Best Kids’ Hanukkah Jokes Ever!

Highlights. (Highlights Joke Books). Sept. 2022. 128p. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781644728437.
K-Gr 4–This optimistically and misleadingly titled offering does not live up to its hype. This joke book includes sections on Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot, Purim, and Tu B’Shvat, along with six Hanukkah-specific sections on everything from menorahs to latkes. Like most children’s joke books, they range from moderately funny to total groaners, and include some head-scratchers. A number of the jokes have an adult sensibility and are likely to go over the heads of the intended audience, for example: “What do you call steaks ordered by 10 Jews? Filet minyan.” Additionally, many of the jokes rely on puns that are spelling-related and don’t always translate to being read aloud: “How many candles did the menorah eat for lunch? None it already eight.” Several jokes, like “What did the s’chach say to the sukkah? I’ve got you covered,” rely on fairly significant Jewish knowledge and will not make sense to many less-orthodox Jews, let alone non-Jews. There is black-and-white, cartoon-style spot art scattered throughout the pages. Much like the jokes, some of the illustrations are better conceived and more appropriate than others. The illustrations break up the text effectively, and add visual interest, despite being somewhat boilerplate. However, they are not enough to raise the text above ordinary.
VERDICT This unexceptional joke book might fill a hole in Jewish collections desperate for Jewish-themed jokes. All others can pass on this uneven and pedestrian offering.

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