A Chanukah Noel

A Chanukah Noel


Written by Sharon Jennings and Illustrated by Gillian Newland


A Christmas at Chanukah?

Charlotte and her family have just moved to a small town in France. There is a lot to get used to - a new language, new friends, a new school. Even the milk tastes different. As Christmas draws near, Charlotte is amazed to see the town transform itself. The streets are decorated, the shops are full of presents, and the smells of cinnamon and chocolate fill the air. Charlotte, who is Jewish, longs to have a Christmas too. Can she find a way to celebrate the spirit of both Christmas and Chanukah?

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About the Author

Sharon Jennings is the author of many children’s books, including Home Free, which is a finalist for the TD Canadian Children's Book Award and was nominated for the 2009 Governor General’s Awards and the 2009 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards. She lives in Toronto with her family.

About the Illustrator

Gillian Newland has illustrated a variety of publications ranging from magazine editorial to children’s books. She finds most of her inspiration to draw outside of her studio and can often be found sketching her fellow customers at Starbucks or the animals at the zoo. Gillian lives in Toronto.

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Product Information

  • Release: September 15, 2010

  • $15.95 Hardcover with Jacket

  • 24 Pages

  • 8.5 x 8.5

  • Children’s Picture Book

  • Ages 5-9 / Grades 1-4

  • Guided Reading: N

  • ISBN: 9781897187746


  • Character Education
    > Family & Friendship

  • History & Social Studies
    > Global Cultures

  • Reflecting Diversity
    > Holidays & Celebrations


Awards for A Chanukah Noel

  • Canadian Children's Book Centre's "Best Books for Kids and Teens" - 2011

Praise for A Chanukah Noel

"Captures both the holiday spirit and the feeling of a French village. Good to have on hand at holiday time." - Booklist

"This quiet and charming slice of life, which assumes a basic knowledge of both holidays, shares enough details (chocolate on a baguette as a school snack) to give readers a flavor of Charlotte’s new life. The attractive, realistic paintings depict a timeless French village–this story might take place now or several decades ago. A fine cross-cultural choice for larger collections." - School Library Journal

"Jennings' evocative descriptions, together with Gillian Newland's finely rendered illustrations, capture the sights, scents, and tastes of the French countryside. Newland uses an unusually dark palette, but it works. Though Charlotte's story is set in the past, the book's message is timeless: the joy or giving and sharing with family and friends far outshines a thousand shiny baubles." - Quill & Quire

"A poignant story for kids aged five to nine, in which a young Jewish girl who has moved with her parents to a new country answers a classmate’s cruelty with an act of simple generosity that transforms the holidays." - The Georgia Straight

"A Chanukah Noel is a Christmas story with a difference... In the end, Charlotte gets her Christmas experience and readers learn a universal truth: It’s better to give than to receive." - The Montreal Gazette

"Sharon Jennings’s recounting of Charlotte’s story is perfect in every way, as are Gillian Newlands’s powerful paintings, which reflect the depth and weight of this Chanukah/Christmas story." - The Globe and Mail

"Transplanted from Canada to France, Charlotte mopes that her Jewish family doesn’t celebrate Noel like her schoolmates. Then she comes up with a perfect solution — a Chanukah gift of Noel and all its fixings, delivered to a needy family in the village. This true story comes from the life of a beloved champion of children’s literature, Charlotte Teeple of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre." - The Toronto Star

"A Chanaukah Noel touches on themes of acceptance, empathy, respect, and kindness... [it is so] worth purchasing and reading to your class during the holiday season." - ETFO Voice (Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario)