|Red and green and blue and white|
Author: Wind, Lee
On Isaac's street most of the houses are decorated in red and green for Christmas including his friend, Teresa's, while Isaac's house is blue and white for Hanukkah; then someone smashes Isaac's window in the night, and Teresa comes up with a way to show support for her friend--and gets the whole community to rally around their Jewish family.
|Illustrator:||Zelinsky, Paul O.|
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/21)
School Library Journal (+) (11/01/21)
The Hornbook (+) (00/11/21)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2021 Every December Isaac’s family places a blue-and-white Hanukkah menorah in their front window; neighbor Teresa’s family (and others) decorate their windows in red and green for Christmas. One night someone throws a stone through Isaac’s window, destroying his display as well as his sense of well-being. Despite fears, his family puts up another menorah the next night and are surprised (and gratified) to see that other neighbors do likewise. Based on a 1993 incident in Billings, Montana, Wind’s straightforward account never preaches tolerance, instead allowing the courageous actions of community upstanders (people who stand up against bigotry rather than simply standing by) to set the example. Zelinsky’s digital art features cheery, light-filled exteriors set against dark backgrounds; cozy interior scenes of holiday fun; and spreads emphasizing community solidarity with Isaac’s family. The cover, a nighttime scene depicting concerned neighbors viewing Isaac’s house through the broken glass, is particularly apt. This makes a thoughtful addition to the holiday shelves and a springboard to discussions of prejudice. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2021 Gr 1–5—In The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate, Janice Cohn described in great detail how the people of Billings, Montana, joined together in 1993 to fight a series of hate crimes against one of their Jewish neighbors. Wind has simplified this true story with beautiful, poetic text paired with Zelinksy's rich, layered, and stunning illustrations. On Chanukah, Isaac lights the menorah in his front window, making his house glow blue and white in the night, "on a block dressed up in Red and Green." When a rock smashes Isaac's window, his family is afraid to light their menorah. But, "if they didn't, Isaac knew it would be like hiding they were Jewish. That didn't feel right." In a simple act of compassion and solidarity, Isaac's best friend and neighbor, Teresa, affixes a hand-drawn picture of a menorah to her front window, so that "through the paper, the light shone Blue and White." Others followed Teresa's example, and within three weeks menorahs were displayed in more than 10,000 windows so that the entire town glowed "Red and Green and Blue and White." While the source of the violence is never stated or explained, the dark, expressive illustrations depict the scary, emotional scene with sensitivity. A brief author's note explains, "the people in Billings chose to not just stand by and be BYstanders while bad things happened to others .They chose to be UPstanders." VERDICT A powerful and inspiring example of community, friendship, respect, and love.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.