisper1 | Dec 27, 2014 |
The eight days of Hanukkah had always been one of Trisha's favorite times of the year. Her Ukrainian-born Babushka would make hand-dipped candles for the Menorah, and cook delicious latkes. Her Georgian-born Grandpa would carve colorful animals out of wood - presents for Trisha and her brother, Richard. Best of all, Momma would have two weeks off from her job as a school-teacher, and the entire family would be together on their Michigan farm! But when Trisha and her family learn that most of the members of their small farming community have been stricken with scarlet fever, and are unable to prepare for or celebrate their own holiday - that of Christmas - they decide to share the joy of the season with their neighbors...

Apparently based on an actual event from Patricia Polacco's own youth, The Trees of the Dancing Goats is a heart-warming holiday tale that emphasizes the importance of friendship and community, of sharing our blessings with others, and respecting diverse beliefs. I found myself tearing up, as I reached the conclusion. Truly a wonderful book, one that can be appreciated by those who celebrate Hanukkah, those who celebrate Christmas, those who celebrate both, and those who don't celebrate either one. ( )
2 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 15, 2013 |
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During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle. Based on a memory from the author's childhood.

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