I had planned to read this in December, but the holidays were hectic so I didnt get to it. I bought this book several years ago when my daughter was small. I couldnt find my daughters copy so I borrowed one from the library. I remember enjoying it then and since it wasnt due for a while I opted to revisit it.
The story is about friendship and celebrating common ground. Young Michael is Jewish and quite young and Elijah, the son of a slave, is very old and Christian. The story is told from Michaels point of view. His friend, Elijah gives him an angel for Christmas and Michael is unsure how to receive it. How can he take a forbidden graven image--especially on Chanukah? His parents help him to understand that what an object might mean to one person can be meaningful in another way to another. Michael in turns gives Elijah his homemade Menorah. Each night, his friend lights a candle and displays the Menorah in his barber shop window.
Elijah Pierce was a real folk artist, barber and lay minister. He was awarded many awards and his work is displayed in a national museum. Michaels tribute to his friend is warm and memorable. The illustrations are bold and wonder-filled. Im glad I read this again even though the holidays have passed.